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

Creator:

Reviews
Popularity
583 ( 1)

Watch Now

With Prime Video

WATCH NOW
ON TV
ON DISC
ALL

Episodes

Seasons


Years



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 9 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Gunsmoke (1955–1975)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Marshal Matt Dillon keeps the peace in the rough and tumble Dodge City.

Stars: James Arness, Milburn Stone, Amanda Blake
The Big Valley (1965–1969)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The Wild West adventures of the Barkley family in California's San Joaquin Valley.

Stars: Richard Long, Peter Breck, Lee Majors
The Virginian (1962–1971)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The Shiloh Ranch in Wyoming Territory of the 1890s is owned in sequence by Judge Garth, the Grainger brothers, and Col. MacKenzie. It is the setting for a variety of stories, many more ... See full summary »

Stars: Doug McClure, James Drury, Lee J. Cobb
Rawhide (1959–1965)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Gil Favor is trail boss of a continuous cattle drive; he is assisted by Rowdy Yates. The crew runs into characters and adventures along the way.

Stars: Clint Eastwood, Paul Brinegar, Steve Raines
Maverick (1957–1962)
Comedy | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Bret and Bart Maverick (and in later seasons, their English cousin, Beau) are well dressed gamblers who migrate from town to town always looking for a good game. Poker (five-card draw) is ... See full summary »

Stars: Jack Kelly, James Garner, Roger Moore
The High Chaparral (1967–1971)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The Cannon family runs the High Chaparral Ranch in the Arizona Territory in 1870s. Big John wants to establish his cattle empire despite Indian hostility. He's aided by brother Buck and son... See full summary »

Stars: Leif Erickson, Cameron Mitchell, Henry Darrow
Daniel Boone (1964–1970)
Adventure | History | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Frontier hero Daniel Boone conducts surveys and expeditions around Boonesborough, running into both friendly and hostile Indians, just before and during the Revolutionary War.

Stars: Fess Parker, Patricia Blair, Darby Hinton
The Lone Ranger (1949–1957)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The adventures of the masked hero and his Native American partner.

Stars: Jay Silverheels, Clayton Moore, John Hart
Wagon Train (1957–1965)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Stories of the journeys of a wagon train as it leaves post-Civil War Missouri on its way to California through the plains, deserts and Rocky Mountains. The first treks were led by gruff, ... See full summary »

Stars: Frank McGrath, Terry Wilson, Robert Horton
Have Gun - Will Travel (1957–1963)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

The adventures of a gentlemanly gunfighter for hire.

Stars: Richard Boone, Kam Tong, Hal Needham
Cheyenne (1955–1963)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

After the Civil War, nomadic adventurer Cheyenne Bodie roamed the west looking for fights, women and bad guys to beat up. His job changed from episode to episode.

Stars: Clint Walker, Clyde Howdy, Chuck Hicks
Kung Fu (1972–1975)
Adventure | Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The adventures of a Shaolin Monk as he wanders the American West armed only with his skill in Kung Fu.

Stars: David Carradine, Radames Pera, Keye Luke
Edit

Cast

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)
Edit

Storyline

The Cartwright's one-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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 September 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ponderosa  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(430 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

4:3
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

After 11 seasons the show's theme music was replaced at the start of Season 12 by an original tune composed by David Rose. Rose would continue to work with Michael Landon after "Bonanza" ceased production by becoming the resident composer on Landon's two later series "Little House on the Prairie" and "Highway to Heaven". See more »

Goofs

Floor model wheel slot machine in saloon was not built until 1896. See more »

Quotes

Ben Cartwright: You and your education.
Adam Cartwright: Education is progress! Now what have you got against it?
Ben Cartwright: I don't have anything against education - as long as it doesn't interfere with your thinking!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening and closing credits show a picture on the screen that corresponds with whatever credit is being given ("Music by" is accompanied by a man playing a violin, "Written by" has a Mark Twain-inspired writer type holding a book with "Bonanza" written on its cover, etc.) See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Bonanza
Written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The Great Western
22 May 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Bonanza" aired on NBC in September of 1959. Filmed in color, it was put in the 7:30 PM slot on Saturday nights so that people in the appliance stores could see it on the television sets and be convinced to buy an RCA color television. The ploy worked.

In 1961 it was moved to Sunday nights after NBC realized they had a hit on their hands. It lasted another 13 or so years before being canceled. But it is a landmark in television history.

One suggestion - if you ever find a DVD of "Bonanza" and an episode titled "To Die in Darkness" is listed, don't hesitate to buy the DVD. The episode guest-starred James Whitmore and was filmed in about the mid-1960s. All I will say is that the episode was probably the best of the series.


13 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page