Chuck Connors

Classic black-and-white western The Rifleman could be blasting its way back onto primetime, with director Chris Columbus and CSI vet Carol Mendelsohn on board.

CBS is developing a new take on the 1958 series, which famously starred Chuck Connors as 1880s-era sharpshooter Lucas McCain. The updated version will center on Civil War vet McCain as he moves to New Mexico territory to raise his son, Mark, and winds up joining forces with a sheriff to protect his new hometown.

The Rifleman represents a crossroads of two major trends this development season, as the networks chase after western projects and series reboots.

Laeta Kalogridis (Avatar) and Patrick Lussier will write the new version and executive produce. Columbus (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone), who has a deal at CBS, will direct and also executive produce. Other executive producers include Mendelsohn and Julie Weitz (who runs Mendelsohn's production company). 

Rights holders Robert Levy, Steven Gardner and Arthur Gardner are also executive producers. Jules Levy, Arthur Gardner and Arnold Laven were the principals behind Levy-Gardner-Laven Productions, which produced the original The Rifleman.

CBS TV Studios and Carol Mendelsohn Prods. are behind the new The Rifleman.

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