The legendary Western show Bonanza is revolves around the "Cartwright" family and their weekly shenanigans at their ranch near Lake Tahoe, Nevada. "Ben Cartwright" and his three sons, "Adam", "Hoss" and "Joe", including a few other characters made up the cast of the show...!
The iconic Western TV show Bonanza was on the air for 14 years (and 14 seasons) from 1959 until 1973 on NBC. The story about the "Cartwright" family led by "Ben" (Lorne Greene), who takes care of his three sons "Adam" (Pernell Roberts), "Hoss" (Dan Blocker) and "Little Joe" (Michael Landon), had audiences glued to the TV screens for years. To this day, Bonanza is still one of the most popular and successful TV shows of all time.
Bonanza was Michael Landon's big break
And the show was a real stepping stone for the youngest "Cartwright" family member, played by Michael Landon. After Bonanza ended in 1973, Dan Blocker (who played "Eric 'Hoss' Cartwright on Bonanza) had passed in 1972, Michael Landon took only one year off until he threw himself into another project that would keep him occupied for almost a decade.
He went on to star in, direct and produce the show Little House on the Prairie, another true TV classic that ran for 9 seasons until 1983. While Bonanza really put him on the map, Landon's legacy will always be Little House on the Prairie.
Meanwhile, Bonanza is still ranks overall as the second-longest-running western series on U.S. network television, behind CBS's Gunsmoke!