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“Here Come the Brides”

ABC’s comedy/adventure “Here Come the Brides” was not set on the Western frontier but in a logging camp in the brawling 1870s boomtown of Seattle, Washington. As the themesong went—

“The bluest skies you’ve ever seen, in Seattle
And the hills the greenest green, in Seattle
Like a beautiful child growing up free and wild
Full of hopes and full of fears
Full of laughter, full of tears
Full of dreams to last the years, in Seattle.”
(The song was a big hit by Perry Como.)

 

Inspired by the movie “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers”, in the first episode smooth-talking logging company boss Jason Bolt (6'4" Robert Brown) is faced with a shutdown of his operation as some 100 lonely lumberjacks are ready to quit due to a lack of female companionship. Bolt promises to find 100 marriageable ladies willing to come to the frontier town. Sawmill operator Aaron Stempel (Mark Lenard) offers up much of the needed expense money as a wager Bolt won’t succeed.

Leaving his younger brothers (‘60s coiffed David Soul as Joshua Bolt and Bobby Sherman as Jeremy Bolt) in charge, Jason sails back to New Bedford, MA and persuades 100 prospective brides to return with him. The girls are led by Candy Pruitt (Bridget Hanley) who is determined to keep the virtue of all the women intact until proper wedding ceremonies are performed.

Once in Seattle, the town was never the same again. The local saloon was run by matronly Lottie Hatfield (Joan Blondell) who took the girls under her wing and kept the amorous loggers at arm’s length.

Rotating actresses were brought in, in various episodes as prospective brides as the series progressed.

Certainly a ‘family Western’ devoid of the usual gunfights, outlaws and saloon brawls, much of the drama and comedy in the first season came from Stempel’s efforts to sabotage the deal and take over Bolt’s logging operation. The second season focused more on individual character development and conflicts with newcomers to the area.

First season shows were broadcast on Wednesday 7:30-8:30 beginning September 25, 1969. Up against “The Virginian” on NBC and “Daktari” on CBS, the saccharine series fled to Friday for the second season, 9-10pm, where it played opposite a CBS movie and the 90 minute “The Name of the Game” on NBC. Produced by Screen Gems, the Brides departed after 52 episodes.

 

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