Dan Blocker was surprised that 'Bonanza' made it past the first season

The Western series exceeded expectations, gracing television screens for 14 seasons.

There's no doubt that a lot comes with debuting a new show. Networks run into multiple problems that could impact a show's success, and even though that wasn't the case for NBC's Bonanza, Dan Blocker was shocked it went beyond season one.

The series exceeded initial expectations, becoming the second longest-running Western series in the U.S., securing 431 episodes throughout 14 seasons.

It quickly became a fan favorite overseas as well. It won several Primetime Emmy Awards and took home a TV Week Logie Award for Most Popular Show Overseas (Australia) in 1964. The TV Week award was the first award win for Bonanza.

Despite the early success, Blocker, who played Hoss Cartwright, said he couldn't believe how imperative the show was worldwide.

During a 1971 interview, Blocker shared his thoughts on the show, which was preparing for its thirteenth season. He honestly answered when asked if he was superstitious about the upcoming season. "I have been superstitious about the first year, the second, the third, fourth and so on," he said. "I didn't dream that the thing would go beyond the first year, and I pretty much had the same feeling every year since."

He added that the thirteenth year didn't have a particular significance and looked at it as just another year. The interviewer then asked how much longer can Bonanza last, and the actor responded with beliefs that the show would become an economic burden.

"I think it'll eventually become an economic burden," Blocker said. "It'll be a burden for the network and the sponsors to an extent where they'll probably drop it. I foresee the show lasting another couple of years."

He also mentioned that the network had backed up logs, and when working in film, it becomes hard to payout money when there's so much content viewers have not seen.

"We get so much film backlog that it becomes unfeasible for the network to continue to payout money for new produce when they have thirteen years of produce that the public has only seen one-third of," he said. "So it just doesn't make sense economically to continue the thing. I imagine that it should have run its course by the fifteenth year."

Bonanza was well on its way to more seasons, but Blocker passed away a month after the finale episode of season thirteen.

It lasted one more season before ending.

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BenSobeleone 29 days ago
I like the Bonanza bloopers that are on youtube. It's hilarious! You hear the Cartwright boys swearing.
F5Twitster 1 month ago
Beyond the writer’s merely not understanding what the word “imperative” means (in the above context, the only word that actually seems to fit is a simple “popular”), and that “[Blocker] honestly answered when asked if he was superstitious about the upcoming season”

should read answered honestly, the above article is largely incoherent.

None of these articles carry bylines; it’s all too obvious why.
jeremylr 1 month ago
Here's the Dan Blocker 1971 video interview referenced in the story. Would have been nice to acknowledge the original source. Entertainment reporter Bobbie Wygant is still with us at age 95!

JosephScarbrough 1 month ago
Nobody thought SEINFELD would last beyond its first season; it went on for nine, and became one of the most influential shows in TV history.

Nobody thought M*A*S*H would last beyond its first season; it went on for eleven, and became one of the most influential shows in TV history.

Nobody thought SESAME STREET would last beyond its first season; it's about to start its _fifty-third_, and _is_ one of the most influential shows in TV history.

You just never know how these things will go.
tootsieg 1 month ago
Good interview. Dan Blocker was taken way too soon.
MrsPhilHarris 1 month ago
Does it make sense to say new produce? 🌽🥬🥦🥕
" Does it make sense" Maybe?
If your in the supermarket buying lettuce, tomatoes or other fresh products. I would hope it is new.

However I'm not aware of any " new " agricultural commodities ( not to say there aren't ) that could be called 🍅🍓🍉🍇🍒 " new produce. " 🍐🍑🍆🍈🍏
CaptainDunsel 1 month ago
Interesting. But some rather peculiar wording in this one.
"...how imperative the show was worldwide." Imperative seems an odd term to use in this context.

"...the network had backed up logs" Mayhap someone didn't quite understand the term "backlog"? Or spell/grammar check went berserk?
Yes, I wondered on those, if it was something Blocker said in interviews and they didn't use quotations to show that?
StrayCat CaptainDunsel 1 month ago
It would seem this story was written by someone with a different primary language than English.
CaptainDunsel StrayCat 1 month ago
Yes, it does. It reminds me of the time I had to explain to a business contact what I meant when I said I didn't need an exact quote, just something "in the ballpark". The metaphor behind that idiom was utterly lost. It looks as if something similar happened with "backlog".
cperrynaples 1 month ago
Blocker was right about the show ending within 2 years! It was a combination of Blocker's death and the switch to Tuesday where it had to compete with Maude!
Runeshaper 1 month ago
Very informative. Super sad about Dan Blocker though.
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