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 9
Episode
Date & time
 
6: False Witness
 
6: False Witness
Mon 7 May·4:30pm
Rec
4: Judgment At Olympus
 
4: Judgment At Olympus
Wed 2 May·4:30pm
Rec
3: The Conquistadores
 
3: The Conquistadores
Tue 1 May·4:00pm
Rec
2: Sense Of Duty
 
2: Sense Of Duty
Fri 27 April·4:00pm
Rec
1: Second Chance
 
1: Second Chance
Thu 26 April·4:00pm
Rec
34: The Greedy Ones
 
34: The Greedy Ones
Wed 25 April·4:00pm
Rec
10: The Waiting Game
 
10: The Waiting Game
Tue 8 May·6:00am
Rec
9: The Quality Of Mercy
 
9: The Quality Of Mercy
Mon 7 May·6:00am
Rec
8: Journey Remembered
 
8: Journey Remembered
Fri 4 May·6:00am
Rec
7: Calamity Over The Comstock
 
7: Calamity Over The Comstock
Thu 3 May·6:00am
Rec
6: A Question Of Strength
 
6: A Question Of Strength
Wed 2 May·6:00am
Rec
5: The Toy Soldier
 
5: The Toy Soldier
Tue 1 May·6:00am
Rec
4: Twilight Town
 
4: Twilight Town
Mon 30 April·6:00am
Rec
3: Rain From Heaven
 
3: Rain From Heaven
Fri 27 April·6:00am
Rec
2: A Passion For Justice
 
2: A Passion For Justice
Thu 26 April·6:00am
Rec
1: She Walks In Beauty
 
1: She Walks In Beauty
Wed 25 April·6:00am