Westerns were all over the primetime network schedules in the 1950s and 60s. By the time the 1970s rolled around, viewer tastes were changing and the western era was all but over.
Long-running westerns Bonanza and Gunsmoke ended in the 1970s. Although there were a handful of westerns that launched later in the decade, none could match the genre’s earlier success.
Fortunately, many local stations continued to air off-network reruns of classic westerns long after they left primetime. These local stations, along with family-oriented cable networks like CBN (now ABC Family), helped expose these great shows to new generations of viewers.
Today there are many places to catch your favorite western shows, whether its on pay channels like Encore Westerns or for free on national diginets like Cozi and MeTV. There are also many westerns available for purchase on DVD.
The table below shows where classic westerns (1950s-70s) are currently available for viewing (as of February 2014). The columns include Program Title (with a link to DVD releases), Diginets (national programming services carried by local TV stations), Cable/Satellite Networks and Streaming (Internet-based services like Hulu, Netflix).
Saddle up and enjoy! Please contact me via Facebook or Twitter with your comments and suggestions.
|Program Title w/DVD Link||Diginet||Cable/Satellite||Streaming|
|A Man Called Shenandoah|
|The Adventures of Champion|
|The Adventures of Jim Bowie||Cozi & Retro|
|The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin||Antenna|
|Alias Smith and Jones||Cozi||Hulu|
|Bat Masterson||Encore Westerns|
|The Big Valley||MeTV||INSP||Hulu|
|Bonanza||MeTV||Encore Westerns & INSP||Hulu|
|The Cisco Kid||Retro|
|Dundee and the Culhane|
|The Gene Autry Show|
|The Guns of Will Sonnett||MeTV|
|Have Gun Will Travel||Encore Westerns|
|Here Come The Brides||Antenna|
|Hopalong Cassidy||Cozi & Retro|
|How The West Was Won|
|The Iron Horse|
|Law of the Plainsman|
|The Legend of Jesse James|
|The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp||Encore Westerns|
|Little House on the Prairie||Hallmark & INSP|
|The Lone Ranger||Cozi||Angel Two & FETV||Hulu|
|The Man from Blackhawk|
|Man Without a Gun|
|Marshal Dillon*||Encore Westerns|
|My Friend Flicka|
|The Oregon Trail|
|The Restless Gun|
|The Road West|
|The Rough Riders|
|The Roy Rogers Show||Cozi||Angel Two & FETV||Hulu|
|Sergeant Preston of the Yukon||FETV|
|Tales of Wells Fargo|
|The Tall Man|
|The Travels of Jamie McPheeters|
|Wanted Dead or Alive||MeTV|
|The Wide Country|
|The Wild Wild West|
|Young Daniel Boone|
|Zane Grey Theatre|
*Half-hour version of Gunsmoke
**Also known as The Men from Shiloh