The Rounders (TV series)
The Rounders: (Original Trailer)
Was a 17-episode western-style situation comedy about two cowboys on the fictitious J.L. Ranch in Texas. It starred Ron Hayes as Ben Jones and Patrick Wayne, a son of John Wayne, as Howdy Lewis. The M-G-M television series aired on ABC from September 6, 1966, to January 3, 1967. The program was loosely based on a 1965 film of the same name, The Rounders, starring Glenn Ford and Henry Fonda, set near Sedona, Arizona, rather than Texas.
Chill Wills, a native Texan and formerly of CBS‘s Frontier Circus, appeared as the shady ranch owner, Jim Ed Love. Janis Hansen co-starred as Ben’s girlfriend, Sally, and Bobbi Jordan played Howdy’s girlfriend, Ada. Jason Wingreen appeared as Shorty Dawes, and Walker Edmiston as Regan. Character actors Strother Martin and J. Pat O’Malleyappeared as “Cousin Fletch” and “Vince,” respectively. James Brown, formerly the lieutenant on The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin, played “Luke.”
Selected episodes with notable guest stars include: “A Horse on Jim Ed Love”, series premiere with Harry Carey, Jr.; “It’s a Noble Thing to Do”, with John Smith, formerly Slim Sherman on NBC’s Laramie; “Don’t Buffalo Me”, with Jay Silverheels, formerly Tonto of The Lone Ranger, as John Tallgrass; “The Moonshine Still Shines”; “It Takes Only One to Suffer”; “The Scavenger Hunt” with Zsa Zsa Gabor as Ilona Hobson; “Some Things Are Not for Sale”; “Four Alarm Wing Ding”, with Dick Haynes as a sheriff; “Horse of a Different Cutter” with Andy Devine as Honest John Denton and Strother Martin as Cousin Fletch; “Polo, Anyone?”, with Jay C. Flippen as Kenny Fahrbush; “Efficiency Is for Experts”, and “What Elephants?” the series finale, in which Ben and Howdy try to hide an elephant in plain sight.
The Rounders was broadcast on Tuesday evenings at 8:30 Eastern in the time slot following ABC’s long-running military drama Combat!, then in its last season, and preceding Phyllis Diller‘s unsuccessful attempt at a weekly sitcom, The Pruitts of Southampton. The Rounders aired opposite The Red Skelton Show on CBS and the sitcom Occasional Wife, starring Michael Callan, on NBC. Prior to The Rounders, Ron Hayes had appeared in the starring role of the syndicated series The Everglades.