Tags: Hollywood | modern | TV | Westerns

Modern Western Television Hits Since 1990: 9 TV Shows That Had Highest Ratings

By    |   Saturday, 23 Jan 2016 10:36 PM

The Wild West was always more myth than history, and Western stories, like science fiction, are usually more about the time in which they're written than about the time they depict. The modern crop of Western teleplays takes that idea and runs with it at full gallop.

Here are nine modern Western TV shows that got the highest number of user votes on Internet Movie Database.

1. "Deadwood" (2004)
Corruption and crime, not cowboys and cattle, are the centerpiece of "Deadwood," set in the eponymous South Dakota town of the late 1800s. Crooked businessmen and crooked politics bring a distinctly 2000s vibe to this tale of the not-so-old West.

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2. "The Adventures of Brisco County Jr." (1993)
One of the many science-fictional Westerns that came out as the 20th century lurched to a halt. This short-lived show followed the adventures of a bounty hunter (and Harvard Law graduate) through a Western landscape filled with slightly-futuristic trappings.

3. "Trigun" (Japanimation, Western-style SF) (1998)
A tale set in the future on a planet that's definitely Western (it's even named "Gunsmoke"), this Japanese animation takes the Western-science fiction link to its surreal conclusion. Vash "The Stampede," his oversized reputation preceding him, stumbles through adventure and, more often, misadventure. The two insurance adjusters get into more trouble than they can fix.

4. "Hell on Wheels" (2011)
Cullen Bohannon, tracking the ex-Union soldiers who killed his wife, finds himself in the middle of the intrigue and machinations surrounding the building of the Transcontinental Railroad. Fictional and historical characters make appearances, and the real-life conflicts that were part of the project figure in Bohannon's adventures.

5. "Longmire" (2012)
The lonely, emotionally tortured lawman gets modern-day Western garb in this story of the "dedicated and unflappable" sheriff of the fictional Absaroka County, Wyoming. It's based on Craig Johnson's "Walt Longmire" mystery novel series, IMDB said.

6. "Vegas" (2012)
Not to be confused with Robert Urich's private-eye series of (almost) the same name, this updates the Western with the neon lights and chrome tailfins of 1950s Las Vegas. Sheriff Ralph Lamb battles (and occasionally enters uneasy alliances with) mobsters instead of rustlers.

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7. "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman" (1993)
A woman doctor? Unheard of! Yet here's Dr. Michaela Quinn in Colorado Springs just after the Civil War, trying to earn her patients' trust while fanning the flames of a relationship with a mountain man and, because it's not complicated enough, raise three orphaned children.

8. "Killer Women" (2014)
She's a former beauty queen. She's a Texas Ranger. The bad guys are all women, too. This one-season wonder was adapted from an Argentine crime drama, "Mujeres Asesinas." Brought to you by Shakespeare – Hannah Shakespeare.

9. "Walker, Texas Ranger" (1993)
Speaking of Texas Rangers, Chuck Norris brings the Western into modern day Dallas. He roundhouse-kicks modern-day scourges such as drugs and crimes against children. Stick around for the moral of the story.

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The Wild West was always more myth than history, and Western stories, like science fiction, are usually more about the time in which they're written than about the time they depict. The modern crop of Western teleplays takes that idea and runs with it at full gallop.
modern, TV, Westerns
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2016-36-23
Saturday, 23 Jan 2016 10:36 PM
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