Trackdown 1957-1959

If you like the westerns we’re currently discussing, you may have liked other western TV shows. So why don’t we discuss them here! Post about western conventions (non Bonanza), the shows, the actors and anything you want to discuss.

Moderator: Tracy

Post Reply
User avatar
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator
Posts: 32572
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2009 6:58 pm
Badges: 350
Who is your favorite Bonanza character?: Ben, Adam, Hoss, Joe
Location: Florida, but my heart will always be in Fairport, NY.

Forum Moderator Bonanza Ballads Level 21 Good Housekeeping 2020 Reader's Choice Level 9
Bonanza Ballads Level 20 Reader's Choice Level 8 July 4 2020 Bonanza Ballads Level 19
Reader's Choice Level 7 Bonanza Ballads Level 18 Guess The Guest Star Sp. 2020 Reader's Choice Level 6
Bonanza Ballads Level 17 Rethink, Recycle, Reuse! Pattern This! Reader's Choice Level 5

View all badges


Trackdown 1957-1959

Post by Tracy » Thu Nov 14, 2019 12:55 pm

“Trackdown” is an American Western television series that aired on CBS between 1957 and 1959.

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”.

Trackdown opening cap.png
Trackdown opening cap.png (280.39 KiB) Viewed 380 times

The series, set in the 1870s, after the American Civil War, stars Robert Culp as Texas Ranger Hoby Gilman.

Robert Culp.jpg
Robert Culp.jpg (44.74 KiB) Viewed 380 times

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.

Ellen Corby.jpg
Ellen Corby.jpg (27.66 KiB) Viewed 379 times

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.

Peter Leeds.jpg
Peter Leeds.jpg (29.5 KiB) Viewed 379 times

Norman Leavitt was seen in 26 episodes as Gilman's deputy Ralph.

Norman Leavitt.png
Norman Leavitt.png (203.9 KiB) Viewed 380 times

Actor James Griffith appeared in twelve episodes as town barber Aaron Adams.

James Griffith.jpg
James Griffith.jpg (16.43 KiB) Viewed 380 times

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.

narrator Ed Prentiss.jpg
narrator Ed Prentiss.jpg (36.06 KiB) Viewed 380 times


"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".

Michael Landon.jpg
Michael Landon.jpg (32.09 KiB) Viewed 379 times

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."

User avatar
Posts: 55759
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2011 12:48 pm
Badges: 297
Who is your favorite Bonanza character?: Adam
Location: NW Indiana

Good Housekeeping 2020 55,000 Posts July 4 2020 BINGO Spare Summer 2020
BINGO Participant Summer 2020 Collectors' Corner 2020 Pernell Roberts Birthday 2020 Bonanza Ballads Level 7
Guess The Guest Star Sp. 2020 St Patrick's Day Limerick 2020 Bonanza Ballads Level 6 Rethink, Recycle, Reuse!
BINGO Spare Winter 2020 BINGO Winter 2020 Participant Valentine's Day 2020 BINGO L Winter 2020

View all badges


Re: Trackdown 1957-1959

Post by dougsgirl » Thu Nov 14, 2019 4:10 pm

A lot of familiar faces. I think Robert Culp was cute when he was young.

User avatar
Trail Boss
Trail Boss
Posts: 21743
Joined: Sun Sep 15, 2013 6:29 am
Badges: 165
Who is your favorite Bonanza character?: Joe/Michael
Location: Florida

Good Housekeeping 2020 July 4 2020 BINGO Participant Summer 2020 BINGO Snail Summer 2020
Collectors' Corner 2020 20,000 Posts Guess The Guest Star Sp. 2020 St Patrick's Day Limerick 2020
BINGO Winter 2020 Participant Valentine's Day 2020 Rethink, Recycle, Reuse! BINGO Strike Winter 2020
Oscar Chat 2020 Stuffed in Chat 2020 Meet & Greet Chat 2020 Chat Host

View all badges

Re: Trackdown 1957-1959

Post by daisy60 » Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:01 am

I still watch Michael on Trackdown. I know he's on Pueblo Kid, which seems to be harder to find now. I think he was also in Law In Lampasas. :very happy

Post Reply

Return to “There Were Other Westerns?”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests