Q & A: The Second Hundred Years; Paradise

I get a lot of e-mails from people asking me about television shows, made-for-TV movies or miniseries they remember from years or decades past. I try to answer each question as best I can. Every now and then I like to dig through my inbox and pull out a few choice e-mails to answer here at Television Obscurities for everyone to read. Keep reading for today’s questions and answers.

I thought the show was “It’s About Time” but after watching I realized I was wrong. Another show, around same time, maybe a little bit later. Same actor played both parts. Himself current day and he coming from the future to visit with himself to work out situations each week? I know I’m not giving you much to work with. I can picture the actor, but can’t think of his name. Kind of looked like Frank Aletter but crooked smile. If you can help at all?

I’ll admit to being stumped at first by Jeanie’s question. The only show I could think of from the time period in question in which one actor played two characters on a regular basis was The Second Hundred Years. But that show, a CBS sitcom, was about a man (played by Monte Markham) who is frozen in 1899 and wakes up in 1967 to learn that his son is now an old man and that he has a grandson (also played by Monte Markham). So it wasn’t exactly what Jeanie remembered.

However, Monte Markham was the man with the crooked smile and The Second Hundred Years was the show in question. I included it in my article 10 Of The Most Outlandish TV Concepts Ever where you can watch a scene from an episode.

I do wonder, however, if Jeanie was conflating her memory of The Second Hundred Years with another show or perhaps a made-for-TV movie in which a man met his future self.

I “think” the show was on in the 70’s. The star was a gunfighter. His brother was killed and he went back to his brother’s home to take care of his 3 children and gave up gunfighting. He had a relationship with the town’s female banker (she had an Irish accent – I think). Help! It’s driving me nuts.

Lee Horsley starred in Paradise — a CBS drama that premiered on October 27th, 1988 — as gunfighter Ethan Allen Cord. It was his sister who died and left four children for him to raise. So he gave up gunfighting — for the most part — to become a rancher in a town called Paradise in California. Sigrid Thornton played banker Amelia Lawson, his love interest, and although I cannot say if her character was supposed to be Irish (can a fan of the show shed some light on this?), Thornton was Australian and certainly could have had an accent.

Paradise ran for two seasons before being pulled, retooled and relaunched in January 1991 as Guns of Paradise. Ethan Allen Cord was now marshal of Paradise, engaged to Amelia, and a new character named Dakota was introduced (played by John Terlesky). The renamed series was cancelled after just thirteen episodes in June 1991. A total of 57 were produced; none of have been commercially released.

18 Replies to “Q & A: The Second Hundred Years; Paradise”

  1. I remember another Lee Horsley show “MATT HOUSTON’ the premise was that he was a rich oilman that was also a private detective, the show also starred Pamela Hensley as his secretary, Lincoln Kilpatrick as a police detective who likes Houston but not that he interferes in police business and Buddy Ebsen as Lee Horsley’s uncle…That was a great show

      1. According to her own website Sigrid Thornton was on Paradise / Guns of Paradise until the series ended. Cancellation of the series was the reason she left.

      2. But she wasn’t in the last 5 shows. So she apparently left before it was cancelled. They addressed it on the show as her leaving Paradise and Ethan after they didn’t get married.

  2. MATT HOUSTON was only good for the first season because his character was actually a little funny. He was a cross between ROCKFORD and MAGNUM and he hung out with a nice Italian family. I don’t remember if he co-owned their business. Then all of a sudden a new time slot and poof the family disappeared and HOUSTON changed into this tough run-of-the-mill detective with an uncle who came out of nowhere. What a way to destroy a good series.

  3. “THE SECOND HUNDRED YEARS” was on ABC in the 1967-’68 season, directly opposite CBS’ ‘THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES” on Wednesday nights.

  4. Pamela Hensley made EVERYTHING she was in worth watching. The only thing I’m curious about is how she didn’t end up on Dynasty.

  5. Because she was busy with the final season of NBC’s “BUCK ROGERS” when “DYNASTY” premiered on ABC in early 1981 (only someone like Joan Collins could have joined the cast before the first season ended and became the series’ “icon”). After Pamela started working on “MATT HOUSTON”, she got to know the series’ co-executive producer, E. Duke Vincent…enough to marry him and utlimately retire from “the business” (too bad for us).

  6. Did Amelia from Guns of Paradise ever come back after she left to go to San Francisco? I know there was a few episodes where Ethan was hoping for her return!!

    1. I wish they would make another Paradise show.
      I loved watching that show. The kids could be all grown up. I loved watching Lee Horsely. I’m
      a big fan of. Westerns. Tell them to make a more seasons.

  7. I always had the feeling that she would have come back but then they cancelled the show with little warning. In spite of lousy ratings I considered one of the best shows on tv. Lee Horsley was great and boy, those young kids could act. I loved M.P. Carter that played George and Brian Lando that played Ben.

    1. I agree that the children on that show were excellent. MP Carter and Brian Lando in particular were not just very good actors but so much fun to watch. I liked John Taylor (Dehl Berti) as well. A great show that ended far too early.

    1. Theresa Schwab,
      According to Wikipedia Jenny Beck was born August 3, 1974, so she would have been 14 when Paradise began.

    1. I read an interview from her that she was pregnant with her second child & took a leave of absence. She planned to return to show, but it was canceled by CBS. It was a terrible way to end a great show & disappointed many die hard fans including me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.