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Bonanza

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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

Tuesday
September 2
12:30pm
The Unwanted
Bens friend Marshall Luke Mansfield and his daughter Lorrie visit the Ponderosa.
TV-PG
1:40pm
The Fence
Ben & Hoss visit their friend, Sam, but are surprised when soldiers show up. Unknown to Ben & Hoss, Sam is really Thomas Andrews, who ran a Confederate prison camp during the Civil War, & the prisoners are out for revenge.
TV-PG
Wednesday
September 3
12:00pm
The Witness
Jenny Winters steps forward as the only witness to a stagecoach robbery in which one man was killed and another seriously wounded.
TV-PG
1:10pm
A Lawman's Lot Is Not A Happy One
Roy Coffee goes with Ben to San Francisco to testify against some timber sharks.
TV-PG
Thursday
September 4
12:00pm
Anatomy Of A Lynching
Will Griner is acquitted of murder and the people of Virginia City are upset.
TV-PG
1:10pm
To Stop a War
Frank Slater, a prominent rancher, wants the cattlemen's association to hire a range detective to stop the rustling. Slater blames the "nesters" that have settled in the area.
TV-PG

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