|Law of The Plainsman|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||30|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Picture format||Black and white (1959-1960)|
|Original run||October 1, 1959 – May 5, 1960|
Law of The Plainsman is a Western television series starring Michael Ansara that aired on the NBC television network from October 1, 1959, until May 5, 1960. The character of Native American U.S. Marshal Sam Buckhart was introduced in two episodes ("The Indian" and "The Raid") of the popular ABC Western television series The Rifleman starring Chuck Connors as Lucas McCain.
Law of The Plainsman is distinctive in that it was one of the few television programs that featured a Native American as the lead character. Ansara had earlier appeared in the series Broken Arrow, having portrayed the Apache chief, Cochise. Ansara, however, was not Native American but of Syrian descent.
Ansara played Sam Buckhart, an Apache Indian who saved the life of a U.S. Cavalry officer after an Indian ambush. When the officer died, he left Sam money that was used for an education at private schools and Harvard University. After school, he returned to New Mexico where he became a Deputy Marshal working for Marshal Andy Morrison, played by Dayton Lummis (1903-1988) and living in a boarding house run by Martha Commager, played by Nora Marlowe. The only other continuing cast member was 8-year old Tess Logan, played by Gina Gillespie, who was an orphan who had been rescued by Buckhart. Robert Harland, later of Target: The Corruptors! starred in seven episodes as Deputy Billy Lordan.
The show only lasted one season. For syndicated reruns it was grouped with three other short-lived Western series from the same company, Black Saddle starring Peter Breck, Johnny Ringo starring Don Durant and Sam Peckinpah's critically acclaimed creation, The Westerner starring Brian Keith, under the umbrella title The Westerners, with new introductions and wrap-ups by Keenan Wynn.