50 best Western TV shows of all time

If there’s one genre that is quintessentially American, it’s the great Western. Visions of swinging saloon doors, tumbleweeds, spurs, and dusty hats fill the frames, accompanied by a soundtrack of single twangy notes and gunfire. The Western is a genre of fiction that takes place, typically, in the latter half of the 19th century in the “Old West,” where most states were still territories and lawlessness was baked right in.

Stacker compiled data from IMDb, as of May 2020, on all Western TV series and ranked them according to IMDb user scores, ties broken by votes. To qualify, the series, miniseries, or limited series had to have at least 500 IMDb user votes.

Americans are drawn to the romanticism of the Old West—with wide-open spaces offering a sense of anonymous freedom, and the overarching themes of “men will be men” and “justice will be served.” The genre started around the 1930s and skyrocketed to popularity through the 1960s. From these films and TV shows were born icons of the Western, like John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, and Gary Cooper, among others.

Westerns were the most popular TV genre throughout the 1950s and 1960s, with classics like “Gunsmoke,” “The Lone Ranger,” and “Cheyenne.” Westerns faded from the spotlight during most of the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s, but the genre has been resurrected in recent history, with newcomers like “Deadwood,” “Longmire,” and “Yellowstone.” Hundreds of Western episodes have aired over the past 80-plus years, some series running for more than a decade, while others rode into the sunset after just a few episodes.

Whether you’re a gunslinging Western aficionado, or just cutting your teeth, there are dozens upon dozens of television Westerns to choose from. Are you ready to discover the 50 best western TV shows of all time? Read on to discover these iconic small-screen classics. How many have you heard of?

Preston Stephen Fischer Company

#50. Son of the Morning Star (1991)

– IMDb user rating: 7.4
– Votes: 847
– Starring: Gary Cole, Rosanna Arquette, Stanley Anderson, Edward Blatchford

This four-hour miniseries followed the history of General George Armstrong Custer and his experiences with the Sioux and Cheyenne warriors at the Little Bighorn. Custer’s reputation was the stuff of legend, even in his own time, and he has been portrayed in films throughout the decades as a hero against the inappropriately-deemed “savage” Native Americans. “Son of the Morning Star” was one of the first productions to depict both sides of the story fairly, wrote Kenneth R. Clark in the Chicago Tribune—so much so that Native Americans gave this series their seal of approval, which was a first for Hollywood.

– IMDb user rating: 7.4
– Votes: 1,779
– Starring: Tom Berenger, Sam Elliott, Gary Busey, Brad Johnson

The “Rough Riders” TV miniseries chronicled Theodore Roosevelt and the 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry (the Rough Riders) and their part in the Spanish-American War. Director John Milius used the backdrop of the Battle of San Juan Hill to tell a familiar story—albeit a tad long-winded, according to Chris Kaltenbach of the Baltimore Sun—about the evolution of man in war, marked by the evolution of Roosevelt himself from immature glory-seeker to military and political icon.

#48. Wagon Train (1957–1965)

– IMDb user rating: 7.4
– Votes: 2,256
– Starring: Frank McGrath, Terry Wilson, Robert Horton, John McIntire

If you were an Oregon Trail kid, chances are “Wagon Train” would have been right up your alley, as well. The long-running Western TV series followed a wagon train heading west in the years following the Civil War. Each episode shifted focus to a different member of the wagon train, and along the way they battled the elements, Native Americans, and the human condition. The year Wagon Train debuted, five other Westerns ranked among the top 10. By 1961, it was the #1 show.

– IMDb user rating: 7.4
– Votes: 5,740
– Starring: Abbie Cornish, Marton Csokas, Ian Hart, Greg Lawson

An impressive cast and sizable production value (it was Discovery Channel’s first scripted miniseries) told the story of adventurers headed to the Yukon in the late 19th century during the Gold Rush. The series used sweeping, dramatic landscape shots and top-quality storytelling to convey the Klondike Gold Rush, which was defined by deathly weather conditions, nefarious characters, and an inhospitable environment.

