• 141
    Bonanza

    Bonanza

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    NBC (ended 1973)
    White-haired Ben was the proud patriarch of the Cartwrights, the family at the center of one of TV's most beloved and long-running series. Their ranch, the Ponderosa, was 1,000 square-miles (600,000 acres) in size and sprawled from mountainous shores of Lake Tahoe to the desert terrain near Virginia City in the Nevada Territory. Ben oversaw his frontier empire with the help of his three sons: Adam, Hoss, and Joe. The series was set in 1859 when the series began and would progress through and following the Civil War.
    ---------------------------------- Series creator and producer David Dortort, who oversaw the series during its 14 year network run on NBC, says he first first got the idea for the series writing the 1953 episode of "Fireside Theatre" titled "Man of the Comstock."
    ---------------------------------- By 1959, NBC wanted a big filmed series to promote the sales of color television sets. NBC was the only network investing in color programs since its parent company RCA owned the electronic color transmitting system used by TV. "Bonanza" was just the type of show the network needed to "show off" its living color. In its initial season, it floundered in the ratings on Saturday nights against CBS' "Perry Mason"; it's said its renewal had a lot to do with its being shot in color. In the second season, "Bonanza" more than held its own in the Nielsens. It was the network's decision to move the series to Sunday nights that allowed it explode into a Top-10 hit.
    ---------------------------------- "Bonanza" differed in many ways from the dozens of other westerns on the air during its run. It relied more heavily on the characters than it did on action--though there was plenty of that. Good and bad weren't always as simple as "black hats" vs. "white hats"; many times, good people didn't live happily ever after. Despite that, Ben imparted a high code of ethics upon his sons. Among the principles: 1-Intolerance and bigotry were not acceptable. The Cartwrights often came to the defense of Indians, Chinese, and others who were the targets of the narrow-minded. 2-Once a man had paid his debt to society and was released from prison, he deserved a clean slate and a chance to start over. 3-The land was sacred. Ben's greatest business headaches came from his refusal to allow his land to be polluted and destroyed for profit. When the Cartwrights cut down a tree for lumber, they planted another. Their environmental concerns remain unique for a television series.
    ---------------------------------- Ben's path to his dream home of the Ponderosa (named for the Ponderosa Pine, plentiful in that area) was a long time in coming. He was a seaman, acting as first mate for Captain Abel Stoddard, when he met his boss' daughter Elizabeth and fell in love. She died after giving birth to first child Adam. Leaving the sad memories behind in the Northeast, he traveled to St. Louis and opened a trading company. He met and married the Swedish stunner Inger Inger Borgstrom who loved horses and shooting. She gave birth to son Hoss en route to the frontier, but was killed by an arrow during an ambush. Moving to New Orleans, Ben became an importer/exporter and fell for Creole beauty Marie DeMarigny. He made her wife number three and finally made it to the West. They established the Ponderosa and she gave him another son, Joseph. Marie died several years later in a riding accident. The story of each of these romance were detailed in individual episodes early in the series' run.
    ---------------------------------- The high mortality rate of women encountered by Ben and his sons, known jokingly as the "Cartwright Curse," became a running gag among comedians and viewers alike. If a female became a love interest to any of the show's men, even money says she'll be sick, dying, or dead by the end credits.
    --------------------------- Location filming kept the series from feeling "studio bound" and gave Bonanza a chance to highlight its color cinematography. Though much was filmed on a huge sound stage at Paramount Studios, scenes were regularly shot on the studio's outdoor "Western Street" and on locations throughout Southern California and Lake Tahoe, Nevada. The rising cost of shooting at Paramount eventually forced a move to the Warner Brothers studio in Burbank. To explain the new appearance of Virginia City, Season 12 began with "The Night Virginia City Died" where a huge fire destroyed the "old" town.
    ---------------------------------- Changes inevitably took place among cast members during "Bonanza"'s long run. After several years of complaining about being held back from a movie career, Pernell Roberts was finally sent on his merry way after of Season 6. Prior to that, amid fears of Roberts' departure, Guy Williams was brought in for a few episodes as Ben's nephew Will Cartwright. It's said the cast resented his character being added and he disappeared after five appearances. Beginning with "Sense of Duty" in Season 9, David Canary joined the cast as Ponderosa ranch foreman Candy Canady. He practically became a Cartwright, appearing in roughly a third of the series' total episodes. He disappeared with no mention at the end of season eleven after failing to get a raise from producer Dortort. Young orphaned teenager Jamie Hunter did become a real fourth Cartwright son when he was taken in by Ben in Season 12 and legally adopted in "A Home for Jamie" the next season. In the wake of Dan Blocker's death following Season 13, the cast was beefed up. David Canary returned as Candy (reportedly Michael Landon personally asked him to appear) and Tim Matheson was added a Griff King, a young man paroled into Ben's custody who was hired as a ranch hand.
    ---------------------------------- The loss of Blocker left a hole that simply couldn't be filled. This, combined with the show's move to Tuesday nights after eleven years on Sunday, dealt the series a death blow. Ratings took a nosedive and Bonanza aired it final episode in the middle of Season 14 on January 16. 1973.
    ---------------------------------- After all these years, Bonanza remains hugely popular. Besides the quality of the program itself, having filmed in color has kept it from looking "old". Episodes began to be released by CBS/Paramount on DVD beginning in 2009, and were uncut from their network airing with all the original music intact.
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  • 142
    Agatha Christie's Poirot

