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Archived from the original PDF on Aviation Week Network. June Disciples of Flight. Retrieved Archived from the original on Product Analysis" PDF.
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Retrieved August 8, Retrieved 1 October According to producer David Dortort: "Over the years he gave me the least amount of trouble.
In May , Blocker died suddenly from a post-operative pulmonary embolism following surgery to remove his gall bladder. The producers felt nobody else could continue the role.
It was the first time a TV show's producers chose to kill off a young major male character though it was done twice previously with young female leads—in on Make Room For Daddy , and again in with The Real McCoys.
Although "big and lovable", Blocker was also tough. During the shooting of one episode, Blocker's horse stumbled and fell, throwing Blocker and breaking his collarbone.
Blocker got up and the bone was actually protruding from his skin. The crew wanted to call an ambulance but Blocker refused and stuck the bone back in place himself and resumed filming.
At the end of the day he was convinced to go to the hospital where they set the broken bone and gave him strict instructions, no riding for six weeks.
According to Landon, evidently Blocker's horse forgot what it was like to carry the big man during his convalescence because the first time that Blocker swung up into the saddle on his return, the horse collapsed under his weight and the cast and crew collapsed in fits of laughter.
The role of "Little Joe" was given to Michael Landon. He portrayed the youngest Cartwright son, whose mother Felicia in the pilot, and later changed to Marie was of French Creole descent.
Landon began to develop his skills in writing and directing Bonanza episodes, starting with "The Gamble. Beginning in , a foundation was being laid to include another "son", as Pernell Roberts was displeased with his character.
The character departed in that same episode, but left an opportunity for a return if needed. This character's paternity is open to debate.
After Ben consoles Marie, the two bond and marry. They choose to honor "Big Joe" by calling their son "Little Joe". Veteran character actor Ray Teal essayed the role of Sheriff Roy Coffee on 98 episodes from to His longest-running role was as Sheriff Roy Coffee.
He had also played a sheriff in the Billy Wilder film Ace in the Hole Teal was a bit-part player in western films for several years before landing a substantial role in Northwest Passage starring Spencer Tracy.
Notable film roles include playing one of the judges in Judgment at Nuremberg with Spencer Tracy, and an indulgent bar owner to Marlon Brando 's motorcycle gang in The Wild One , which was the second of three times that Teal appeared with Brando, having done so already as a drunk in Brando's debut in The Men and later in Brando's only directorial effort, One-Eyed Jacks , as a bartender.
Sheriff Coffee was occasionally the focus of a plot as in the episode "No Less a Man" broadcast March 15, A gang of thieves has been terrorizing towns around Virginia City and the town council wants to replace Coffee, whom they consider over-the-hill, with a younger sheriff before the gang hits town, not realizing that they'd been spared earlier because the gang's leader was wary of Coffee's longevity and only acquiesced to rob the Virginia City bank after extreme pressure from other gang members.
Coffee ends up showing the town that youth and a fast gun don't replace experience. Guy Williams was slated in , the year that Bonanza hit 1 in the ratings, to replace Pernell Roberts upon Roberts' departure, enabling the series to preserve the four-Cartwright format for the run of the series.
His character, Ben's nephew Will Cartwright, was introduced and was the lead character in five episodes, receiving "Starring" billing after the four original rotating Cartwrights during his second appearance going forward, but Roberts changed his mind later and decided to stay for one more season, whereupon Williams found himself pushed out of the part; it was rumored that Michael Landon and Lorne Greene felt threatened by the studio initiating a precedent of successfully replacing one heroic leading man Cartwright with a new one, particularly in view of Williams' popularity with viewers.
Williams had previously portrayed the titular character in Walt Disney 's Zorro television series, and went on to play the lead in Lost in Space , a science fiction television series, after the role in Bonanza ended.
After graduating from the University of Cincinnati , David Canary was offered a left-end position with the Denver Broncos ,  but pursued acting and singing.
In , he joined the cast as "Candy" Canaday, a plucky Army brat turned cowboy,  who became the Cartwrights' confidant, ranch foreman and timber vessel captain.
Dortort was impressed by Canary's talent, but the character vanished in September , after Canary had a contract dispute.
He returned two seasons later after co-star Dan Blocker's death, reportedly having been approached by Landon.
Canary played the character on a total of 93 episodes. Chinese American actor Victor Sen Yung played the Cartwrights' happy-go-lucky cook, whose blood pressure rose when the family came late for dinner.
Cast here as the faithful domestic, the comedy relief character had little to do beyond chores. He once used martial arts to assail a towering family foe.
As a semi-regular cast member, Sen Yung was only paid per episode. After 14 years, he was widely known, but making far less than his Ponderosa peers.
Bonanza series creator David Dortort told the Archive of American Television that the "Hop Sing" character generated massive fandom - "Victor was just absolutely delightful.
He loved the part; he loved doing it. In fact, he began to develop fans, to the extent that I wrote him in as the feature part in a number of shows.
