84. GUNSMOKE - TIE 

Episode 1, "Matt Gets It," Written by Charles Marquis Warren & John Meston  

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Aired: CBS, 1955-1975

Already a hit on radio starring William Conrad as Marshall Matt Dillon, Gunsmoke, starring James Arness, became the most popular Western in TV history and one of the longest running shows ever. John Meston and Norman MacDonnell are credited as creators of this “adult Western” on radio, which was adapted three years later into the TV series by Charles Marquis Warren. Warren, a novelist and screenwriter, had once been a young protégé of F. Scott Fitzgerald (according to Warren’s obituary in the Los Angeles Times, an in-his-cups Fitzgerald, having met Warren in a Baltimore theater, formally adopted him as his godson and sent him to Hollywood to look into a film treatment for Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night). Warren left Gunsmoke after one season to do movies, but as Westerns enjoyed their TV heyday in the ’50s and ’60s, Warren would return to do Rawhide and The Virginian.

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