Bonanza was one of the world’s most popular western television series
It was also was the first color movie produced for American television, which led to the dumping of monochrome sets and the purchase of new televisions by viewers who wanted to see Bonanza in the new format.
The show was also was the second-longest-running series in American television history, lasting fourteen years, from 1959 to 1973.
Only the western “Gunsmoke”’, had a longer broadcasting of 20 seasons.
The historical reference of the series dates back to end of the American Civil War in the 1860s
The opening ten seconds of each episode, showing a map dissolving in a ring of fire, revealing the show’s four horsed protagonists – the Cartwright family clan, led by patriarch Ben (played by Lorne Greene) and his three sons, Adam (Pernell Roberts), Hoss (Dan Blocker) and Little Joe (Michael Landon)-as well as the country & western musical theme, became the trade mark of the series.
The program was filmed in the Lake Tahoe mountainous area, situated in Incline Village, in the border between Nevada and California States, a superb landscape background for the location of the Ponderosa Ranch.
The Ponderosa Ranch, where Bonanza episodes were shot became a tourist attraction, visited by thousands of fans, who wanted to reminisce about the outdoor scenes and the familiar interior sets of the main house and adjoining barns and stables, where a lot of action of the famous cowboys series took place.
The visit to the estate included various attractions, including action-packed gunfights and saloon brawls.
The unprecedented popularity of Bonanza continues to our days with regular streaming runs in syndication channels.