Michael Landon

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Michael Landon

Bonanza Cast Autographs - c1960s

An extremely rare signed grouping of all four principal stars of Bonanza (the Cartwrights): Lorne Greene (Ben), Pernell Roberts (Adam), Michael Landon (Little Joe), and the most elusive autograph of all, Dan Blocker (Hoss).

BONANZA is an American television series that ran on NBC from September 12, 1959 to January 16, 1973. Lasting 14 seasons, it is among the longest running Western television series (behind Gunsmoke) and continues to air in syndication worldwide.

Bonanza got its name from the Comstock Lode which was “an exceptionally large and rich mineral deposit” of silver. Virginia City was founded directly over the lode which was mined for 19 years. Ponderosa was an alternative title of the series, used for the broadcast of syndicated reruns while Bonanza was in first-run on NBC, and became the name of the 600,000 acre Sierra Nevada ranch featured in the series.

In 1959, the series aired on Saturday evenings opposite, The Perry Como Hour. Bonanza was one of the first series to be filmed and broadcast in color. RCA owned NBC (and the series) and wanted to use it to spur sales of color television sets. However, the Saturday night ratings were dismal and Bonanza was soon targeted for cancellation. Given one last chance, it was moved to Sunday nights at 9:00 PM. The new time slot caused the series to soar, and it eventually reached number one by the mid-’60s; by 1970, it had become the first series to ever wind up in the Top Five for nine consecutive seasons (a record which would stand for decades) and thus established itself as the single biggest hit TV series of the 1960s; it remained high on the Nielsen ratings until 1971, when it finally fell out of the top ten.

 Bonanza Cast

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