Ponderosa (TV Series 2001–2002) Poster

(2001–2002)

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Excellent Western series
Pro Jury21 October 2001
Although it is a remake of the legendary TV classic BONANZA, PONDEROSA more than holds its own showing greater depth and much more realism.

The Cartwright clan is younger in this new version, less rich, less sure about right & wrong -- specially in terms of the taking of the Nevada lands from its previous owners and the aftermath this produces. The Cartwright's and the local townfolk are often confronted with displaced and disgruntled Mexicans.

In line with real life, the Cartwright's and their western settler neighbors own only assorted hunting rifles, not slick 6-shooters at the hip. Whenever an odd gun-slinger gallops in from the badlands, he is wearing a monsterous mid-1800's side-arm and not the compact modern revolvers often seen in cheaper Westerns.

Dan Blocker, Lorne Greene, Pernell Roberts, Michael Landon -- these are larger than TV-life shoes to fill. An impossible task. Fortunately, the producers of PONDEROSA smartly chose have the characters be younger than in the original BONANZA series. As the settlers explored the new world of the real American West, we see the youthful Cartwright boys explore living on the rugged PONDEROSA ranch as well as learning about life in general.

Ben Cartwright is ever thoughtful as he leads his family without a wife to help (think Steve Douglas of MY THREE SONS). PONDEROSA benefits from above average direction, plot lines, set realism and acting.

An excellent Western. A hidden gem.
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Excellent prequel of the Cartwright Legacy
KathleenONeill21 November 2002
This is a show that a huge number of people have been trying to save for nearly a year. The values of integrity, honest, compassion, love of family, community spirit, patriotism, love of the land, making mistakes and learning from them are beautifully and movingly portrayed in this majestic return to the Cartwrights and their home, The Ponderosa.

The writing, acting and production have captured what so manny Bonanza fans have loved, the strength and love of a good family building their dream, working together. It is a show that generations can watch together and come away from it feeling that their own values have been fortified. That, yes, other people believe and feel the way you do about family, injustice, honesty and hard work.

I hope others will join in and help save this show.
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I love the life lessons that The Ponderosa teaches.
ltjebert21 November 2002
The Ponderosa tv series is a prequel to Bonanza. It tells about the Cartwrights when they first built the ranch in Eagle Station, Nevada near Lake Tahoe. Before they became the Cartwrights we all know.

Families can sit together and watch The Ponderosa together without worrying about what children are learning from it. They will learn about love of family and friends, respect for others and more good lessons. This is a show for the entire family.

More shows like this are desperately needed in today's society.
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Greatest !!!!!!!!!
PonderosaLover22 November 2002
I am truly amazed after reading all the postings, on alot of different boards, how one show has brought people together, and helped other people. Look how many friendships have been created. I want to thank the writer's for the love, compassion and understanding the came through in the scripts, and thank the cast for perfectly performing the scenes. It's like dropping a stone in the water and watching the concentric circles continuously touch shore. I can't believe how excited all of us get to hear from Matt and Drew, or hear that another episode of The Ponderosa will air, or find labels that have pictures of the TP on them, or tell each other what Danny did and said in each scene, and how it affected us, the list goes on..... I personally, am a much happier person today, because I watched The Ponderosa....WOW!!! Thanks! Another aspect of 'The Ponderosa Magic', that also amazes me, is how so many people tell me 'why' they watch the show. The Ponderosa came on the TV, just when we NEEDED it. Let me explain. It appeared after the 9-11 tragedy. We needed a show that was kinda like our family...we grew up with them. Who doesn't know the Cartwrights? Everyone wants/needs Ben Cartwright as our father....kind but strong, dependable and understanding, yet doing the 'right thing' for everyone alike. Practicing being 'just', trying to live by the law. Sometimes, there is nothing 'fair' in our lives (like 9-11), but when Danny appeared on the screen, we felt SAFE. We knew that he would make sense of everything, he gave us hope. THANKS DANNY! Also, who wouldn't want MATT or DREW as our brothers..they couldn't have demonstrated any more love than what they did in every show. THANKS MATT & DREW! Yesterday, when I went home for lunch, I turned on the TV to watch the news....IRAQ...WAR...WEAPONS...IT'S NOT FAIR...SCARED...NO MORE KILLING...PLEASE STOP IT.... I needed Danny, Matt and Drew to escape from reality and feel safe again. Maybe it's like acting, the actors escape from reality to play someone else.