#46. Little House on the Prairie (1974–1983)

– IMDb user rating: 7.4
– Votes: 15,842
– Starring: Melissa Gilbert, Michael Landon, Karen Grassle, Rachel Lindsay Greenbush

One of the best coming-of-age book series of all time, “Little House on the Prairie” captured the attention of generations of women readers across the country. It was made into a TV film before evolving into the long-running television series, according to Mentalfloss. Set in the village of Walnut Grove, Minnesota, during the second half of the 19th century, the heartwarming series followed the coming of age of second daughter Laura Ingalls.

#45. Wynonna Earp (2016–present)

– IMDb user rating: 7.4
– Votes: 16,341
– Starring: Melanie Scrofano, Tim Rozon, Dominique Provost-Chalkley, Katherine Barrell

Not your ordinary Western, “Wynonna Earp” is definitely a story for the 21st century. Following the adventures of Wynonna Earp, the fictional great-great-granddaughter of Wyatt Earp, the series weaves in both supernatural, suspense, and sci-fi themes that make it a kitschy, comedic horror the modern audiences crave. In the show, Earp returns to her birthplace, Purgatory, which is near the Canadian Rockies, where her mission is to fight reincarnated outlaws that her great-great grandfather had sent to their graves.

American Movie Classics (AMC)

#44. The Son (2017–2019)

– IMDb user rating: 7.5
– Votes: 4,932
– Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Jacob Lofland, Henry Garrett, Paola Nuñez

AMC’s dramatic Western, “The Son,” followed the story of one family across two different periods in life. At the center of it was Eli McCullough, who once was a Comanche prisoner, and grew up to be a powerful Texas ranger seeking wealth in oil. According to Jen Chaney’s review on Vulture.com, it was “a handsomely shot, well-acted, and respectable piece of work.” But, she added, it lacked enough depth or insight to make it one of the television greats, especially for a network like AMC that has titles like “Breaking Bad” and “Mad Men” on its roster.

#43. The Ranch (2016–2020)

– IMDb user rating: 7.5
– Votes: 31,844
– Starring: Ashton Kutcher, Sam Elliott, Grady Lee Richmond, Elisha Cuthbert

Ashton Kutcher’s Netflix series was Western cowboy comedy, with a few surprising threads of serious drama. The series followed the story of Colt, a washed-up football star who returns to his hometown in Colorado, where he lived with his father and brother. According to James Poneiwozik in the New York Times, it wa certainly a prodigal son story, and an interesting mishmash of styles, from the multi-camera production and live studio audience to the more-serious story lines that dealt with very real and relatable family dynamics.

#42. Death Valley Days (1952–1970)

– IMDb user rating: 7.6
– Votes: 638
– Starring: Stanley Andrews, Robert Taylor, Ronald Reagan, Dale Robertson

The second-longest-running Western series (it ran for 18 years), “Death Valley Days” was a narrated story told by the Old Ranger, regaling the audience with the tale of America’s movement West and the settling of the great frontier. Ronald Reagan had a stint as the Old Ranger for a time, and starred in a 1965 episode, as well. According to Medium’s Jeremy Roberts, many analysts say that this series helped Reagan secure his political career as governor of California.

#41. The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp (1955–1961)

– IMDb user rating: 7.6
– Votes: 677
– Starring: Hugh O’Brian, Jimmy Noel, Ethan Laidlaw, Bill Coontz

“The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp” was a television series credited with reviving the story of one of the now-iconic personalities of cowboy culture, according to Courtney Campbell in Wide Open Country. Airing in 1955, premiering just four days before “Gunsmoke,” it is the very first television Western that was written for adults. For six seasons, the 30-minute program told the story of Wyatt’s adult life, from his role of town marshal in Kansas to the final episodes based in Tombstone, Arizona Territory.

#40. Here Come the Brides (1968–1970)

– IMDb user rating: 7.6
– Votes: 685
– Starring: Robert Brown, Bobby Sherman, David Soul, Bridget Hanley

“Here Come the Brides” was a Western comedy that was based on the Mercer Girls project. The project brought “marriageable” women from the East Coast to a budding Seattle in the 1860s. In “Here Come the Brides,” a mostly-male logging community threatens to quit and leave due to lack of women. To keep the employees happy, 100 women are brought to Seattle under the conditions that none can leave.