    Agatha Christie's Poirot

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    ITV (ended 2013)
    Welcome to the Poirot guide at TV.com. This is a British series which brings to life Agatha Christie's Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, played by David Suchet, whose sleuthing for the purposes of this series belongs in the mid-1930s. Based in London, with the very English Captain Hastings (Hugh Fraser) as his Dr Watson, Poirot's field of operations ranges around the world. The series has strong story lines, good production and acting, and a real period flavour. Poirot won two BAFTA awards in 1990, then had more BAFTA nominations as Best Drama Series in 1991 and 1992. All of Agatha Christie's seventy-two Poirot stories were produced with David Suchet as Poirot, and the show has been broadcast in more than one hundred countries around the world.moreless
  • 143
    Nikita

    Nikita

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    The CW (ended 2013) (Returning November 22, 2013)
    This project by The CW Network is based on the original French film La Femme Nikita. The story is about two assassins for a top-secret government organization called Division. One of the assassins goes rogue, and a second assassin is training to replace the old one. Maggie Q stars as Nikita, who tries to take down the division with her ally, a mole inside the Division, Alex, played by Lyndsy Fonseca. Nikita was trained by Michael, played by Shane West, who sees the new recruits of the Division as a family to him.moreless
  • 144
    Perry Mason

    Perry Mason

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    CBS (ended 1966)
    There are few actors so closely tied to a persona than Raymond Burr as Perry Mason. This long-running series was built upon Erle Stanley Gardner´s many novels about a brilliant defense lawyer and his staff, that solved many a crime with surprise witnesses and stern cross-examinations. It was the first mystery series to feature chalk or tape outlines to mark the spots where bodies were found. Filmed almost exclusively in the Los Angeles area, Raymond Burr had Gardner's seal of approval in the role. The cases were usually won by way of pivotal confessions of witnesses, solicited by Perry Mason (Burr's) surgeon-like examination or with last-minute, key evidence brought into the courtroom by private investigator Paul Drake (William Hopper). Della Street (Barbara Hale), Perry´s faithful secretary, was always at Perry's side in the courtroom where hapless Hamilton Burger (William Tallman) was the Los Angeles District Attorney who never seemed to win. As to the myth that Perry Mason never lost, there were two episodes where it did occur... but you'll have to watch to find out. The show was revived in 1973-74, with other actors in the familiar roles (Monte Markham as Mason), and then again with the some of the original cast, in a string of feature length TV films from 1985 until Raymond Burr´s death in 1993.moreless
  • 145
    Haven

    Haven

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    Syfy
    This SyFy series is based on Stephen King's novella, "The Colorado Kid," and centers on a small town in Maine called Haven where cursed people try to live normal lives in exile. As their curses start coming back, FBI Agent Audrey Parker is sent in to try and control the forces and try to unravel the mysteries of the town. Audrey Parker, played by Emily Rose grew up as an orphan in Ohio and ended up in Haven, Maine. Nathan Wournos (Lucas Bryant) becomes her partner.moreless
  • 146
    Star Trek

    Star Trek

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    NBC (ended 1969)
    "Space...The Final Frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship, Enterprise. Its 5-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before!"

