This Is All We Know About Bonanza Season 1, Cast & More.
How Long Did the Show Run?
From 1959 until 1973, Bonanza was an American television series that aired on NBC. After Gunsmoke, Bonanza was the second-longest-running western on television, with 14 seasons and 440 episodes.
The series' 431 hour-long episodes were produced in colour throughout its existence. Bonanza premiered on Saturday evenings and ranked 45th in the Nielsen ratings in its first season. The sitcom rose to number 17 during its second season. At the start of its third season, Bonanza was shifted to Sundays at 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
The series' popularity skyrocketed in that time slot, and it was only surpassed by Wagon Train as the most popular programme on American prime time television. It remained in the top ten of the ratings until the twelfth season, and in the sixth, seventh, and eighth seasons, it ranked first. Bonanza was a global hit, airing in approximately 50 countries including Canada, Brazil, Yugoslavia, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Australia, and Japan.
About the show:
Bonanza is set near Virginia City, Nevada, and follows the weekly exploits of the Cartwright family, which includes Ben Cartwright (Lorne Greene) and his three kids, Adam (Pernell Roberts), Eric “Hoss” (Dan Blocker), and Joseph (Dan Blocker) (Michael Landon). Hop Sing, the ranch chef, was played by veteran actor Victor Sen Yung.
Pernell Roberts announced his intention to depart the series in 1964, therefore Barry Coe as Little Joe's wayward maternal half-brother Clay and Guy Williams as Ben's nephew Will Cartwright was cast as potential successors. Roberts, on the other hand, was persuaded to finish his contract and stayed until season six.
Clay and Will's characters were dropped from the show. Candy Canady, a ranch hand/foreman, is played by David Canary, who joined the cast in the ninth season. Canary departed the series after four years owing to a contract issue. Mitch Vogel joined the series as Jamie Hunter, a teenage orphan adopted by Ben Cartwright, in the eleventh season. After Dan Blocker died in May 1972, Greene, Landon, and Vogel resumed the show for a fourteenth season, with Canary returning as Candy (reportedly approached by Landon) and Tim Matheson introducing himself as ex-prisoner and newly hired ranch worker Griff King.
The show was transferred to Tuesday nights when it sank to number 52 in the ratings and was eventually discontinued. Bonanza, on the other hand, has remained popular in syndication. From 1964 through 1967, ” Bonanza ” was the most popular television show in the United States.
The Cartwrights, a fictional family of ranchers living in the mid-1800s near Virginia City, Nevada, an actual mining boomtown, were the subject of Bonanza, the first western broadcast in colour. The Cartwrights were an all-male family led by Ben (Lorne Greene), a three-time widower with three sons: Adam (Pernell Roberts), Hoss (Dan Blocker), and Little Joe (Dan Blocker) (Michael Landon). The eldest son, Adam, was serious and responsible, whilst Hoss was boisterous and oafish, and Little Joe was rashly amorous.
The show's drama eventually evolved to concerns connected to mining and managing the Cartwright ranch, the Ponderosa, in the later seasons, but it began with personality disputes between the brothers. The Cartwrights were frequently called upon to deal with dangerous strangers and restore peace.
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About the Cast:
Although Roberts left Bonanza in 1965, the show's popularity remained unaffected, despite the fact that there were now only two songs on the show. However, Blocker's untimely death in 1972 left a larger void, and Bonanza was cancelled after one season.
Bonanza followed several genre standards, but it also avoided some of them, which appealed to a wider audience. The Cartwrights were landowners, linked to the Ponderosa, and fixtures of the community, whereas westerns generally featured gunslingers roving the prairie. The Cartwrights used diplomacy and communication to settle problems rather than resorting to shootouts and showdowns.