David Dortort, creator of the long-running hit Western Bonanza, has died. He was 93.
Dortort died Sunday at his Westwood, Calif., apartment, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
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A three-time Emmy nominee, Dortort got his start writing for such series as ...
Pernell Roberts, the last surviving member of Bonanza's cast, has died of cancer, the Los Angeles Times reported. He was 81.
Question: I've been watching Bonanza reruns and was wondering why it was eventually canceled. My dad says it was because Dan Blocker died. Is that true? Thanks for your help and keep up the good work!
Answer: Aw, heck — t'ain't nothin, but thanks for the kind words, Tim.
It's true that when Blocker died at 43 from surgical complications, many felt the heart and soul of the show went with him. But the show also dropped in the ratings after NBC moved it from its longtime Sunday-night berth to Tuesday night. The truth is that Bonanza most likely perished because its time had simply passed. Next to Gunsmoke, it was the longest-running Western on TV (from September 1959 to January 1973) and for much of that time it turned in phenomenal ratings. From 1964 to 1967, it was No. 1 and it only began to slip out
Question: I heard that the PAX network made a new Bonanza series. Do you know anything about the show and the actors? Thanks.
Answer: But of course, Brian. The Ponderosa, which initially ran from September 2001 to the following May, was a prequel to the famous series. In it, Daniel Hugh Kelly portrayed rancher Ben Cartwright as a young man, taking on the role originally played by Lorne Greene during the parent series' 1959-73 run on NBC.
Ponderosa took place 10 years before Bonanza began, and it told the story of how Cartwright and his three sons — Adam (Matt Carmody), Hoss (Drew Powell) and Little Joe (Jared Daperis) — got their start in the ranching business after the death of Cartwright's wife.
Now this is boldly going. Not only is the Sci Fi Channel mounting a lavish remake of Battlestar Galactica, but the cable network is trying to do so without the aura of doom and gloom that hung over ABC's 1978-80 series like a dark cloud. "We're going for a very stylistic, non-apocalyptic look," Sci Fi prez Bonnie Hammer tells TV Guide Online. "It isn't going to be that kind of grey battleship again, and it isn't going to be Star Trek-y, either."
For that matter, neither is the update going to spotlight leading men who are quite as long in the tooth as the original's Lorne Greene. Rather, says Hammer, Sci Fi's Battlestar will be "much more human and a bit younger. It's going to have a different kind of style and sensibility." In other words, the show will set its phasers on "fun" and try to cast the next