Friday, July 17, 2015

Bonanza Needs Your Help

Vintage Bonanza Advertisement
It was brought to my attention today that the "Cartwrights" are in trouble and need your help. Word is sales for the official DVD releases of BONANZA, the television series, have been "soft," and CBS Paramount decision-makers are waiting to see if sales will pick up before going ahead with a Season Nine release and beyond. In other words, they placed a "sales expectation." So if you've been on the fence about buying any of the official DVD sets (especially Season Eight, the latest release), NOW is the time to do so. The sales of Season Eight will be the decision maker whether CBS releases future seasons.

The Eighth Season featured some highlights such as "The Pursued," a legendary two-part episode about the Cartwrights coming to the aid of a Mormon rancher being persecuted for his beliefs. It was directed by the legendary William Whitney, who Quentin Tarantino was once referred to as one of the best directors in history. Good friend Francis M. Nevins, a fan of Whitney, supplied a bonus extra (an interview he conducted with Whitney). Among my favorites is "Credit for the Kill," a story that puts Little Joe into a position of responsibility. Unclear which of their two bullets, fired simultaneously, brought down a wanted horse thief, Little Joe takes the humble approach and allows his friend, rancher Morgan Tanner, to take the credit and claim the much needed reward money. But when the outlaw's brothers come to town for his body and revenge, Joe has to make a difficult decision that will save his friend, but also destroy their friendship.

The Cartwrights defend a Mexican against bigotry, an immigrant family that needs the hand of friendship from Ben Cartwright, and Little Joe plays detective in an episode that recycled props later seen in episodes of The Time Tunnel. Celebrity guests include Leslie Nielsen, Don "Red" Barry, Audrey Totter, Ed Begley, Dina Merrill, John Archer, Roger Davis, Vera Miles, Beau Bridges, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Harry Carey, Jr., Jeff Corey, Joanne Linville, Jeanette Nolan, Wayne Newton (in the Christmas episode), Jack Elam, Henry Darrow, Royal Dano, and Charlie Ruggles, among others.

Unlike TV reruns, the DVDs feature new print transfers which include the original network logos and sponsor promos.

Adam, Little Joe, Pa and Hoss.
The official DVD sets were executive produced by Andy Klyde -- a popular culture historian and long-time attorney for BONANZA's creator-producer David Dortort -- and a guest speaker at the Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention three years ago. But future seasons (9 through 14) may never happen unless you send the message. The studios look at the bottom line... exceeding the sales expectations. So visit and buy Season Eight today!!! And spread the word so more people know about this! This is one of those moments where you can brag later that future seasons keep coming out because you helped make a difference. Even if you don't have all of the prior seasons, sales of Season Eight will be tallied shortly so grab this one now and send that message to the studios! (And yes, Amazon mis-spelled the word "Eight" in the product description, which can prevent a number of people from finding it on Amazon and buying a copy. This is why the link is provided below.) 


March 1, 2019 UPDATE
It seems more than three years after this initial blog post, Paramount has announced Season Nine will finally be coming out. The status of whether or not additional seasons beyond nine is still up in the air so please consider supporting the cause. Future seasons always depend on sales numbers.