    The series is set in the 23rd century where Earth has survived World War III then moved on to explore the stars. Humanity has allied with other alien races and formed the United Federation of Planets, and Starfleet serves as its exploratory and military branch. Captain James T. Kirk of the starship Enterprise explores the galaxy with a crew of 430 men and women, contacting new life forms, conducting diplomat missions, and exploring the unknown.

    Star Trek premiered on NBC after executive producer and creator Gene Roddenberry produced not one but two pilots to convince them of the quality of his show. The series ran two years but never achieved good ratings despite building a small but solid fan following. A letter-writing campaign convinced NBC to run a third season, but Roddenberry left in protest and the network buried the show in a late Friday night time slot.

    After its three-year run Star Trek began running syndication where it was discovered by legion of new fans and became a phenomenon. This led to an animated series, six movies, and four spin-off television shows. Despite its short network run, Star Trek has become one of the most successful shows in television history.

    Aside from its three main stars, Star Trek featured a large cast of reoccurring guest stars that includes James Doohan, Nichelle Nichols, George Takei, Walter Koenig, Majel Barrett, and Grace Lee Whitney. Other notable guest stars include Diana Muldaur, Gary Lockwood, Ricardo Montalban, Sally Kellerman, Julie Newmar, Frank Gorshin, John Colicos, Roger C. Carmel, William Campbell, Ted Cassidy, Michael Ansara and Elisha Cook, Jr. Notable writers for the series include Gene Roddenberry, Gene L. Coon, George Clayton Johnson, Jerry Sohl, Jerome Bixby, Robert Bloch, Theodore Sturgeon, Harlan Ellison, David Gerrold, and D.C. Fontana.moreless
  • 147
    Dance Moms

    Dance Moms

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    Lifetime
    Go inside the competitive world of dance where pushy mothers force their daughters to perform while try to create their own dreams vicariously through them.
  • 148
    CSI: NY

    CSI: NY

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    CBS (ended 2013)
    The third edition of the "CSI" franchise sets up shop in the Big Apple, where taciturn Detective Mac Taylor (GarySinise) leads a crime-solving team. Like his counterparts in Las Vegas and Miami, Taylor knows that people may lie, but the evidence rarely does. In the city that never sleeps, CSI: NY never rests. A spin-off from CSI: Miami, the third edition to the CSI franchise follows a New York City forensics team/police officers headed by former tough Marine Major, Det. Mac Taylor. Against a backdrop of simmering ethnic and cultural tensions, Taylor probes cases similar to their Las Vegas and Miami counterparts, along with his team of Detectives, consisting of Det. Danny Messer (Carmine Giovinazzo), Det. Lindsay Monroe (Anna Belknap), and Det. Dr. Sheldon Hawkes (Hill Harper). The CSIs work alongside Medical Examiner Sid Hammerback (Robert Joy), lab rat Adam Ross (A.J. Buckley), hardcore homicide Det. Don Flack (Eddie Cahill) and the newest addition to the team, Det. Jo Danville (Sela Ward), an experienced investigator from Washington, D.C., whose work is driven by her empathy for the victim. Former team members include the late Det. Aiden Burn (Vanessa Ferlito) and Mac's former second in command, Det. Stella Bonasera (Melina Kanakaredes).moreless
  • 149
    Unsolved Mysteries

    Unsolved Mysteries

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    NBC
    Unsolved Mysteries explores unsolved cases in which you, the viewer, can call in or write and solve them. The show looks at cases such as: lost loves, missing persons, homocide, supernatural, the unexplained, wanted, etc. Unsolved Mysteries usually has four segments in one show, and sometimes shows updates. Unsolved Mysteries has solved 40% of their featured cases, that is 300 cases solved out of about 1,200. Broadcast History First Telecast:October 5, 1988 (as a regular NBC series Last Telecast: Sep 1988-Sep 1994, NBC Wed 8:00-9:00 Sep 1994, NBC Sun 7:00-8:00 Oct 1994-Sep 1997, NBC Fri 8:00-9:00 Apr 1998-May 1998, CBS Fri 9:00-10:00 Jul 1998-Aug 1998, CBS Fri 9:00-10:00 Apr 1999-Aug 1999, CBS Fri 9:00-10:00 Jul 2001-2002, Lifetime Mon-Fri 1:00-2:00 Oct 2008-,Spike TVmoreless
  • 150
    The L Word

