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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