The Lone Ranger

The Lone Ranger is an American western drama television series that ran from 1949 to 1957, starring Clayton Moore (John Hart from 1952 to 1954) with Jay Silverheels as Tonto.

The live-action series initially featured Gerald Mohr as the episode narrator.  Fred Foy served as both narrator and announcer of the radio series from 1948 to its finish and became announcer of the television version when story narration was dropped there.  This was by far the highest-rated television program on the ABC network in the early 1950s and its first true “hit”.

Although George W. Trendle retained the title of producer, he recognized that his experience in radio would not be adequate for producing the television series.  For this, he hired veteran MGM film producer Jack Chertok.  Chertok served as the producer for the first 182 episodes as well as for a rarely seen 1955 color special retelling the origin.
The first 78 episodes were produced and broadcast for 78 consecutive weeks without any breaks or reruns.  Then the entire 78 episodes were shown again before any new episodes were produced.  All were shot in Kanab, Utah and California.  Much of the series was shot at the Iverson Movie Ranch in Chatsworth, California.

When it came time to produce another batch of 52 episodes, there was a wage dispute with Clayton Moore , (who always maintained that it was creative differences) and John Hart was hired to play the role of the Lone Ranger.  Once again, the 52 new episodes were aired in sequence followed by 52 weeks rerunning them. Despite expectations that the mask would make the switch workable, Hart was not accepted in the role.

At the end of the fifth year of the television series, Trendle sold the Lone Ranger rights to Jack Wrather, who bought them on August 3rd, 1954.  Wrather immediately rehired Clayton Moore to play the Lone Ranger and another 52 episodes were produced.  Once again, they were broadcast as a full year of new episodes followed by a full year of reruns.

The final season saw a number of changes, the most obvious at the time being an episode count of the by-then industry standard 39.  Wrather invested money out of his own pocket to film in color—then-perennial third place finisher ABC telecasting only in black and white—and to go back outdoors for more than just second-unit style action footage, the series having been otherwise restricted to studio sound stages after the first filming block.  Another big change, not readily detectable by the viewers, was replacing Jack Chertok with producer Sherman A. Harris.  By this time, Chertok had established his own television production company and was busy producing other shows.
Wrather decided not to negotiate further with the network and took the property to the big screen, canceling TV production.  The last new episode of the color series was broadcast June 6th, 1957, and the series ended September 12th, 1957, although ABC reaped the benefits of daytime reruns for several more years.