During its run, the show was up against popular family shows such as "Lassie" and "The Wonderful World of Disney". Stars Rick Ely and Philippe Forquet became teenage idols and were widely featured in movie & fan magazines.
Despite extensive promotion and a large (by television standards of the era) production budget, "The Young Rebels" failed to garner enough of an audience and was canceled at midseason on January 4, 1971 after 15 episodes.
"The Young Rebels" was the story of a group of youthful guerrillas fighting on the Patriot side in the American Revolutionary War. They were part of the fictional "Yankee Doodle Society", based in Chester, Pennsylvania, in 1777. Their goal was to harass the British forces, however they could and serve as spies for the rebels.
The four main characters of the show were Jeremy (Richard Ely), the son of the mayor of Chester, Isak (Louis Gossett, Jr.), a former slave, Henry (Alex Henteloff), a bright young, bespectacled man who looked a lot (by design) like a younger Benjamin Franklin, whom he greatly admired and Elizabeth (Hilary Thompson), Jeremy's even-younger girlfriend.
Any parallel between this "youth movement" and the one going on in the United States in real life at the same time that this show was aired was completely intentional.
Aiding these young American rebels in their cause was a young French rebel, the Marquis de Lafayette (Philippe Forquet), who had come to their aid not just because he believed in their cause but also to learn how to export many of its principles to his native France.
- Richard Ely as Jeremy Larkin
- Louis Gossett Jr. as Isak Poole
- Alex Henteloff as Henry Abington
- Hilary Thompson as Elizabeth Coates
- Philippe Forquet as General the Marquis de Lafayette