Secrets from Behind the Scenes of Bonanza

By Staff Writer

While Gunsmoke may have beat them to the punch a few years earlier, there's no denying that Bonanza is the best Western TV series of all time. With 14 seasons and more than 400 episodes (and a few TV movies thrown in for good measure), fans just couldn't get enough of the Cartwrights and their trials and tribulations on their ranch, the Ponderosa. 

Because of some shaky, poorly performing early seasons, no one was certain that Bonanza would make it at all, much less become an international hit. But the show beat all the odds and went on to become one of the biggest TV shows NBC would ever create. 

You might be a seasoned expert when it comes to the Cartwrights, but how much do you know about everything that went on behind the scenes of the show? Today, we're taking a look at some of the biggest secrets, scandals, and mysteries that happened after the cameras stopped rolling. 

Why did they kill off Hoss? Who got paid the most? And why couldn't Michael Landon seem to play nice with the rest of the cast and crew? We're answering all these questions and more—it's a literal Bonanza bonanza! 

Let's get started!