The TV show Bonanza made its premiere on this date in 1959. It was the first television series to be broadcast in color and was a long-running hit for NBC. In fact, it was the second longest running western TV series behind Gunsmoke.
How many episodes of the TV series Bonanza were produced?
The TV series Bonanza ran for 14 seasons, from September 12, 1959 to January 16, 1973. The program centers around the Cartwright family, who live on their ranch, the Ponderosa, in the area near Lake Tahoe, Nevada. It stared Lorne Greene, Pernell Roberts, Dan Blocker, and Michael Landon.
Initially, Bonanza aired on Saturday evenings opposite Perry Mason. However, Bonanza’s ratings were dismal and the show was soon targeted for cancellation. However, NBC kept it because Bonanza was one of the first series to be filmed and broadcast in color and NBC’s corporate parent, RCA, used the show to spur sales of RCA-manufactured color television sets (RCA was also the primary sponsor of the series during its first two seasons).
NBC moved Bonanza to Sundays at 9:00 pm Eastern with new sponsor Chevrolet. The new time slot caused Bonanza to soar in the ratings, and it eventually reached number one by 1964, an honor it would keep until 1967. By 1970, Bonanza was the first series to appear in the Top Five list for nine consecutive seasons (a record that would stand for many years) and thus established itself as the single biggest hit television series of the 1960s. Bonanza remained high on the Nielsen ratings until 1971, when it finally fell out of the Top Ten.
In all, during the 14 years it was produced, 430 episodes were made.
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