Gunsmoke started on American radio in 1952. It was created by Norman MacDonnell (who became the TV show’s director) and John Meston, who wrote the TV series. It ended its run on the radio in 1961. The TV series that aired on CBS ran for 20 seasons, from September 10, 1955 to March 31, 1975. Gunsmoke is the United States’ longest-running primetime live-action drama series with 635 episodes.
Gunsmoke was set in and around Dodge City, Kansas during the settlement of the American West. The central character was Marshal Matt Dillon, played by William Conrad on the radio and James Arness on TV. Milburn Stone played Galen “Doc” Adams, M.D. and Amanda Blake played Kathleen “Miss Kitty” Russell. Dennis Weaver played Chester B. Goode and Ken Curtis starred as Festus Haggen.
So far, the first 11 seasons have been released on DVD. If you head to Dodge City, the Boot Hill Museum has a tribute to Gunsmoke, featuring signed photos of the actors and show memorabilia.