The Wild Wild West is an American Western espionage and science fiction television series that ran on the CBS television network for four seasons from September 17, 1965 to April 11, 1969. Two satirical comedy television films were made with the original cast in 1979 and 1980, and the series was adapted for a theatrical film in 1999.
Developed at a time when the television western was losing ground to the spy genre, this show was conceived by its creator, Michael Garrison, as "James Bond on horseback." Set during the administration of President Ulysses Grant (1869–1877), the series followed Secret Service agents James West (Robert Conrad) and Artemus Gordon (Ross Martin) as they solved crimes, protected the President, and foiled the plans of megalomaniacal villains to take over part or all of the United States. The show featured a number of fantasy elements, such as the technologically advanced devices used by the agents and their adversaries. The combination of the Victorian era time-frame and the use of Verne-esque technology have led several Steampunk web sites to cite the show as a pioneering influence on the genre. This aspect was accentuated even more in the 1999 film adaptation.
Despite high ratings, the series was cancelled near the end of its fourth season as a concession to Congress over television violence.