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Walking Tall
Written byLee Sheldon
ComposerEdd Kalehoff
Country of originUSA
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes7
Executive producerDavid Gerber
ProducerMel Swope
Production locationsNewhall, Santa Clarita, California
CinematographyWilliam Gereghty
  • Bob Fish
  • Richard Freeman
  • Rod Stephens
Running time60 min
Production companyColumbia Pictures Television
Original networkNBC
Original releaseJanuary 17 (1981-01-17) –
June 6, 1981 (1981-06-06)
Related shows

Walking Tall is an American television drama series that ran on NBC in 1981 for one season of seven episodes. The first 5 episodes aired Saturday nights at 9:00 p.m. (opposite the ABC series The Love Boat). The last 2 episodes aired Tuesday nights at 10:00 p.m. (opposite ABC's Hart to Hart). NBC reran all 7 episodes from April–June 1981. This one-hour show was a continuation of the 1973 film Walking Tall, which was based on the life of McNairy County Sheriff Buford Pusser. In this series, Pusser is the sheriff of the fictionalized McNeal County, Tennessee, fighting criminals each week in 1969.

Bo Svenson played Pusser, whom he had played before in Walking Tall Part 2 (1975) and Walking Tall: Final Chapter (1977). (Brian Dennehy played Pusser in A Real American Hero in 1978 on CBS).

The rest of the cast included:

L.Q. Jones appeared in one segment as John Witter, Pusser's long-time nemesis.

Guest stars included Robert Englund, William Windom, Chuck Connors, Merlin Olsen, Ralph Bellamy, Gail Strickland, James MacArthur, and Art Hindle.

The theme song "Walking Tall" was sung by Brad Mercer. At the time, Svenson was the highest-paid actor in a television series.[citation needed]


Title Directed by: Written by: Air date
1"The Killing of McNeal County's Children"Alf KjellinStephen Downing17 January 1981 (1981-01-17)
Set in 1969, Sheriff Buford Pusser investigates when two teenagers are hospitalized after smoking potent PCP cigarettes. Guest Star: Robert Englund (Bobby Joe Wilson).
2"The Protectors of the People"Daniel HallerDonald R. Boyle24 January 1981 (1981-01-24)
Racial tensions inflame in McNeal County when three Ku Klux Klan members impersonate black men and attack a white girl. Guest Star: William Windom (Matthew Whittaker).
3"Kidnapped"John FloreaPaul Savage31 January 1981 (1981-01-31)
Bank robbers take Sheriff Pusser's father hostage. Guest star: Chuck Connors (Theo Brewster).
4"Hitman"Alf KjellinRobert E. Swanson7 February 1981 (1981-02-07)
Sheriff Pusser goes against his childhood friend, now a paid assassin assigned to murder Buford. Guest Stars: Merlin Olsen (Webb McClain), L.Q. Jones (John Whitter).
5"Company Town"Harvey S. LaidmanLee Sheldon14 February 1981 (1981-02-14)
Sheriff Pusser investigates the disappearance of a miner who has inflamed his bosses with vocal complaints about low wages and unsafe working conditions. Guest Stars: Ralph Bellamy (Jim Clausen), Art Hindle (Stuart Clausen), Lane Bradbury (Kate Reeder).
6"Deadly Impact"Alexander SingerGregory S. Dinallo24 March 1981 (1981-03-24)
After an old friend is murdered by chemical company workers dumping excess toxic waste, Sheriff Pusser teams up with a whistle-blowing company employee to solve the case. Guest Stars: Gail Strickland (Lynn Hudson), James Whitmore Jr. (Tom Coleman), Ken Swofford (Ed Morgan). Aired Tuesday night at 10:00.
7"The Fire Within"Phil BondelliLee Sheldon31 March 1981 (1981-03-31)
Sheriff Pusser butts heads with an idealistic priest who learns of a gunrunning ring during confession, but whose vows prevent him from sharing his knowledge with the law. Guest Stars: James MacArthur (Father Adair), Ed Nelson (Edwin Campbell). Aired Tuesday night at 10:00. This episode guide was written by Richard H. Campbell for an unpublished issue of Media Sight in 1985.

DVD release

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment released the entire series on DVD in Region 1 on March 7, 2006.[1]