Amanda Blake used to make bets that Gunsmoke wouldn't be renewed for another season
"It just isn't logical for a series to keep going on and on like this."
With so many series getting canceled in their prime, their first steps, and sometimes even before they get the opportunity to air, it can be easy to forget that just a short while ago, a show like Gunsmoke was on the air. The series holds the record for television's longest-running Western, and with 20 seasons under its belt, there's a high probability that you've seen characters on Gunsmoke more frequently than some of your family members.
Still, a television series is never certain until the network commands it, and no one is more aware of that fact than the cast and crew themselves. Amanda Blake, who played Kitty Russell, knew that at the end of every season, there was a possibility that Gunsmoke might not return, despite its running popularity. Despite those slim odds, Blake took the uncertainty as a challenge.
According to an interview with the Associated Press, Blake placed a bet against a Gunsmoke set worker that the series wouldn't be renewed for another season. Blake's wager, in true Miss Kitty fashion, was a case of bourbon. The article stated that this was not the first time Blake had staged the bet; she had done so the two years previous as well, losing each time.
Blake explained, "It just isn't logical for a series to keep going on and on like this. I'm bound to win one of these years."
Still, Blake was aware of the appeal of the series, as well as the loyalty of the show's fanbase. It was a loyalty that she herself shared. She stated, "The people who tune in Gunsmoke aren't interested in guest stars. They're not even interested in Jim Arness, Amanda Blake, Milburn Stone, or Ken Curtis. They want to know what is happening to Matt, Kitty, Doc, and Festus."
So while Blake was content betting her bourbon on the demise of the show, she still wouldn't let it shake her faith in it after all these years.