The Ponderosa, a sprawling Nevada cattle ranch, is home to the first family of television westerns - The Cartwrights. Patriarch Ben Cartwright (Lorne Greene) has raised his sons, Adam (Pernell Roberts), Hoss (Dan Blocker), and Little Joe (Michael Landon), into fine young men, but there are still many lessons and dangers to be faced in the largely untamed West during the mid 1800's. Launched in 1959, the "Bonanza" series was the first hour-long television show shot in color, and ranks as the second longest running TV western after "Gunsmoke." In the 14 seasons that it ran, millions of Americans tuned in every week to watch the Cartwright family live, love, work, play and fight on the Ponderosa.
Denver McKee: Little Joe's flirtations with young Connie McKee angers her father, an ex-lawman gone bad. Guest Star: Franchot Tone
The Fear Merchants: A bigoted mob in Virginia City threatens a Chinese youth and only the Cartwright family will stand up to defend him.
Dark Star: Tirza, a beautiful gypsy girl who claims to be under a curious curse, casts her amorous spell on Little Joe, who is powerless to resist.
The Spitfire: Joe shoots a man who sets fire to the Ponderosa, igniting a feud between the Cartwrights and the dead man's vengeful family.