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 (second behind Gunsmoke) and continues to air in syndication.
The show chronicled the weekly adventures of the Cartwright family, headed by the thrice-widowed patriarch Ben Cartwright (played by Lorne Greene). He had three sons, each by a different wife: the eldest was the urbane architect Adam Cartwright (played by Pernell Roberts) who built the ranch house; the second was the warm and lovable giant Eric, better known by his nickname "Hoss" (played by Dan Blocker); and the youngest was the hotheaded and impetuous Joseph or "Little Joe" (played by Michael Landon).
The family's cook was the Chinese immigrant Hop Sing (played by Victor Sen Yung). "Bonanza" was considered an atypical western for its time, as the core of the storylines dealt with Ben and his three dissimilar sons, how they cared for one another, their neighbors and their land.