Cheyenne the series began as a part of Warner Brothers Presents, a "wheel program" that alternated three different series in rotation. In its first year, Cheyenne traded broadcast weeks with Casablanca and Kings Row. Thereafter, Cheyenne was overhauled by new producer Roy Huggins and left the umbrella of WBP.
Cheyenne ran from 1955 to 1963, except for a hiatus when Walker went on strike for better terms (1958–1959); among other demands, the actor wanted increased residuals, a reduction of the 50-percent cut of personal appearance payments that had to be turned over to Warner Brothers, and a release from the restriction of recording music only for the company's own label.
The interim saw the introduction of a virtual Bodie-clone called Bronco Layne, played by Ty Hardin, born in New York City but raised in Texas. Hardin was featured as the quasi main character during Bodie's absence. When Warners renegotiated Walker's contract and the actor returned to the show in 1959, Bronco was spun off as a show in its own right and became independently successful.
Even after returning to the program — having been prohibited from seeking other work during the long contract negotiation — Walker was unhappy to continue to play a role which he felt he had already exhausted. He told reporters that he felt like "a caged animal." Though Cheyenne aired for seven years, the series made only 108 episodes because it was in repeated alternation with other programs and was out of production during Clint Walker's contract dispute