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Tales of Wells Fargo

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tales of Wells Fargo
Tales of Wells Fargo Dale Robertson 1958.jpg
Dale Robertson as James "Jim" Whitcomb Hardie, 1958.
Created byJames Brooks
Frank Gruber
Gene Reynolds
Directed byEarl Bellamy
William F. Claxton
Lewis R. Foster
Jerry Hopper
Leslie H. Martinson
Gene Reynolds
Sidney Salkow
R. G. Springsteen
George Waggner
William Witney
StarringDale Robertson
William Demarest
Virginia Christine
Jack Ging
Theme music composerMort Greene
Harry Warren
Stanley Wilson
ComposersPaul Dunlap
Michael Greene
Melvyn Lenard
Morton Stevens
Harry Sukman
John Williams
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons6
No. of episodes201 (list of episodes)
ProducersNat Holt
Earle Lyon
Running time30 minutes (1957–1961)
60 minutes (1961–1962)
Production companiesOverland Productions
Revue Studios
DistributorMCA TV
Original networkNBC
Picture formatBlack and white (1957–1961)
Color (1961–1962)
Audio formatMonaural
Original releaseMarch 18, 1957 (1957-03-18) –
June 2, 1962 (1962-06-02)

Tales of Wells Fargo is an American western television series starring Dale Robertson that ran from 1957 to 1962 on NBC. Produced by Revue Productions, the series aired in a half-hour format until its final season when it expanded to an hour and switched from black and white to color.[1][2]


Set in the 1870s and 1880s, the series starred Oklahoma native Dale Robertson as Wells Fargo special agent Jim Hardie, noted at the time as "the left-handed gun". The character was fictional, but the series' development was influenced by the biography of Wells Fargo detective Fred J. Dodge. Agent Hardie was shown working cases in many areas of the Old West, occasionally interacting with legendary outlaws such as Jesse James and Belle Starr, as well as with other American historical figures. Hardie's own history was rarely discussed, but one episode gave a detailed backstory, portraying him as a Louisiana-born drifter who almost became an outlaw before finding his true mission in life.

In the final season, when episodes were longer, Hardie was given a base of operations, in a town called Gloribee, and four regular supporting characters were added. Hardie usually rode a chestnut horse with a white blaze on his face and four white stockings. The horse actually belonged to Dale Robertson, and was named "Jubilee". In at least one episode, Jubilee came when Hardie whistled and called his name.

In the 1957 Christmas episode, titled "Laredo", Jim Hardie must track gunrunners across the United States/Mexican border in Laredo, Texas, a quest which keeps him from spending the holiday with friends as he had intended. Guest stars include Henry Rowland, Rodolfo Hoyos Jr., Karl Swenson and Pierre Watkin.[citation needed]

The concept of Tales of Wells Fargo, a company troubleshooter in the American West, was also adapted by the syndicated series Pony Express, co-starring Grant Sullivan as detective Brett Clark, which aired in the 1959–1960 season, nearly coinciding with the centennial of the Pony Express. Even earlier, from 1954 to 1955, Jim Davis had starred as a railroad investigator, Matt Clark, in the syndicated Stories of the Century. Davis and Robertson, both of whom had unusual but similar-sounding speaking voices, each did the narration for their respective series. (And each actor later landed roles in 1980's primetime soaps: Davis on Dallas and Robertson on Dynasty.)




Notable guest stars


SeasonEpisodesOriginally airedRun TimeColor
First airedLast aired
114March 18, 1957 (1957-03-18)July 8, 1957 (1957-07-08)30 minblack & white
238September 9, 1957 (1957-09-09)May 26, 1958 (1958-05-26)30 minblack & white
339September 8, 1958 (1958-09-08)June 15, 1959 (1959-06-15)30 minblack & white
437September 7, 1959 (1959-09-07)May 30, 1960 (1960-05-30)30 minblack & white
539September 5, 1960 (1960-09-05)July 10, 1961 (1961-07-10)30 minblack & white
634September 30, 1961 (1961-09-30)June 2, 1962 (1962-06-02)60 mincolor



The pilot for Tales of Wells Fargo originally premiered as an episode of the anthology series Schlitz Playhouse of Stars.

In the 1960–61 season, Wells Fargo was scheduled opposite ABC's detective series Surfside 6 and CBS's new sitcom Bringing Up Buddy, starring Frank Aletter. Wells Fargo and Surfside 6 survived another year, but Bringing Up Buddy was cancelled. Wells Fargo was the lead-in that year to a new NBC Western, Klondike, but that series, set in the gold rush town of Skagway, Alaska, survived only seventeen episodes.

Home media

Timeless Media Group released the first two seasons on DVD in Region 1.[3]

DVD name Ep # Release date
The Complete First and Second Seasons 52 October 25, 2011


For its first two years, the series was in the top ten of the Nielsen Ratings. During the 1957–58 season, it was ranked #3,[4] and during the 1958–59 season, it was ranked #7.[5]


The television series also spawned a number of publications for young readers, including the hardcover book Danger at Dry Creek (Golden Press, 1959), a series of Dell Comics and Little Golden Books. One of the artists who created this comic book adaptation was Russ Heath.[6]


  1. ^ Brooks, Tim; Marsh, Earle F. (2007). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946–Present. New York: Ballantine Books. p. 1003. ISBN 978-0-345-49773-4. Retrieved May 28, 2021.
  2. ^ McNeil, Alex (1996). Total Television: the Comprehensive Guide to Programming from 1948 to the Present. New York: Penguin Books. p. 901. ISBN 0-14-02-4916-8. Retrieved May 28, 2021.
  3. ^ Lambert, David (September 9, 2011). "Tales of Wells Fargo – 'The Complete 1st and 2nd Seasons' 6-DVD Tin". Archived from the original on September 3, 2017. Retrieved July 6, 2017.
  4. ^ "TV Ratings: 1957–1958".
  5. ^ "TV Ratings: 1958–1959".
  6. ^ "Russ Heath".

External links

This page was last edited on 23 September 2021, at 01:15
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