Bonanza Coming to Talking Pictures TV

Talking Pictures TV have announced that the classic western series Bonanza will air on the channel this March.

Bonanza starred Lorne Greene as Ben Cartwright, the head of the family. Pernell Roberts, Dan Blocker and Michael Landon co-starred as his three sons: Adam, “Hoss” and “Little” Joe. Bonanza followed the exploits of the Cartwrights and the neighbours and friends who surrounded the Cartwright ranch, the Ponderosa.

The series first aired in September 1959. It became the second-longest-running western series on a US network, behind Gunsmoke, by the time it ended in 1973. Those in the main cast were not widely known before the show began, but quickly became household names as the show gained popularity.

The character of Adam Cartwright was only a regular until Season 6, while “Hoss” had to be written out for the final season due to the untimely passing of actor Dan Blocker. “Little” Joe was the only Cartwright brother to appear in all 14 seasons of the show, with Michael Landon going on to further success a year after the end of Bonanza in his next television series, Little House on the Prairie. Lorne Greene appeared in all 14 seasons as patriarch Ben Cartwright.

Bonanza was somewhat unusual for western series of the time, in that it dealt more with people and issues than with the business of ranching itself. The Ponderosa was often merely a backdrop to problems and people in trouble. The show even explored the way the brothers – all motherless – interacted and cared for each other. Being able to tackle weighty issues while maintaining the period setting set Bonanza apart from many of its contemporaries.

Talking Pictures TV is available free-to-air on Freeview and Freesat in the UK. Its channel allocation is 82 for Freeview and 306 for Freesat. It is also available on subscription platforms, channel 328 on Sky Digital and 445 on Virgin. The channel is dedicated to vintage film and television, often highlighting forgotten treasures and classics.

Bonanza will begin airing on Talking Pictures TV on Wednesday 6th March 2024 at 5.30 pm.

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