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Gunsmoke – western TV show – Page Seven. Watch Episodes of The Gunsmoke western TV series shows. Free Online! BACK TO WESTERNS TV MAIN MENU

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Gunsmoke was Televisions number one ranked show from 1957 to 1961 before slipping into a decline after expanding to an hour. In 1967, the show’s 12th season, CBS planned to cancel the series, but widespread viewer reaction (including a mention in Congress and the behind-the-scenes pressure from the wife of CBS’s president) prevented its demise. On the Biography Channel’s Behind The Scenes: Gilligan’s Island (2002); Gilligan’s Island producer Sherwood Schwartz states that the wife of CBS’s president pressured her husband not to cancel Gunsmoke in 1967. So the network cut Gilligan’s Island instead. The show continued in its new time slot at 8 pm on Mondays. This scheduling move led to a spike in ratings that saw it once again rally to the top 10 in the Nielsen ratings until the 1973–1974 television season. In September 1975, despite still ranking among the Top 30 programs in the ratings, Gunsmoke was canceled after a 20-year run; it was replaced by Mary Tyler Moore spin-offs Rhoda and Phyllis. Over 100 TV Westerns came and went during its Gunsmoke’s 20-year tenure, and Gunsmoke was the sole survivor, with Alias Smith and Jones and Bonanza both leaving the airwaves in January 1973.

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