#39. The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams (1977–1978)

– IMDb user rating: 7.6
– Votes: 1,233
– Starring: Dan Haggerty, Denver Pyle, Bozo the Bear, Don Shanks

Dan Haggerty played the role of John “Grizzly” Adams, a hunter from the 19th century who was wrongfully accused of a murder, sending him to seek refuge in the wilderness. It’s there that he rescued a grizzly bear cub, named him Ben, and the two set off on adventures in the wild. The family-friendly series was met with mixed reviews, but according to John Leonard’s review in the New York Times, it was certainly a tear-jerker filled with human emotion. Still, it only ran for one year.

Howler Monkey Productions

#38. Quick Draw (2013–2014)

– IMDb user rating: 7.6
– Votes: 1,290
– Starring: John Lehr, Nick Brown, Allison Dunbar, Bob Clendenin

In this made-for-Hulu Western (Hulu’s third original venture), John Henry Hoyle, a Harvard graduate, found himself the new sheriff of Great Bend, Kansas, in the year 1875. Brian Lowry wrote in Variety that while the new sheriff awkwardly cites his Ivy League credentials whenever there’s an opportunity, what made him stand out was his innate gun skills—“quick draw,” if you will.

Trilogy Entertainment Group

#37. The Magnificent Seven (1998–2000)

– IMDb user rating: 7.6
– Votes: 1,441
– Starring: Michael Biehn, Eric Close, Dale Midkiff, Ron Perlman

The series followed the story of seven men, each with a different skill, who were recruited to take on Confederate raiders threatening a Native American village. The men ended up settling down in a small town, offering their skills to those who need them. The TV series was made in the footsteps of the 1960 film, touted by Will Joyner in the New York Times to be one of the last great Hollywood Westerns.

#36. Alias Smith and Jones (1971–1973)

– IMDb user rating: 7.6
– Votes: 1,588
– Starring: Ben Murphy, Roger Davis, Pete Duel, Walt Davis

Two of the most-wanted outlaws in the West have never actually shot anyone, despite their crimes. Because of this, they’re offered amnesty so long as they stay out of trouble for a year. The plot line shows something similar to a Western version of the Witness Protection Program, where the two use the aliases Smith and Jones. According to Metacritic, “Alias Smith and Jones” was a smash success, and the public was consistently hungry for more episodes to find out what happened next.

National Broadcasting Company (NBC)

#35. The Virginian (1962–1971)

– IMDb user rating: 7.6
– Votes: 1,761
– Starring: Doug McClure, James Drury, Lee J. Cobb, Sara Lane

The third-longest running Western (behind “Gunsmoke” and “Bonanza”), “The Virginian” was TV’s first 90-minute Western. It follows the story of a lawman who comes to the Wyoming Territory in the 1890s.

Levee-Gardner-Laven Productions

#34. The Big Valley (1965–1969)

– IMDb user rating: 7.6
– Votes: 2,395
– Starring: Richard Long, Peter Breck, Lee Majors, Linda Evans

Set on a ranch in California in the mid-late 1800s, the one-hour episodes followed the lives of the Barkley family as they worked to defend their home. Unlike other Westerns at the time, what set “The Big Valley” apart was that the family was led by a woman, Victoria Barkley, played by Barbara Stanwyck. This, wrote David Browne in the New York Times, made the 1965 series ahead of its time.

Universal Cable Productions

#33. Damnation (2017–2018)

– IMDb user rating: 7.6
– Votes: 6,165
– Starring: Logan Marshall-Green, Killian Scott, Sarah Jones, Chasten Harmon

USA’s “Damnation” was a period drama set in 1931 that followed a man with a seedy past who poses as a preacher. He worked to band townsfolk together to stand up to greed and corruption that had infiltrated the town. The show was a statement on the evils of America, but, according to Mike Hale in The New York Times, “Any fidelity to the story’s supposed place and time is clearly incidental …” The show only ran for one season.

#32. Laramie (1959–1963)

– IMDb user rating: 7.7
– Votes: 860
– Starring: Robert Fuller, John Smith, Spring Byington, Dennis Holmes

Douglas Netter Productions

– IMDb user rating: 7.7
– Votes: 1,546
– Starring: Sam Elliott, Tom Selleck, Jeff Osterhage, Glenn Ford

“The Sacketts” aired in 1979 and was a series following three brothers off to find fortune in the post-Civil War West. The series was based on two novels by the author, Louis L’Amour. According to John J. O’Connor in the New York Times, L’Amour was known for 74 Western novels, 11 of which were about the Sackett family. He sold more than 70 million copies of his books.

