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Bonanza (1959–1973)

TV Series  |  TV-PG  |   |  Western
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 4,997 users  
Reviews: 45 user | 26 critic

The adventures of Ben Cartwright and his sons as they run and defend their ranch while helping the surrounding community.

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14   13   12   11   10   9   8   7   6   … See all »
1973   1972   1971   1970   1969   1968   … See all »
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 8 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete series cast summary:
 Ben Cartwright / ... (430 episodes, 1959-1973)
 Joseph 'Little Joe' Cartwright / ... (427 episodes, 1959-1973)
 Eric 'Hoss' Cartwright / ... (415 episodes, 1959-1972)
 Adam Cartwright (200 episodes, 1959-1965)


The Cartwright's ten-thousand square mile Ponderosa Ranch is located near Virginia City, Nevada, site of the Comstock Silver Lode, during and after the Civil War. Each of the sons was born to a different wife of Ben's; none of the mothers is still alive. Adventures are typical western ones, with lots of personal relationships/problems thrown in as well. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

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TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

12 September 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ponderosa  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(430 episodes)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

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Did You Know?


During the first season of the show, the guest stars were paid far more than the stars of the show because the producers didn't think that the stars were well-known enough to pull in viewers. See more »


During the first season opening credits, the Cartwrights can be seen galloping on horses on a dirt road that contains an unmistakable set of tire tracks from the truck carrying the camera in front of them. See more »


Adam Cartwright: Let's go back to the Ponderosa, Pa. This isn't any of our affair.
Ben Cartwright: We can't ignore the rest of the world. We're the only stabilizing influence in the country.
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Crazy Credits

In the opening sequence, when the actors ride on their horses towards the camera and are introduced, the order in which they are introduced is never consistent - this was most likely done to prevent a single actor from becoming the "main" star of the show. See more »


Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Tom Hanks/Keith Richards (1988) See more »


Written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

great western

This series is great for many things. The Cartwrights are righteous, hard working and well respected. They work from early in the morning until they sit down for dinner, eating meat and potatoes. Dan Blocker was Texas heaviest baby when he was born, and Little Joe (Michael Landon) always comments on how much he eats for dinner. Pernell Roberts is very cool as Adam, and Lorne Greene, playing Ben Cartwright depicts a very noble and respectable man. Under the scorching sun they meet problems like racism, indians and every other problem you could expect those days. Great entertainment. A TV-series like this will never be made again.

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