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Texas Ranch House provides a glimpse of ranch life in 1867

If you missed the first episodes of Texas Ranch House on PBS last night, it's not too late to get on board with this new reality series from the makers of Frontier House and Colonial House.

In Texas Ranch House, participants travel back in time to post-Civil War Texas, where they spent a summer learning to rope, ride and ranch like cowboys would have in 1867, without modern conveniences.

The series revolves around goings-on in the ranch house and the bunk house.

The Cookes, a California family who are playing the part of ranch owners for the series, live in the ranch house. The "girl of all work" (basically a servant) also lives there with them. In the bunk house, cowboys and cooks from England, Texas, Missouri, Colorado, Ohio, New York and Vermont do the daily ranching work.

In last night's episodes, everyone left modern life behind and arrived at their new home. The Cookes began to settle into their new roles, with the drudgery of domestic life taking a toll on the women of the house. Meanwhile, the cowboys got a lesson in hard labor, digging post holes and building fence and cattle chutes. Tempers flared, disagreements were had, and someone was fired, but in the end, the group got the chance to unwind with a Fourth of July party.

"Texas Ranch House may be the most challenging hands-on history series we’ve done," said executive producer Jody Sheff. "The ranchers and cowboys are constantly working with temperamental horses, riding a harsh terrain riddled with ravines and rattlesnakes, not to mention the 100-plus-degree heat. The physical demands on our participants and the distances they must cover make this House experience unique."

The eight-part series continues tonight through Thursday, with two new episodes each evening at 9:00 and 10:00 p.m. ET on PBS. The entire series will be rebroadcast starting with the first episode this Sunday, May 7. The remaining episodes will be broadcast Sunday nights through June 25.

Learn more about Texas Ranch House, check local listings, get an interactive history lesson, and take online quizzes to see how you'd do as an 1867 Texas ranch hand, at www.pbs.org/wnet/ranchhouse.

Photo: Wyman Meinzer/Thirteen/WNET New York

If you missed the first episodes of Texas Ranch House on PBS last night, it's not too late to get on board with this new reality series from the makers of Frontier House and Colonial House.

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