#30. The High Chaparral (1967–1971)

– IMDb user rating: 7.7
– Votes: 1,588
– Starring: Leif Erickson, Cameron Mitchell, Henry Darrow, Linda Cristal

Set in the 1870s, “The High Chaparral” followed rancher “Big John” Cannon, who strove to make a successful cattle ranch in the desert of the Arizona Territory on the Mexico border, surrounded by hostile Apache Native Americans. At the time, what made “The High Chaparral” revolutionary, according to Henry C. Parke in True West Magazine, is that it hired a fair amount of Hispanic actors, which drew in a large Latin American audience.

#29. Kung Fu (1972–1975)

– IMDb user rating: 7.7
– Votes: 5,005
– Starring: David Carradine, Radames Pera, Keye Luke, Philip Ahn

Martial arts met Western drama in this 1972 television series starring David Carradine. It followed Kwai Chang Caine, a Shaolin monk, who was making his way through the West looking for his half-brother, Danny Caine. Carradine’s role earned him his cult status, according to Bruce Weber in the New York Times. It was because of “Kung Fu” that he became so entrenched in martial arts and Eastern philosophy.

American Movie Classics (AMC)

– IMDb user rating: 7.7
– Votes: 5,581
– Starring: Robert Duvall, Thomas Haden Church, Greta Scacchi, Chris Mulkey

AMC’s miniseries, “Broken Trail,” starred the great cowboy actor and Oscar winner, Robert Duvall. It told the story of an uncle and his nephew, and a group of Chinese women they rescue from prostitution. Alessandra Stanley wrote in the New York Times that it’s a story of East meets West, and while these days Westerns are fewer and far between, “Broken Trail” was “doing its part to keep the Western alive.

#27. Tales of Wells Fargo (1957–1962)

– IMDb user rating: 7.8
– Votes: 508
– Starring: Dale Robertson, Art Felix, Kit Carson, William Demarest

Based on the biography of Wells Fargo detective Fred J. Dodge, the story followed special agent Jim Hardie, “the left-handed gun” who helped save stagecoaches from outlaws and other violence. According to Mike Barnes in the Hollywood Reporter, the actor Dale Robertson did all his own stunts. He was also right-handed.

#26. Laredo (1965–1967)

– IMDb user rating: 7.8
– Votes: 519
– Starring: Neville Brand, Peter Brown, William Smith, Philip Carey

#25. The Young Riders (1989–1992)

– IMDb user rating: 7.8
– Votes: 1,559
– Starring: Stephen Baldwin, Josh Brolin, Ty Miller, Gregg Rainwater

A group of Pony Express riders was based in the Nebraska Territory in the years just before the Civil War. The series followed the adventures of the young, handsome group. It was the first time a traditional Western had been on TV in a decade. Its first season received decidedly low ratings, but after moving to a new time slot in its second season, the show made quite the comeback, according to Ron Miller in the Baltimore Sun.

#24. The Lone Ranger (1949–1957)

– IMDb user rating: 7.8
– Votes: 1,954
– Starring: Jay Silverheels, Clayton Moore, John Hart, Chuck Courtney

Marked by his mask and his trusty steed, Silver, the Lone Ranger was a former Texas Ranger who battled the bad guys in the Old West. “The Lone Ranger” actually got its start in radio back in 1933. It came to television in 1949 and starred Clayton Moore. The series was ABC’s first big hit of the early 1950s, according to History.com.

#23. Cheyenne (1955–1963)

– IMDb user rating: 7.9
– Votes: 1,311
– Starring: Clint Walker, Clyde Howdy, Chuck Hicks, Lane Chandler

“Cheyenne,” which debuted in 1955, made its mark on the Western scene by being the first hour-long drama to run for more than one season. It told the story of Cheyenne Bodie, a kind-hearted cowboy wandering the West in the years following the American Civil War. It inspired many spinoffs and crossovers, and won the 1957 Golden Globe Award for Television Achievement, according to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

Arness Production Company

#22. Gunsmoke (1955–1975)

– IMDb user rating: 7.9
– Votes: 4,813
– Starring: James Arness, Milburn Stone, Amanda Blake, Ken Curtis

Based on a long-running radio program, “Gunsmoke” was one of the longest-running television Westerns of all time. It ran for 20 seasons. It followed Marshal Matt Dillon (James Arness) who set out to protect Dodge City, Kansas, from outlaws.

