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Gunsmoke holds the legendary record of the longest-running television series of all time in the United States. It ran for a record twenty seasons, and spawned a total of 635 episodes, which consisted of the 'Marshal Dillon' era, and also the 'Gunsmoke' era of 402 episodes. The Gunsmoke complete dvd set boxed contains all of these 635 episodes, for a complete Gunsmoke experience.

The Gunsmoke era first started as a radio show, that was first played on the CBS radio channel. The programming chief of CBS Radio at the time, Harry Ackerman, was tasked with producing a realistic Western series for primetime radio. After several complications and auditions, the Gunsmoke radio series was born. Gunsmoke was heralded for being ultra-realistic, and was the beginning of a legendary Gunsmoke era.

The original Gunsmoke radio series aired for 10 years, from the years 1952 to 1961. Due to the popularity of the radio series, the television version of Gunsmoke was mooted, and enjoyed its pilot on the 10th of September, 1955. It starred James Arness as the legendary Marshal Matt Dillon, and also consisted of a cast, many of which portrayed their roles for a full 20 years - which was a previously unheard-of time. As the years passed, other members were also added to the Gunsmoke cast, such as Burt Reynolds, and also several other guest actors/actresses such as Buck Taylor and Roger Ewing. Other notable members of the longstanding cast were Amanda Blake, Dennis Weaver and Milburn Stone.

While the television version of Gunsmoke was mainly based on the radio version, it was noted that there were many large differences between the two series. These differences ranged from subtle ones (such as character differences in the 'Doc' character) to outright differences in names of certain characters. It was safe to say that, while the television version's roots like in the radio series, perfect accuracy to detail was not among the list of priorities for the television version of Gunsmoke's producers.

From the years of its launch till 1961, Gunsmoke was the top-rated television show on American television. With such great popularity, its producers changed the format of Gunsmoke to a 1-hour long episode, and not surprisingly, coupled with its status of already being in the 7th season by then, Gunsmoke started to see a decline in its popularity. By 1967, which was Gunsmoke's 12th season, its popularity had dwindled to a point where CBS (the television network which produced and broadcast Gunsmoke) were considering cancelling the series altogether. However, due to widespread viewer pressure, and even a dispute in the US Congress, these plans were abandoned, and Gunsmoke continued its run. Instead, Gunsmoke was moved to a prime time slot on US television, and this led to a resurgence in its popularity. Gunsmoke enjoyed a spot in the top 10 of viewer ratings every year until the 1973 season, which was an amazing feat for a series that was admittedly getting long in the tooth.

The cancellation of Gunsmoke inevitably came in 1975, during which time Gunsmoke had slipped outside the top 20 in viewer ratings. Despite this, the cancellation of Gunsmoke was wholly unexpected, and caused shock and consternation among many of Gunsmoke's loyal fans. It was said that Gunsmoke's cast were expecting to start filming for the 21st season, only to find out that the network had cancelled their beloved series.

Despite this, Gunsmoke holds the record (that still stands to date) of being the longest-running television series on American television, running for a record 20 seasons (co-held with Law and Order), and 635 episodes. The Gunsmoke complete dvd set boxed is an amazingly affordable, perfect way to relive the memories of the epic Gunsmoke television series, and is a perfect gift idea for anyone remotely interested in Western television series as well.

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