Sep. 12, 1959
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Lorne Greene isBen Cartwright
Ben Cartwright

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Bonanza is an NBC television western series that ran from September 12, 1959 to January 16, 1973. Lasting 14 seasons and 430 episodes, it ranks as the second longest running western series, and the fourth longest running episodic series in U.S broadcast history: Gunsmoke, The Simpsons, Law and Order, Bonanza, Ozzie and Harriet. It continues to air in syndication.

The show centers around the Cartwright family, who live in the area of Virginia City, Nevada, bordering Lake Tahoe. The series stars Lorne Greene, Pernell Roberts, Dan Blocker, Michael Landon, and later, David Canary.

The title “Bonanza” is a term used by miners in regard to a large vein or deposit of ore, and commonly refers to The Comstock Lode. In 2002, Bonanza was ranked No. 43 on TV Guide’s 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time, and in 2013 TV Guide included it in its list of The 60 Greatest Dramas of All Time. The time period for the television series is roughly between 1861 to 1867 during and shortly after the American Civil War.

During the summer of 1972, NBC aired reruns of episodes from the 1967-1970 period in prime time on Sunday evening under the title Ponderosa.

Original title Bonanza
First air date Sep. 12, 1959
Last air date Jan. 16, 1973
Seasons 14
Episodes 431

Seasons and episodes

1 Season 1 Sep. 12, 1959
2 Season 2 Sep. 10, 1960

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