September 12, 1959: Bonanza Premieres
On this day in 1959, the western television series Bonanza premiered on NBC. Bonanza was the first regularly scheduled television program presented in color. The show ran for 14 seasons and ranks as the second longest running western series in history.
In 2002, Bonanza was ranked No. 43 on TV Guide’s 50 Greatest Shows of All Time. Bonanza is especially remembered for addressing racism, a topic largely ignored on American television at the time.
From the early 1940s into the 1970s, during the Golden Age of Television, western series were produced for television with great success. Check out this Pioneers of Television list of well-known and well-loved western series.