getTV, Sept. 12, Noon
Plan to tune-in? Let us know at our Facebook/Nichols marathon event page
By Jeff Pfeiffer
Westerns used to be found across the TV airwaves during the golden age of television. Today, however, fans of the genre are hard-pressed to find much beyond AMC’s “Hell on Wheels.” If you love the old Westerns of yesteryear, and everything else from Hollywood’s golden era of film and TV, you are in luck with getTV. It’s a channel spanning genres, with a roster boasting some of the most memorable movies, TV shows and specials. The network’s programming lineup includes classic Oscar-winning films, dramas, romances, comedies and, of course, Westerns, all starring cinematic icons.
A perfect example of getTV’s programming can be seen Saturdays, beginning Sept. 12 at noon, when the network adds some notable series to its Westerns block of TV shows, including the rarely seen 1971 series “Nichols,” starring the late, great James Garner, along with a young Margot Kidder.
Set in smalltown Arizona in the early 1900s, “Nichols” follows the title character, played by Garner, as he finds himself blackmailed into the role of town sheriff by the villainous Ketcham family who run the town. Riding a motorcycle instead of a horse, and forsaking guns in favor of more peaceful resolutions, Nichols takes on bandits, manages town bullies and woos Ruth (Kidder), the beautiful barmaid at Salters, the town watering hole.
The show was created by Oscar-winning screenwriter Frank Pierson (“Dog Day Afternoon,” “Cool Hand Luke”), with episodes directed by notable helmers such as John Badham. Fans of Garner’s later series “The Rockford Files” will also recognize Garner’s costar in that series, Stuart Margolin, in “Nichols” as well. Five episodes of “Nichols” air Sept. 12 to kick off getTV’s Westerns block.
Each Saturday, Westerns fans will get more of what they crave, including two additional very rarely seen Western series: the 1967 series “Hondo” (Sept. 19), based on the 1953 film of the same name; and 10 episodes of “A Man Called Shenandoah” on Sept. 26.
“Hondo” stars Ralph Taeger as Hondo Lane, a former Confederate cavalry officer who moves west following the Civil War and takes a Native American bride, only to see her killed as part of a massacre of her people conducted by United States Army troops. Now Hondo and his dog, Sam, travel alone and seek to prevent further trouble between the Army and the remaining Native Americans.
In “A Man Called Shenandoah,” Robert Horton plays a man who is shot and left for dead. Two buffalo hunters find him out on the prairie and, thinking he might be an outlaw, take him to the nearest town in hopes of receiving reward money. When he regains consciousness he has no recollection of who he is, or why anyone would want to harm him. The doctor who treats his wounds gives him the name “Shenandoah,” stating the word means “land of silence.” For the remainder of the series, Shenandoah roams the West in search of clues to his identity.
“At getTV, our fans love when we dig into the vaults and find something they haven’t seen in a while,” says Jeff Meier, senior vice president of programming for getTV. “So, in addition to uncovering hard-to-find movies, we also wanted to deliver our fans some rare TV series. One of our most popular programming blocks on the channel is our Saturday lineup of Westerns, so we’re especially proud to be able to present lesser-known gems. Although each of these series originally had a short run, they all feature classic Old West action that will have viewers agreeing that they were canceled far too soon.”
Have you checked out getTV yet? If not, and you’re a fan of Hollywood’s golden a ge of film and television, you’ll want to. Launched in February 2014, getTV is a digital broadcast channel available in over 70 percent of U.S. television households. It is also available on some local cable systems as well as over free-to-air digital channels. Check your local lineup by using the steps below to see if getTV is available in your area. Or visit getTV to see if it's available in your area.
Scan for the getTV Channel
Press the Menu button on your converter box, HDTV or remote control.
Go to the Setup or Settings menu.
Proceed to the Installation, System or Channels screen.
Select Scan Channels, Program Channels or the closest available option.
Press Select, Enter or OK to scan your available channels.