The Virginian (TV series)

The Virginian (TV series)

Infobox Television
show_name = The Virginian

caption = Opening title
show_name_2 = "The Men from Shiloh"
genre = Western
creator =
director = John Brahm
Richard A. Colla
creative_director =
developer = NBC
Revue Studios (season 1)
Universal TV (seasons 2-9)
presenter =
starring = James Drury
Doug McClure
Lee J. Cobb
John McIntire
Charles Bickford
Stewart Granger
Clu Gulager
Gary Clarke
Randy Boone
Roberta Shore
voices =
narrated =
theme_music_composer =
opentheme = "The Virginian" by Percy Faith
endtheme =
composer =
country = USA
language = English
num_seasons = 9
num_episodes = 249
list_episodes =
executive_producer = Norman MacDonnell
Charles Marquis Warren
Frank Price
John Thomas James
co_exec =
producer = Frank Telford
supervising_producer =
asst_producer =
co-producer =
editor = Lee Huntington
Bob Kagey
Robert L. Kimble
Tony Martinelli
George Ohanian
Robert K. Richard
cinematography = Alric Edens
Gerald Perry Finnerman
Robert Wyckoff
runtime = 90 Min.
network = NBC
first_aired = September 19, 1962
last_aired = March 24, 1971
related =
website =
imdb_id = 0055710
tv_com_id = 1042

"The Virginian" is a western-themed television series which aired on NBC from 1962 to 1971 for a total of 249 episodes. It was the first western to air in 90-minute installments each week (75 minutes excluding commercial breaks). Two other westerns later followed the same 90-minute format later in the 1960s, "Wagon Train" and "Cimarron Strip", each of those, however, lasting for only a single season. The show differed from "Wagon Train" in that it was filmed in the color format from its inception. [ [] ]


Loosely based on the Owen Wister novel, the series revolved around a foreman, played by James Drury, who went by the name "The Virginian"; his real name was never revealed in the nine years the show was on the air. The series took place in Medicine Bow, Wyoming, and revolved around The Virginian's quest to maintain an orderly lifestyle for the ranch he worked on, which was called "Shiloh Ranch". Other key characters included Trampas (played by Doug McClure) and Steve Hill (played by Gary Clarke). The main horse on the show was named Joe D. As the show progressed, Trampas became the more recognizable of the characters, and continues to be the role for which actor Doug McClure is best known.

The ranch had four owners throughout its run: Judge Garth (played by Lee J. Cobb), the Grainger brothers (played by Charles Bickford and John McIntire) and Colonel Alan McKenzie (played by Stewart Granger; the Graingers were replaced by a Granger who didn't play a Grainger). The theme song was titled "Lonesome Tree" and was written by Percy Faith and conducted by Revue musical director, Stanley Wilson.

In the final year, when Col. McKenzie took over Shiloh Ranch, the name of the program was changed to "The Men from Shiloh", and the look of the series was completely redesigned, with much broader brims and higher crowns on the hats, beards and moustaches, and jauntier and more imaginative costumes for the characters. These changes were not considered "improvements" by most of the fanbase for the series, and after nine years the series was near the end of its run, and there was little that could save it.


James Drury and Doug McClure were the only performers who appeared in all nine seasons of the series.

*James Drury as The Virginian
*Doug McClure as Trampas
*Lee J. Cobb as Judge Henry Garth (season 1-4)
*Roberta Shore, as Betsy, daughter of Judge Henry Garth (season 1-4)
*Randy Boone as Randy Benton (season 2-4)
*Gary Clarke as Steve Hill (season 1-3)
*Diane Roter as Jennifer Sommers, Judge Garth's niece (season 4)
*Charles Bickford as John Grainger (season 5-6)
*John McIntire as Clay Grainger (season 6-8)
*Jeanette Nolan as Holly Grainger (season 6-8)
*Sara Lane as Elizabeth Grainger (season 5-8)

*Clu Gulager as Deputy Sheriff Emmett Ryker (season 3-6)
*Don Quine as Stacey Grainger (season 5-6)
*David Hartman as Dave Sutton (season 7)
*Tim Matheson as Jim Horn (season 8)
*Stewart Granger as Colonel Alan MacKenzie (season 9)
*Lee Majors as Tate (season 9)

