The Lone Ranger (TV Series 1949–1957) Poster



In the early 1950s a popular staple with the younger viewing audience was the bubble gum trading cards, which featured color scenes from several installments of the series.
The "Hi-Yo Silver!" shout at the beginning of each episode is a recording of Earle W. Graser, who played The Lone Ranger on radio from 1933-41.
The Lone Ranger's young nephew, Dan Reid, who appeared occasionally on the TV series, was the father of Britt Reid, The Green Hornet (both characters were created for radio by George W. Trendle).
"Kemo Sabe" means "trusted friend". In Episode One it is explained that it means "trusted scout". Other sources have said that it is a corruption of the Spanish phrase "Quien sabe", which means "Who knows?".
Series creator Fran Striker added Tonto to give the Lone Ranger someone to talk to.
In the early 1950s the show was so popular with the TV audience that ABC, for a short period of time, ran it on late Friday nights for those who missed the earlier Thursday 7:30 PM broadcast.
Premiered on ABC on 15 September 1949 (Thursdays 7:30-8:00). Last telecast: 12 September 1957. This was the only ABC program to rank in the top 15 when the A.C. Neilsen Co. began compiling national ratings for network programs. In 1950 it ranked #7 with a 41.2% share. The show was on ABC throughout its run. Reruns began on CBS on Saturday mornings in 1953 and continued to September 1960 and then on NBC for another four years. ABC showed reruns of it in late afternoons from 1958 to 1961. None of the network reruns featured John Hart as "The Lone Ranger", the other "Lone Ranger" from 1952-53.
The fifth season is the only one to be in color.
Tonto's horse is called Scout.
Clayton Moore sat out 52 episodes. The studio claimed it was a pay dispute, but Moore insisted up until his death that it was over creative differences. John Hart was hired to replace him, but the change did not sit well with audiences. When George W. Trendle sold the rights for the series to Jack Wrather in 1954, Wrather immediately rehired Moore.
Uniquely, "The Lone Ranger," as televised on ABC, offered four seasons of a new episode each week for at least a year without a rerun. From 1949-51 the first 78 episodes were aired and then rerun in the same order. For the subsequent seasons beginning on Sept. 1952, Sept. 1954 and Sept. 1956, the same format was followed with 52 consecutive new episodes aired and then rerun in the following 12-month period. The young viewers would have to wait "until the same time next year", often coinciding with their school year or summer vacation, to see a rerun of a favorite or "missed" episode.
The radio program, the TV series used incidental music from Republic Pictures serials (although with new orchestral arrangements) to fit the many action sequences. Program creator George W. Trendle had obtained rights to the Republic music package as part of the deal for Republic to produce a second Lone Ranger serial. Originally on radio, the show had used German recordings of classical pieces, the only classical music retained later on the radio show and on TV were series' theme of Gioachino Rossini's "William Tell Overture". as well as "The Preludes" by Franz Liszt, used on radio as the bridge in and out of the middle commercial. During 1956-57, which was to become the last season of new episodes, the usual musical score supporting the action scenes was replaced by an incidental music package widely used in early filmed TV series, as well as low-budget "B" pictures and theatrical serials. This was at least a contributing factor to the series' sudden decline in popularity.
In Spanish, the name Tonto means "fool", "stupid" or "dumb". That's why in the dubbed version distributed to Spanish speaking countries the character was named "Toro", which means "bull".
Both Republic serials The Lone Ranger (1938) starring Lee Powell and The Lone Ranger Rides Again (1939) starring Robert Livingston have never been released to television. They have, however, been available on home video.
Although the program was broadcast for eight seasons, there were only five seasons with new episodes: 1949-1950, 1950-51, 1952-53, 1954-55, 1956-57.
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The series' budget was $12,000 per episode from 1949-1954, then it was increased to $18,000 per episode from 1954 until production of new episodes ended in 1957, though the series remained,on network TV (CBS, NBC) weekly until 1963.
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At one time, speculation surfaced that the Lone Ranger was inspired by a US marshal named Bass Reeves, who worked in the Oklahoma Territory. Because the territory was largely Indian reservations--and therefore sovereign territory--marshals had to be accompanied by a Native American, hence some suggested this was the inspiration for the character of Tonto. Despite a sterling reputation for maintaining law and order, even when it meant arresting his own son, Reeves was eventually driven from office when Jim Crow laws were passed. Unlike the television show, the real Bass Reeves was black. This myth, along with other speculative suggestions for the character's origin, was eventually debunked by re-examining the records of the Detroit radio station where the Lone Ranger radio show originated.
In 1955 at the height of the show's popularity, just before the release of the movie feature The Lone Ranger (1956), both ABC and CBS aired "The Lone Ranger Rides Again" (1955). This was a one-hour condensed version of the series' first three episodes depicting "The Lone Ranger's" origin.
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After the series ended, Clayton Moore began making public appearances as the Lone Ranger. Jack Wrather filed suit against Moore, claiming ownership of the character. In 1979 Wrather won the suit so Moore wore wraparound Foster-Grant sunglasses as a substitute for the mask. Moore later won a countersuit allowing him to resume wearing his costume.
On 11 August 2009 the US Postal Service issued a pane of 20 44¢ commemorative postage stamps honoring early US television programs. A booklet with 20 picture postcards was also issued. On the stamp honoring "The Lone Ranger" is a picture of star Clayton Moore as The Lone Ranger with his horse, Silver . Other shows honored in the Early TV Memories issue were: The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet (1952), Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955), The Dinah Shore Show (1951), Dragnet (1951), "The Ed Sullivan Show" (originally titled The Ed Sullivan Show (1948)), The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show (1950), Hopalong Cassidy (1952), The Honeymooners (1955), "The Howdy Doody Show" (original title: The Howdy Doody Show (1947)), I Love Lucy (1951), Kukla, Fran and Ollie (1947), Lassie (1954), Perry Mason (1957), The Phil Silvers Show (1955), The Red Skelton Hour (1951), "Texaco Star Theater" (titled Texaco Star Theatre (1948), 1954-1956), The Tonight Show (which began as Tonight! (1953)), The Twilight Zone (1959), and You Bet Your Life (1950).
The Lone Ranger never drinks or smokes.
The Lone Ranger is never captured or held for very long by lawmen or outlaws in order to avoid the chance of him being unmasked.
General Mills was the original sponsor of the show.
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The first 16 episodes from season one, and one episode from season five, are in the public domain. These 17 episodes are available in numerous combinations from many distributors. The full list of public domain episodes, in order, are as follows: The Lone Ranger: Enter the Lone Ranger (1949), The Lone Ranger: The Lone Ranger Fights On (1949), The Lone Ranger: The Lone Ranger's Triumph (1949), The Lone Ranger: The Legion of Old Timers (1949), The Lone Ranger: Rustler's Hideout (1949), The Lone Ranger: War Horse (1949), The Lone Ranger: Pete and Pedro (1949), The Lone Ranger: The Renegades (1949), The Lone Ranger: The Tenderfeet (1949), The Lone Ranger: High Heels (1949), The Lone Ranger: Six Gun's Legacy (1949), The Lone Ranger: Return of the Convict (1949), The Lone Ranger: Finders Keepers (1949), The Lone Ranger: The Masked Rider (1949), The Lone Ranger: Old Joe's Sister (1949), The Lone Ranger: Cannonball McKay (1949), and The Lone Ranger: Message from Abe (1957).
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John Hart, who replaced Clayton Moore for 52 episodes, actually appeared opposite Moore's Ranger in two episodes before donning the mask himself during Moore's absence.
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