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 7
Episode
Date & time
 
1: The Debt
 
1: The Debt
Fri 22 December·4:00pm
34: Patchwork Man
 
34: Patchwork Man
Thu 21 December·4:30pm
33: The Spotlight
 
33: The Spotlight
Wed 20 December·4:10pm
32: Jonah
 
32: Jonah
Tue 19 December·3:55pm
31: The Return
 
31: The Return
Fri 15 December·3:50pm
30: Lothario Larkin
 
30: Lothario Larkin
Wed 13 December·3:50pm
29: To Own The World
 
29: To Own The World
Tue 12 December·3:50pm
17: The Spitfire
 
17: The Spitfire
Fri 22 December·5:40am
16: The Courtship
 
16: The Courtship
Thu 21 December·5:45am
15: The Blood Line
 
15: The Blood Line
Wed 20 December·5:45am
14: The Ape
 
14: The Ape
Tue 19 December·5:40am
13: Silent Thunder
 
13: Silent Thunder
Mon 18 December·5:45am
12: The Savage
 
12: The Savage
Fri 15 December·5:40am
11: The Trail Gang
 
11: The Trail Gang
Thu 14 December·5:40am
10: The Last Viking
 
10: The Last Viking
Wed 13 December·5:40am