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Westerns Channel to showcase Dennis Weaver

Oklahoman Published: June 26, 2004

The Westerns Channel is giving its longtime spokesman Dennis Weaver a six-gun salute by airing more than six hours of programming featuring the actor.

Weaver, a former University of Oklahoma track and field athlete, was inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in 1981.

Westerns, which can be found on channel 203 on Cox Digital Cable, 342 on Dish Network and 529 on Direct TV, will begin its Weaver marathon at 5 p.m. with back-to-back episodes of "Gunsmoke." The complete lineup is:

6 p.m. "Gunsmoke" episodes "Chesterland" and "Chester's Indian." The series premiered on CBS in September 1955 and completed its network run in September 1975, making it the longest-running drama series in American TV history. Weaver played Deputy Chester Goode from 1955-64.

7 p.m. "A Man Called Sledge" (1970). James Garner and Claude Akins star in this film about two outlaws who stage a prison break to steal a fortune in gold dust guarded by the Army.

8:35 p.m. "The Return of Sam McCloud" (1989). Weaver reprises his TV series role, but now the former New Mexico marshal returns as a senator from Taos fighting dirty business in Washington and London.

10:15 p.m. "Ten Wanted Men" (1955). Randolph Scott and Richard Boone also star in this film about an Arizona rancher who protects his empire from a rival landowner and his hired guns.

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