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The 12 Best Western Shows Of All Time

Top 10 Lawmen in Westerns

Better put your hands up, partner; these pistol-packing peace officers aren’t messing around. Join as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Lawmen in Westerns.

The 12 Best Western Shows Of All Time

1. Gunsmoke


No Western can really compete with “Gunsmoke.” It was the longest-running Western of all time and one of the longest-running television shows, period. It touched on everything that made Westerns great and remains a joy to watch.

2. The Wild Wild West


This innovative show was something of a curiosity. It featured outlandish technology, which was a blatant attempt to blend the Western and spy genres. It lasted for four seasons, but concerns over its violent content led to an early cancellation.

3. Bonanza

“Bonanza” was the second-longest-running Western television show (behind “Gunsmoke,” of course).  In its first season, the theme song had lyrics. An instrumental version proved more popular with viewers.

4. Have Gun — Will Travel

The character of Paladin was an icon of the Western genre. The writers were just as iconic. Many episodes were written by Gene Roddenberry, creator of “Star Trek.”

5. Rawhide

With its rousing theme song, “Rawhide” was a cultural icon. It ran for seven and a half years in total. It also introduced the world to a young Clint Eastwood, who would become the savior of the Western genre in the 1970’s.

6. Maverick

The series followed the adventures of the Maverick clan. While the cast changed somewhat, 124 episodes were produced in total. In 1994, a “Maverick” film was finally released featuring Jodie Foster and Mel Gibson.

7. Cheyenne

“Cheyenne” ran for nearly a decade and was the first hour-long Western television series.  Through 108 episodes, it retained its popularity before ending its run in 1963. The title character was played by Clint Walker, who revisited the role in 1991’s “The Gambler Returns: Luck of the Draw.”

8. Zorro

78 episodes of Zorro were produced, but it was actually much more popular in syndication. Its title character was a masked man who fought for justice. His secret identity was the intellectual Don Diego de la Vega.

9. The Lone Ranger

“The Lone Ranger” was unquestionably one of the most famous Westerns of all time. It starred Clayton Moore as the title character and Jay Silverheels as Tonto. It also spawned comic, movies, and books.

10. The Guns of Will Sonnett

From 1967 to 1969, “The Guns of Will Sonnet” was broadcast by ABC. It didn’t last nearly as long as some of the other shows on this list. However, it remains beloved by its fan base, and it gained popularity in syndication.

11. Kung Fu

This Western-Eastern mashup was a trailblazer in a number of ways. It starred David Carradine as a man who travels the Old West using martial arts to make his way. It was both a commercial and a critical hit.

12. The Virginian
yk6hg1y7xmp7fvmcvkwrA spin-off from “Decision,” “The Virginian” was filmed entirely in color. ℗ is your source to learn about the broad and beautiful spectrum of our shared History.