"How the West Was Won" is an American western television series starring James Arness, Fionnula Flanagan, and Bruce Boxleitner. A spin-off of the 1962 Cinerama film, it aired as a mini-series in 1977, and as a regular series in 1978 and 1979, preceded by a 2,5 hours long pilot episode, The Macahans, in 1976. A total of 25 episodes were aired. Zeb Macahan was a rugged mountain man who had spent ten years in the Dakota Territory before returning to Virginia where his brother's family was getting ready to make the long trip west. Just as they started their journey, the Civil War began. Zeb's brother Timothy returned east and his wife Kate was killed in an accident, leaving four children in Zeb's care: Luke, the oldest, had killed three men in self-defense and was a fugitive from the law; Laura was beautiful and ready to become a woman; Jessie was the tomboyish 12-year-old and Josh was the exuberant teenager anxious to become the man of the family. Aunt Molly, Kate's widowed sister, came from Boston to help them on their travels, through perils and hardship caused by Indians, renegades, nature and other dangers. Adding to the scope of the series was the spectacular setting. It was filmed in Colorado, Arizona, Utah, and Southern California. The executive producer was John Mantley, who had also been the producer of Gunsmoke. How The West Was Won was loosely based on the 1963 motion picture of the same name, which was directed by John Ford and starred John Wayne.