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    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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    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
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    Bat Masterson

    Bat Masterson

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    NBC (ended 1961)
    Bat Masterson carried a gold topped cane, wore a derby, and clothes that were more suited for an eastern city than in Tombstone, Arizona. He was a professional gambler, a scout, an Indian fighter and a lawman. He used his cane and his 'wits' before resorting to his gun. The series is based upon the legend created by the real William Bartley "Bat" Masterson.moreless
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    Daniel Boone

    Daniel Boone

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    NBC (ended 1970)
    Frontier hero Daniel Boone conducts surveys and expeditions around Boonesborough, running into both friendly and hostile Native Americans, just before, during, and after the Revolutionary War. Aiding him during the run of the series are his lovely wife, Rebecca, precocious son, Israel, Oxford educated half-breed Mingo, former slave Gabe Cooper, easy going oafs Yadkin and Josh Clements, and tavern owner Cincinnatus.moreless
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    Ironside

    Ironside

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    NBC (ended 1975)
    Welcome to the Ironside guide at TV.com. When an assassin's bullet confines him to a wheelchair for life ending his career as Chief of Detectives, Robert T. Ironside becomes a consultant to the police department. Detective Sergeant Ed Brown and policewoman Eve Whitfield join with him to crack varied and fascinating cases. Ex-con Mark Sanger is employed by the chief as home help but eventually becomes a fully fledged member of the team also. Officer Whitfield leaves after 4 years service, and is replaced by Officer Fran Belding. If you have any information about this series, feel free to contribute it. Thanks.moreless
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    The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

    The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

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    NBC (ended 1968)
    Welcome to the complete The Man from U.N.C.L.E. guide at TV.com. This is the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement.
    Meet our top Enforcement Agents, Mr. Illya Kuryakin and Mr. Napoleon Solo. For four seasons, their job was to stop evil organizations such as THRUSH in their plans and attempts for world domination.moreless
  • 7
    Adam-12

    Adam-12

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    NBC (ended 1975)
    Adam-12 follows the career of Officer Pete Malloy, who had decided to leave the LAPD after his young partner was killed in the line of duty. He has one night to go and for that last ride, he is assigned a rookie, fresh out of the police academy, to take out on his first night on the street. After that night, Malloy decides that he must stay around a little longer if Officer Jim Reed is going to survive his 9 month probationary period.
    Adam-12, which was another "true-story" based television series from Jack Webb in the same vein as Dragnet and Emergency, was the first TV series to more realistically portray the joys and frustrations of being a police officer in the late 1960s through middle 1970s. This "new" attention to detail made the show a catalyst for uncounted numbers of people to enter law enforcement agencies when they became adults, the same way COPS has done since 1989.
    "1-Adam-12" was the radio call sign of the patrol unit that Malloy and Reed worked. In Los Angeles, the first digit (1), represented the division worked. "Adam" is the LAPD designation for a 2-person patrol unit; "12" was the beat area assigned. Although, Malloy & Reed could be seen patrolling the streets all over Los Angeles from downtown to the Valley, they retained the division number 1, no matter where they were. In reality, you work the same district each day and are assigned a zone in that district.
    The police station used throughout the series for exteriors was the then recently built (1965) Rampart Station, which is in actuality, Los Angeles, Division 2. Jack Webb was such a stickler for authenticity, that he had the Rampart substation's insides exactly duplicated in the sound stage for interiors.
    Adam-12 remained popular during it's entire run, though it began to slip some in it's sixth season. This prompted the producers to free Malloy and Reed up from their district and start patrolling all over the L.A. area. Their assignments would now take them to LAX, the Los Angeles Harbor, the Foothill District, the West Valley area, Venice, Van Nuys, Hollywood and North Hollywood. Also included would be a two part episode where Reed and Malloy go airborne with an ASD helicopter unit.moreless
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    Wagon Train

