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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

August 21
Commitment To Angelus
Joe and Candy stop in Angelus and meet Joes old friend Steve Regan.
In Defense Of Honor
Davey was abandoned by his tribe during a battle in which his parents were killed, but has been taken care of by Ben since. Ben is arranging a treaty between the Utes & White Men, yet a situation with Davey threatens the treaty.
August 22
Salute To Yesterday
The Cartwrights and Candy help the army fight off gold thieves.
The Last Vote
When Hoss and Joe back different candidates for Mayor, they decide to bet on the outcome of the election.
August 25
Catch As Catch Can
While in Tin Bucket, the Cartwright's & Candy encounter serious trouble. After being put in jail, Joe finally convines the sheriff that all that has happened to the Cartwright's since coming to town are more than a coincidence.
The Sound Of Drums
Georgio is at odds with his neighbors because he has let some hungry Indians live on his land.

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