|Country of origin||United States|
|Production company(s)||CineTel Films|
|Original run||July 14, 1989– August 30, 1991|
Hey Dude is a television series that aired in the United States from 1989 to 1991. The show was broadcast on the Nickelodeon network, with reruns airing as late as 1999. Hey Dude was Nickelodeon's first original live action television series.
The series was set on the fictional "Bar None Dude Ranch" near the city of Tucson, Arizona. It portrayed the lives of the ranch's owner, his son, and five teenage summer employees. Hey Dude was a comedy geared towards a teenage audience.
A transplanted easterner, Mr. Ernst, is a good-natured but somewhat bumbling dimwit with glasses, a slight build, and a receding hairline. He bought the Bar None Dude Ranch – in this case, ill-advisedly – seeking escape from his high-pressure job as a New York City accountant. His son, Buddy, was displeased with the change of locale, primarily because he couldn't skateboard on desert sand. Buddy had a pet dog named Cassie. Featured early in the series, Cassie disappeared after the first season.
The staff originally consisted of two boys and two girls. The boys were Ted, an enterprising troublemaker, and Danny, an easy-going Hopi Native American. The girls were girl-next-door Melody and rich girl Brad, from Grosse Pointe, Michigan, who often wore dressy designer outfits at work, but was a very competent horse-rider. Her love-hate relationship with Ted was a plot thread during the first half of the series.
Ted later left the show for a time and was replaced by Ernst's nephew Jake, an eccentric slacker who likes to play the drums. Not long after, Kyle, a dim but handsome cowboy type, joined the cast. Soon after that, Ted came back from summer school, and he and Kyle became romantic rivals for Brad.
The show's only other featured adult was Lucy, a tough and authoritarian ranch-hand. She is sometimes looked upon as a mother figure and the teens often asked her advice.
Hey Dude was videotaped on location at the Tanque Verde Guest Ranch near Tucson, Arizona. Produced by CineTel Films, casting began in 1988 with local auditions held in Tucson. Some of the set is still standing, although dilapidated, as of 2008. In particular the horse corral seems to appear very much as it was on the show.
The series produced 65 30-minute episodes in three years from 1989-1991. The episodes take place over one summer, with cast members often recalling past pranks, years, staff members, that had roles in earlier summers.
The first season of Hey Dude became available for download from the iTunes Store on July 29, 2008. The second season episode "Ghost Story" is also available on iTunes.