WE NEED 'THE PONDEROSA'.
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The Ponderosa
mabel9821 November 2002
This is the kind of show that needs to be on television. It is a good show that shows real family values and morals that is so lacking in television today. This show attracted the young and old alike. Hopefully the "Cartwrights" and The Ponderosa will continue to enhance our television viewing. LONG LIVE THE PONDEROSA!!!!
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Expressing a desire to have the show continue for a long time
navy00721 November 2002
I am very glad to see a show that I have loved from the beginning get a fresh start. Bringing the show back in an earlier time gives it a chance to show the way the characters became the most loved family in TV history. I never missed the first and I never missed an episode of the new Ponderosa. The actors playing the parts are hard working and have developed their characters well. I want this show to continue for at least as long 13 1/2 seasons as Bonanza, longer if possible. I miss the westerns, I am a child of the 50's. Thanks for the space. Long live the Ponderosa.
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Fantastic Series
tz195721 November 2002
I have watched every episode of this wonderful family show and I love them all! The Ponderosa is a show the whole family can watch and not worry about content.

The actors are superb and considering the size of shoes they must fill, have done an excellent job!
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Excellent Show
Mackeymc621 November 2002
The Ponderosa is a quality,family show,one that is definately needed in this day and age!! Daniel Hugh Kelly,Matt Carmody,Drew Howell,Jared Dupreis all do a wonderful job portraying our beloved Cartwrights! I cannot wait for more adventures watching the Cartwright boys as they grow up and become men!! A definate must see for anyone that has not had the priviledge!
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Brought Me Back to Tv
pacartwright21 November 2002
My children often joke I stopped watching televison when the Waltons went off the air. Not quite but have turned my televison off for the past five years. Finally a show a family can enjoy together then its pulled. I really hope the Ponderosa is returned to the airs! The cast was warm and real which is hard to find. Thanks
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Sorely missed by many till the movie came
crogers-421 November 2002
This movie brought back our beloved Cartwrights. It brought anticipation and excitement for what the future would hold for Ben Cartwright as he brought up his three sons and attempted to build what we all knew would eventually become the famous Ponderosa. The characters had many qualities the older Cartwrights had, and I felt by watching this younger version of each (Ben, Adam, Hoss and Little Joe) we could watch them as they learned the ways of the west and see them as they struggled to survive and become the family we knew. The actors were well chosen for the parts. Diehard Bonanza fans, such as myself, knew Hoss immediately as protrayed by Drew. There was just no question that it was perfect casting. Little Joe (Jared) was a puzzle in the beginning but as he watched his mother die, the beginnings of the rebellious side of his character (which we all expect) appeared and Jared carried the part well. Pa was strict, yet loving, and Daniel was excellent. I had never seen him in previous roles yet I knew of him and some of the parts he had played and was a little concerned he wouldn't be right to play Ben Cartwright. But watching him as Pa interacted with his sons, I knew he was perfect. The mystery was who would portray Adam - my favorite Bonanza character. Matt totally exceeded my expectations for Adam. He portrays a sensitive, thoughtful, exciting, quick to anger when necessary Adam and those are all of the traits I expect to see in the eldest son. I'm sure as he delves further into the character and the history of Adam's life is brought out in later episodes, people are going to see what type of versatile actor he appears to be.
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Ponderosa Is Awesome - What American Viewers Need
kokosmom527521 November 2002
Ponderosa is undoubtedly the most outstanding television program to come along in years. The combination of David Dortort, Beth Sullivan, excellent writers and award winning cast makes this show a winner in all ways. Any network considering this show has a ready made vocal and supportive fan base whose numbers continue to grow even though Ponderosa is not officially on the air.
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Greatest
PonderosaLover26 November 2002
I want to have a separate paragraph for just Little Joe, powerfully played by Jared Daperis. The influence that this character has on our young people is hard to describe. Jared is young, so he hasn't had many years of acting experience. Still, he brings every scene to a believable reality, with his enormous talent. It's impossible to take your eyes off the screen, when Jared is talking. This character is such a great role model for our young people. The brotherly love, along with the father-son relationship is immeasurable. He's always trying to 'work-together' with his brothers. Trying to make sense of the world, has forever been a challenge for a youngster growing up. Little Joe brings a new understanding, simple yet direct, to the everyday problems. Not afraid to ask his father for advise, shows the caring, sharing, love and closeness in their relationship. THANKS JARED !!!!!!! CHILDREN NEED THE PONDEROSA
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hi this is tnswtgirl and poohbear
tnswtgirl22 November 2002
we watch the ponderosa every time it was on and we love it.it show how a father help his son grow up to be great man.he try to help them when they need help.and love them we hope to see the ponderosa back on soon.and more show like it on tv.
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Some of the many reasons the show makes me smile:
kabwest22 November 2002
1. The best response ever to a boy asking if he HAS to get a haircut. (If I ever am blessed with a son, I hope that I can deliver that line as well.) 2. Reminding me that it is fun to splash and throw water at each other when doing chores. (hum..I wonder if I'll get any help next time I wash my car?) 3. Watching father and sons smile at each other..different times and different reasons, but wonderful. 4. Educating me. I've always been interested in history and read a lot, but I never knew that the Burr / Hamilton duel took place in Weehawken. (and I'm a jersey girl) 5. Telling stories with appreciation of our history and diversity. 6. A feather for a shirt IS a great trade. (tour some of the history museums in the mid-west and west..you'll see) 7. Reminding me about the kind of person I hope to be..I don't want to be a bare knuckles fighter, but I hope I always stand up for what I believe in..I may not pull a beard off an imposter, but I hope to see through to the truth in situations. 8. For doing the service announcement after 9/11. It was very comforting in a tough time. 9. For making me what to slow down for an hour to watch a great show.
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The Ponderosa - a true gem
LUVB22 November 2002
The Ponderosa is a statement about a way of life - the Cartwright way. At the center is family. This the binding force that gives Ben and his three sons the courage to overcome loss, oppose discrimination against others, and to always strive to act in a manner that is just and ethical.

