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Bonanza

Latest Video Clips

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

(00:50)

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

Friday
August 28
2:30pm
The Trouble With Amy
Amy Wilder's neighbor wants to have her declared incompetent so he can claim her land.
TV-PG
3:30pm
A Rose For Lotta
Lotta Crabtree is hired by mining tycoon Alpheus Troy to lure one of the Cartwrights into town and hold him for ransom in exchange for Ponderosa timber rights.
TV-PG
4:36pm
Death On Sun Mountain
Ben discovers Mark Burdette and Early Thorne selling antelope meat to the miners at high prices.
TV-PG
Monday
August 31
2:30pm
The Newcomers
Ben discovers hydraulic miners camped on the ranch and has Hoss escort them off.
TV-PG
3:30pm
The Paiute War
The Pauites are falsely accused of attacks and the militia is summoned.
TV-PG
4:36pm
Enter Mark Twain
Virginia City is visited by Samuel Clemens who writes editorials for the Territorial Enterprise.
TV-PG
Tuesday
September 1
2:30pm
The Julia Bulette Story
Little Joe falls in love with Julia Bulette, a saloon owner.
TV-PG
3:30pm
The Saga Of Annie O'Toole
Annie O'Toole comes to Washoe Digging with a claim to a mine filed by her beau Swede Lundberg. Guest Star: Alan Hale
TV-PG
4:36pm
The Diedeshiemer Story
Philip Diedeshiemer works with Adam to prevent mine cave-ins. Guest Star: Alan Hale
TV-PG

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