Screenplay for "Gunsmoke" is by Gregory Poirier, writer of "National Treasure: Book of Secrets".
The original television series starring actor James "The Thing From Another World" Arness, ran from September 10, 1955 to March 31, 1975 on CBS with 635 total episodes. John Wayne was first offered the lead part, but turned it down, not wanting to work in TV.
Wayne introduced the show before its first episode, following-up on his recommendation of Arness for the part.
Other main characters on the series included Dennis Weaver as 'Chester Goode', Milburn Stone as 'Dr. Galen "Doc" Adams' and Amanda Blake as 'Miss Kitty Russell', owner of the 'Long Branch Saloon'.
Initially on the fringes of Dodge society, 'Festus' was slowly phased in as