#21. Lawman (1958–1962)

– IMDb user rating: 8.0
– Votes: 610
– Starring: John Russell, Peter Brown, Peggie Castle, Emile Avery

Set in Laramie, Wyoming, during the second half of the 19th century, “Lawman” was about Marshal Dan Troop, his deputy Johnny McKay, and an orphan that Troop brings into his fold. Peter Brown, who played Deputy McKay, was so popular on the program that he became a fixture on TV Westerns. According to the Daily Mail, he went on to hold guest star roles in “Cheyenne,” “Maverick,” and “The Virginian.”

Michael R. Joyce Productions,

– IMDb user rating: 8.0
– Votes: 612
– Starring: Tom Berenger, Peter O’Meara, Amy Carlson, Colby Johannson

Set in Silver City, Colorado, Deputy Marshal Jared Stone and private detective Larimer Finch were on the right side of the law during the early beginnings of forensic science. It was a USA Network show starring Tom Berenger and Peter O’Meara, described by Alessandra Stanley in the New York Times as, “a cozy, old-fashioned detective show in the vein of ‘Columbo’ or ‘Murder, She Wrote,’ set amid the dirt streets and swinging saloon doors of ‘Bonanza or ‘Gunsmoke.” It only ran for one season.

#19. Maverick (1957–1962)

– IMDb user rating: 8.0
– Votes: 2,444
– Starring: Jack Kelly, James Garner, Roger Moore, Lane Chandler

Bret and Bart Maverick were a couple of brothers with eyes for style and hearts for gambling. The series followed the two migrating from town to town in the Wild West as they pursued the next good time. Unlike other Westerns, the Maverick brothers didn’t adhere to strict macho stereotypes. The obituary for Jack Kelly, who played Bart Maverick, noted that the Maverick brothers weren’t the “quickdraw” personalities typical of Western heroes. They showed fear in the face of danger and even ran from it.

#18. Rawhide (1959–1965)

– IMDb user rating: 8.0
– Votes: 3,031
– Starring: Clint Eastwood, Paul Brinegar, Steve Raines, Eric Fleming

The premise of “Rawhide” followed the adventures of drovers along the rough and challenging cattle drives of the 1860s. Each episode involved the drovers encountering people along the way, and typically involved solving their problems or rescuing them from trouble. It was in “Rawhide” that an American icon was born. The TV series, which debuted in 1958, was the first Western to give Clint Eastwood his big break, reports Biography.com.

#17. Into the West (2005)

– IMDb user rating: 8.0
– Votes: 6,315
– Starring: Joseph M. Marshall, Irene Bedard, Gil Birmingham, John Terry

“Into the West,” a miniseries from Steven Spielberg and DreamWorks, featured six two-hour episodes about two families in the 19th century west. The stories were told from each perspective: one of the white settlers in the Wheeler family, and one of the Lakota tribe. The entire series cost $100 million to produce. Still, critics like the Seattle Times staff felt that gorgeous production wasn’t enough to save a slogging story line and a less-than-tactful handling of accurately portraying the Native American story.

#16. Hatfields & McCoys (2012)

– IMDb user rating: 8.0
– Votes: 23,513
– Starring: Kevin Costner, Bill Paxton, Matt Barr, Tom Berenger

It’s a family feud only to be outdone by the Montagues and the Capulets. The only difference is the Hatfields and the McCoys were real. This miniseries (starring A-listers Kevin Costner and Bill Paton), told the story of the rancorous family feud that almost started a war in Kentucky and West Virginia. It was the first scripted series for the History Channel, but Tim Goodman of the Hollywood Reporter feels the creators missed the mark. He wrote, “it is pointlessly trying to tell each side of the story and ultimately making the case for neither.”

