1 9 5 7 – 1 9 6 1 (USA)
69 x 60 minute episodes
This Western series had its roots as a one-off story in an anthology series called Conflict, shown between September 1956 and September 1957 on ABC television. Conflict spawned one other successful series – 77 Sunset Strip.
A cowboy designated one grade lower than a tenderfoot is a sugarfoot.
In contrast to other shows in the Western genre, the hero, Tom “Sugarfoot” Brewster (Will Hutchins) – a fledgeling frontier lawyer (he was studying law via a correspondence course) with a hankering for justice – preferred to talk himself out of trouble rather than shoot himself out of trouble (he called guns “tools of the devil”) and shunned any form of physical violence.
Tom drank sarsaparilla (“with a touch of cherry”) and carried a “Home, Sweet Home” plaque with him as he wandered from town to town “, tryin’ to earn a little livin’ money.”
While Tom struggled to avoid gunplay (he wanted only to study his law books), trouble was all that he found. His knowledge of the law and strong sense of justice helped him overcome difficult situations when defending clients.
Many people believed the slow-talking, easy-going Hutchins was a real cowboy, but he was actually born in Los Angeles.
The series was devised for Hutchins after the young actor was put under contract to Warner Bros. and ran on an alternate week basis with Cheyenne from 1957-1959, with Bronco from 1959-1960 and finally became one of three rotating shows for its last season (1960-61).
The show was based on The Boy from Oklahoma (1954), an easygoing Western starring Will Rogers Jr.
After four years as the bumbling cowpoke and some guest spots in movies, Hutchins became a circus clown with Ashton’s Circus in Australia.
By the mid-80s, he was on the dole until he found a job on the shipping dock at NBC.
Tom “Sugarfoot” Brewster