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Johnny Yuma is an angry young former Confederate Army soldier drifting through an apparently meaningless existence in the 1860's Wild West. While in search of his identity, he defends people from hostile Indians, crooked land developers, and evil ranchers. Written by
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Commentary about "The Rebel"....Television's First "Teen Western" starring Nick Adams
Character actor Nick Adams was an unlikely choice for the lead on an action-packed television western series where the genre was dominated by "Gunsmoke","Wagon Train","Have Gun Will Travel","The Rifleman",and "Tales of Wells Fargo",and "Cheyenne" just to name a few were the stars that dominated the "western" genre were Ward Bond,Robert Horton,Chuck Connors,not to mention James Arness and Clint Walker. "The Rebel" came out when the television landscape was dominated by "westerns",and "family situation comedies" that ruled the late-1950's and early-1960's. The series portrays the adventures of a young Confederate Army veteran named Johnny Yuma(Nick Adams)who was an inspiring writer who kept details of his activities in his journal. Haunted by the memories of the Civil War,Yuma,in search of inner peace,roams the American West specifically the Texas Hill Country and the South Texas plains who also fights injustice wherever he finds it and takes care of manners in his own hands with a double-barreled sawed off shotgun. Whereas virtually all the others "westerns" consisted of work,romance and adventure,"The Rebel" was about Johnny Yuma "finding himself" and along the way his encounters with ruthless gunslingers,hostile villains,and the like while Johnny Yuma comes out of these episodes "victorious".
Out of the 76 episodes that this series produced,all in classic black-and-white,"The Rebel" had Nick Adams as not only the star of the series,but also was involved with the show's design,inception,and writing,not to mention serving as its creator and executive producer along with producer Andrew J. Fenady(who appeared twice in the series once as United States Army General Philip Sheridan in the episode "Johnny Yuma at Appomattox"). The series was one of the few that producers Mark Goodson and Bill Todman,through their production company Goodson-Todman Productions did outside of their game show ventures. The other series that Goodson and Todman produced was another western called "Branded" starring Chuck Connors that ran for 23 episodes. "The Rebel" originally aired on ABC-TV from October 4,1959 until the series finale on June 18,1961. The show's sponsor was the Proctor & Gamble Company. This series was the first "teenage western" whose audiences were the younger crowd. The show's title song was done by Johnny Cash. It was grand western,but it ended up getting canceled with the powers that be over at ABC entered into a hostile relationship with the company that produced the series,ending up canceling one of their top rated shows. In 1962,"The Rebel" was picked up by NBC in repeats as a mid-season replacement where all 76 episodes were re-runs. After that the series went into syndication in repeats.
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