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Empire, an hour-long Western television series set on a 1960s half-million acre ranch in New Mexicomarker, starred Richard Egan (1921–1987), Terry Moore (born 1929), and Ryan O'Neal (born 1941). It ran on NBC for a season between September 25, 1962, and May 14, 1963. In the second abbreviated season, from September 24 to December 31, 1963, it was renamed Redigo after Egan's title character, Jim Redigo, the general manager of the fictitious Garrett ranch in Empire, and reduced to a half-hour.


Egan starred in the series at the age of forty-one, having previously been in the hit film A Summer Place. Redigo was a rare ranch manager, having a Master of Business Administration degree. Empire also featured 22-year-old Ryan O'Neal, some two years before he gained greater recognition as Rodney Harrington in ABC's Peyton Place. O'Neal, who began acting in 1959, played the son, Tal Garrett. Terry Moore portrayed O'Neal's 33-year-old sister, who had a romantic interest in Redigo. Their mother and ranch matriarch, Lucia, was played by 53-year-old Anne Seymour (1909–1988).

Anne Seymour and Terry Moore were dropped at mid-season; it was said that Seymour's character had died. Charles Bronson (1921–2003), then forty-one, entered at mid-season in an all-male cast to portray the tough ranch hand Paul Moreno.

In the second 15-episode season, O'Neal and Bronson were gone, too. Roger Davis (born 1939), later of ABC's Alias Smith and Jones, was added to the cast as Redigo's ranch hand. Elena Verdugo, later of Robert Young's Marcus Welby, M.D., starred as Gerry.

Among the guest stars, Robert Vaughn and Inger Stevens (1934–1970) played paraplegics in separate episodes. Jeremy Slate (1926–2006), played a ranch hand whose competition with Ryan O'Neal ends in a deadly boxing match. Robert Culp, previously of CBS's Trackdown and later of NBC's I Spy, played an ambitious man who schemes to marry Terry Moore and fire Redigo. Other guest stars included character actor Claude Akins (1926–1994), Clegg Hoyt (1910-1967), Pat Conway (1931–1981), Gilman Rankin (1911–1993), John Vivyan (1915–1983), Ralph Meeker (1920–1988), Ray Danton (1931–1992), Joanne Linville, Joanna Barnes, and Telly Savalas (1922–1994), later the title character in Kojak. Dayton Lummis appeared as Jason Simms in "Green, Green Hills" (1962) and as Thomas Fenton Giler in "Downn There, the World" (1963). John M. Pickard appeared as a sheriff in "A Place to Put a Life" (1962). Joanna Cook Moore guest-starred once on Empire and thereafter married Ryan O'Neal, becoming the mother of actress Tatum O'Neal.


Empire was created by Kathleen Hite, a writer for CBS's Gunsmoke. William Sackheim and Hal Hudson, formerly with CBS's Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater, produced the series, a Screen Gems offering. The program was filmed at the Eaves Movie Ranch near Santa Femarker and near Storrie Lake in Las Vegasmarker, New Mexico.

Empire had mediocre ratings opposite CBS's The Red Skelton Show and the last season of ABC's detective series, Hawaiian Eye with Robert Conrad and Connie Stevens. The series was reduced to a half-hour the second year, as Redigo. Redigo had by that time secured his own smaller ranch.

The shorter format made it difficult to develop complex characters, and the show was soon canceled. Still on Tuesday evenings, Redigo fared poorly against Red Skelton and ABC's military situation comedy McHale's Navy starring Ernest Borgnine.


  1. Terrance; page 384
  2. IMDB, Ryan O'Neal
  4. EP Guide: Redigo>
  5. IMBD Film locations:
  6. 1962–1963 American network television schedule

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