post A True American Western on INSP

August 13th, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 10:37 am

A True American Western on INSP

by Penny McQueen

On Saturday, September 15th, 2012 the INSP network broadcast The High Chaparral, making dreams come true for fans who’d been missing the Cannons and Montoyas for decades. With exclusive cable rights INSP is the new home of HC and continues to include it on their regular programming schedule.

Last year in September Doug Butts, SVP of Programming said, “What makes this announcement so special is that INSP now is the exclusive home of this western classic. The High Chaparral is one of the greatest programs of this genre and it makes a perfect addition to our growing western block, SADDLE UP SATURDAY.”
Recently I asked INSP why they chose High Chaparral? Mr. Butts shared a part of his thinking process with me.

“Overall, I wanted to feature true American westerns on Saturdays. I especially selected The High Chaparral because it centers around a family with an interesting ethnic mix between white Americans, Mexicans and native American Indians. All having to fight, love and live through some very challenging events. They’re strong and daring. Willing to lay down their lives for one another.”

“The show features “Big” John Cannon (Leif Erickson), his brother Buck (Cameron Mitchell) and son Billy Blue (Blue Boy) (Mark Slade). After Blue Boy’s mother Annalee (Joan Caulfield) was killed in the first episode by an Indian arrow, John Cannon agrees to marry Victoria Montoya (Linda Cristal), the daughter of the powerful neighboring rancher Don Sebastián Montoya. This arranged marriage brought her brother Manolito (Henry Darrow) into the picture, and he also came to live with the family. So this created a very interesting blend of lifestyles between these two ethnic groups in a very intimate way. But another strong reason was because Victoria’s character is very soft and mellow when necessary, but then she can become a strong figure within the family dynamics when necessary.”

“One final note, I was especially interested because this series was created by David Dortort, who had previously created the hit Bonanza for the network. So the story telling and authenticity was strong.”

-Doug Butts, SVP Programming, INSP

For the 2013 High Chaparral Reunion INSP provided a letter for each person who attended. Since the Reunion is meant for the entire Chaparral family I’m sharing it again with you.

The High Chaparral Reunion
Casino del Sol
Tucson, Arizona

Dear Henry, Don, Kent, Susan, Rudy, and all the Super Fans of The High Chaparral,

What an honor it is for me to greet you on behalf of the entire staff at INSP. We are so proud to be the exclusive cable network home of The High Chaparral! Our viewers just simply love the series. This week’s reunion is sure to be a memorable occasion as you gather to celebrate one of the greatest westerns in American television history. All cast members have become legends and should feel a great sense of pride in the impact of their life and work.

When I was given the task to populate 124 hours of weekly entertainment programming for INSP, I searched for content that was entertaining and safe for the entire family. At the same time, I wanted something uniquely American. THC fit the bill perfectly. I was particularly interested in THC because it so brilliantly broke through the stereotypical mold of the 1950s and 1960s and redefined the TV western with authentic portrayals of the roles Hispanics and Native Americans played during that time period. This is one of the many reasons I chose The High Chaparral and why it is still loved today. America is a melting pot of cultures and people. The producers, directors, actors, and fans of THC realized this truth, and made a commitment to stay true to those principles. You were ahead of your time.

This great occasion would not be possible apart from the commitment and devotion of Penny McQueen and her faithful colleagues at Their vision and passion allow the grandeur of this great show and its cast and crew to remain in the public eye. INSP considers them true allies in our quest to introduce The High Chaparral to a whole new generation and reintroduce it to those fans who have loved it all these years.

It is with deep gratitude that I, along with the entire NSP staff, welcome you to the 2013 Reunion of The High Chaparral. Enjoy these treasured moments with those who’ve made history.

We consider it a privilege to celebrate this weekend with you.

Much obliged,
Doug Butts
Senior Vice President of Programming
INSP Network

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