Thursday, November 29, 2018

What Might've Been: The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters (1963)

In 1963, MGM acquired the rights to Robert Lewis Taylor's youth-centric Western novel, The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters, and adapted it into a weekly series for ABC. This was the show that put a young future movie icon on the map.

That would be a then-12 year old Kurt Russell, years before a string of Disney movies led to "Escape From New York", among other films. Russell had 2nd billing in the title role behind Dan O'Herlihy, who played Jaimie's father. Another future icon, Charles Bronson, already a television veteran, joined the show about halfway through the season.

So where did ABC go wrong? Travels was slotted opposite The Wonderful World of Disney on NBC and the combination of My Favorite Martian and the first half of The Ed Sullivan Show on CBS. Game over.

A feature film reboot of the series finale was released about a year or so after the series ended with Russell & Bronson joined by Russ Conway, replacing O'Herlihy.

The four eldest of the Osmond Brothers (Alan, Merrill, Jay, & Wayne) appeared as the Kissel brothers, and sang the closing theme, "In Old California". Unfortunately, complete episodes are not available online, so we'll settle for the instrumental intro:

I was but an infant when this came out, and I never watched the show, so no rating.

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