Bonanza

Bonanza was one of the longest running and most popular of all television 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, Monday – Friday at 4pm, on Fox Classics

Season 13
Episode
Date & time
 
8: Face Of Fear
 
8: Face Of Fear
Tue 29 August·5:40am
7: Don't Cry, My Son
 
7: Don't Cry, My Son
Mon 28 August·5:40am
6: Cassie
 
6: Cassie
Fri 25 August·5:40am
5: The Prisoners
 
5: The Prisoners
Thu 24 August·5:40am
4: Rock-A-Bye Hoss
 
4: Rock-A-Bye Hoss
Wed 23 August·5:40am
3: Bushwhacked!
 
3: Bushwhacked!
Tue 22 August·5:40am
2: Fallen Woman
 
2: Fallen Woman
Mon 21 August·5:40am
1: The Grand Swing
 
1: The Grand Swing
Fri 18 August·5:40am
14: The Jury
 
14: The Jury
Tue 29 August·3:55pm
13: The Good Samaritan
 
13: The Good Samaritan
Fri 25 August·4:00pm
12: The Decison
 
12: The Decison
Thu 24 August·3:55pm
11: Gallagher's Sons
 
11: Gallagher's Sons
Wed 23 August·4:00pm
10: The Deadly Ones
 
10: The Deadly Ones
Tue 22 August·4:00pm
9: The Beginning
 
9: The Beginning
Mon 21 August·4:00pm
8: Knight Errant
 
8: Knight Errant
Fri 18 August·3:55pm
7: The War Comes To Washoe
 
7: The War Comes To Washoe
Thu 17 August·4:00pm