This Date in MAVERICK TV History: BRET MAVERICK premieres on NBC with “The Lazy Ace,” a two-hour episode airing Dec. 1, 1981

  1. THE LAZY ACE
    Original Airdate: December 1, 1981

Synopsis. Bret Maverick rides into Sweetwater, a town in the Arizona territory, to play in a high-stakes poker game with Doc Holliday, Ramsey Bass, Joe Dakota, Lyman Nickerson, the Delta Fox, and Mandy Packard. After winning the $100,000 jackpot and ownership of Mandy’s saloon, the Red Ox, Maverick purchases a 100-acre ranch, which he christens The Lazy Ace. However, Bret doesn’t realize that he also inherited liability toward a $50,000 loan that Mandy took out from the bank against the saloon’s mortgage. To make matters worse, the bank is robbed shortly after Bret deposits his money.

An injury to James Garner shut down production of this episode for three days. Keep an eye out for the sequence where Bret’s horse goes ballistic after hearing gunshots. Garner was on a mechanical horse to film part of that sequence; he was thrown from the horse, and suffered nine broken ribs as a result.

LEARN MORE about this episode in the revised third edition of Maverick: Legend of the West, featuring more than 100 pages of new information about the show that made James Garner a star. 25 percent of the net proceeds from the sales of the third edition will be donated to The James Garner Animal Rescue Fund, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising funds to help rescue organizations, shelters, individuals, fosters, and veterans with emergencies, evacuations, medical care, adoptions, training, pet supplies, shelter, rehabilitation, boarding, transportation, food, and other pressing needs. JGARF is one way for Garner fans to honor Jim’s memory and extend his legacy. The revised third edition of Maverick: Legend of the West is available through Black Pawn Press, Amazon.com, and wherever books are sold online.
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