• 1
    Bonanza

    Bonanza

    Follow
    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.
    moreless
  • 2
    The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

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

    Follow
    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. Ilya 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
  • 3
    CHiPs (1983)

    CHiPs (1983)

    Follow
    NBC (ended 1983)
    The adventures of Highway Patrol officers in Los Angeles. This great series had 6 seasons before it ended. The main characters are Jon Baker and Frank Poncherello, two motorcycle officers always on the street to save lives. 1998 followed the TV movie "CHiPs ´99" with some of the series cast but we can also see new faces like Officer Roulette and his partner or Sandy Baker, Jon´s spouse.moreless
  • 4
    Daniel Boone

    Daniel Boone

    Follow
    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
  • 5
    Black Sheep Squadron

    Black Sheep Squadron

    Follow
    NBC (ended 1978)
    Loosely based on the memoirs of Major Greg "Pappy" Boyington who led one of the most famous Marine Corps fighter squadrons of World War 2: Fighting Squadron 214, nicknamed the "Black Sheep" squadron. Based in the South Pacific, the rag-tag Corsair flying misfits is led by "Pappy" Boyington. The opening credits read: In World War II Marine Corps Major Greg "Pappy" Boyington commanded a squadron of fighter pilots. They were a collection of misfits and screwballs who became the terrors of the South Pacific. They were known as the Black Sheep Squadron.moreless
  • 6
    Buck Rogers in the 25th Century

    Buck Rogers in the 25th Century

    Follow
    NBC (ended 1981)
    In the year 1987, NASA launched the last of America's deep space probes. Aboard this compact starship a lone astronaut, Captain William "Buck" Rogers, was to experience cosmic forces beyond all comprehension. In a freak mishap, his life-support systems were frozen by temperatures beyond imagination. Ranger III was blown out of its plan trajectory into an orbit 1,000 times more vast, an orbit which was to return Buck Rogers to earth 500 years later.moreless
  • 7
    The Americans

    The Americans

    Follow
    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.
  • 8
    Ellery Queen

    Ellery Queen

    Follow
    NBC (ended 1976)
    Welcome to the Ellery Queen guide at tv.com. This is one of the classic TV whodunits -- with a twist. The show's format was such that the audience would see everything that the show's namesake character would see, including all of the clues, and then, right before the final scene started (you know... the one where all the suspects are brought into the room for the "YOU... killed the victim. And you did it because..." scene, the star (Ellery Queen, of course) would turn to the TV audience and state "Okay, you've got all the clues. Do you know who did it? I think I do. Can you guess?" And the audience had the chance to be part of the show. Quite unique and half the fun. For books and more information on this character, check out [url]http://www.elleryqueen.com[/url]. For more information on the TV series, check out [url]http://www.elleryqueenshow.com[/url]. Finally, for a 12-DVD set on this series, check out this [url="http://www.raretelevision.com/store/view_product.php?product=ELLTWOA617"]Ellery Queen[/url] DVD set.moreless
  • 9
    Star Trek: The Animated Series

    Star Trek: The Animated Series

    Follow
    NBC (ended 1974)
    This is the further adventures of the Star Trek series in a half-hour animated form. This show basically continues the adventures of the original series (presumably in the fourth year of the five-year mission), but takes advantage of the unlimited special effects provided by animation to introduce more alien crewmen (the felinoid M'Ress and the tripedal Arex) as well as introduce more elaborate adventures like an underwater adventure, the miniaturization of the crew to 1 cm., and the appearance of a giant fire-breathing two-headed dragon. The show is currently not considered "canon" by Paramount and the folks associated with the various subsequent TV shows. However, elements of the animated series have been used in subsequent shows (Sarek refers to the events of "Yesteryear" in TNG's "Reunification Pt. 1") and the Enterprise-D's holodeck seems to have been in part inspired by the holodeck we see in "Practical Joker". Also, writers such as Peter David have used some elements from the animated series in the books and comics. Although produced on the cheap (note the incredibly static backgrounds, recycled animations, and the fact that James Doohan, Nichelle Nichols, and Majel Barrett do about 95% of the guest voices), the script writing and concepts (mostly by writers from the original series) are generally of high quality (the show won an Emmy for best Children's Programming in '73) and the show is in many worthy of inclusion in the Trek annals.moreless
  • 10
    Run, Joe, Run

