The Virginian is an American Western television series starring James Drury, Doug McClure, and Lee J. Cobb, which aired on the National Broadcasting Company television network from 1962 to 1971 for a total of 249 episodes. It was a spin-off from a 1958 summer series called Decision. Filmed in color, The Virginian became television's first 90-minute Western series. Cobb left the series after four seasons and was replaced over the years by mature character actors John Dehner, Charles Bickford, John McIntire, and Stewart Granger portraying different characters. The series ran for nine seasons—television's third-longest running Western, behind Bonanza at 14 seasons and 430 episodes, and Gunsmoke at 20 seasons and 635 episodes. The series is loosely based on The Virginian: Horseman of the Plains, a 1902 Western novel by Owen Wister. Percy Faith composed the theme.