In 1959 there were no television watchers looking in on any housewives from anywhere. They didn't check in on walking dead people, didn't care about dancing with any stars, weren't checking out commercials during a super game and certainly didn't care about keeping with with Kardashians.

What they were doing was saddling up and heading to the west. The old west.

You may be too young, but believe me, your parents and grandparents loved the Westerns. That's what they were called, Westerns. And in 1959, you couldn't get away from them.

Now remember, back there in them 'old days' there were just 3 TV networks. You had your CBS, your NBC and your ABC. But that didn't mean you could get all 3. Where I lived you could get just 2. I know, I know, I must have lived somewhere back in the sticks.

And on those 3 networks back in 1959 there were a total of 26 prime time westerns. You read right...26! From 'Zane Grey Theater' to 'Maverick', 'Rawhide' to 'Cheyenne', 'The Lawman', 'The Rifleman' and 'Wanted Dead Or Alive', the American west in the late 1800's was everywhere.

And the biggest hit's of this plethora of westerns?

Well, 'Have Gun, Will Travel' was number three for the season. 'Wagon train' held down the number two spot. And the TV chart topper? We all headed every week to Dodge for the tales of Chester, Doc, Kitty and Marshall Matt Dillon. No one missed 'Gunsmoke'. Well, almost no one. Over 18 million people tuned in each week. And remember, this was back in the day when not everyone had a television...and for those of us who did have a black-and-white, well, we had one.

So where did all the westerns go? Off to the dust bin of memory and, thankfully, to re-run heaven (also known as METV). The changing times killed off the western, as well as the economy. You see, a horse cost about $100 a day back then to 'rent' for the shows!

But, thanks to the re-runs mentioned above, if you do a little searching around you can still watch Marshall Dillon step out onto that dusty main street and pull out that six-shooter.

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