CTVA Western - "Nichols" (WB/NBC) starring James Garner

CTVA
The Classic TV Archive - TV Western series
James Garner series:
Maverick (1957-62)  - Nichols (1971-72)
The Rockford Files (1974-80) - Bret Maverick (1981-82)

James Garner as Nichols (1971-72)
Episode Guide compiled by The Classic TV Archive
with contributions by: Rina Fox
references:
TV Guide / Library of Congress (telnet://locis.loc.gov)
Internet Movie Database (http://us.imdb.com)
UCLA Film and Television Archive

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NICHOLS aka "James Garner as Nichols" (re-titled from episode #7)
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Cherokee Production
in association with
Warner Brothers Television
for
NBC (Thursdays 9:00PM et)(eps 1-9)
NBC (Tuesdays-time slot?)(eps 10-24)
Produced by Meta Rosenberg

US Western series 1971-72   24 episodes x 60 min color
starring
James Garner
as Nichols
Stuart Margolin as Mitch
Margot Kidder as Ruth
Neva Patterson as Ma Ketcham
John Beck as Ketcham
Richard Bull as Judge Thatcher
Alice Ghostly as Bertha
Paul Hampton as Johnson
M. Emmet Walsh as Gabe McCutcheon
John Harding as Salter

Mitchell's dog is named Slump.

Premise:
The story of the motorcyling sheriff of a small western town in 1915.
Nichols, a drifter and former Army vet who now hates guns,
reluctantly becomes the sheriff of his boyhood hometown. The town
was crooked, but Nichols (no first name) is controlled by the
ruthless Ketcham family, so his efforts are aimed at getting rich
and getting out. Margot Kidder played one of the kooky townspeople,
a saucy barmaid that Nichols confides in. This show only lasted one
year and was considered one of the better shows on television that
year. In a nod the 'Maverick' series I guess, Nichols is killed in
the last episode and replaced as sheriff by his twin brother Jim
Nichols. This was to give the series a stronger lead character if
the series was picked up. It wasn't.
James Garner tried the same basic formula one more time two years
later, updated to present times, and met with great success - 'The
Rockford Files'.

Background:
'Nichols', which debuted on NBC on September 16, 1971, was James Garner's
first series attempt after the success of 'Maverick'. In fact, the producers
(it was Garner's own production company - Cherokee) took the basic 'Maverick'
formula and transplanted it to the town of Nichols, Arizona circa 1914.
In its timeslot between 'The Flip Wilson Show' and 'The Dean Martin Show',
it's a wonder the show didn't take off.
The show was quickly renamed 'James Garner as Nichols' when ratings proved
less that expected. (The competition on ABC opening night was the debut of
'Longstreet' with special guest star Bruce Lee, and the CBS Movie)

################## Nichols #################
############### season 1971-72 ###############
##############################################
NBC Thursdays 9:00PM Eastern

1.01 [--] NICHOLS (pilot episode)
16Sep71 NBC Thur
written by Frank R. Pierson
directed by Frank R. Pierson
guest stars
John Quade
Jessie Wade
John Harding ............. Salter
Florence Lake
 
[02] Nichols: THE SIEGE
23Sep71 NBC Thur
written by Shimon Wincelberg
directed by Frank R. Pierson
guest stars
Ricardo Montalban
Armand Alamora
Stephan Gierash
Wayne Heffley
 
[03] Nichols: THE INDIAN GIVER
30Sep71 NBC Thur
written by Theodore J. Flicker & Robert Forster
directed by Frank R. Pierson
guest stars
Michael Tolan
James Green
 
1.04 [--] Nichols: PAPER BADGE
07-Oct-1971 NBC Thurs
Written by Bill Wood
Directed by Paul Bogart
Guest cast:
John Rubinstein ..... Fred Buckerman
Joyce Van Patten .... Arletta McGreery
Tracy Bogart
Synopsis:
A showdown is brewing as Nichols' young, correspondence-trained deputy
has crossed paths with the town's dumb but dangerous bully. [RF]

[05] Nichols: GULLEY vs HANSEN
14Oct71 NBC Thur
written by Shimon Wincelberg
directed by Frank Pierson
guest stars
Robert Gist
Charles McCraw
M. Emmet Walsh ........... Gabe McCutcheon
Joe Brown

[06] Nichols: DEER CROSSING
21Oct71 NBC Thur
written by Shimon Wincelberg & Frank R. Pierson
directed by William Ward
guest stars
Ray Danton
Gene Evans
William Bromley
Claudio Martinez
Ted Gehring

--------------------------------------------------------
From 28Oct71 the series was retitled "James Garner as Nichols" - to boost the ratings.
--------------------------------------------------------

1.07 James Garner as Nichols: THE SPECIALISTS
28-Oct-1971 NBC Thur
Written by Frank Pierson & George Kirgo
Directed by Frank Pierson
Guest cast:
Ralph Waite ........... Sam Burton
Don Keefer ............ Burt Lincoln
Michael Baseleon ...... Willy Brownfur
Henry Beckman ......... Murphy
Robert F. Simon ....... Slade
Charles Dierkop ....... Nose
Poupée Bocar .......... Indian
Synopsis:
Nichols and Ketcham hire second-rate mercenaries for an attack
on an outlaw stronghold. [RF]

[08] James Garner as Nichols: PEANUTS AND CRACKERJACKS
4Nov71 NBC Thur
written by Bud Freeman
directed by Peter Tewksbury
guest stars
Alice Ghostley ............ Bertha
Med Flory
Wayne Heffley
Don Newcombe
Art Passarella
George Henry

