The Rifleman: CBS Wants TV Series Reboot with Chris Columbus

The Rifleman TV showBack in the late 1950s, television’s primetime schedule was dominated by cowboys. For the 1959-60 season, 11 of the top 20 shows were Westerns. One of those was The Rifleman. Though today’s schedule is dominated by procedurals, CBS wants to try reviving the classic Chuck Connors series.

The network has signed Laeta Kalogridis (NBC’s ill-fated Bionic Woman remake) and Patrick Lussier to a script deal to attempt to re-launch the show. Harry Potter director Chris Columbus is on board to direct the pilot episode if it gets a greenlight. He’ll executive produce along with Carol Mendelsohn, Julie Weitz, and the writers.

The Rifleman ran for five seasons and 169 black and white episodes on ABC, from 1958 until 1963. It was a top-rated show for only the first couple seasons and later became a staple in syndication. AMC currently airs episodes on weekends.

Created by Sam Peckinpah, the series is set in New Mexico and stars Connors as a tough-as-nails rancher and Civil War hero named Lucas McCain. A widower, he’s a single father to young Mark (Johnny Crawford) and a crack shot who only breaks out his Winchester rifle when absolutely necessary.

What do you think? Do you think the time is right for a Western series in primetime? Are you interested in a new version of The Rifleman or would you prefer to see a completely new idea?

Canceled and renewed TV show

9 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. L groves says

    I’d love to see a remake with Johnny Crawford….seems like there’s no,place for westerns anymore…too sad…

    • S says

      The project was announced in late 2011 and canceled a few months later without there ever being a pilot made, if my memmory serves. I would have loved seeing a remake of this show myself. To be honest I want to know why it was canceled, I cant seam to find the reason on any of the websites that mention it.

  2. judy says

    It would be nice to have Johnny Crawford in a new Rifleman. I love the reruns watch them again and again never gets old.

  3. says

    I grew up with the Rifleman and admire the Values displayed in the series.I just hope todays times will accept a show depicticting the same and have a concept to garb our kids.Theio work is cut out for them. Good luck.We want it to fly.

  4. Darvedd says

    If it’s not ‘Deadwood’-forget it-not the 1950s/60s anymore-any Western is going to be very expensive as period recreation doesn’t come cheaply which means it would have to be a major hit to justify the expense. Unlikely to get a large modern audience.

  5. Jason says

    Seems like there are several Westerns in various stages of development. Ralph Lamb, Gateway, The Frontier, Hangtown, Gunslinger and The Rifleman. With Hell on Wheels also airing, that’s a lot of Westerns. I love the genre and I’ll be watching, but I wonder if the viewers will be there for these shows. I hope so!

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