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The Roy Rogers Show

A Western television series that broadcast one hundred episodes on NBC for six seasons between December 30, 1951 and June 9, 1957. The show starred Roy Rogers as a ranch owner, Dale Evans as the owner of the Eureka Cafe in fictional Mineral City, and Pat Brady as Roy’s sidekick and Dale’s cook. Brady’s jeep Nellybelle had a mind of it’s own and often sped away driverless with Brady in frantic pursuit on foot. The Jeep was first called LuLubelle in the 1952 series. Animal stars were Roy’s Palomino horse, Trigger, and his German Shepherd wonder dog, Bullet. Interior shots for the show were filmed at the Samuel Goldwyn Studio, with much of the outdoor action footage filmed on the Iverson Movie Ranch in Chatsworth, Calif. The program was originally sponsored by General Foods, Post Cereals and Jell-O. The show’s theme song, “Happy Trails”, was written by Dale Evans and sung over the end credits by Rogers and Evans. The Roy Rogers Show received an Emmy nomination in 1955 for Best Western or Adventure Series but lost out to the syndicated Stories of the Century, an anthology series starring and narrated by Jim Davis. The series finished #27 in the Nielsen ratings for the 1951-1952 season and #30 for 1954-1955.
Beginning in 1961, CBS broadcast reruns of The Roy Rogers Show for three and a half seasons on Saturday mornings. Reruns also aired in France in 1962. Reruns are currently being aired on several television networks.
Like Rogers’s films, the series featured traditional cowboys and cowgirls riding horses and carrying six-shooters in a contemporary setting where they coexisted with automobiles, telephones, and electric lighting. No attempt was made in the scripts to explain or justify this strange blend of 19th-century characters with 20th-century technology. Typical episodes followed the stars as they rescued the weak and helpless from the clutches of the dishonest, claim jumpers, rustlers, and other bad guys. The show was merchandised for the children’s market with toy cap guns and holsters, comic books, play sets, western costumes and many other items.