The adventures of Ben Cartwright and his sons as they run and defend their ranch while helping the surrounding community.
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1973   1972   1971   1970   1969   1968   … See all »
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 9 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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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)
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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:

 »
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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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Both Robert Blake and Robert Fuller were considered for the role of Little Joe Cartwright, but lost to Michael Landon. This was because producer David Dortort had mixed feelings about the new, unfamiliar actor auditioning for the part, thinking Landon was way too young to play the role. With the encouragement of his wife, who picked up a publicity still of Landon, Dortort changed his mind and gave Landon the role. See more »

Goofs

The story of Bonanza starts in 1859 Nevada but the clothing worn by the cast is invariably 20th century . For example belt loops did not appear on men's trousers and jeans until many decades later. See more »

Quotes

[running gag]
Ben Cartwright: Hey, Joe, do you know the difference between a table and an ottoman?
Joseph 'Little Joe' Cartwright: Sure I do.
Ben Cartwright: Then take your feet off the table!
[Hoss rolls his eyes]
Eric 'Hoss' Cartwright: He'll never learn to do that.
See more »

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 »

Connections

Referenced in The Hateful Eight (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Bonanza
Written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans
See more »

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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