In the ’50s and ’60s, TV westerns often dominated the primetime schedules, but by the early ’70s, they all seemed go by the wayside. Attempts to revive them haven’t been met with much success, save for the Maverick feature film starring Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, and James Garner.
Now The Big Valley, the western series that launched the careers of Linda Evans and Lee Majors, is going to take a stab at a remake, with Susan Sarandon, Ryan Phillipe, Richard Drefuss, and Bruce Dern in key roles.
The Big Valley originally ran on ABC from 1965 to 1969. Barbara Stanwyck plays a widowed matriarch running a ranch in California. She has three sons and a daughter (Richard Long, Peter Breck, Charles Briles, and Linda Evans). Her late husband’s illegitimate son (Lee Majors) joins the clan as the series begins. The family’s youngest son, a medical student named Eugene (Briles), was written out during the first season.