Ben Cartwright and his three sons (by three wives) ride herd over the sprawling Ponderosa spread in 1860s Nevada in one of the most handsomely mounted and beloved series of all time. The first TV Western to be shown in color, it ran for 14 seasons; was the top-rated show for three of them (1964-65, '65-66 and '66-67); had a number of first-rank directors (including Robert Altman) work on some episodes; and inspired several `Bonanza' TV-movies (none especially distinctive).
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