The Adventures of Champion

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CBS (ended 1956)

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6.6
out of 10
User Rating
15 votes
2

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The Adventures of Champion

Show Summary

The Adventures Of Champion series was about the exploits of Champion, a wild stallion who befriends twelve year-old Ricky North in the American Southwest during the 1880's.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • "The Adventures of Champion" - A wonderful series

    10
    Although this 26-episode series was run numerous times on British television and is regarded as a well-remembered classic there, its US run was curiously abbreviated. The last of the Flying A Productions' television series, "The Adventures of Champion" was originally a radio drama on the Mutual Network, in 1949-50. Its television run began on CBS as an early Friday evening program in the autumn of 1955. The timeslot had originally been set aside for a more lavishly-produced series about a horse, "My Friend Flicka." At the last moment, "Champion" was rushed in (instead of "Flicka) and met with very favorable reviews. Radio announcer/film actor Jim Bannon was excellent as the stalwart Sandy North, while the very likeable Barry Curtis brought the part of young Ricky North - the boy who, alone, can ride the wild stallion, Champion - to life in a pleasing manner. Gene Autry's handsome horse, Champion, and a German shepherd dog ("Rebel") rounded out the regular cast. As well-directed and handsomely-produced as the other Flying A shows of the 1950s, "The Adventures of Champion" provided solid entertainment. Supporting casts were uniformly excellent, and long-time experts behind the cameras made the show look wonderful. With a respectable 17.9 rating in its timeslot, "The Adventures of Champion" appeared to be a winner. Suddenly, before the 26 episodes had finished airing, CBS substituted "My Friend Flicka" in the 7:30 timeslot and "The Adventures of Champion" vanished. Perhaps the plan was to continue the series in first-run syndication - but it was a Western series, with its own distinct charm...yet adhering to the traditions of the genre. In 1956, as the new wave of Westerns aimed to appeal more exclusively to adult audiences began to supplant the "family" Westerns, "The Adventures of Champion" belonged to an era suddenly vanishing. Only 26 episodes were made...too few to make domestic syndication profitable. The series was sensationally popular in England, however. It was also dubbed into French and Spanish, and played successfully in a number of countries. Frankie Laine's Columbia recording of the vigorous theme song helped to keep the show alive in the minds of its devotees. More than half a century later, it is still good entertainment.moreless
  • The Adventures of Champion blew past my expectations. At first, I had expected same old same old plot development but twist after turn of excitement and action just way exceeded my expectations.moreless

    9.4
    The Adventures of Champion blew past my expectations. At first, I had expected same old same old plot development but twist after turn of excitement and action just way exceeded my expectations. Mind you, there were some problems (most discontinuity issues) that I don't have the time to mention but all in all, a solid 9.

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