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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Will Hutchins as Tom "Sugarfoot" Brewster, 1958.
Also known asTenderfoot (UK name)
Created byMichael Fessier
Written byMontgomery Pittman (four episodes)
Directed by
Theme music composer
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons4
No. of episodes69
Executive producerWilliam T. Orr
  • Harry Tatelman
  • Caroll Case
  • Burt Dunne
  • Arthur W. Silver
  • Oren W. Haglund (production manager)
  • Gordon Bau (make-up)
Production locationCalifornia
  • James Moore
  • Carl Pingitore
  • Leo H. Shreve
  • James C. Moore
  • Harold Minter
  • Robert B. Warwick Jr.
  • Robert Watts
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time50 mins.
Production companyWarner Bros. Television
Original release
ReleaseSeptember 17, 1957 (1957-09-17) –
April 17, 1961 (1961-04-17)

Sugarfoot is an American Western television series that aired for 69 episodes on ABC from 1957-1961 on Tuesday nights on a "shared" slot basis – rotating with Cheyenne (first season); Cheyenne and Bronco (both second and fourth seasons); and Bronco (third season). The Warner Bros. production stars Will Hutchins as Tom Brewster, an Easterner who comes to the Oklahoma Territory to become a lawyer. Brewster was a correspondence-school student whose apparent lack of cowboy skills earned him the nickname "Sugarfoot", a designation even below that of a tenderfoot.

Hutchins was the only regular on the show. In four episodes, Hutchins also plays the dual role of Abram Thomas, a.k.a. "The Canary Kid", leader of an outlaw gang who is a dead ringer for Brewster. In each of these episodes, Brewster is joined in the fight against The Canary Kid's plans by Christopher Colt—i.e., Wayde Preston crossing over from his role in the simultaneously-produced WB series Colt .45. Towards the very end of the run, Jack Elam was cast in two of the final five episodes as Brewster's occasional sidekick Toothy Thompson, but the series was cancelled shortly thereafter.

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Sugarfoot had no relation to the 1951 Randolph Scott Western film Sugarfoot aside from the studio owning the title (and the theme music), but its pilot episode was a remake of a 1954 Western film called The Boy from Oklahoma starring Will Rogers Jr. as Tom Brewster. The pilot and premiere episode, "Brannigan's Boots", was so similar to The Boy from Oklahoma that Sheb Wooley and Slim Pickens reprised their roles from the film.

As played by Rogers in the film, Brewster carried no gun, disliked firearms in general, and vanquished villains with his roping skills (à la Will Rogers) if friendly persuasion failed. Perhaps for practical reasons, the pilot altered the character slightly and made Brewster more like the typical Western hero—reluctant to use guns (or any other kind of violence), but able and willing to do so if necessary. That remained his stance throughout the series, and the title song mentions that Sugarfoot carries a rifle and a law book.

Whenever he enters a saloon, Sugarfoot refuses liquor and orders sarsaparilla "with a dash of cherry". (Sarsaparilla is a drink similar to root beer, both of which are non-alcohol-based.)

Sugarfoot was one of the earliest products of the alliance between ABC and the fledgling Warner Bros. Television Department, chaired by William T. Orr. During the same period, other similar programs appeared, including Maverick, Cheyenne, Bronco, Lawman, and Colt .45. Hutchins appeared as Sugarfoot in crossover episodes of Cheyenne and Maverick, and in an installment of Bronco called "The Yankee Tornado" with Peter Breck as a young Theodore Roosevelt. Jack Kelly appeared as Bart Maverick in the Sugarfoot episode "A Price on His Head". James Garner made an appearance as Bret Maverick at the end of the episode "Misfire."


