Gunsmoke is a classic western that still holds the title as the longest-running dramatic series in network television history, logging a whopping 635 episodes over the span of 20 years. The TV show was based on a radio drama that began in 1952, and reunion movies were made all the way up until 1994.
That’s nearly half a century of Gunsmoke in pop culture. Obviously, there are going to be loads of facts and anecdotes about the iconic Western. The series spurred a stampede of small screen Westerns in the 1950s and gave dozens of future stars an early spotlight as it aired from 1955 to 1975. Everyone from Harrison Ford to Jodie Foster appeared on the show.
These 10 little-known points regarding the classic western, Gunsmoke, are certain to bring you back and reveal a little bit of what was happening under the surface for all those twenty long years.
1. James Arness’ War Wounds Really Affected The Show’s Shooting Schedule.
2. Several of The Kids From ‘The Brady Bunch’ Actually Appeared On The Show.
3. The Cast of The Show Had No Idea When They Were Canceled.
4. Dennis Weaver Had To Audition Twice.
5. John Wayne Actually Got James The Job.
6. The Show Was Also Responsible For The Cancellation Of ‘Gilligan’s Island’.
7. Amanda Blake Left The Show Because She Missed Her Late Co-Star.
8. James Never Took A Break And Appeared On Camera Every Single Episode.
9. The Show Was Nominated For 15 Primetime Emmy Awards.
Here’s a great little interview from EmmyTVlegends, of Arness speaking on getting the role on Gunsmoke!
10. Amanda Was Not The First Choice To Be Miss Kitty.
Remember Ken Curtis as Festus? Bucko played by Slim Pickens, is accused of murder and has been sentenced to hang. His good friend Festus played by Ken Curtis, plans to help Bucko escape. I loved this episode.
Gunsmoke S10, E18 One Killer On Ice