Prior to TV Land airing this series last year I had only seen a handful of episodes. All I knew about it was that it was my father's favorite series as a boy. When TV Land began running episodes at 7:00 AM EST I'd put this on, and soon realized I was finding myself running late for work more often than not due to getting hooked on what would happen next in a particular episode.
I am a fan of Bonanza (mostly because of Adam!) but I must say that Gunsmoke without fail had much better plots, superior acting, and less predictability than Bonanza. Especially for a Western, I find the writing and the themes to be ahead of what other TV Westerns were dishing up.