Adventures of Rin Tin Tin was
TV's "other" dog show. Despite some similarities to Lassie
- it featured a heroic dog with a small boy as his companion - there were
considerable differences between the two shows.
Tin Tin was set in the Old West and was full of violent
action, including gunfights, rampaging Indians, and the like. The boy, Rusty, had
in fact been orphaned in an Indian raid, after which he and his dog Rin Tin Tin
("Yo ho Rinty!") were adopted by the Cavalry soldiers at Fort Apache, Arizona. The two were
made honorary troopers and for the next five seasons, proceeded to help the Cavalry and the townspeople of nearby
Mesa Grande establish law and order on the frontier.
Tin Tin was a movie favorite of long standing, the first Rin Tin Tin
feature having been made in
1922. Three different German Shepherds filled the role in the TV series,
two of them descendants of the original Rinty (who died in 1932) and the
other the offspring of another movie canine, Flame, Jr.
of The Adventures of Rin
Tin Tin aired on ABC
late afternoons from September 1959 to September 1961 and on CBS' Saturday
morning lineup from September 1962 to September 1964.
the old episodes of Rin Tin Tin were revived for a new life in reruns in 1976,
former star James Brown came out of retirement to film new introductions for
them. Remarkably, he looked only slightly older than he had two decades earlier
when the series had been in production. Although the episodes were in black
& White, the 1976 reruns had been tinted a light brown.
Rinty's saga continued on
Tin Tin K-9 Cop, which
premiered on the Family Channel in 1988.