Cartwright values are priceless, especially in our modern world. With its dedicated fan base, the Ponderosa is an asset to any television network. But, more importantly, the Cartwright legacy will make its television network an asset to the world.
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Great family viewing
c60mlk121 November 2002
The Ponderosa is a family series showing love, honesty, respect, tolerance, and a strong American spirit, all the things vital to our being and seriously lacking on television today. It is the story of a father who is raising three sons on the frontier, with a sense of humor as well as a firm hand. It's a wonderful show the whole family can watch together. The Ponderosa is a feel good show.
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Excellent writing and acting
robbie-2030 November 2002
Ponderosa is an excellent show for the whole family. It has enough intelligence, excitement, and humor for adults and wonderful morality lessons for children, without being preachy. I hope they find a way to continue making this show because there is nothing left on TV to watch beyond this. Ponderosa is absolutely top-notch.
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Loosely based on "General Hospital" but set in the Old West
cheval_5216 May 2006
Ben, Hoss, & Little Joe must be spinning in their graves to witness how Hollywood honors their memory with such garbage as "PONDEROSA". Close your eyes and you would think that you were watching either "GENERAL HOSPITAL" or reruns of "XEENA".

Typical of Hollywood lately is to throw in an overbearing obnoxious woman character into their action TV shows and have them save the day. With "Ponderosa" it's the same old rehash, only this time they have a woman who dresses like a man, drinks like a man, and smokes cigars like a man. Almost as unbelievable as their other idiot TV show about the "Three Musketeers" where they have a woman with a beard fighting alongside armed with a sword. Can it get anymore ridiculous???

