Lonesome Dove, Larry McMurtry's Pulitzer Prize-winning best seller from 1985, brought us a beloved 1989 television mini-series as well as a lesser-known syndicated TV show that aired for two seasons and showed a different side of pro wrestling main eventer Bret "The Hitman" Hart.
Lonesome Dove: The Series stars Scott Bairstow as Newt Call, the same former Texas Ranger played by Ricky Schroeder in the original miniseries. Call finds adventure in Curtis Wells, Montana--and love via Hannah Peale (Christianne Hirt), the daughter of local newspaper publisher Josiah Peale (Paul Le Mat).
In season one (1994-'95), Call also encounters the likes of former Confederate officer Col. Francis Clay Mosby (Eric McCormack), Buffalo Bill Cody (Gunsmoke's Dennis Weaver) and a trapper named Luther Root (Hart).
Instead of the Montana territory, the series was filmed in Hart's hometown of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, which must've been a welcome convenience for a grappler used to spending a bulk of the year on the road for WWE (then called the World Wrestling Federation).
Though IMDb says that Hart only appears in two episodes of the Old West TV series, his star power still makes the show a curiosity when both old and new wrestling fans explore the Excellence of Execution's acting credits.
The series was billed in its second and final season as Lonesome Dove: The Outlaw Years, with the name change telegraphing that Wild West action would start to take precedence over the established storyline.
Big names appeared on the show, such as Billy Dee Williams, Annette O'Toole and Lee Majors (as Woodrow F. Call). Other co-stars of note include Tony winner Diahann Carroll and Paul Johansson (cast as recurring character Austin Peale).
McMurtry wrote a sequel (1993's Streets of Laredo) and two prequel novels (1995's Dead Man's Walk and 1997's Comanche Moon). The Western mini-series also got a sequel in 1993: Return to Lonesome Dove.