Maverick is a comedy-western television series created by Roy Huggins that ran from September 22, 1957 to July 8, 1962 on ABC and featured James Garner, Jack Kelly, Roger Moore, and Robert Colbert as the poker-playing traveling Mavericks (Bret, Bart, Beau, & Brent). Moore and Colbert were later additions, though there were never more than two current Mavericks in the series at any given time, and sometimes only one.
Maverick presented James Garner as Bret Maverick (1957-1960), an adventurous gambler roaming the Old West, Jack Kelly as his equally skilled brother Bart Maverick (1957-1962), and Roger Moore as English-accented cousin Beau Maverick (1960-1961). James Garner was the only Maverick in the series during the first seven episodes, and the show is generally credited with launching Garner's career although he'd appeared in several earlier movies, including Sayonara with Marlon Brando. Maverick often bested both The Ed Sullivan Show and The Steve Allen Show in audience size.
The first broadcast episode of Maverick, "War of the Silver Kings," was based on C.B Glasscock's "The War of the Copper Kings," which relates the real-life adventures of copper mine speculator F. Augustus Heinze. The real-life copper king ultimately went to Wall Street. Huggins recalls in his Archive of American Television interview that this Warners-owned property was selected by the studio as the first episode in order to cheat him out of creator residuals.
Bret Maverick frequently flimflammed adversaries, but only criminals who actually deserved it. Otherwise he was scrupulously honest almost to a fault, in at least one case insisting on repaying a debt that he only arguably owed to begin with (in "According to Hoyle").
Maverick was not a particularly fast draw with a pistol, but like all TV cowboy heroes of the era, it was almost superhumanly impossible for anyone to beat him in any sort of a fistfight (perhaps the one cowboy cliché that Huggins left intact, reportedly at the insistence of the studio).
Critics have repeatedly referred to Bret Maverick as "arguably the first TV anti-hero," and have praised the show for its photography and Garner's charisma and subtly comedic facial expressions.
FOX Classics TV guide
Friday, 24 May 2013
- 3:30 PM Gunsmoke
- 4:30 PM Bonanza
- 5:30 PM The Golden Girls
- 6:00 PM 'Allo 'Allo!
- 6:30 PM Are You Being Served?
- 7:00 PM Jeopardy!
- 7:30 PM M*A*S*H
- 8:00 PM Keeping Up Appearances
- 8:35 PM The Package
- 10:20 PM The Delta Force
- 12:30 AM Hell in the Pacific
- 2:10 AM M*A*S*H
- 2:35 AM Murder, She Wrote
- 3:30 AM Walker, Texas Ranger
- 4:30 AM M*A*S*H
- 5:00 AM The Big Valley
- End of programming for Friday, 24 May 2013