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 3
Episode
Date & time
 
17: The Lady From Baltimore
 
17: The Lady From Baltimore
Mon 1 July·2:50pm
16: The Tall Stranger
 
16: The Tall Stranger
Fri 28 June·1:40pm
15: Land Grab
 
15: Land Grab
Thu 27 June·2:20pm
14: Gabrielle
 
14: Gabrielle
Wed 26 June·2:35pm
Rec
 
 
Thu 27 June·1:30pm
13: The Tin Badge
 
13: The Tin Badge
Tue 25 June·2:20pm
12: The Frenchman
 
12: The Frenchman
Mon 24 June·2:30pm
11: Day Of The Dragon
 
11: Day Of The Dragon
Fri 21 June·2:20pm
10: The Horse Breaker
 
10: The Horse Breaker
Thu 20 June·1:40pm
9: The Countess
 
9: The Countess
Wed 19 June·2:25pm
8: The Friendship
 
8: The Friendship
Tue 18 June·2:20pm
18: House Divided
 
18: House Divided
Sun 30 June·6:00am
17: The Outcast
 
17: The Outcast
Sat 29 June·6:00am
16: El Tore Grande
 
16: El Tore Grande
Sun 23 June·6:00am
15: The Last Hunt
 
15: The Last Hunt
Sat 22 June·6:00am