I suggest that Hollywood should take an IQ test and brush up on their Classic Literature from the past. No wonder our kids are so stupid about history & the classics.

On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being best, I would rate "Ponderosa" a -39. In other words, if you want to see a great western go buy the old "Bonanza Series" on CD.
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Share The Ponderosa with your family.
kpavlish5 December 2002
I have been a fan of Bonanza most of my life. When I first heard about a new television show that would take us back to the beginnings of the Ponderosa, I couldn't wait to see it. I was not disappointed. The Ponderosa instantly became my favorite show on Television. I planned my Sunday nights around the airing of the show. In a time when so much of what we see on television centers around sex and/or finding new ways to degrade our fellow human beings, The Ponderosa showed us what television was meant to be as a medium of entertainment. Respect, honestly, hard work, responsibility, concern for our neighbors, doing what's right, solid moral values...how often are these values at the core of the plot of a television show? I was so impressed with the writing of the show and the talent of the actors. I applaud the way in which actors portraying the Cartrights were able to transcend their characters back to the beginning of the Ponderosa. I have been around ranching all of my life and I have dreamed of being able to raise my children on one....even if it means having to struggle. This type of environment allows you a greater chance to teach your children responsibility and show them that hard work has it's rewards and even if we aren't always successful, we are better people because of it. My dream of a ranch of my own will probably never become a reality. However, The Ponderosa gives me a medium to show my 2 young children about how we should live our lives...how we can become a positive influence to those around us. It's rare that television today can help reinforce the values that we want our children to learn and grasp as their own. I grew up with The Waltons, Little House On The Prairie and so many other television shows that you could watch as a family and not be embarrassed or disgusted to see. They made you feel good and maybe brought us closer together. The Ponderosa gave me that same feeling. It was like seeing an old friend. When I saw that the show was not on any of the program schedules for this fall, it felt that I had lost that old friend again. I dearly hope that we will see a 2nd season of The Ponderosa. This is exactly what American television needs.
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This show is "Must See TV"!
Ceebee201825 November 2002
The Ponderosa is a prequel to Bonanza, taking place 10 years before the start of Bonanza. The Cartwrights have just acquired the land on which to build their ranch, and haven't yet acquired the wealth they have in Bonanza. But these younger versions of the Cartwrights still have the same values they have 10 years later: Courage, Integrity, Love of Family, Respect for all people, Honesty.

These values are hard to find on TV today. It's wonderful to see a show on TV that the whole family can sit down together to watch. The actors portraying the younger Cartwrights (Daniel Hugh Kelly, Matt Carmody, Drew Powell, and Jared Daperis) are awesome in their roles--they stepped into shoes they knew would be very difficult to fill. But they have filled them magnificently!

This show is a diamond in the rough. Throughout the first season, the writers and producers were finding what worked and what didn't work. I hope the series can be brought back again because I'm sure the second season will reveal to the country (and the world) just what a true Gem this series is!
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Long Live The Ponderosa!!!!!!
LilAnnie25 November 2002
Truely an excellent family show which brings back family values......something that's been missing for quite some time. The acting is superb, and the actor's chosen to play the part's were very well selected. I couldn't have picked a more perfect actor then Daniel Hugh Kelly to play the part of Ben Cartwright. I think he did justice to the character in his portrayal of a younger Ben raising three young son's. Matt Carmody played an excellent Adam with his wit and charm. Drew Powell played a tremendous rendition of our beloved Hoss with his warm smile and huge heart. Jared Deparis played a believable Little Joe at age 12. The writing was terrific, and became more "Bonanza" like with each episode.

It is my sincere wish and hope that The Ponderosa WILL RETURN again! We certainly need more show's like this especially in these present times that we live in.

KEEPING THE FAITH!

Lil Annie
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Excellent family show
hot4dhk25 November 2002
The Ponderosa brought the whole family around the T.V. together. Each age group had their own character that they liked and the story-lines were great...with good family values. It's so hard to find that now-a-days!

I, personally enjoyed all the original characters and towns-people very much. The show brought out several emotions and always left me feeling good.

We miss it so much and wait for it's much needed return!

