Home Television Drama Nichols


1 9 7 1 – 1 9 7 2 (USA)
24 x 60 minute episodes

James Garner plays the titular Nichols, a violence-weary drifter who wanders back into Nichols, Arizona (his family founded the town) in 1914 after 18 years in the army and is forced to become the sheriff in order to pay back a debt.

Nichols’ primary concern is money, not law, and he doesn’t like to fight.


He refuses to carry a gun as he takes on bank robbers, Apaches, con artists, banditos and more, armed with only his wits and his charm. He also rides an Indian motorcycle instead of a horse.

The cast is great. In addition to Garner, there is Stuart “Angel” Margolin, Neva Patterson, John Beck, and a pre-Lois Lane Margot Kidder as the local barmaid.

In the final episode, Nichols is shot, and his twin brother (also Garner obvs) – a less sleazy good guy – arrives to take his place.

Unfortunately, Nichols only lasted a year and only 24 episodes were filmed.

James Garner 

John Beck 

Alice Ghostley 

Margot Kidder 
Deputy Sheriff Mitch Mitchell

Stuart Margolin 
Ma Sara Ketcham

Neva Patterson 
Gabe McCutcheon

M. Emmet Walsh