THE NEW MAVERICK
Original Airdate: September 3, 1978
Synopsis. Bret Maverick rides into New Las Vegas to collect a $1,000 debt from brother Bart, who has owed him the money for nine years. Although Bret is told that his brother was shot to death, he quickly determines from the size of the coffin that Bart is still alive. Bret soon learns Bart is running from three men who lost money from him in a poker game the night before.
The New Maverick was the pilot for a possible updated Maverick series starring Charles Frank as Ben Maverick, but the movie itself clearly focuses on James Garner as Bret. So when The New Maverick drew a respectable audience share, ABC had a problem: It couldn’t design a new series around Garner because he was still busy filming The Rockford Files, while Frank hadn’t exactly established himself in the pivotal role of Ben. Though ABC eventually passed on The New Maverick, Warner Bros. kept the project in development for another year. In the summer of 1979, CBS ordered another two-hour pilot, again starring Frank. The new series, now called Young Maverick, debuted as a mid-season replacement on Nov. 28, 1979.