    Wagon Train

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    NBC (ended 1965)
    Wagon Train followed the trials and tribulations of pioneering families as they set out from the East to carve out a new life in the West soon after the American Civil War. For some of the travellers it was a happy ending, but not for all, which only heightened the drama along the way. Such a structure ensured that the scriptwriters had a wide scope for their stories which , more often than not, revolved around the characters rather than the action, although the series had more than it's fair share of that too. With a new storyline nearly every week and a larger than average budget for the time, it was never difficult for the producers to attract well known guest stars in front of the cameras with some famous names behind the cameras too. Wagon Train was a hit on both sides of the Atlantic between 1957 and 1965. It survived cast changes to the leading actors and changes to the format which is testimony enough to the show's popularity. Even now fans who watched it back then remember it with fondness, and regular re-runs ensure it's continuing popularity with newer generations.moreless
  • 9
    Flipper

    Flipper

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    NBC (ended 1967)
    Flipper was a show about a game ranger named Porter Ricks, and his two sons, Sandy and Bud. The show centers around a precocious pet dolphin, named Flipper, and all their adventures. The show ran for three seasons, and they stopped making new episodes in 1967. The series was a spin off of the feature filmFlipper in 1963. The film had a sequel, "Flipper's New Adventure" in 1964. A new Flipper TV series appeared for a short time in the 1990s. A feature film also entitledFlipper was released in 1996, starring Paul Hogan as Porter Ricks, and Elijah Wood as his nephew, Sandy, and of course, Flipper. The original Flipper was named Mitzi and she lived from 1958 to 1972. The dolphin had died of a heart attack. Flipper had a stunt double (Mr. Gipper) to do all of the tail walking. Flipper Theme Song: They call him Flipper, Flipper, faster than lightning, No-one you see, is smarter than he, And we know Flipper, lives in a world full of wonder, Flying there-under, under the sea! Everyone loves the king of the sea, Ever so kind and gentle is he, Tricks he will do when children appear, And how they laugh when he's near! They call him Flipper, Flipper, faster than lightning, No-one you see, is smarter than he, And we know Flipper, lives in a world full of wonder, Flying there-under, under the sea! (written by "Henry Vars and Dunham")moreless
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    I Spy

    I Spy

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    NBC (ended 1968)
    A pair of American operatives work undercover as a tennis pro and his trainer. Kelly Robinson is the man with a racket, Alexander Scott is, among other things, a polyglot. The creation of the Cinemobile for location shooting enabled far-flung episodes in Hong Kong, Europe, Mexico, etc. The writing is of a standard that would be very difficult to match in any circumstances, or as Scott & Robinson might say, the wonderfulness of its marvelousness is only equal to the marvelousness of its wonderfulness.moreless
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    The Name of the Game

    The Name of the Game

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    NBC (ended 1971)
    The Name Of The Game was a rotating series featuring Gene Barry as Glenn Howard, CEO of Howard Publications and managing director of Fame magazine; Robert Stack as Dan Farrell, a writer for Crime magazine; and Tony Franciosa as Jeff Dillon, writer for People magazine.moreless
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    The Americans

    The Americans

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    NBC
    The Americans feature the lives of brothers Ben and Jeff Canfield during the Civil War. Each supports the opposite side. Ben went to the North while Jeff went South.
  • 13
    H.R. Pufnstuf

