Westerns aren't dead. Even if the networks don't much make them anymore, TV has never stopped airing the pioneers-'n'-pistols format.

All-time classics "Bonanza" and "Gunsmoke" are currently seen on not one but two cable channels daily. The acclaimed half-hour "Have Gun -- Will Travel" adds a second weekday airing Monday. New digital broadcast channel Cozi TV hosts such perennials as "Roy Rogers" and "The Lone Ranger." Never mind the box-office bomb of Johnny Depp's "re-imagined" movie; TV's 60-plus-years-familiar "Ranger" says, "Hi-yo, Silver," twice daily.

And then there's Saturday, the tube's biggest Western bonanza. AMC has long run morning stacks of the father-son favorite "The Rifleman," while Cozi has "Hopalong Cassidy." Family cabler INSP offers 13 straight hours of Westerns. Other marathons pop up, too, like this Saturday's 10:30 a.m. AMC salute to Clint Eastwood, pairing four episodes of his youthful TV hit, "Rawhide," with three subsequent feature films.

AMC's Western weekends go even bigger in August. Before the Season 3 premiere of current series "Hell on Wheels" (Aug. 10, 9-11 p.m.), AMC runs marathons of the railroad saga's previous episodes (Aug. 3, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; Aug 10, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.).

Here's where to ride TV's current Western craze. (Check your TV provider for channel location/availability.)


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7/10 a.m.: "The Lone Ranger" (Cozi)

7:30/10:30 a.m.: "Roy Rogers" (Cozi)

8 a.m./3:30 p.m.: "The Virginian" (Cozi)

9:30 a.m.: "Tales of Wells Fargo" (Cozi; Henry Fonda's "The Deputy" starts Aug. 1)

11 a.m.: "Alias Smith and Jones" (Cozi)

noon/1 p.m.: "The Big Valley" (INSP)

1:38/2:49 p.m.: "Gunsmoke" (TV Land; next week at 12:40/1:50 p.m.)

2/3 p.m.: "The High Chaparral" (INSP)

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2 p.m.: "Laredo" (Encore Westerns)

3 p.m.: "Have Gun -- Will Travel" (EW; 3:30 p.m. added Aug. 1)

3:30 p.m.: "Wyatt Earp" (EW; next week at 4/4:30 p.m.)

4 p.m.: "Bonanza" (TV Land; next week at 2/3/4 p.m.)

4 p.m.: "Bonanza" (EW; ends this week)

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5/5:30 p.m.: "Marshal Dillon" (EW; 5 p.m. ends July 31)

5 p.m.: "Bat Masterson" (EW; starts Aug. 1)

6 p.m.: "Gunsmoke" (EW)

7 p.m.: "Bonanza" (EW)

1 a.m.: "The High Chaparral" (INSP)


6-10 a.m.: "The Rifleman" (AMC)

7/7:30 a.m.: "The Lone Ranger" (Cozi)

8-10 a.m.: "Hopalong Cassidy" (Cozi)

9 a.m.: "Gunsmoke" (EW)

10 a.m.: "Bonanza" (EW)

1/2:30/9/10:30 p.m.: "The Virginian" (INSP)

4/5/8 p.m.: "The Big Valley" (INSP)

6/7 p.m.: "The High Chaparral" (INSP)

Midnight: "Bonanza" (INSP)

1 a.m.: "The High Chaparral" (INSP)


7/7:30 a.m.: "The Lone Ranger" (Cozi)

8-10 a.m.: "Hopalong Cassidy" (Cozi)