The Dukes Of Hazzard aired from January 1979 until August 1985 on CBS.
Rural comedies such as The Beverly Hillbillies had been a staple of the CBS lineup in the 1960's. The Dukes Of Hazzard signaled a revival of the " good ol boy" comedy nearly a decade later. Luke and Bo Duke ( Tom Wopat, John Schneider), were cousins and buddies in Hazzard County, located east of the Mississippi and south of the Ohio( no mention of the state but there is a real Hazzard Kentucky-a city, not a county). Their nemisis was Boss Hogg ( Sorrell Booke), a fat, blustery, and thoroughly corrupt local politician always seen in a white flannel suit. The Dukes easily managed to avoid capture by dim-witted Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane ( James Best), Boss Hogg's brother-in-law, while acting as Robin Hoods of the county. The boys hot-rodded all over Hazzard County in their souped-up Dodge Charger, " General Lee," occasionally pausing for some sage advice from their wise old Uncle Jessie( Denver Pyle). Moonshine, wild car chases and crashes, and lots of scantily clad young women, including the Dukes gorgeous cousin Daisy ( Catherine Bach), populated the series. Also featured were Cooter ( Ben Jones), the local mechanic who was friends with the Duke boys , Deputy Enos Strate ( Sonny Shroyer), Roscoe's honest and gullable deputy ( Roscoe called him a dipstick) who had a crush on Daisy, Deputy Cletus( Rick Hurst), who replaced Enos when the later moved to Los Angeles and his own spin-off show ( Enos), and Flash, Roscoe's lazy dog. Country star Waylon Jennings served as off-screen narrator, to the accompaniment of fast-paced banjo music. In the spring of 1982 series stars Tom Wopat and John Schneider walked out on The Dukes Of Hazzard in a contract dispute over their saleries and share of the merchandising rights royalties from Dukes toys, games, T-shirts and other paraphernalia that were selling like hotcakes to children around the country. The production company, Warner Bros. held a nationwide hunt to find 2 new Dukes to fill their places in the series and after sceening 2,230 applicants, settled on Byron Cherry and Christopher Meyer. In the premiere episode that fall, it was explained that Luke and Bo had left Hazzard to try their luck on the NASCAR racing circuit and that their cousins Coy ( Byron Cherry), and Vance ( Christopher Meyer), had returned home, after a 6 year absence to help Uncle Jesse run the farm. Deputy Enos Strate was back ( His series had been canceled), but it just wasn't the same. For those who were convinced that the real star of the series was the " General Lee," it must have come as a surprise to learn that the car's drivers made any difference. The program's ratings and Wopat's and Schneider's careers all suffered as a result of the feud, so a settlement was finally reached and Luke and Bo returned to Hazzard County the following February. Coy and Vance then left the series. The series also took its toll in real automobiles, as a result of all those chases and crashes. Although on screen the General Lee never seemed to have a scratch, almost 300 look-alikes were wrecked during filming. A regular stable of identically painted Dodge Chargers was kept on hand during production of each episode, so as not to hold things up. The theme song for this series sung by Waylon Jennings, was on the charts during 1980.
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