After Canary's departure in mid, and aware of the show's aging demographic, the writers sought a fresh outlet for Ben's fatherly advice.
Vogel played the red-haired orphan of a roving rainmaker, whom Ben takes in and adopts later in a episode, called "A Home for Jamie. During the final season, in —73, Tim Matheson portrayed Griff King, a parolee who tries to reform his life as a worker at the Ponderosa Ranch under Ben Cartwright's tutelage.
Following Canary's departure, Frizzell's character accompanied Jamie Hunter to the Ponderosa and became the Cartwright's foreman.
Bonanza ' s initial ratings were respectable, often coming in behind Mason but ahead of the ABC lineup. Ironically, executives considered canceling the show before its premiere because of its high cost.
NBC kept it because Bonanza was one of the first series to be filmed and broadcast in color , including scenes of picturesque Lake Tahoe, Nevada.
The new time slot caused Bonanza to soar in the ratings, and it eventually reached number one by , an honor it would keep until when it was seriously challenged by the socially daring variety show , The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour on CBS.
By , 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 most consistent strong-performing hit television series of the s.
Bonanza remained high on the Nielsen ratings until , when it finally fell out of the Top Ten. After the series was canceled in , the syndicated reruns reverted to the Bonanza name.
From the third season on, the Cartwrights and nearly every other recurring character on the show wore the same clothing in almost every episode.
The reason for this is twofold: it made duplication of wardrobe easier for stunt doubles Hal Burton, Bob Miles, Bill Clark, Lyle Heisler, Ray Mazy and it cut the cost of refilming action shots such as riding clips in-between scenes , as previously shot stock footage could be reused.
Below is a survey of costumes employed:. It was not unusual for Little Joe Cartwright and Candy Canaday to appear shirtless in various scenes involving manual labor.
In , Blocker began wearing a toupee on the series, as he was approaching age 40 and his hair loss was becoming more evident.
Landon was the only original cast member who was wig-free throughout the series, as even Sen Yung wore an attached rattail- queue.
Bonanza features a memorable theme song by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans that was orchestrated by David Rose and arranged by Billy May for the television series.
The Bonanza theme song famously opens with a blazing Ponderosa map and saddlebound Cartwrights. The melodic intro, emulating galloping horses, is one of the most recognized television scores.
Variations of the theme were used for 12 seasons on the series. Although there were two official sets of lyrics some country-western singers, avoiding royalties, substituted the copyright renditions with their own words , the series simply used an instrumental theme.
Three of the cast members bellowed-out the original lyrics, unaccompanied, at the close of the pilot Pernell Roberts, the sole professional singer of the quartet, abstained and untethered the horse reins.
Before the pilot aired on September 12, , the song sequence, deemed too campy, was edited out of the scene and instead the Cartwrights headed back to the ranch whooping and howling.
In a song, the Livingston-Evans lyrics were revised by Lorne Greene with a more familial emphasis, "on this land we put our brand, Cartwright is the name, fortune smiled the day we filed the Ponderosa claim" "Bonanza", Bear Family Box set, Disc 2.
In , a slightly revamped horn and percussion-heavy arrangement of the original score introduced the series- which was used until A new theme song, called "The Big Bonanza" was written in by episode scorer David Rose, and was used from — Action-shot pictorials of the cast replaced the galloping trio.
Finally, a faster rendition of the original music returned for the 14th and final season, along with action shots of the cast. The theme song has been recorded by numerous artists in a diverse variety of styles.
The first recorded and released version was an instrumental by Marty Gold , on his album Swingin' West.
This was followed by the February single by Buddy Morrow and his Orchestra, which included vocals. Morrow's version also appeared on his album Double Impact which featured several other then-recent television themes.
In December , another vocal version was issued only in the United Kingdom by Johnny Gregory bandleader and his Orchestra and Chorus released on the Fontana label.
All aforementioned vocal versions, including the television pilot, used lyrics written by Livingston and Evans contained in the first published sheet music for the song, though not all the lyrics were sung.
A Bonanza soundtrack album released in late included a version by David Rose; Rose also had a single and included the theme on his album Exodus in a different mix.
The biggest hit version is a guitar instrumental by Al Caiola , which reached number 19 on Billboard in Country singer Johnny Cash was first to record a full length vocal version of the theme song.
He and Johnny Western discarded the original Livingston and Evans lyrics, and wrote new ones, though the revised lyrics still make direct reference to the Cartwrights and the Ponderosa.
The song first saw release by September as a single. This version was later covered by Faron Young for his album Aims at the West.
His German version lyrics attributed to "Nicolas" was sung in the same style and mood in which Cash had recorded it, and was fairly close in translation.
This version was later covered by Bad Manners and the Hurtin' Buckaroos Michael Richards , as Stanley Spadowski, sang a bit of the theme song while being held hostage by Channel 8's news goons in UHF he did not know the words to the song he was originally supposed to sing, " Helter Skelter ".
