Lonesome Dove was originally broadcast by CBS on February 5, 1989, drawing a huge viewing audience and earning numerous awards, including 18 Emmy® nominations and seven wins. The show won two Golden Globes, for Best Miniseries and Best Actor in a Miniseries (Robert Duvall). The film was deemed Program of the Year by the National Television Critics Association, as well as Outstanding Dramatic Achievement. It received the D.W. Griffith Award for Best Television Miniseries, and CBS was presented with a Peabody Award for Outstanding Achievement in Drama.
The complete production archives for the classic television miniseries Lonesome Dove are among the holdings at the Wittliff Collections at Texas State University-San Marcos.
This online exhibit was created in conjunction with the tenth anniversary of Lonesome Dove’s initial broadcast on CBS in 1989. Many of the materials are now permanently on view at the Wittliff, located in Texas State’s Alkek Library.
Featured here are selected items from the archives that provide insight into the complex filmmaking process. A complete guide to the Lonesome Dove Television Miniseries Archive is available through our online Finding Aid.
The bulk of the Lonesome Dove archives were donated to the Southwestern Writers Collection by Bill and Sally Wittliff, who are also the founding donors of the Collection. Bill Wittliff, who was the writer and executive producer of the film, also convinced many of the principals to donate their artifacts as well. The result is a near-complete record of every aspect of Lonesome Dove’s production, from the first screenplay drafts to the costume and set designs.
Note: The materials displayed on this website are for educational purposes only and may not be reproduced without permission.