The Rifleman

Jim 1950s - 1960s

Aired: 1958-63

DAD: Lucas McCain (Chuck Connors) / Widower

DAD’S JOB: Rifleman / Homesteader

KIDS: Mark (Johnny Crawford)(12)

WHERE’S MOM?: Dead for quite some time – unknown.

STAND-IN “MOM”: Miss Milly Scott (Joan Taylor)

If you’re over 60, this is probably going to be one of the first five TV shows you will name if someone asks you about TV Single Dads.

Take The Andy Griffith Show, remove the comedic parts, roll it back about 100 years, and you’ve pretty much got the environment of The Rifleman. This show develops another standard motif of the TV Single Dad shows: the “mom” character who can’t really quite marry the TV Dad. This character-love interest-tension device pops up even in shows like Star Trek: The Next Generation (think about Lt. Worf and Troi!)