Empire (1962 TV series)


Empire (1962 TV series)

infobox television
show_name = Empire; Renamed Redigo in 1963
format = Western drama
picture_format =Color
runtime = 60 minutes
starring = Richard Egan
Ryan O'Neal Terry Moore Anne Seymour Charles Bronson Warren Vanders
country = United States
network = NBC
first_aired = September 25, 1962
last_aired = May 14, 1963Renamed and shortened to "Redigo", September 24—December 31, 1963
num_seasons = 1
num_episodes = 32
imdb_id = 0055663

Empire, a Western television series set on a 1960s ranch in New Mexico, starred Richard Egan (1921-1987), Terry Moore (born 1929), and Ryan O'Neal (born 1941). It ran on NBC for a season between September 25, 1962, and May 14, 1963. In the second abbreviated season, from September 24 to December 31, 1963, it was renamed "Redigo" after Egan's title character, Jim Redigo, the general manager of the fictitious Garrett ranch in "Empire".

Egan starred in the series at the age of forty-one, having previously been in the hit film "A Summer Place". He seem to evoke greatness in the role, a ranch manager with a Master of Business Administration degree. The series introduced 22-year-old Ryan O'Neal to television viewers, two years before he played Rodney Harrington in ABC's "Peyton Place". O'Neal played the son, Tal Garrett, who struggled to demonstrate his maturity, to Anne Seymour (1909-1988), the 53-year-old ranch matriarch. Terry Moore was the 33-year-old daughter of Seymour in the series, mostly ignored by the man of her choice, Redigo.http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0055663/]

Among the guest stars, Robert Vaughn and Inger Stevens (1934-1970) played paraplegics in separate episodes. Jeremy Slate (1926-2006), once married to Tammy Grimes, excelled as a likeable but mysterious ranch hand whose competiton with Ryan O'Neal ends in a deadly boxing match. Robert Culp, previously of CBS's "Trackdown" and later of NBC's "I Spy", played an ambitious man who schemes to marry Terry Moore and fire Redigo. Other guest stars included character actor Claude Akins (1926-1994), Ralph Meeker (1920-1988), Ray Danton (1931-1992), Joanne Linville, Joanna Barnes, and Telly Savalas (1922-1994), later the title character in "Kojak". Joanna Cook Moore guest-starred once on "Empire" and thereafter married Ryan O'Neal and became the mother of actress Tatum O'Neal.

"Empire" was created by Kathleen Hite, a writer for CBS's "Gunsmoke". Her characters were generally well cast though some argued that Terry Moore was not given enough screen time, and she was in fact dropped at mid-season. William Sackheim and Hal Hudson, formerly with CBS's "Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater", produced the series, a Screen Gems offering.The program was filmed at the Eaves Movie Ranch near Santa Fe and near Storrie Lake in Las Vegas, New Mexico. [IMBD Film locations: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0055663/locations]

"Empire" had mediocre ratings opposite CBS's "The Red Skelton Show" and the last season of ABC's detective series, "Hawaiian Eye" with Robert Conrad and Connie Stevens. [1962-1963 American network television schedule] Anne Seymour was also dropped at mid-season; it was said that her character had died. Charles Bronson (1921-2003), then forty-one, entered at mid-season in an all-male cast to portray the tough ranch hand Paul Moreno. The series was reduced to a half-hour the second year as "Redigo". Egan had by that time secured his own smaller ranch. Roger Davis (born 1939), later of ABC's "Alias Smith and Jones", starred as Redigo's ranch hand. Elena Verdugo, later of Robert Young's "Marcus Welby, M.D.", starred as Jerry. [EP Guide: "Redigo">http://epguides.com/Redigo/]

In the second 15-episode season, O'Neal and Bronson were gone too. The shorter format made it difficult to develop complex characters, and the show was soon cancelled. Still on Tuesday evenings, "Redigo" fared poorly against Red Skelton and ABC's military situation comedy "McHale's Navy" starring Ernest Borgnine. [1962-1963 American network television schedule]

Richard Egan, a San Francisco native, graduated from nearby Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. He was a United States Army captain during World War II. Among his man roles was opposite Jane Wyman in the film "Pollyanna". He once dated Susan Hayward. He was married to the same woman for more than thirty years prior to his death at the age of sixty-five. [Brian's Drive-In Theater website: Richard Egan:http://www.briansdriveintheater.com/richardegan.html]

References


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