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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 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 »

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Details

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Release Date:

12 September 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ponderosa  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(430 episodes)

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

4:3
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One piece of footage was used often, of the main street in Virginia City. You'll notice in the lower left, a surrey with passengers, with a Chinese Man and an Indian talking over a jug, and in the lower right, two old prospectors with mules. See more »

Goofs

The trips to Virginia City and back would take 8-12 hours as both it and the Ponderosa are located in the mountains south of Reno, NV. Given the heavy snows experienced at Lake Tahoe, such trips would be nearly impossible in the wintertime. There wouldn't be any quick trips into town. See more »

Quotes

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 »

Connections

Referenced in Roseanne: Like a Virgin (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

Bonanza
Written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The Great Western
22 May 2005 | by 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.


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