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 8
Episode
Date & time
 
11: The Oath
 
11: The Oath
Thu 8 March·3:55pm
10: Ballad Of The Ponderosa
 
10: Ballad Of The Ponderosa
Tue 6 March·3:50pm
9: Old Charlie
 
9: Old Charlie
Fri 2 March·3:50pm
8: Four Sisters From Boston
 
8: Four Sisters From Boston
Tue 27 February·3:55pm
1: The First Born
 
1: The First Born
Thu 8 March·6:00am
34: The Miracle Maker
 
34: The Miracle Maker
Wed 7 March·6:00am
33: The Mountain Girl
 
33: The Mountain Girl
Tue 6 March·6:00am
32: The Long Night
 
32: The Long Night
Mon 5 March·6:00am
31: The Dowry
 
31: The Dowry
Fri 2 March·6:00am
30: Blessed Are They
 
30: Blessed Are They
Thu 1 March·6:00am
29: Inger, My Love
 
29: Inger, My Love
Wed 28 February·6:00am
28: The Crucible
 
28: The Crucible
Tue 27 February·6:00am
27: The Gamble
 
27: The Gamble
Mon 26 February·6:00am