The Deputy (TV series)

The Deputy

Allen Case as McCord on the set with guest star Vivian Vance, 1959
Genre Western
Created by Roland Kibbee
Norman Lear
Starring Henry Fonda
Allen Case
Read Morgan
Wallace Ford
Betty Lou Keim
Narrated by Henry Fonda
Theme music composer Jack Marshall
Composer(s) Jack Marshall
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 76 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Henry Fonda
William Frye
Camera setup Single-camera
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) Top Gun Productions
Revue Studios
Distributor Universal Television
NBCUniversal Television Distribution
Original network NBC
Picture format Black-and-white
Audio format Monaural
Original release September 12, 1959 (1959-09-12) – July 1, 1961 (1961-07-01)

The Deputy is an American western series that aired on NBC from 1959 to 1961 The series stars Henry Fonda as Chief Marshal Simon Fry of the Arizona Territory and Allen Case as Deputy Clay McCord, a storekeeper who tried to avoid using a gun.[1]


Further information: List of The Deputy episodes

Fonda narrated most episodes and appeared briefly at the beginning and ending of most segments. He played the lead in only six episodes in the first season and thirteen in the second. Usually he would give his deputy the assignment and, on rare occasions, would thank him at the conclusion of the episode. As Fred MacMurray later did while shooting the sitcom series My Three Sons, Fonda performed all of his work on The Deputy in several lengthy sessions so as to leave himself free for other projects. Although based in Silver City, the marshal's district also covered several nearby towns. Deputy McCord was a storekeeper who bore arms with great reluctance. Wallace Ford starred as the elderly Marshal, Herk Lamson, with Betty Lou Keim as McCord's sister, Fran, in the first season. Read Morgan joined the show in the second season as Sergeant Hapgood Tasker, known as "Sarge", a one-eyed United States Army cavalry enlisted man stationed in town.

Production notes

The series was created by Roland Kibbee and Norman Lear. It was produced by Revue Studios and featured a jazz guitar score by Jack Marshall.

The Deputy aired at 9 p.m. Eastern on Saturday. In its first year, it followed NBC's short-lived adventure series, The Man and the Challenge. It faced competition from Mr. Lucky on CBS and from The Lawrence Welk Show on ABC. In the second season, CBS dropped Mr. Lucky, and The Deputy faced competition from the second half of Checkmate.

DVD release

On October 26, 2010, Timeless Media Group released the complete series on DVD in Region 1. The 12-disc set features all 76 episodes of the series.


  1. Alex McNeil, Total Television, New York: Penguin Books, 1996, pp. 212-213
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