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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

Wednesday
December 17
2:19pm
The Decision
When Hoss is injured on a cattle drive, Ben seeks the town doctor only to find him in jail waiting to be hanged for murder.
TV-PG
3:30pm
The Good Samaritan
Hoss brings together a young widowed mother and a man whose girlfriend left him.
TV-PG
Thursday
December 18
1:49pm
The Jury
Hoss serves on a jury deciding the fate of Jamie Wren who is accused of murder and robbery.
TV-PG
3:00pm
The Colonel
Ben is visited by his old friend Frank Medford, a down and out traveling salesman.
TV-PG
Friday
December 19
1:49pm
Song In The Dark
Adam's friend Danny Morgan likes to take rides at night, sing and play his guitar.
TV-PG
3:00pm
Elegy For A Hangman
A bitter young man, Bob Jolley, comes to Virginia City and begins to taunt Judge Harry Whitaker, a dear friend of the Cartwrights.
TV-PG

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