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The Rifleman
Premiere date:September 30, 1958
Description:Debuting September 30, 1958 on ABC, The Rifleman set itself apart from most of the other western series of the period by giving its titular hero a family--and plenty of family responsibilities. Former pro baseball player Chuck Connors starred as Lucas McCain, a widowed westerner who moved to North Fork, New Mexico to carve out a new life for himself and his young son Mark (Johnny Crawford). All Lucas wanted was to leave the peaceful life of a rancher, but his reputation as a fast gun preceded him and he spent several episodes warding off various villains who desired to bump him off. Even so, he was determined to instill decent humans values in son Mark, forever advising the boy that violence should never be used unless as a last resort. That said, he was forced into that "last resort" in virtually every episode, usually in self-defense or to protect Mark: For reasons best known to the scriptwriters, tiny little North Fork was a magnet for virtually every outlaw, ... Read more
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An elderly recluse with a mean reputation helps Lucas rescue Mark.