Paradise Information

Paradise (later renamed Guns of Paradise) is an American Western family television series, broadcast by CBS from 1988 to 1991. Created by David Jacobs and Robert Porter, the series presents the adventures of fictitious gunfighter Ethan Allen Cord, whose sister left her four children in his custody when she died.


Paradise starred Lee Horsley as Cord, a professional gunfighter who was forced to take custody of the four children of his sister, a St. Louis singer who was dying and unable to make any other arrangements for their care. Cord realized his profession was unsuitable to child rearing and decided to change, renting a farm from Amelia Lawson (Sigrid Thornton), who also owned the local bank in the small town of Paradise, California (the origin of the title). Ethan tried to live a peaceful life, but was constantly haunted by his violent past and frequently called upon by the townspeople to defend them from lawlessness. Cord was close friends with John Taylor (Dehl Berti), a Native American medicine man, who often provided him with wise counsel and insights into human nature.

In the third and final season some changes were made. A new opening sequence introduced the series' new name, Guns of Paradise, an apparent attempt to remind viewers the program, despite its title, was in fact a Western. Cord and Amelia were now engaged and in the process of building a new house, and Cord was in the process of achieving an official appointment to be the town's marshal, the role he had essentially been fulfilling unofficially.

In a memorable two-part episode, Gene Barry and Hugh O'Brian recreated their famous 1950s television roles of legendary gunslingers Bat Masterson and Wyatt Earp. Robert Harland, who co-starred in the 1960 television western Law of the Plainsman made his last television appearance in 1988 on Paradise. The special two-part episode briefly launched the ratings-challenged series into the top 10 of the Nielsen Ratings.

In 1991, despite a loyal fan base and critical acclaim, after 3 seasons, the series was canceled amid low viewer ratings. CBS eventually replaced the series with Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman. In the mid-'90s, The Family Channel ran Paradise in syndication.


Actor Role
Lee Horsley Ethan Allen Cord
Jenny Beck Claire Carroll
Matthew Newmark Joseph Carroll
Brian Lando Benjamin Carroll
Michael Patrick Carter George Carroll
Sigrid Thornton Amelia Lawson
Dehl Berti John Taylor
John F. Bloom III Tiny


Year Award Result Category Recipient
1989 American Society of Cinematographers Won Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography in Regular Series' Richard M. Rawlings, Jr.
Western Heritage Awards Fictional Television Drama James L. Conway, Joel J. Feigenbaum, Lee Horsley, David Jacobs, Robert Porter, and Sigrid Thornton
(For episode "Stray Bullet")
1991 Western Writers of America Best Television Unknown
(For episode "Dust in the Wind")

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