#15. Wanted: Dead or Alive (1958–1961)

– IMDb user rating: 8.1
– Votes: 1,832
– Starring: Steve McQueen, Wright King, Olan Soule, Mort Mills

“Wanted Dead or Alive” was a Western series from the late 1950s that starred Steve McQueen as Josh Randall, a Civil War veteran-turned-bounty hunter who roamed the dusty roads of the Wild West looking for outlaws to turn in. This was Steve McQueen’s big break, according to Jeremy Roberts in Medium. It also gave early screen time to Michael Landon, who skyrocketed to superstar status when he eventually moved on to “Bonanza.”

Bruce Lansbury Productions

#14. The Wild Wild West (1965–1969)

– IMDb user rating: 8.1
– Votes: 4,110
– Starring: Robert Conrad, Ross Martin, Dick Cangey, Whitey Hughes

Before there was the Secret Service, there was James West and Artemus Gordon, a gunslinger and inventor, respectively. The characters in the show “The Wild Wild West” served under Ulysses S. Grant to keep the peace and thwart evil in the rough-and-tumble American West. Because of the series’ spy nature, equipped with disguises and gadgets, critics have likened it to the James Bond of the West, as noted by Neil Genzlinger in the New York Times obituary of Robert Conrad, who played Jim West.

#13. How the West Was Won (1976–1979)

– IMDb user rating: 8.2
– Votes: 1,741
– Starring: James Arness, Bruce Boxleitner, Kathryn Holcomb, William Kirby Cullen

Actor James Arness made his name in “Gunsmoke,” but later went on to star as Zeb Macahan in “How the West Was Won.” The plot follows Macahan after the start of the Civil War, when he is forced to care for his brother’s children as they make their way west. It was an expanded version of the film of the same name, which premiered in 1963 to a lackluster review from The New York Times.

– IMDb user rating: 8.2
– Votes: 2,951
– Starring: Guy Williams, Gene Sheldon, Henry Calvin, Don Diamond

The handsome patrician Don Diego de la Vega, from the Spanish California era, has a secret: it’s his alter ego, the masked swordsmen, Zorro. Teamed up with his butler, Bernardo, the two protected their countrymen from the Spanish in 19th century Mexico. The show starred Guy Williams, who was born Armand Catalano. His father was an avid fencer who helped him prepare for the role, according to his obituary in The New York Times.

#11. Centennial (1978–1979)

– IMDb user rating: 8.3
– Votes: 2,730
– Starring: Raymond Burr, Barbara Carrera, Richard Chamberlain, Robert Conrad

This adventure miniseries told the story of a small Colorado town and the mishmash of people who live there, from criminals and fortune seekers to those who just wanted freedom. A star-studded cast took on the task of diving into the 200-year history of the west. The role of French fur trapper, Pasquinel, was played by Robert Conrad, who told the SF Gate that his audition involved carrying 200 pounds of furs on his back somewhere along the Platte River.

#10. The Rifleman (1958–1963)

– IMDb user rating: 8.3
– Votes: 2,965
– Starring: Chuck Connors, Johnny Crawford, Paul Fix, Joe Benson

Rancher Lucas McCain lived in the New Mexico territory in the 1880s with his son Mark in this half-hour show, that followed his trials and tribulations raising his son in hostile territory while battling desperados. The original series ran on CBS from 1958 to 1963 and was created by Sam Peckinpah. In 2011, Cynthia Littleton wrote in Variety that a remake was coming back to CBS, but it never came to fruition.

#9. The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. (1993–1994)

– IMDb user rating: 8.3
– Votes: 7,533
– Starring: Bruce Campbell, Julius Carry, Christian Clemenson, Comet

Harvard-educated Brisco County (a man, not a place), decides he’s done with practicing law and makes a dramatic switch to bounty hunting. “The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.” told his story with his sidekick, Lord Bowler, and horse, Comet, as they hunt down his father’s killer. Variety writer Todd Everett likened it to an Indian Jones of the West, which isn’t all that surprising seeing as it was the brainchild of Indy writer-producers Jeffery Boam and Carlton Cuse.

#8. Longmire (2012–2017)

– IMDb user rating: 8.3
– Votes: 27,528
– Starring: Robert Taylor, Katee Sackhoff, Lou Diamond Phillips, Cassidy Freeman

Craig Johnson’s mystery novels about Walt Longmire came to life in this A&E (and later Netflix) Western crime drama. Longmire, the sheriff of Absaroka County in Wyoming, recently faced the death of his wife. His daughter and female deputy help him slowly put his life back together. A&E canceled the series after just three seasons, but a small-yet-vocal following caused a ruckus, and Netflix picked it up, wrote Cynthia Littleton in Variety.

