Original Airdate: November 10, 1957
Synopsis. Introducing Jack Kelly as Bart Maverick. Bret and Bart seek their way onto the exclusive passenger list for the maiden voyage of The River Princess owned by Andre Devereaux, a wealthy Creole aristocrat who is contemptuous of Americans. After Devereaux’s daughter Yvette is kidnapped by Jody Collins—a muskrat trapper from the Bayous who has a strong hatred for the Creoles—the Maverick brothers try to rescue Yvette.
In many respects, Warner Bros. pioneered production of an hour-long weekly series. Each episode took a minimum of eight calendar days to shoot—but, because each show aired every seven days, that effectively put producer Roy Huggins one day behind schedule from the very beginning. This was especially true given that Maverick began production in August 1957, just a few weeks before its September 22 premiere date.
To remedy the situation, Huggins created a second Maverick character, brother Bart, who could alternate with James Garner as the series lead. That way, Maverick could shoot two episodes at the same time—each with a separate cast and its own production unit—and stay on schedule. After interviewing and auditioning several actors (including Stuart Whitman, Richard Jaeckel, and Michael Dante), Huggins cast Jack Kelly as Bart.