Cast of "Brannigan's Boots"

Cast of The Boy from Oklahoma film (1954)

Guest stars


Season 1: 1957–1958

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
11"Brannigan's Boots"Leslie H. MartinsonTeleplay by : Devery Freeman
Based on a screenplay by : Frank Davis & Winston Miller
Original magazine story by : Michael Fessier
September 17, 1957 (1957-09-17)
22"Reluctant Hero"Leslie H. MartinsonStory by : S. Omar Barker
Teleplay by : Dean Riesner
October 1, 1957 (1957-10-01)
Cade dies in the fire, and Sugarfoot is shot in the attack. Linda takes it upon herself to nurse Sugarfoot back to health. I. Stanford Jolley plays the mysterious "The Nighthawk".
33"The Strange Land"Leslie H. MartinsonStory by : Louis L'Amour
Teleplay by : Russell S. Hughes
October 15, 1957 (1957-10-15)
44"Bunch Quitter"Leslie H. MartinsonStory by : Dee Linford
Teleplay by : Wells Root
October 29, 1957 (1957-10-29)
55"Trail's End"Leslie H. MartinsonStory by : Norman A. Fox
Teleplay by : James O'Hanlon & Michael Fessier
November 12, 1957 (1957-11-12)
Sugarfoot comes upon a former childhood sweetheart, Kathy Larsen (Venetia Stevenson), who is managing a dance hall. Chris Alcaide plays the corrupt Clay Horton, who forces Kathy to marry him so that she cannot testify in court in regard to Horton's crimes. Barbara Stuart portrays Muriel, Kathy's business partner. Gordon Jones plays Sugarfoot's lively friend, Wasco Wolters, who has an interest in Muriel. This episode reveals that Tom Brewster spent his childhood in Vermont before coming to the Oklahoma Territory.
66"Quicksilver"Franklin AdreonStory by : James Gunn
Teleplay by : Kay Lenard & Jess Carneol
November 26, 1957 (1957-11-26)
Sugarfoot investigates the robbery of a silver mine which prevents the owner from meeting his payroll. The episode features Lane Bradford as the cutthroat Ellis; John Litel as Hank Tatum, the owner of the mine, and Fay Spain as Tatum's daughter, Susie, the girlfriend and eventual wife of the local sheriff. Frank Wilcox plays George Beaumont, an unscrupulous businessman who had been rejected years earlier by Hank Tatum's late wife.
77"Misfire"Franklin AdreonStory by : Alan Le May
Teleplay by : James O'Hanlon
December 10, 1957 (1957-12-10)
88"The Stallion Trail"Edward BerndsStory by : Crane Wilbur
Teleplay by : Dean Riesner
December 24, 1957 (1957-12-24)
99"Small War at Custer Junction"Franklin AdreonStory by : Jess Carneol & Kay Lenard
Teleplay by : James O'Hanlon and Jess Carneol & Kay Lenard
January 7, 1958 (1958-01-07)
1010"Bullet Proof"Franklin AdreonFredric M. FrankJanuary 21, 1958 (1958-01-21)
Sugarfoot tricks a gang into believing that he knows the location of the loot from their last bank robbery. Gregory Walcott plays Peaches' presumed fiance, Duke McKlintock, and Don "Red" Barry is cast as Tanner. Joi Lansing guest stars as the unsavory but attractive "Peaches", who claims to be a belle from Georgia
1111"Deadlock"Franklin AdreonJames O'HanlonFebruary 4, 1958 (1958-02-04)
1212"Man Wanted"Franklin AdreonSig HerzigFebruary 18, 1958 (1958-02-18)
1313"The Dead Hills"Franklin AdreonStory by : Louis L'Amour
Teleplay by : Earl Baldwin
Adaptation : Paul Gangelin
March 4, 1958 (1958-03-04)
1414"A Wreath for Charity Lloyd"Franklin AdreonJackson GillisMarch 18, 1958 (1958-03-18)
1515"Hideout"Montgomery PittmanStory by : Maurita Pittman
Teleplay by : Russell S. Hughes
April 1, 1958 (1958-04-01)
1616"Guns for Big Bear"Franklin AdreonStory by : Elliot West
Teleplay by : Sig Herzig
April 15, 1958 (1958-04-15)
1717"Price on His Head"Richard L. BareStory by : Pamela Herbert & Leo Guild
Teleplay by : Henry Kuttner & C.L. Moore
April 29, 1958 (1958-04-29)
1818"Short Range"Montgomery PittmanStory by : James Barnett & Steve Goodman
Teleplay by : Montgomery Pittman
May 13, 1958 (1958-05-13)
1919"The Bullet and the Cross"Lee SholemPeter R. BrookeMay 27, 1958 (1958-05-27)
2020"Mule Team"Franklin AdreonStory by : Kenneth Perkins
Teleplay by : Sig Herzig
June 10, 1958 (1958-06-10)

