1 9 6 0 – 1 9 6 1 (USA)
38 x 30 minute episodes
This ABC comedy featured advertising executive William ‘Bill’ Hooten (Mark Miller), who grows fed up with the rat race of New York City and purchases Guestward Ho, a dude ranch in New Mexico, from a scheming Indian chief named Hawkeye (J. Carrol Naish).
Hawkeye runs the local trading post and a souvenir stand opposite the reservations desk at Guestward Ho. He reads the Wall Street Journal, orders his “genuine Indian bows and arrows” souvenirs from Hong Kong and struggles to keep the Hootens, his only chance of ever unloading Guestward Ho, happy.
Bill and his wife, Babs (Joanne Dru) and their son, Brook (Flip Mark), relinquish their life in the city for what they believe will be an easier life out West, “under a sun so bad it can rattle your brains” (so says the theme).
Brook and Bill adjust quickly, but Babs, who was reluctant from the beginning, is not an outdoorswoman. Bill is afraid that if she hears a coyote she’ll pack her bags and move back to Manhattan.
Rates are $25 a day, but Guestward Ho lacks a number of things – including paying guests. The focal point of the series is the Hootens’ struggle to make their dude ranch profitable.
Santa Fe is the nearest town, and the Flying Horse Dude Ranch is their nearest competition.
Pink Cloud (Jolene Brand) is Hawkeye’s gorgeous assistant, and Lonesome (Earl Hodgins) is Bill’s wrangler and ranch foreman.
Babs (Barbara) Hooten
J. Carrol Naish