    The L Word

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    Showtime (ended 2009)
    The L Word is the intimate story about the lives and loves of a group of lesbian friends living in Los Angeles. The show has received a lot of praise for its brilliant storylines and its portrayal of the lesbian community. The L Word is created and executive produced by Ilene Chaiken (Barb Wire, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air), who also serves as a writer on the show. Other executive producers include Steve Golin (Being John Malkovich, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) and Larry Kennar (Barbershop).moreless
  • 151
    Looking

    Looking

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    HBO
    Looking is an American comedy-drama television series about a group of gay friends living in San Francisco.
  • 152
    The West Wing

    The West Wing

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    NBC (ended 2006)
    The West Wing provides a glimpse into presidential politics in the nation's capital as it tells the stories of the members of a fictional presidential administration. These interesting characters have humor and dedication that touches the heart while the politics that they discuss touch on everyday life. The first six seasons focused on the administration of President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet (Martin Sheen). The seventh and final season transitioned to the 2006 Presidential Election between Democrat Congressman Mathew Vincente Santos of Houston, Texas (Jimmy Smits) and Republican Senator Arnold Vinick of California (Alan Alda). Broadcast History: Seasons 1-6: NBC, Wednesdays, 9:00pm EST Season 7: NBC, Sundays, 8:00pm EST Theme Music: The theme tune is an original composition by W.G. Snuffy Walden. There is a CD available of his work, which includes not only a suite from The West Wing, but also his music from Felicity, Once and Again, & thirtysomething, plus other non-TV compositions. Walden can be contacted at his official website wgsnuffywalden.com. Awards: As of October 24, 2008: The show and its stars have won 26 Primetime Emmys, 1 ADG Award, 2 ALMA Awards, 2 Artios Awards, 2 ASC Awards, 1 Banff Rockie Award, 2 CAS Award, 1 Christopher Award, 2 DGA Awards, 1 Eddie Award, 2 Family Television Awards, 2 Golden Globe Awards, 4 Golden Laurel Awards, 5 Golden Satellite Awards, 3 Humanitas Awards, 2 Imagen Awards, 2 Peabody Awards, 1 Prism Award, 6 SAG Awards, 2 Shine Awards, 4 Television Critics Association Awards, 3 TV Guide Awards, 3 Viewers for Quality Television Awards, 2 WGA Awards and 2 Wilbur Awards. The show has been nominated for a total of 93 Primetime Emmys and holds the record for the most Emmys won in a single season for a single show which is 9 (for its first season). The show also was named 1 of the 10 AFI TV Programs of the Year, received 1 Special Recognition from GLAAD Media Awards and 4 Commendations from the Prism Awards. Syndication: Airs all the time on Bravo (which is also part of the NBC Universal empire) and in some local areas during the "midnight hours." DVD Releases: All seven seasons have been released in all regions. There was complete series box set released in November 2006.moreless
  • 153
    Hell on Wheels

    Hell on Wheels

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    AMC
    The series focuses on former Confederate soldier Cullen Bohannon, a foreman working on the construction of the First Transcontinental Railroad, and his mission to hunt down the Union soldiers responsible for his wife's death.moreless
  • 154
    New Tricks

    New Tricks

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    BBC
    New Tricks is a BBC television drama series which follows the work of the Metropolitan Police Service's Unsolved Crime and Open Case Squad (UCOS). Led by Detective Superintendent Sandra Pullman, it is made up of retired police officers who have been recruited to reinvestigate unsolved crimes.moreless
  • 155
    Stargate Atlantis