The acting was excellent...whoever cast it was a genious!
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Excellent series
WesternView25 November 2002
The Ponderosa captured my interest from the pilot. The idea of doing a prequel to a well-known series was a tremendous risk, but throughout the first season, the show just got better and better as the writers found their mark, and as the actors became familiar in their roles and with each other.

Matt Carmody (Adam) is a phenomenal actor! Besides being very handsome, his facial expressions speak volumes. He has captured the character of Adam Cartwright very well. Drew Powell IS Hoss! He looks more like Dan Blocker than some of Dan Blocker's kids. And he does a wonderful job of portraying Hoss' sweetness, and his kindness to all living creatures, human and animal. Jared Daperis is fantastic as a young Little Joe, showing his enthusiasm for life. And Daniel Hugh Kelly makes a great Ben, capturing the love for his family while bringing the boys up alone in the West.

Two Thumbs Up for this fantastic show!
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The Ponderosa is excellent family entertainment
jdavery2001200125 November 2002
My family and I have watched The Ponderosa since its beginning. We all love the show and is the only show that the whole family (including two children under the age of 10) watch together. All of us looked forward to new episodes during the first season and even look forward to repeats just as much.

The Ponderosa is a wonderful show. The casting of the four main characters is right on. The actors who portray younger Cartwrights have incredible acting abilities and through not only their lines, but their body language and facial gestures have completely captured the essence of the Cartwrights as they appeared in Bonanza.

As the first season went on, The Ponderosa became more and more like Bonanza. Although some of the details of the Bonanza story were changed early on, the later episodes kept almost exclusively to the Bonanza storylines and characterization.

All of my family look forward to the return of The Ponderosa, in whatever format, so that we can enjoy this special family show together again. As a longtime Bonanza fan, I can't wait to see the Cartwright legend live again in this new, aswesome show!
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A legacy reborn
cmclellan25 November 2002
I've always been a fan of western such as Bonanza, The Big Valley, High Chaparral, Fury. These shows reflected the true American spirit of adventurism, bravery, good overcoming evil, families pulling together to overcome adversity, individuals standing up against the unruly mob to do the right thing. Westerns are truly an American art form. They are the essence of our cultural mores that, in recent decades celebrating self-interest and materialism, we have collectively lost touch with.

Sadly, I missed the pilot and early episodes of The Ponderosa. Though late (December 2000) I was quickly drawn into the series and the characters. The Ponderosa revives one of America's favorite families, The Cartwrights, before they attained their wealth in the frontier west. The characters are well cast and the roles are well acted. True to the Western genre, The Ponderosa portrays a young family struggling to create a home in a wild, foreign frontier land while also struggling to define and maintain their moral values in an often harsh and unforgiving environment.

In The Ponderosa, the Cartwright family has been renovated to reflect some of the best of our modern sensibilities: the character Hop Sing is a dignified intelligent man, rather than the stereotyped and ethnically miscast Hop Sing of Bonanza (a Japanese actor), Indians and Mexicans are also permitted dignity and intelligence notwithstanding the period reality of prejudices the majority of white settlers maintained against them. There are strong independent women. Six shooters are missing in The Ponderosa, which is historically accurate. In watching re-runs of Bonanza, it is amazing how quickly the Cartwrights resorted to shooting, and how easily they pointed a gun and pulled a trigger. There is much in Bonanza that just wouldn't fly in a modern series. The Ponderosa writers reflect a responsible maturity in their presentation while maintaining the heart and soul of what made Bonanza great.

This show might not appeal to the die-hard fans of Survivor, The Osbornes, Fear Factor, or The Weakest Link, to name a few. But none of those shows will withstand the test of time. The Ponderosa has all the ingredients to become a television legacy in the tradition of Bonanza.

There is a void to be filled in television today. Viewers, adults and children, need to see the roots of the American spirit and be reminded of what most Americans strive for: a better world for themselves and their children. The Ponderosa fills this void in returning viewers to a simpler time and reminding them of what really matters in life. The message transcends time and is one we all need to hear in an often chaotic and incomprehensible world.
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