promo shot of Tom Blyth as Billy the Kid from upcoming EPIX series
Chris Large/ EPIX

'Billy the Kid': New Series Based on Life of the Western Outlaw to Debut in April

From the big screen to television, it seems that there's been a strong resurgence in the Western genre and we're certainly here for it. Judging by the success of Yellowstone and its spinoff 1883as well as the 2021 Netflix film The Harder They Fall, audiences are clearly clamoring for more cowboys, cowgirls and outlaws. (Even Amazon is getting into the game with the upcoming sci-fi Western Outer Range, starring Josh Brolin.)

If 1883 left you with a craving for more 1880s historical dramas and epic romantic adventures, you're in luck. Billy the Kid, a new series based on the life and times (and life of crime) of the Western outlaw, is set to debut on EPIX on April 24.

still of Billy the Kid on a horse from upcoming series "Billy the Kid"

Chris Large/ EPIX

The series will star Tom Blyth (The Gilded Age), who'll play the titular American outlaw,  and Daniel Webber (The Dirt), who'll portray Jesse Evans, another famous outlaw and leader of the Seven Rivers Gang.

Written by Michael Hirst (Vikings, The Tudors), the eight-episode series will chronicle the life of Billy the Kid (also known as William H. Bonney) "from his humble Irish roots, to his early days as a cowboy and gunslinger in the American frontier, to his pivotal role in the Lincoln County War and beyond."

Hirst also serves as executive producer. The series is also executive produced by Donald De Line for De Line Pictures, Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey for Amblin Television, Otto Bathurst and Toby Leslie for One Big Picture. (The series is a co-production between EPIX Studios and MGM International Television Productions.)

According to a press release, Billy is drawn into his outlaw ways by Jesse, who "has already embraced a life of crime: robbing stores and cattle rustling. Billy is attracted to his wild and reckless character and becomes Billy's doppelganger of sorts — his shadow self, forever inviting him over to the dark side of life."

You can watch a teaser for the adventure series below.

Who Was Billy the Kid?

Billy the Kid was born Henry McCarty, though he also went by the name William H. Bonney during his short life. Orphaned as a teenager, Billy joined up with a group of cattle rustlers in New Mexico after becoming a wanted man for killing a blacksmith in 1877.

Following the Lincoln County War of 1878, Billy was charged with killing three men, including Lincoln County Sheriff William J. Brady. He was arrested and sentenced to hang, but in 1881 he escaped from jail, killing two deputies in the process.

At the age of 21, Billy the Kid was shot and killed by Sheriff Pat Garrett

Billy the Kid is one of the most notorious outlaws of the Wild West and has been famously depicted in several Westerns, such as Young Guns and Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid.

In the 1940s, a strange story out of the Lone Star State added to the lore of Billy the Kid when a man named "Brushy" Bill Roberts claimed to be the real Billy the Kid. Roberts, who claimed to have cheated death to live out a quiet life in the central Texas town of Hico, suffered a heart attack while walking to the post office in 1950 at the age of 90. Roberts moved to Hico in 1883, two years after his supposed death in New Mexico. He went by the name William Henry Roberts aka Brushy Bill.

Similarly, an Arizona man named John Miller also claimed to be the real Billy.

The debate about the true identity of Billy the Kid has only added to the myth of the historic figure.


Premiere date: April 24

Where to Watch: EPIX

READ MORE: The 14 Most Iconic Western Movie Couples of All Time