THE 2-HOUR PILOT MOVIE FOR THEN CAME BRONSON IS NOW OUT ON DVD FROM WARNER BROTHERS!!! CLICK ON THE FOLLOWING LINK FOR MORE INFO:
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On March 24, 1969, the pilot movie for a new series was aired (on NBC). It starred Michael Parks and was titled "then came BRONSON." Parks played the character of Jim Bronson, who quits his job and heads out for wider spaces, touring the western U.S. on his Harley-Davidson. (For info on the movie, click here: pilot movie.)
The series was scheduled for Wednesday night, 10 p.m., on NBC (ad for MGM-TV shows and series in Variety magazine of March 26, 1969). It ran for only one season (1969-1970) - 26 episodes - beginning on September 17, 1969. The first run of episodes ended on April 1, 1970, and network reruns began April 8 and ended September 9. The first news of its cancellation appeared in Variety magazine issue of February 18, 1970, with the release of NBC's fall schedule. Further confirmations appeared in later issues. An ad appeared in Variety on April 1, 1970, offering the 26 episodes for syndication, and giving an estimated 17 rating and 30% share over the 22 episodes aired through March 1.
The pilot movie was filmed entirely in California, and most episodes were filmed on location in California, the desert southwest and the Rockies, with the first episodes filmed in or near Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
(For a list of the episodes, with plot and actor info,
etc., click here: episode list.)
Some years ago, Turner Network Television (TNT) bought the film catalog
of MGM (which owned the show), including the pilot movie and episodes.
TNT occasionally reruns an episode, though not regularly since the early
Each episode began with Michael Parks stopped at a red light,* and the guy
in the station wagon next to him striking up a conversation with the words,
"Taking a trip?"
* [The scene comes from the pilot movie, as Bronson is heading south out of the San Francisco area. In the background is a pole with a sign, "SEASIDE," possibly at a gas station or restaurant. Seaside was a local or regional gas station company in the SF area. For more info in locations in the movie and episodes, see the newsletters; the link to them is below.]
Bronson, not hearing the man clearly, asks, "What's that?", and the guy
repeats the question, to which Bronson replies, "Yeah."
Guy: "Where to?"
Bronson: "Oh, I don't know. Wherever I end up, I guess."
Guy: "Pal, I wish I was you."
Guy, sadly: "Yeah."
Bronson: "Well, hang in there."
The guy nods, the light changes, Bronson rides off, and the theme music
starts, with title and main character credits rolling, as he heads down
along the California coast, detouring briefly along the surf, and, as the
intro theme fades, he crosses over the mist-shrouded Bixby Creek Bridge
(located just north of Big Sur).
The motorcycles used in the show were supplied by Harley-Davidson. (For info on the cycles, click here: cycles)
In some of the episodes, Michael Parks sang several songs that were included
on record albums released by MGM. He subsequently had an album released
on the Verve label (a division of MGM), and a later one on the First American
label. For a list of the albums and their songs, click here: record
To go to Michael Parks's current CD record company's web site for info on his recent compact disk of songs, called "Coolin' Soup", click here:
Michael Parks had previously starred in the 1965 movie, Wild Seed, with Celia Kaye. He was a drifter, traveling to the west coast, via freight train, not motorcycle. [Trivia: the movie was originally released with the title, "Fargo", in 1964.
He also starred in the 1965 movie, "Bus Riley's Back In Town" (now available on video), and the 1967 movie, "The Happening."
After TCB, he starred in the 1977 movie, Sidewinder One, a motorcycle film, where he reprised portions of his navy blue watchcap-wearing, non-violent Bronson character.
(Updates to the above information are found in the "Newsletters" section.)
There were various merchandising spin-offs from the show, some of which were:
(Updates to the above pages are found in the "Newsletters" section.)
A plastic model of the Bronson motorcycle (click here:
"Bronson Red" paint from Harley Davidson (actually sort of an orange-red, as on the motorcycles in the show; if anyone has a can of this, send me an email!) (click here: paint)
Paperback book series of "Then Came Bronson" stories (click here:
To find out information on upcoming then came BRONSON TV episodes, and other related shows, click here: TV shows
For newsletters and site updates for TCB, Michael Parks, etc., click here: Newsletters
For a bibliography of articles on TCB, Michael Parks, and other people and matters related to the show, in magazines, newspapers and other periodicals,
click here: Bibliography. (Updates for this are found in the "Newsletters" section.)
For some links to sites, click here: Links (Note: other links are in relevant pages on this site, including the "Newsletters" pages.)
To send me an email, click here: Email
If you missed the introductory page, click here: www.thencamebronson.com
(Number of visitors since the end of August, 1998)
This page updated March 12, 1999 . . . . . . . . . this web page (except for the photos, copyright 1970, MGM) copyright 1998, 1999 firstname.lastname@example.org