[09] James Garner as Nichols: KETCHUM POWER
11Nov71 NBC Thur
written by Gene L. Coon & Robert Foster
directed by Peter Tewksbury
guest stars
Alan Oppenheimer
Clifford David
Hoke Howell
M. Emmet Walsh ............ Gabe McCutcheon
John Harding .............. Salter
Stefan Gierasch

-------------------------------------------------
"Nichols" moves from Thursdays to Tuesdays on NBC
-------------------------------------------------


[10] James Garner as Nichols: THE ONE EYED MULE'S TIME HAS COME
23Nov71 NBC Tue
written by Jack Curtis & Bob Foster
directed by Gerd Oswald
guest stars
Kristopher Tabori
Roy Jensen
Walter Burke

[11] James Garner as Nichols: AWAY THE ROLLING RIVER
30Nov71 NBC Tue
written by Ken Kolb, Jack Curtis, George Kirgo, Juanita Bartlett
directed by Ivan Dixon
guest stars
Steve Forrest
Richard Yniguez

[12] James Garner as Nichols: WHERE DID EVERYBODY GO?
7Dec71 NBC Tue
written by Buck Houghton
directed by Dan Haller
guest stars
Nira Barab
Jessie Vint
Bill Vint
Alan Vint

[13] James Garner as Nichols: THE MARRYING FOOL
28Dec71 NBC Tue
written by Ben Masselink
directed by Gerald Mayer
guest stars
Tom Skerritt ............. Charley Doyle
Gerald S. O'Loughlin .... Roarke
Susan Tyrell ............. Caralee
Joe Brown ................ Preacher
John Harding ............. Slater
Barbara Collentine ....... Charlotte

[14] James Garner as Nichols: EDDIE JOE
4Jan72 NBC Tue
written by Frank R. Pierson & William Wood
directed by John Badham
guest stars
Paul Winfield
Warren Vanders
Eric Laneuville
James Davis
Joe Darinsburg......... (musician)

[15] James Garner as Nichols: ZACHARIAH
11Jan72 NBC Tue
written by Jaunita Bartlett
directed by Ivan Dixon
guest star
Strother Martin
Marc Lawrence
Barry Cahill
Ed Faulkner

[16] James Garner as Nichols: THE UNHOLY ALLIANCE
18Jan72 NBC Tue
written by Ben Masselink & Frank R. Pierson
directed by John Badham
guest stars
Noam Pitlik
Jennifer Gan
Orwin Harvey
Chuck Hicks
Lian Duna

1.17 [--] James Garner as Nichols: SLEIGHT OF HAND
01-Feb-1972 NBC Tue
written by Frank Telford & Jaunita Bartlett
directed by Ivan Dixon
Guest cast:
Bo Hopkins .......... Kansas
Dabbs Greer ......... Harrigan
Jonathan Lippe ...... Ralph
Synopsis:
A mining swindle aimed at Nichols' townsfolk is fool's gold. [RF]

1.18 [--] James Garner as Nichols: WINGS OF AN ANGEL
08-Feb-1972 NBC Tue (postponed from 25Jan72)
Teleplay by Robert Foster/ Story by Buck Houghton
Directed by Ivan Dixon
Guest cast:
Val Avery ........... Jasper
John Crawford ....... Sergeant Kessler
Chuck Hicks ......... Dutchman
M. Emmett Walsh ..... Gabe
Richard Bull ........ Thatcher
Jack Garner ......... Van Vechten
*
John Beck ............ Ketchum/Pilot
Synopsis:
Aerobatics in a 1917 biplane, with John Beck departing from his role
as Ketcham to play Orv, a daredevil pilot pressed into Nichols'
search for killers. [RF]
Note: John Beck in a dual role as Ketcham and the pilot.


[19] James Garner as Nichols: ABOUT JESSIE JAMES aka "Man of the Cloth"
15Feb72 NBC Tue
written by Sam Rocea, James L. Henderson, Marion Hargrove
directed by Bill Waird
guest stars
Jack Elam
Charles McGraw
Vincent Van Patten
Fran Ryan
William Watson
Beth Brickell

[20] James Garner as Nichols: FIGHT OF THE CENTURY
22Feb72 NBC Tue
written by Marion Hargrove
directed by Bill Wiard
guest stars
H.B. Haggerty
Ray Young
Ed Flanders

1.21 [--] James Garner as Nichols: MAN'S BEST ENEMY
29-Feb-1972 NBC Tue
Written by Bud Freeman
Directed by Tony Leader
Guest cast:
Kelly Thordsen ....... Jacob
Lou Wagner ........... McKeever
M. Emmet Walsh ....... Gabe McCutcheon
Synopsis:
Keeping a killer-escape artist locked up proves no easy task for
Nichols, thanks to a mangy mutt that's becoming the center of  distraction. [RF]

[22] James Garner as Nichols: WONDER FIZZ FLIES AGAIN
7Mar72 NBC Tue
written by Robert Foster
directed by Frank R. Pierson
guest stars
Val Avery
Ramon Bieri
Priscilla Garcia
Jay Varela
Allyn Ann McLerie

[23] James Garner as Nichols: ALL IN THE FAMILY
14Mar72 NBC Tue
written by Juanita Bartlett
story by Frank R. Pierson
directed by Jeremy Kagan
guest stars
Anthony Zerbe
Marge Redmond
John Quade
Russ McCubbin

[24] James Garner as Nichols: BERTHA
pre-empted
guest stars
Alice Ghostley ............. Bertha
Karl Lukas
Gale Dixon
Eva Bruce
Maria Gahra

################## Nichols #################
################## the end #################
##############################################

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