In the late 1980s, the western genre came back onto TV in the series Paradise.
Starring Lee Horsley, Paradise was created by David Jacobs and Robert Porter, about a gunslinger named Ethan Allan Cord, who is given the responsbility of taking care of four children after his sister’s death.
Living in the fictional town of Paradise, Cord rents a farm and focuses on the kids, but his previous life as an outlaw follows him to Paradise, where he often has to deal with people popping up into his life.
Debuting on CBS TV in October 1988, the series featured four kids (Claire, Joseph, Benjamin, George) as well as ranch owner Sigrid Thornton and Indian medicine man John Taylor.
Episodes dealt with the strains of the new family unit as well as Cord’s past, and how he reconciles his present with the way he dealt with past conflicts.
The series got early praise from many family groups, for showing a family drama on primetime TV and received editing and cinematography awards in its first season, as well as many critics praise and a Western Heritage Award after its first season.
The series was renamed in its third season, Guns of Paradise, to more closely link the past and present of the main character, as well as reignite viewers interest in a series set in the wild west.
But ratings didn’t keep viewers tuning back in and CBS cancelled the series, despite a small loyal group of fans and lots of critical praise for the storylines of Paradise.