Variety reports that the Western Channel is going to be running a fifty-hour marathon of GUNSMOKE, one of my favorite shows, on August 26th in celebration of the show’s 50th anniversary. These are the black-and-white, hour-long episodes from 1962-1966…and although most of my favorites came before (in the half-hour episodes from 1955-1962) and after (the color episodes from 1967-1975, when John Mantley was running the show) the period they are airing, you still can’t beat James Arness as Matt Dillon when it comes to TV heroes. They’ll also be running all five of the reunion movies from the late 80s, early 90s….the first three of which are pretty darn good stuff..
The "Golden Bullets: Fifty Years of ‘Gunsmoke’ " marathon will include
"special vignettes, interviews and behind-the-scenes footage" with cast members,
said Mike Ruggiero, VP of scheduling and programming for Encore.
Episodes directed by Sam Peckinpah and Mark Rydell will be included, as well as hours scored by Bernard
Herrmann, Elmer Bernstein and Jerry Goldsmith.