Season 2: 1958–1959

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
211"Ring of Sand"Leslie H. MartinsonRaphael HayesSeptember 16, 1958 (1958-09-16)
222"Brink of Fear"Leslie H. MartinsonHarold MedfordSeptember 30, 1958 (1958-09-30)
233"The Wizard"Joseph LejtesC.L. MooreOctober 14, 1958 (1958-10-14)
244"The Ghost"Lee SholemC.L. Moore (as Catherine Kuttner)October 28, 1958 (1958-10-28)
255"The Canary Kid"Montgomery PittmanMontgomery PittmanNovember 11, 1958 (1958-11-11)
266"The Hunted"Joseph LejtesPeter R. Brooke
Based on a story from : True West Magazine
November 25, 1958 (1958-11-25)
277"Yampa Crossing"Joseph LejtesThomas W. BlackburnDecember 9, 1958 (1958-12-09)
288"Devil to Pay"Lee SholemFredric M. FrankDecember 23, 1958 (1958-12-23)
299"The Desperadoes"Joseph LejtesRaphael HayesJanuary 6, 1959 (1959-01-06)
3010"The Extra Hand"Lee SholemPeter R. BrookeJanuary 20, 1959 (1959-01-20)
3111"The Return of the Canary Kid"Montgomery PittmanMontgomery PittmanFebruary 3, 1959 (1959-02-03)
3212"The Mysterious Stranger"Paul HenreidStory by : Jack Emanuel
Teleplay by : Raphael Hayes
February 17, 1959 (1959-02-17)
Features Adam West (Batman) as Frederick Pulaski
3313"The Giant Killer"Joseph LejtesNorman Daniels & Harold MedfordMarch 3, 1959 (1959-03-03)
3414"The Royal Raiders"Leslie H. MartinsonPeter R. BrookeMarch 17, 1959 (1959-03-17)
3515"The Mountain"Joseph LejtesC.L. Moore (as Catherine Kuttner)March 31, 1959 (1959-03-31)
3616"The Twister"Joseph LejtesJames Gunn & Ellis St. JosephApril 14, 1959 (1959-04-14)
3717"The Vultures"Joseph LejtesPeter R. Brooke & James GunnApril 28, 1959 (1959-04-28)
3818"The Avengers"Joseph LejtesStory by : Jack Emanuel & Montgomery Pittman
Teleplay by : Lowell Barrington
May 12, 1959 (1959-05-12)
3919"Small Hostage"Anton LeaderPolly JamesMay 26, 1959 (1959-05-26)
4020"Wolf"Joseph LejtesStory by : Robert Moore Williams
Teleplay by : Milton S. Gelman
June 9, 1959 (1959-06-09)

Season 3: 1959–1960

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
411"The Trial of the Canary Kid"Montgomery PittmanStory by : Montgomery Pittman
Teleplay by : C.L. Moore (as Catherine Kuttner)
September 15, 1959 (1959-09-15)
422"The Wild Bunch"Leslie GoodwinsDean RiesnerSeptember 29, 1959 (1959-09-29)
433"MacBrewster the Bold"Leslie GoodwinsDean RiesnerOctober 13, 1959 (1959-10-13)
444"The Gitanos"Leslie GoodwinsEdmund MorrisOctober 27, 1959 (1959-10-27)
455"The Canary Kid, Inc."Leslie GoodwinsSamuel RoecaNovember 10, 1959 (1959-11-10)
466"Outlaw Island"Reginald Le BorgLowell BarringtonNovember 24, 1959 (1959-11-24)
477"Apollo with a Gun"Robert AltmanWarren DouglasDecember 8, 1959 (1959-12-08)
488"The Gaucho"Paul GuilfoyleEdmund MorrisDecember 22, 1959 (1959-12-22)
499"Journey to Provision"James V. KernEdmund MorrisJanuary 5, 1960 (1960-01-05)
5010"The Highbinder"Robert AltmanWarren DouglasJanuary 19, 1960 (1960-01-19)
5111"Wolfpack"Leslie GoodwinsStory by : Dick Nelson
Teleplay by : William L. Stuart
February 2, 1960 (1960-02-02)
5212"Fernando"H. Bruce HumberstoneDean RiesnerFebruary 16, 1960 (1960-02-16)
5313"Blackwater Swamp"Leslie GoodwinsStory by : Jim Barnett
Teleplay by : Warren Douglas
March 1, 1960 (1960-03-01)
5414"Return to Boot Hill"Lee SholemWarren DouglasMarch 15, 1960 (1960-03-15)
5515"Vinegarroon"William J. Hole, Jr.Warren DouglasMarch 29, 1960 (1960-03-29)
5616"The Corsican"William J. Hole, Jr.Ric HardmanApril 12, 1960 (1960-04-12)
5717"Blue Bonnet Stray"Leslie GoodwinsWarren DouglasApril 26, 1960 (1960-04-26)
5818"The Long Dry"Lew LandersStory by : Jim Barnett (as Iain MacCormick)
Teleplay by : Buckley Angell
May 10, 1960 (1960-05-10)
5919"Funeral at Forty Mile"Leslie GoodwinsStory by : Hugh Benson and Dick Nelson
Teleplay by : Dick Nelson
May 24, 1960 (1960-05-24)
6020"The Captive Locomotive"Leslie GoodwinsIrwin Winehouse & A. Sanford WolfeJune 7, 1960 (1960-06-07)