    H.R. Pufnstuf

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    NBC (ended 1971)
    This classic series begins with Jimmy, a young English boy, playing near the edge of a bay with his magical talking gold flute, Freddie. While at the edge of the bay, Jimmy climbs aboard a talking boat that beckons to him. As it drifts out to sea, an evil witch named Witchiepoo, seeking Freddie to add to her collection of magical possessions, casts a spell and makes the boat turn into an evil boat which attacks Jimmy (who then jumps overboard to save himself). Swimming to the shore of Living Island, Jimmy is rescued by its mayor, H. R. Pufnstuf, and his Rescue Racer crew (Kling and Klang) before Witchiepoo can get her hands on the boy or the magic flute. They befriend Jimmy, sheltering and protecting him from the kooky old witch. Everything on Living Island is alive. Books have faces, houses sneeze and trees can talk, not to mention the regular citizens who all look like an animal of some sort. Dr Blinky is an Owl, Ludicrous is a Lion and Judy Frog is; well she's a frog and the only character I didn't like as a child. And then there is the evil Witchiepoo. She continually tries to satisfy her obsession for the talking flute with the aid of her goofy henchmen Orson, Seymore, Stupid Bat, and her motorized broomstick, called the Vroom Broom. Each episode involves Jimmy attempting to escape from the island with the help of Pufnstuf and his friends, with flute intact of course. H.R. Pufnstuf was created by Sid and Marty Krofft.moreless
  • 14
    Birdman and the Galaxy Trio

    Birdman and the Galaxy Trio

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    NBC (ended 1969)
    Like many superheroes at the time, Birdman was created by Hanna-Barbara's Alex Toth. Along side were the three playmates in the second half. The Galaxy Trio. The Galaxy Trio were three superheroes who fought crime. They were quite similar to the Fantastic Four. People seem to mistake Birdman for another great superheroe of the time, Space Ghost. Birdmans only weaknesses include 1;He is solar powered if there is no sun he has no power. and 2;The crest on top of his head is another scource of his power. Birdman episodes are treated as season 1, Galaxy Trio episodes are treated as season 2.moreless
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    Fury

    Fury

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    NBC (ended 1960)
    Fury chronicled the story of Joey, an orphan boy befriended by Jim Newton a recently widowed horse rancher, who's wife and son were killed in an auto accident by a drunk driver. Joey was brought to court for breaking a window. Jim had seen the whole incident and went to court with Joey, he told the Judge that Joey was innocent, and convinced the Judge to let Joey come stay at the Broken Wheel.moreless
  • 16
    Astro Boy (1963)

    Astro Boy (1963)

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    NBC (ended 1981)
    The 1963 black-and-white version of Astro Boy was the first anime to cross the Pacific and penetrate American television. It was highly successful as it drew the highest ratings at that time. It was taken off the air in 1966 as it completed its 104-episode run (193 episodes in Japan), having lost its popularity due to it not being in color and having "depressing" and violent themes and story lines.
    However, in 1980, Astro Boy was reborn in Japan and was brought back to North America in 1982 with a 51-episode color series (52 episodes in Japan).
    All 104 episodes of the original 1963 series which aired in the United States are now available on DVD.moreless
  • 17
    Maya (1967)

    Maya (1967)

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    NBC (ended 1968)
    Maya was a short series about a boy named Terry Bowen, who joins forces with an Indian boy named Raji to find Terry's father, who is presumed dead. The show was named after Maya, Raji's pet elephant, which Indian police believed he stole.moreless
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    The Road West

    The Road West

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    NBC (ended 1967)
    Benjamin Pride was a widower who took his family from Springfield, Ohio, where they had lived for generations, and moved them to the Kansas Territory shortly after the end of the Civil War. The problems encountered by this pioneering family in the fertile but lawless West provided stories in this series.moreless
  • 19
    The Three Musketeers

    The Three Musketeers

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    NBC (ended 1969)
    The Three Musketeers originally aired as part of The Banana Splits Adventure Hour.
  • 20
    The Wackiest Ship in the Army

    The Wackiest Ship in the Army

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    NBC (ended 1966)
    The Wackiest Ship In The Army tells the tale of the country of New Zealand presenting the United States military with a historic 70 year old twin masted schooner in early 1942. The Navy then puts the old boat to good use in the undercover role of dropping off spies on Japanese held islands.

    On the seas, Lieutenant Rip Riddle is at the helm, with his commanding officer, the soon to be retired Major Simon Butcher of the U.S. Army holding the fort dock side.moreless
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