    Run, Joe, Run

    Follow
    NBC (ended 1976)
    Joe, a trained member of the military's K9-Corp., was falsely accused of attacking his master, Sergeant Corey. Joe managed to escape before being killed and a bounty was put on his head. While Sergeant Corey tried to find him before the authorities did, Joe managed to help the people he encounterd on his travels. Although Corey always came close, he never managed to find Joe. During the second season, Corey was called back to duty and Joe teamed up with Josh McCoy, a hiker, and continued on his trek while helping others.moreless
  • 11
    Ironside

    Ironside

    Follow
    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
  • 12
    Adam-12

    Adam-12

    Follow
    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
  • 13
    Land of the Lost

    Land of the Lost

    Follow
    NBC (ended 1976)
    Rick (a.k.a. Marshall) , Will, and Holly Marshall are on rafting trip and a earthquake sends them over a waterfall to the world known as, The Land of the Lost! Total Episodes: 43 For more info: landofthelost.com/ THE DINOSAURS Alice the Allosaur Grumpy the Tyrranosaur Dopey the baby Brontosaur Emily the Brontosaur Junior the baby Allosaur Spot the Coelophysis Spike the Triceratops Lulu the two headed monster Torchy the Dimetrodonmoreless
  • 14
    H.R. Pufnstuf

    H.R. Pufnstuf

    Follow
    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
  • 15
    Return to the Planet of the Apes

    Return to the Planet of the Apes

    Follow
    NBC (ended 1975)
    Astronauts Bill Hudson, Jeff Carter and Judy Franklin, orbiting in the NASA spacecraft Venture, are caught in a time warp in 1976. They crash land roughly two millennia later on a planet where intelligent apes are the dominant species and humans are helpless primitives which the apes refer to as "humanoids." Only later do they realize that it's Earth of the far future. In Ape City, the head of the Simian Senate is orangutan Dr. Zaius, who knows the truth about humans and apes. General Urko, in charge of the gorilla army, wants to wipe out the humanoid menace. He is also power-hungry and plots to seize control of the government by proving the military is superior. Chimpanzee scientists Zira and Cornelius are sympathetic to the endangered species since they subscribe to the theory that apes evolved from humanoids. They are the only apes who know about Bill's ability to speak and keep all of the astronauts' secrets. Zira has named Bill, "Blue Eyes" because he is the only blond human she has ever seen. Supporting characters include Nova, a female humanoid the astronauts have befriended, and Colonel Ron Brent, an astronaut from the 22nd century who also entered a time warp and arrived 15-20 years before the main characters. The series was based on "La Planéte des Singes" (The Monkey Planet) by Pierre Boulle and lasted only one season. Unlike its theatrical predecessors, the Planet of the Apes series of films, Return to the Planet of the Apes placed the apes in a society with architecture and technology approximating mid-20th century United States and realizes Boulle's original style and setting. DePatie-Freleng Enterprises produced the show, although the animation is often confused with the similar Filmation style. However, the detailed background drawings combined with often simplistic animation is more reminiscent of Hanna-Barbera's Jonny Quest.moreless
  • 16
    Gemini Man

    Gemini Man

    Follow
    NBC (ended 1976)
    Gemini Man's Sam Casey is an agent for INTERSECT, a government think-tank and operations center specializing in top secret missions. While on a diving assignment, Agent Casey is contaminated by a high level of radiation from an underwater explosion. He soon discovers that the radiation renders him invisible for short periods of time. INTERSECT devises a way to control his invisibility, by fitting him with a computerized watch that keeps him visible until it is shut off, causing invisibility again. But if he stays in that state for more than 15 minutes in any 24 hour period he will die. This ability to become invisible made him a very effective agent. Gemini Man was yet another attempt to capitalize on H.G. Wells' extremely popular novel The Invisible Man and followed on the heels of the cancellation of the show by that same name starring David McCallum.moreless
  • 17
    Sword of Justice

    Sword of Justice

    Follow
    NBC (ended 1979)
    A playboy, wrongfully convicted of embezzlement, uses his time served to learn a few tricks of the trade.
  • 18
    The Secret Empire

    The Secret Empire

    Follow
    NBC (ended 1979)
    Marshal Jim Donner, chasing a gang of masked robbers, stumbles upon an underground city of alien invaders, led by the evil Emperor Thorval, who keeps his people in subjugation via a mind-control machine. This obvious homage to Gene Autry's classic movie serial The Phantom Empire was one of the three segments of TV's "Cliffhangers" series, so someone is in deadly peril at the end of each episode. All of the scenes set in the surface world near Cheyenne, Wyoming, are in black and white, whereas those in the underground city of Chimera are in color.moreless