101 Best Written TV Series

Aired: CBS, 1989

"It was so big, and at that moment, Westerns were dead," Bill Wittliff, who adapted Larry McMurtry's novel into the acclaimed miniseries, told the San Antonio Express-News in 2007. The only thing deader were miniseries, and here we had both. So it was a miracle it got made at all. The movie god really did look out for us." It helped, too, to have a cast that included Robert Duvall, Tommy Lee Jones, Angelica Huston and Diane Lane not to mention McMurtry's Pulitzer Prize-winning narrative, his facility with the iconography of the Old West, its characters and mythic journeys. Wittliff had already written the screenplay for the 1984 film Country, and he would later adapt Sebastian Junger's The Perfect Storm to the big screen.

Credited Writers

Larry McMurtry
Bill Wittliff