Legend was a science fiction Western television show that ran on UPN from April 18, 1995 until August 22, 1995. Richard Dean Anderson stars as Ernest Pratt, a gambling, womanizing, hard-drinking writer who has created a dashing literary hero, Nicodemus Legend, the main character in a wildly imaginative series of dime novels set in the dangerous, untamed West. Pratt has created Legend in his own image, and all the novels are written in the first person. Because of this, many readers believe that Ernest Pratt is Nicodemus Legend. The irony is that while Pratt himself is something of a lost soul, he has created in Nicodemus Legend a romantic hero who embodies all the optimism and creative spirit of America in the 1870s.
In the premiere episode, Pratt learns that someone has been impersonating his literary creation, Nicodemus Legend. A warrant has been issued in Sheridan, Colorado for Legend's arrest on charges of malicious mischief, theft of water rights, and disturbing livestock. Noting that, "I am not, nor will I ever be, a man who disturbs livestock," Pratt travels to Sheridan to clear the name of his hero. In Sheridan, he meets the eccentric European scientist and inventor, Janos Bartok. Bartok is a great admirer of Pratt's clever Western tales, and has taken the liberty of "borrowing" the Legend persona in order to help the townspeople of Sheridan.
Pratt is cornered by the awkward situation and by Bartok's persistent efforts to convince him that he must take on Legend's identity. Bartok tells Pratt, "Your celebrity has the power to give our enemies pause. My science can increase that reputation. And together, we will create the real Legend." Pratt reluctantly agrees to assume the persona of his literary creation, Nicodemus Legend, and to live out the image he has created of an adventurous man dedicated to justice and science.
John de Lancie co-stars as the Hungarian scientist and creative genius, Janos Bartok. Also co-starring is newcomer Mark Adair Rios as Huitzilopochtli Ramos, Bartok's brilliant young associate scientist who is descended from Aztec kings. Bob Balaban portrays Harry Parver, the representative of Pratt's Eastern publishing company.
Cast: Richard Dean Anderson (Ernest Pratt - Nicodemus Legend), John de Lancie (Janos Christoff Bartok), Mark Adair Rios (Huitzilopochtli Ramos), Jarrad Paul (Skeeter)
Guest Stars: Bob Balaban (Harry Parver), Stephanie Beacham (Vera Slaughter), Katherine Moffat (Kate Sullivan), Jon Pennell (Silas Slaughter), Douglas Rowe (Sheriff Sam Motes), Tim Thomerson (John Wesley Coe), Pete Schrum (Alidar ), Betsy Beard (Mrs. Brull), Stephanie Copperman (Viktoria Brull), Dick Bellerue (Geezer), Forrie J. Smith (Jesse James), Monty Stuart (Frank James), Jennifer Wilson (Miss Freeman), Bob Sorrenson (Titus Berman), John Furlong (Governor Kirkpatrick Dennehy)