– IMDb user rating: 8.3
– Votes: 45,822
– Starring: Jack O’Connell, Michelle Dockery, Scoot McNairy, Merritt Wever

The town of La Belle, New Mexico, was struck with tragedy when most of its men died in a mining accident, leaving the town to be run by women. Connected to the incident is criminal Frank Griffin, whose main objective was to seek revenge on Roy Goode, who had taken up hiding in La Belle. The Netflix miniseries was marketed as a feminist Western, but according to Sophie Gilbert in The Atlantic, the show spends less time on the women of La Belle and more on the battle between “Goode and evil.”

#6. Hell on Wheels (2011–2016)

– IMDb user rating: 8.3
– Votes: 46,258
– Starring: Anson Mount, Colm Meaney, Robin McLeavy, Phil Burke

In this series, Cullen Bohannon was a Civil War veteran who witnessed the death of his wife at the hands of Union soldiers. Horribly scarred by this memory, he set out seeking revenge where he stumbled into Hell on Wheels, a lawless town that rolled with the construction of the Union Pacific railroad. Elizabeth Snead in the Hollywood Reporter wrote that the show accurately depicted the “true-to-life greed, corruption, deception and life-and-death struggles” that surrounded the construction of the transcontinental railroad.

#5. Have Gun – Will Travel (1957–1963)

– IMDb user rating: 8.4
– Votes: 2,215
– Starring: Richard Boone, Kam Tong, Hal Needham, Stewart East

#4. Yellowstone (2018–present)

– IMDb user rating: 8.4
– Votes: 16,158
– Starring: Kevin Costner, Luke Grimes, Kelly Reilly, Wes Bentley

Modern day cowboy Kevin Costner takes the lead in this drama series, which follows a sixth-generation rancher called John Dutton. He’s working in a world of corruption and shifting alliances, which always puts his ranch at risk. The series takes place during the emergence of Yellowstone National Park, which was America’s first national park. As of 2020, the series is ongoing, and Peter White reports in Deadline that it is a huge ratings winner for the Paramount Network. It was the most-watched 2019 summer series.

#3. Justified (2010–2015)

– IMDb user rating: 8.6
– Votes: 82,079
– Starring: Timothy Olyphant, Nick Searcy, Joelle Carter, Jacob Pitts

Based on a short story by Elmore Leonard, “Justified” told the story of one U.S. marshal using his own Wild West style of justice in the town of Harlan, Kentucky. His unique brand got him into hot water with his higher ups, as well as the criminals he put away. The leads of the show, Timothy Olyphant and Walton Goggins, had chemistry that was the stuff of legend. In fact, Tim Goodman wrote in The Hollywood Reporter that Goggins’s “character was supposed to die in the first season, but was portrayed so masterfully” that creator Graham Yost changed his plans.

#2. Deadwood (2004–2006)

– IMDb user rating: 8.6
– Votes: 90,727
– Starring: Timothy Olyphant, Ian McShane, Molly Parker, Brad Dourif

Set in a mining town following the Civil War, “Deadwood” was a picture of lawlessness come to life. The series followed a debauchery-fueled town that was home to fortune hunters and outlaws, all built on land that was taken from the Sioux tribe. “Deadwood” had a remarkable cult following, but was canceled after just two seasons. Alan Sepinwall of Rolling Stone wrote that “seemed destined to be remembered as television’s great unfinished masterpiece” until it was announced that a movie would be made, set a decade after the series. The movie debuted in 2019.

– IMDb user rating: 8.7
– Votes: 19,638
– Starring: Robert Duvall, Tommy Lee Jones, Danny Glover, Diane Lane

Two retired Texas Rangers set out on a cattle drive to the Montana Territory. Along the way they found their sense of adventure, and met a cast of characters as they go. The cast of this eight-hour series was star-studded, from Robert Duvall and Tommy Lee Jones to Anjelica Huston. Westerns were pretty much dead by the time “Lonesome Dove” aired in the 1980s, but according to Walter Goodman in The New York Times, the creators paid considerable homage to the iconic genre.

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