Notable guest stars

Guest stars included:
*Claude Akins
*Tol Avery
*Don 'Red' Barry
*Hugh Beaumont
*Noah Beery, Jr.
*Bruce Bennett
*Charles Bickford
*Lloyd Bochner
*Scott Brady
*Neville Brand
*Charles Bronson
*Darlene Carr
*Robert Colbert
*Joseph Cotten
*Royal Dano
*John Dehner
*Bruce Dern
*Andy Devine
*Paul Fix
*Harrison Ford
*Dick Foran
*Steve Forrest
*Tony Franciosa
*Bert Freed
*Robert Fuller
*Leo Gordon
*Coleen Gray
*Alan Hale, Jr.
*Mariette Hartley
*Ben Johnson
*Victor Jory
*Darwin Joston
*DeForest Kelly
*George Kennedy
*Walter Woolf King
*Robert Lansing
*Cloris Leachman
*Ida Lupino
*Strother Martin
*Lee Marvin
*Darren McGavin
*Catherine McLeod
*Burgess Meredith
*Vera Miles
*Ricardo Montalban
*Burt Mustin
*Leslie Nielsen
*Leonard Nimoy
*Lloyd Nolan
*Pat O'Brien
*Warren Oates
*Susan Oliver
*Slim Pickens
*Aldo Ray
*Robert Redford
*Pernell Roberts
*George C. Scott
*William Shatner
*Tom Skerritt
*Karl Swenson
*Barry Sullivan
*Dub Taylor
*Tom Tryon
*Jane Wyatt

References in popular culture

* The series was mentioned in the "Monty Python's Flying Circus" episode "Royal Episode 13" in which John Cleese announced that the Pythons would not be engaging in their typical silliness because the Queen (Elizabeth II) would be tuning in to the show later, although, at the time of the introduction, she was watching "The Virginian".cite web || work=The Virginian/Trivia| url=| accessmonthday=December 2| accessyear=2007]
*"The Simpsons" character Troy McClure was named after Troy Donahue and Doug McClure [cite interview|last=Groening|first=Matt|subjectlink = Matt Groening| interviewer = Terry Gross| title = Fresh Air| program = National Public Radio| callsign = WHYY-FM| url =| city = Philadelphia| date = 2004-12-29| accessdate = 2007-06-09] .
* "The Virginian" and its later title "The Men from Shiloh" is mentioned by stuntman Mike, the character played by Kurt Russell in "Death Proof".

* Over the years, "The Virginian" prevailed or held steady against its network competition, having in its first season overpowered Dwayne Hickman's "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis", which ceased production in 1963. In its fifth season, "The Virginian" faced competition from another Western, one also set in Wyoming: ABC's "The Monroes", starring Michael Anderson, Jr., and Barbara Hershey as orphans trying to hold their family of siblings together in the wilderness.


* Germany : "Die Leute von der Shiloh Ranch"
* French : "Le Virginien"

ee also

* "The Virginian" - Novel by American author Owen Wister
* "The Virginian" - 1914 silent film directed by Cecil B. DeMille and starring Dustin Farnum
* "The Virginian" - 1923 silent film directed by Tom Forman and starring Kenneth Harlan and Florence Vidor
* "The Virginian" - 1929 film directed by Victor Fleming and starring Gary Cooper, Walter Huston and Richard Arlen
* "The Virginian" - 1946 film

Further reading

* "A History of Television's The Virginian 1962–1971" by Paul Green, with a foreword by former executive producer Frank Price, (2006) ISBN 0-786-42613-6


External links

* [ Info at James Drury Myspace]
* [ "The Virginian Fan Website"]
* [ "The Virginian" at TVIV]
* [ Roy Huggins' American Archive of Television Interview]
* [ Classic TV Archive Western - "The Virginian" (Universal/NBC) (1962-71) starring James Drury]
* [ The Virginian]
* [ Tribute to Trampas]
* [ Television Classic, The Virginian] DEFAULTSORT:Virginian, The

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