This Was Television On June 24

1949: Hopalong Cassidy, the first TV Western, debuts

The famous cowboy had a long history in short stories, novels, and movie serials throughout the first half of the 20th century. But the character became a sensation when actor William Boyd brought him to NBC. As the Western genre faded from cinemas, it found new life on the boob tube, quickly becoming one of the most popular formats of the 1950s. 

As popular as Hopalong Cassidy was, various attempts to extend the brand failed throughout the years, as audiences rejected stories about his horse Clopalong, his janitor brother Mopalong, and for a time in 1959, his jazzy beatnik cousin Bebopalong-A.D.

Today’s BirthdaysIain Glen, the Bo Jackson of cult dramas (51); Minka Kelly, she’s got Panthers spirit (32); Joe Penny, friend of the Fatman (56); Betsy Randle, Matthews mom (57); Sherry Stringfield, County General doc (45); Peter Weller, History Channel host and character ac…yeah, fuck it, he’s Robocop (65).

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