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- Who is your favorite Bonanza character?: Ben, Adam, Hoss, Joe
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The series was produced by Dick Powell's Four Star Television and filmed at the Desilu-Culver Studio, and was a spin-off of Powell's anthology series, “Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater”.
The series, set in the 1870s, after the American Civil War, stars Robert Culp as Texas Ranger Hoby Gilman.
In early episodes, the stories focused on Gilman going to different Texas towns in pursuit of wanted fugitives. At midseason, the series became set in the town of Porter, Texas. Gilman is the sheriff in Porter.
His friends in the town include Henrietta Porter, the widow of the town’s founder, and portrayed by Ellen Corby. Henrietta owns The Porter Enterprise newspaper.
Since settling in Porter, TX, Gilman’s duties as a Texas Ranger occasionally took him out of town, where he used his fast gun to "track down" and apprehend wanted criminals throughout the Lone Star State.
In the second season, Peter Leeds joined the cast as Tenner Smith, the owner of the local saloon and a former gambler and gunslinger with a mysterious past.
Norman Leavitt was seen in 26 episodes as Gilman's deputy Ralph.
Actor James Griffith appeared in twelve episodes as town barber Aaron Adams.
The series narrator was character actor Ed Prentiss, who not only acted in many radio and TV shows, but during the 1940s was the voice of Captain Midnight on radio.
"Trackdown" carried the endorsement of both the State of Texas and the Texas Rangers, an accolade no other television series has received. Some episodes were inspired by the files of the Rangers.
Steve McQueen's Josh Randall (“Wanted Dead or Alive”) was introduced in an episode of “Trackdown” titled “The Bounty Hunter” (1958) The character was later spun off into its own series.
The ending credits claim the stories are true and based on the cases and files of the Texas Rangers. Following the end credits, this statement appears: "The story is true. Names, firms and locales have been changed to protect relatives and descendants who may be living."
55 actors guest starred in at least two episodes of “Trackdown”, including Ray Teal and Michael Landon.
Here's a screencap of Michael on "Trackdown".
The Texas Prison Rodeo was an annual event held for prisoners in the Texas penal system. You may remember it from the movie “Urban Cowboy”. Robert Culp made appearances at the Texas Prison Rodeo, and the fictional Ranger was warmly greeted. Convicts named Culp the honorary president of the "Crime Doesn't Pay Club." As told in the book Convict Cowboys: The Untold History of the Texas Prison Rodeo, prisoner Bill Weems, the actual president of the club, presented the actor with an award scroll. In addition, a group of cons wrote and sang Culp a song called "Trackdown Ballad."
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- Who is your favorite Bonanza character?: Joe/Michael
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