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Bonanza: Bar Brawl

This isn't the first bar brawl for the Cartwright boys, and it certainly won't be the last. (01:30)

Bathing Beauty

Nothing like seeing a grown man in a bath. Little Joe doesn't want to go with Hoss so he takes Hoss's clothes and hangs him out to dry. (01:31)

Making a Mill

You almost expect to hear "Whistle While You Work." The Cartwrights help Tom Edwards to build a mill. (00:57)

Bonanza Theme Song


About Bonanza

Bonanza was one of the longest running and most popular of all TV Westerns. For 14 seasons, audiences enthusiastically tuned in to see the High Sierra adventures of the Cartwright clan. Nestled above the shores of Lake Tahoe is the Ponderosa Ranch, home of Ben Cartwright and his sons Adam, Hoss and Joe (a.k.a. "Little Joe"). Each of the young men was born to a different deceased mother, making poor Ben a three-time widower. Strong characters and intriguing plots helped to set Bonanza apart from the usual gun-slinging formula shows of its heyday.

One reason for Bonanza's success was the show's attention to script development. The characters were allowed to grow and evolve; story lines crossed into controversial topics, exploring racial tension, domestic violence and substance abuse. Each of the Cartwright men developed relationships with women on the show; although almost every woman that came into their lives died tragically.

When it premiered on NBC Sept. 12, 1959, Bonanza was not an immediate ratings winner, but the show remained on the air due to the fact that it was one of few shows filmed in color. After barely surviving its first two seasons on Saturday nights, the show moved to Sunday and became a hit: It was the No. 1 show four years in a row from 1964 to 1967. In 10 of its 14 years on the air, Bonanza was in the national Top 10 -- quite a comeback for those Cartwrights.

Bonanza TV Schedule

July 8
King Of The Mountain
Big Jim Leyton returns, newly engaged, and asks Hoss to be his best man. Guest Star: Slim Pickens
Love Me Not
When Ben visits his friends the Pauites and brings a gift, they return the favor by giving him a white girl they raised.
The Pure Truth
Much to the distress of his family, Hoss is suffering from spring fever.
July 9
No Less A Man
The notorious Wagner gang is headed for Virginia City.
Return To Honor
Ben must travel to pay his respects after he learns of the death of his nephew Will.
The Saga Of Muley Jones
The Cartwrights are visited by cousin Muley Jones, a man with a glass shattering singing voice.
July 10
The Roper
Will Cartwright is home alone when Army soldiers arrive at the Ponderosa with a prisoner named Hewitt.
A Pink Cloud Comes From Old Cathay
Instead of fireworks; Hoss mistakenly receives a bride from the Yipee Trading Company.Guest Star: Marlo Thomas
The Companeros
Mateo Ibara and his wife Carla visit the Ponderosa and Ibara asks Will to return to Mexico with him.

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