The Richard Boone Show was nothing like Have Gun - Will Travel

Boone followed up his time as a bounty hunter with a more varied theatrical presentation.

One of the hardest things in life is following up on success. Especially if you're winning publicly, expectations could be sky-high with how you next choose to spend your time. Richard Boone, though, was lucky. After the success of Have Gun - Will Travel, the popular televised Western he starred in from 1957-1963, Boone was able to lean into what he loved in a way that allowed him to be himself.

The then-new show in question became The Richard Boone Show, a production by repertory players presenting a new teleplay each week. Unlike most of the other shows on TV at the time (and even now), the way The Richard Boone Show was made allowed for actors to rotate the level of the role they performed. The lead one week might be part of the ensemble the next. In the third week, that same actor could just have a regular bit part. The show aimed to present each of its actors as the lead at least once per season.

"In short," said Boone, "the show stresses continuing actors as opposed to continuing characters."

While Have Gun - Will Travel's Paladin is perhaps Boone's role most beloved by fans, he was ready for a change by the time that series ended. Luckily, producers were happy to accommodate the star in approaching a series that would keep him on TV. Rather than try to recreate the magic of his time in the Wild West, NBC executives worked with Boone to create this new show that would have the benefit of his already-familiar face.

Unlike Have Gun - Will Travel, though, The Richard Boone Show only lasted one season. It was, however, a critical darling, garnering Boone both an Emmy nomination and a Golden Globe win. Its 25 episodes aired between September 24, 1963, and March 31, 1964. The show further propelled the careers of Harry Morgan, Robert Blake, and Guy Stockwell. 

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11 Comments

MrsPhilHarris 11 months ago
Jack Webb rotated a bunch of actors on Dragnet.
Runeshaper 11 months ago
Changing up the roles of the actors sounds like a lot of fun and provides a solid amount of variety. I'm glad Boone got to do his thing + helping Harry Morgan, Robert Blake, and Guy Stockwell in the process.
Mike Runeshaper 11 months ago
Not to mention Warren Stevens, Laura Devon, Lloyd Bochner, Bethel Leslie, Jeanette Nolan, Ford Rainey, and June Harding ...
Runeshaper Mike 11 months ago
That's so cool!
Andybandit 11 months ago
Too bad Richard Boone's show only lasted a year. I like HGWT.
Karellen 11 months ago
This sounds like a good series for METV to run. I also would like to see "Hec Ramsey", another show starring Richard Boone.
justjeff Karellen 11 months ago
for that matter, add in Boone's previous series (sans moustache) - "Medic"...
cperrynaples justjeff 11 months ago
Medic had a big problem: NBC ran it against I Love Lucy! It survived for several seasons! It's out of copyright but sometimes it will pop up on YouTube!
justjeff cperrynaples 11 months ago
It may be out of copyright, but that doesn't prevent a company from carefully digitizing either the best film prints available and/or new prints struck from the original negatives and copyrighting those restored versions. It was done with those four episodes of the Three Stooges that lapsed into public domain as well ("Disorder in the Court", "Brideless Groom", "Sing A Song of Six Pants" and "Malice in the Palace") as have been a number of films...

It's a tricky subject, and Wikipedia has an extensive article about copyrights and the public domain... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_domain_film
cperrynaples justjeff 11 months ago
According to Wikipedia, only 44 episodes exist! At least 15 have been destroyed!
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