In the 60's, 20th Century Fox experimented with scripted dramas about historical figures. The first of these, Daniel Boone, was a huge hit for NBC. Two subsequent series, both produced for ABC, never got too far out of the starting gate. We previously had discussed The Legend of Jesse James, but this time, the subject is Custer.
Custer lasted just half a season, a victim of protests from Native American activist groups. Which makes one wonder what might've happened if they had decided to raise a ruckus over a certain NFL team back then instead of now. Digressing. Wayne Maunder top-lined as Major General George Armstrong Custer, who, by the time this series started, had been demoted to Captain, then promoted back to Lieutenant Colonel. We all know how Custer's story would end, but the series was cancelled before they could depict the battle of Little Big Horn.
Maunder, and co-creator Samuel Peeples, for that matter, would bounce right back with Lancer, another Fox series, this one for CBS, that bowed the very next year. We'll discuss that another time. If I didn't know any better, I'd think there was a certain stigma attached to anything that had Larry Cohen's name on it. Cohen, a prolific writer in the 50's & 60's, "suggested" the idea of Custer to Peeples. Given that Cohen had failed previously with Coronet Blue, and had modest success with Branded and The Invaders, the latter of which was in its 2nd and final season by this point, one would hope that this would've succeeded, were it not for ABC bowing to pressure.
Dwighttfrye uploaded the episode, "Suspicion":
Co-star Robert F. Simon would return a decade later, cast as newspaper publisher J. Jonah Jameson in CBS' adaptation of The Amazing Spider-Man. Peter Palmer, a football hero at Illinois, is still better known for starring on Broadway and in film in an adaptation of Al Capp's seminal comic strip, L'il Abner.