Season 4: 1960–1961

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
611"Shadow Catcher"Leslie GoodwinsWarren DouglasSeptember 26, 1960 (1960-09-26)
622"A Noose for Nora"Lee SholemLester Fuller & Lee LoebOctober 24, 1960 (1960-10-24)
633"Man from Medora"Leslie GoodwinsWarren DouglasNovember 21, 1960 (1960-11-21)
644"Welcome Enemy"Leslie GoodwinsW. HermanosDecember 26, 1960 (1960-12-26)
655"Toothy Thompson"Lee SholemHoward Browne & Warren DouglasJanuary 16, 1961 (1961-01-16)
666"Shepherd with a Gun"Lew LandersWarren DouglasFebruary 6, 1961 (1961-02-06)
677"Angel"Lee SholemWarren DouglasMarch 6, 1961 (1961-03-06)
688"Stranger in Town"Lew LandersLester FullerMarch 27, 1961 (1961-03-27)
699"Trouble at Sand Springs"Herbert L. StrockLeo GordonApril 17, 1961 (1961-04-17)

Background and production

After several episodes aired in the second season, a disappointed Hutchins complained in a letter to executive director William T. Orr that the scripts were written so that the lead character Sugarfoot was not particularly needed in many of the episodes.[1]

Tommy Rettig with Will Hutchins in Sugarfoot (1958).

Wayde Preston, who played Christopher Colt on the ABC Western Colt .45, appeared four times in that same role on Sugarfoot in the episodes dealing with "The Canary Kid," a role also played by Will Hutchins.


Sugarfoot finished at #24 in the Nielsen ratings for the 1957-1958 season and #21 for 1958-1959.[2]


Home media

Warner Bros. has released all four seasons on MOD (manufacture on demand) DVD-R's in Region 1 via their Warner Archive Collection.[3][4][5][6]

In popular culture

  • In an episode of Arrested Development titled "Spring Breakout", Sugarfoot is mentioned and the theme song is presented.
  • The series debuted in 1958 in the United Kingdom but only in the Midlands area.[7] In 1960, it was aired nationally in the UK by the BBC,[8] at which point it was renamed Tenderfoot despite the fact that it kept the theme song which refers to the character as "Sugarfoot". After 1964, the series returned to ITV, this time not just restricted to the Midlands, where it was once again billed under its original name.


  1. ^ "Somewhat Forgotten Figure to Some Extent Remembered: Notes on Television Director, Script Writer, and Occasional Actor Montgomery Pittman". November 2010. Retrieved January 13, 2014.
  2. ^ "TV Ratings". Retrieved 2023-05-06.
  3. ^ 'The Complete 1st Season' Now Available from Warner Archive Archived 2013-07-18 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ 'The Complete 2nd Season' Announced: Date, Cost, Autographed Box Archived 2013-10-19 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Warner Archive Announces 'The Complete 3rd Season': Date, Cost, Box Archived 2014-06-09 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ The Last Stories are Upon Us, with 'The Complete 4th Season' Archived 2014-10-28 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ TV Times, midlands edition, week commencing September 14, 1958.
  8. ^ Radio Times, week commencing September 4, 1960.

External links

This page was last edited on 12 June 2024, at 11:30
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