It ran 8 seasons, but it's first, in early 1959, and it's last, in the autumn of 1965, were shorter than seasons 2-7. CBS chief William Paley canceled Rawhide's production after watching the 1st show of season 8, in September, 1965, because he disliked the series without Eric Fleming as Gil Favor, who had departed after season 7. The last new episode aired on December 7, 1965. The lone 1966 CBS broadcast, on January 4, 1966, was a rerun.
I have often wondered why Rawhide didn't switch to color filming for it's last season? Most of the big westerns of the 1960s had gone over to color by 1965. CBS was broadcasting in color that autumn, for many of their sitcoms, but westerns like Gunsmoke and Rawhide remained in black and white. Gunsmoke was the last western (and last prime time network series to switch to color) on September 17, 1966, for the episode Snap Decision.
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