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CBS Network
1957 - 1959
30 Minutes

The cases of Hoby Gilman (Robert Culp), a civil war veteran-turned- Texas Ranger with Frontier Company A who maintained law and order in the Lone Star State during the 1870s.

Hoby was based in the town of Porter, Texas. He served as the town's temporary law enforcement officer, in between his trips out of town when he had to hunt down bank robbers, killers and other outlaws.

Hoby's friends in town included:

  • Norman Leavitt as Ralph, Hoby's deputy.
  • Ellen Corby as Henrietta Porter, the publisher of the Porter Enterprise, the town's paper. Henrietta and her late husband founded of the town. Most of the town's businesses bear their name, such as The Porter Hotel and the Porter Barber Shop.
  • James Griffith as Aaron Adams, the town barber.
  • Gail Kobe as Penny Adams, Aaron's sister. She likes Hoby.
  • Peter Leeds as Tenner Smith, a former gambler and gunslinger who owned the Buckhorn Saloon.
  • Addison Richards as Doc Jay Calhoun.

Robert Culp as Hoby Gilman - TRACKDOWN

Here are some of Hoby Gilman's exploits:

  • Tracks the Marple Brothers to Stockton only find they have taken a woman and child hostage.
  • Protects a man accused of murder from a lynch mob.
  • Attacked while transporting a wagonload of prisoners.
  • Travels to the town of Easton to solve a robbery
  • Confronted by the teenage son of a viscous criminal.
  • Looks for the mother of a baby he found at a robbery site.
  • Investigates the death of a Texas Ranger.
  • Must stop a woman from murdering her husband's killer.
  • Heads off a bank robbery planed by Sam Bass.
  • Looks for an outlaw's sister who can ID his accomplices.
  • Captured by outlaws in a small mining town.
  • Tracks a bank robber who stole $50,000.
  • Protects a frightened blind man who witnessed a murder.
  • Bitten by a rattlesnake while escorting a prisoner.
  • Delivers a prisoner to a judge who is the criminal's father.
  • Meets a young man with a reputation as a fast gun.
  • Protects a witness from harm so he testify at a trial.
  • Helps a man acquitted of murder who is really guilty.
  • Helps a boy held ransom for the bank's money.
  • Intervenes when a prisoner overpowers his jailer.
  • Proves a man preaching an apocalypse is a fraud.
  • Must choose which twin is the real killer.
  • Thwarts an assassination plot on the Governor of Texas.
  • Investigates the murder of a professional gambler.
  • Helps a woman who has been told to leave town.
  • Tries to help a Chinese laundry man who is bullied.
  • Comes upon men who want him to release his prisoner.
  • Discovers a wounded outlaw during a snowstorm.
  • Refuses a demand by citizens to release an outlaw.
  • Keeps a gunman from chasing a schoolteacher from town.
  • Forced to help a gunslinger gain custody of his child.
  • Learns about six ex-bandits who plan to strike again.
  • Tracks a typhoid carrier who leaves a trail of sickness.
  • Helps a dying woman fulfill her final wish to be buried.
  • Confronts a band of men who have taken over a town.
  • Stops a man who threatens to blow up a town.
  • Saves a Civil War deserter from an angry mob of citizens
  • Prevents four brothers from terrorizing a town.
  • Stops a young gunman who is threatening Tenner Smith.
  • Investigates strange occurrences linked to witchcraft.
  • Intercedes in a feud between a husband and brother.
  • Goes home to help his sister who had been threatened.
  • Tracks a convict who is stalking a blind boy.
  • Gets involved with a senile outlaw and her two sons.

Screen Captures

Screen Capture - TRACKDOWN
Screen Capture - TRACKDOWN
Screen Capture - TRACKDOWN
Robert Culp as Hoby Gilman - TRACKDOWNRobert Culp as Hoby Gilman - TRACKDOWN

TRIVIA NOTE: The series episodes were based on actual files of the Texas Rangers and had the official approval of the State of Texas. Robert Culp wrote several of the scripts. The program pilot appeared on DICK POWELL'S ZANE GREY THEATER.

TRACKDOWN spawned the CBS spin-off  WANTED: DEAD OR ALIVE, with Steve McQueen as Josh Randall on the episode "The Bounty Hunter."

When Robert Culp co-starred on the espionage series I SPY, his partner Alexander Scott (Bill Cosby) referred to Culp's character Kelly Robinson as "Hoby," an affectionate reference to his TRACKDOWN days.

Obituaries: Norman Leavitt: 12/11/2005; Ellen Corby: 04/14/1999; Peter Leeds: 11/12/1996; James Griffith: 09/17/1993;

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