Tales of Wells Fargo
Tales of Wells Fargo is an American Western television series starring Dale Robertson that ran from 1957 to 1962 on NBC. Produced by Revue Productions, the series aired in a half-hour format until its final season when it expanded to an hour and switched from black and white to color.
|Tales of Wells Fargo|
Dale Robertson as Jim Hardie, 1958.
|Created by||James Brooks|
|Directed by||Earl Bellamy|
William F. Claxton
Lewis R. Foster
Leslie H. Martinson
R. G. Springsteen
|Theme music composer||Mort Greene|
|Country of origin|
|No. of seasons||6|
|No. of episodes||200 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||30 mins, (1957-1961)|
60 mins. (1961-1962)
|Production company(s)||Overland Productions|
NBCUniversal Television Distribution
|Picture format||Black and white (1957-61)|
|Original release||March 18, 1957 –|
June 2, 1962
Set in the 1870s and 1880s, the series starred the Oklahoma native Dale Robertson as special agent Jim Hardie, noted at the time as "the left-handed gun". The series development was influenced by the biography of Wells Fargo detective Fred J. Dodge. The concept of Tales of Wells Fargo, a company troubleshooter in the American West, was also adapted by the syndicated series Pony Express, co-starring Grant Sullivan as detective Brett Clark, which aired in the 1959-1960 season, nearly coinciding with the centennial of the Pony Express. Even earlier, from 1954 to 1955, Jim Davis had starred as a railroad investigator, Matt Clark, in the syndicated Stories of the Century. Davis and Robertson, both of whom had unusual but similar-sounding speaking voices, each did the narration for their respective series. (And each actor later landed roles in 1980's primetime soaps: Davis on Dallas and Robertson on Dynasty.)
In the 1957 Christmas episode entitled "Laredo", Jim Hardie must track gunrunners across the United States/Mexican border in Laredo, Texas, a quest which keeps him from spending the holiday with friends as he had intended. Guest stars include Henry Rowland, Rodolfo Hoyos Jr., Karl Swenson and Pierre Watkin.
Jim Hardie usually rode a chestnut horse with a white blaze on his face and four white stockings. The horse actually belonged to Dale Robertson, and was named "Jubilee." In at least one episode in season four, Jubilee came when Hardie whistled and called his name.
- Dale Robertson as Jim Hardie, Wells Fargo agent
- William Demarest as Jeb Gaine (1961–1962)
- Virginia Christine as Ovie (1961–1962)
- Jack Ging as Beau McCloud
- Lory Patrick as Tina (1961–1962)
Notable guest stars
The pilot for Tales of Wells Fargo originally premiered as an episode of the anthology series Schlitz Playhouse of Stars.
In the 1960-61 season, Wells Fargo was scheduled opposite ABC's detective series Surfside 6 and CBS's new sitcom Bringing Up Buddy, starring Frank Aletter. Wells Fargo and Surfside 6 survived another year, but Bringing Up Buddy was cancelled. Wells Fargo was the lead-in that year to a new NBC Western, Klondike, but that series, set in the gold rush town of Skagway, Alaska, survived only seventeen episodes.
|DVD name||Ep #||Release date|
|The Complete First and Second Seasons||52||October 25, 2011|
The television series also spawned a number of publications for young readers, including the hardcover book Danger at Dry Creek (Golden Press, 1959), a series of Dell Comics and Little Golden Books. One of the artists who created this comic book adaptation was Russ Heath.
- "Laredo; Tales of Wells Fargo". Internet Movie Database. December 23, 1957. Retrieved July 6, 2017.
- "TV Ratings: 1957-1958". classictvhits.com.
- "TV Ratings: 1958-1959". classictvhits.com.
- Lambert, David (September 9, 2011). "Tales of Wells Fargo - 'The Complete 1st and 2nd Seasons' 6-DVD Tin". tvshowsondvd.com. Archived from the original on September 3, 2017. Retrieved July 6, 2017.
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