Through 108 episodes, it retained its popularity before ending its run in 1963.
The show was the first hour-long western, and in fact the first hour-long dramatic series of any kind, with continuing characters, to last more than one season. It was also the first series to be made by a major Hollywood film studio which did not derive from its established film properties.
The show starred Clint Walker, a native of Illinois, as Cheyenne Bodie, a physically large cowboy with a gentle spirit in search of frontier justice who wanders the American West. The first episode, about robbers pretending to be Good Samaritans, is titled "Mountain Fortress" and features James Garner (who had briefly been considered for the role of Cheyenne) as a guest star, but with higher billing given to Ann Robinson as Garner's intended bride. The episode reveals that Bodie's parents were massacred by Cheyenne Indians, who then reared him. In the series the character Bodie maintains a positive and understanding attitude toward the Native Americans despite the slaughter of his parents.
Walker reprised the Cheyenne Bodie character in 1991 for the TV-movie The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw and also played Cheyenne in an episode of Kung Fu: The Legend Continues in 1995.
Cheyenne had many guest stars during its long run. Among them:
* Dennis Hopper appeared as an arrogant young gunfighter, the Utah Kid, in the episode "Quicksand"; in the story line, he gave Cheyenne Bodie no choice but to kill him in a gunfight. He also appeared in an episode called "The Iron Trail" in season two (1957) as Abe Larson, the leader of a gang of youths planning to kidnap the President of the United States
* Michael Landon in the episode "The White Warrior" (1958) appeared as White Hawk or Alan Horn, a young white man who like Cheyenne Bodie was raised by Indians after the massacre of his parents. White Hawk rises to the occasion to help Cheyenne as he heads a wagon train to California amid the threat of the Apaches. Randy Stuart appeared in this episode as Clara Bolton, a single woman on the wagon train who takes a liking to White Hawk. Peter Whitney played the brutal Eli Henderson, who tries to remove Cheyenne as the wagon master. Earlier, Landon played a trooper in "Decision."
One of my westerns is Book 1 in the Bannister Brothers Series.
CHASING THE DEAD
In 1884 New Mexico, Madrid Arrende finds herself kidnapped by the Apache. Determined to rescue her, her wealthy father realizes there is only one man capable of bringing her back alive...Deacon Bannister. Deacon doesn't give one whit about the large sum of money Don Erasmos Arrende has offered him to find his daughter. He only cares about bringing the woman he left at the altar a year ago home.
A ghost is terrorizing the Apache village and the young maiden, Sacheen, has been banished by her People for unleashing Uday's wrath. Now, Deacon, Madrid and Sacheen must flee for their lives across the rugged New Mexico landscape with the evil spirit in hot pursuit.
Will they make it back alive to Madrid's father's hacienda or will Deacon lose Madrid forever?