    Stargate Atlantis

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    Syfy (ended 2009)
    The Lost City of Atlantis Has Been Found! A secret group of scientists have discovered the location of the famous lost city of Atlantis, but it's not on Earth. It's located in another galaxy altogether, the Pegasus galaxy. Stargate Atlantis, a spin-off from the highly successful Stargate SG-1 series, follows a multinational scientific and military group, lead by Diplomat Dr. Elizabeth Weir (played by actress Torri Higginson), headed on a one way trip to Atlantis. Their mission: to investigate the secrets of Atlantis, a city now known to have been built by ancient powerful beings, and bring whatever they discover back to Earth. They will be all on their own, with no means to return, with no means of rescue or support, unless they can find the technology they need in Atlantis to return them to Earth. Once in Atlantis, the group finds the city abandoned; asleep for tens of thousands of years, and no power source left for a return home. They must find a power source within Atlantis' own Pegasus galaxy using the same Stargate system that got them there or they will be stranded forever. On the first planet they visit, they accidentally waken a new, powerful, and more evil enemy than human kind has ever faced, the Wraith. And the Wraith are hungry – for humans! Follow the extraordinary adventures of an SGA team lead by Major John Sheppard (played by actor Joe Flanigan), and his team made up by his second in command Lt. Aiden Ford (played by actor Rainbow Sun Francks), and the Astrophysicist/Scientist Dr. Rodney McKay (played by actor David Hewlett, reprising the role he played in Stargate SG-1). Joining the team will be Teyla Emmagan (played by actress Rachel Luttrell), a beautiful, exotic, and strong-willed woman from the Pegasus galaxy.moreless
  • 156
    Face Off

    Face Off

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    Syfy
    Special effects make-up artists from around the country come together to compete to see who has the best skills out there.
  • 157
    Dawson's Creek

    Dawson's Creek

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    The WB (ended 2003)
    It's the end of something simple. And the beginning of everything else. Set in the fictional town of Capeside, MA,Dawson's Creek is the coming of age story of four friends on the verge of adulthood. Dawson, Joey, and Pacey are life long friends, whose lives start to rapidly change when a new girl, Jen, moves in next door to Dawson Leery and the foursome start high school. Along the way they are joined by two other newcomers to Capeside: Jack and Andie and, when they go to college, by Audrey. Often characterized by its intelligence, sharp wit, and SAT vocabulary, Dawson's Creek was created by Kevin Williamson. It was loosely based on his life, with each character incorporating a different aspect of himself. The show quickly launched the careers of its stars, turning them into world known celebrities and, in the words of The WB, defined a network. Dawson's Creek was filmed primarily on location in Wilmington, NC. Theme Songs: I Don't Want To Wait performed by Paula Cole and Run Like Mad performed by Jann Arden - Season 1 (international airings only) and Seasons 3-6 on DVD (except the series finale, when it played Paula Cole's song). The WB Broadcast History: January 1998 to May 1998 --- Tuesday 9:00 pm. October 1998 to May 2003 --- Wednesday 8:00 pm. DVDs: All of Dawson's Creek's Seasons (and the Series Finale) are available and can be bought! TBS and The N are currently airing reruns of Dawson's Creek. Spin-off: Young Americans.moreless
  • 158
    Royal Pains

    Royal Pains

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    USA (Returning Summer 2014)
    A down and out surgeon has a chance to redeem himself as a small town physician in the wealthy beach community of East Hampton, NY. Royal Pains is produced and distributed by Universal Cable Productions and USA Network.moreless
  • 159
    Rake

    Rake

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    FOX
    Rake stars Greg Kinnear as a brilliant but self-destructive lawyer. The pilot will air on Fox and is a remake based on the Australian series of the same name.
  • 160
    Angel

    Angel

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    The WB (ended 2004)
    "If you need help, then look no further. Angel Investigations is the best. Our rats are low..." "Rates!" "It says 'rats.' Our rates are low, but our standards are high. When the chips are down, and you're at the end of your rope you need someone that you can count on. And that's what you'll find here -- someone who will go all the way, no matter what. So don't lose hope. Come on over to our offices and you'll see that there's still heroes in this world." For over two centuries, Angelus was one of the most vicious vampires ever to walk the earth. Then he killed the wrong girl, and her grieving Gypsy family cursed him with the return of his soul, causing him to suffer remorse for all the hundreds of innocents that he had killed through the years. Now he goes by the name Angel, and he fights to protect the helpless from those who would prey upon them as he once did himself. After three years of living in Sunnydale, fighting alongside his girlfriend Buffy, Angel has moved to Los Angeles to continue the good fight. Aided by a few old friends and some new ones, Angel must take on vampires, demons, lawyers, and all of the other dark forces that Los Angeles has to offer.moreless
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