Ask the average person whether they’ve ever heard of The Lone Ranger, and you’ll probably get the same answer every time. The fictional, mask-wearing former Texas Ranger whose outlaw-fighting exploits were once a staple of American TV in the 1950s is about as familiar and pervasive as a cultural icon can get. It would be an entirely different matter, though, were you to query the average person about Bass Reeves — the legendary and very real first black deputy US Marshal west of the Mississippi River, whose story will be told in Paramount+’s upcoming Lawmen: Bass Reeves.
The Lone Ranger’s derring-do was, in hindsight, made-for-TV fluff, the kind of small-screen adventure where the bad guys always lose. The real-life Reeves, in contrast, worked in the post-Civil War Reconstruction era as a federal peace officer in the Indian Territory. During the course of his law enforcement career, he captured over 3,000 of the most dangerous criminals without ever being wounded — despite getting his hat shot off more than once.
Lawmen: Bass Reeves will debut this fall on Paramount+, with a specific release date still to come, and it’s being billed as an anthology series that will actually tell the story of other iconic lawmen and outlets in future seasons.
To start, Reeves will be the focus of Lawmen, and he’ll be played by the fantastic David Oyelowo. In fact, that was an inspired bit of casting, if you ask me. Because you can clearly tell, just from the teaser trailer above, that he’ll have no problem playing a grizzled, fearless gunslinger who snarls memorable one-liners like “Your wicked days are done.”
Taylor Sheridan — the hitmaker behind other Paramount+ series like 1883, 1923, and Tulsa King — is the executive producer behind Lawmen, which was created for television by executive producer and showrunner Chad Feehan. And you can check out more first-look images from the upcoming show below.