The band often includes the song in their live shows. During the first season extra horses were rented from the Idyllwild Stables in Idyllwild, also in the San Jacinto Mountains.
This allowed for a switch to the less expensive Warner studios from September through January The program's Nevada set, the Ponderosa Ranch house, was recreated in Incline Village, Nevada , in , and remained a tourist attraction until its sale thirty-seven years later in September Bonanza is uniquely known for having addressed racism , not typically covered on American television during the time period, from a compassionate , humanitarian point-of-view.
Bigotry , and anti-semitism ,  was the subject of the episode "Look to the Stars" Season 3, Episode 26; original air date March 18, A bigoted school teacher Mr.
Norton oblivious of his prejudice routinely expels minority students. When he expels the brilliant Jewish student Albert Michelson , a scientific genius whose experiments on the streets of Virginia City often cause commotion, Ben Cartwright steps in and confronts Norton on his bigotry.
Ashamed, the school teacher vows to reform. In the episode "Enter Thomas Bowers " Season 5, Episode 30; original air date April 26, , the Cartwright family helps the opera singer Bowers, an African American freedman , after he encounters prejudice while in Virginia City to perform.
Bowers winds up arrested as a fugitive slave. Sandford decision placing the time as , which he discusses with his father.
According to David Dortort, sponsor General Motors was anxious about the episode. As producer, Dortort ensured that the episode re-aired during the summer rerun seasons, though two TV stations in the South refused to air it.
In "The Fear Merchants," discrimination against Chinese immigrants who attempt to assimilate in American society is addressed. Bonanza has had a highly profitable merchandising history.
Currently, Bonanza Ventures, Inc. Kresse between —,  Jim Beam Whiskey Ponderosa Ranch decanters —; a series of "Big-Little" books from —; Revel Bonanza model character sets from —; a chain of Bonanza and Ponderosa steakhouses from —present; the Lake Tahoe -based "Ponderosa" theme park from —; a line of American Character action figures in —; Aladdin lunch buckets and thermos bottles in —; View Master slide sets in , ; Ponderosa tin cups from —; a series of Hamilton collector plates in —; and most recently, Breyer Fiftieth Anniversary Ponderosa Stable sets, with horses and Cartwright figures in — Bebow-Reinhard Bonanza Gold — , a quarterly magazine, featured detailed information about the show, including interviews with guest actors and other production personnel, articles about historical events and people depicted in the series, fan club information, and fan fiction.
The prequel series, The Ponderosa , as well as the three sequel movies see below , are all available on DVD. The scheduling change, as well as Dan Blocker's death in May , resulted in plunging ratings for the show.
David Canary returned to his former role of Candy to offset Hoss' absence , and a new character named Griff King played by Tim Matheson was added in an attempt to lure younger viewers.
Griff, in prison for nearly killing his abusive stepfather, was paroled into Ben's custody and given a job as a ranch hand. Several episodes were built around his character, one that Matheson never had a chance to fully develop before the show was abruptly cancelled in November with the final episode airing January 16, Many fans, as well as both Landon and Greene, felt that the character of Hoss was essential, as he was a nurturing, empathetic soul who rounded out the all-male cast.
TV Land airs Bonanza from only the first season to the — season. INSP initially broadcast only selected first and second-season episodes of Bonanza and began to air the Bonanza "Lost Episodes" packages which contain episodes from — Michael Landon Jr.
In the second movie, airing on NBC, a one-hour retrospective was done to introduce the drama. It was hosted by both Michael Landon Jr.
According to the magazine TV Guide , producer David Dortort told Blocker he was too old to play the Hoss scion, but gave him the role of an unrelated newspaper reporter.
Clips of his appearance were heavily used in advertisements promoting the "second generation" theme, perhaps misleading audiences to believe that Blocker was playing Hoss' heir.
Such a storyline might have been problematic in the original series. The Big Valley , however, had a major character in Heath, who was presented as illegitimate.
The Gunsmoke movies of the early s employed a similar theme when Marshal Matt Dillon learned he had sired Michael Learned 's character's daughter in a short-lived romance.
The initial story was first introduced in , when depiction of fornication courted protests, so CBS insisted their hero Matt have the encounter when he had amnesia.
Covering the time when the Cartwrights first arrived at the Ponderosa, when Adam and Hoss were teenagers and Joe a little boy, the series lasted 20 episodes and featured less gunfire and brawling than the original.
Quinn, Medicine Woman , which some believe gave the series more depth as well as a softer edge. The Hop Sing character is depicted not only as a cook but also a family counselor and herbal healer.
The series takes place in Nevada Territory in , which is actually an anachronism. The Nevada Territory did not split from the Utah Territory until , meaning that until at least the 5th season the episode "Enter Thomas Bowers" establishes that year as , Bonanza is also set in what in real life would have been Utah Territory.