The venerable TV series ran for 14 seasons with 440 episodes. Starring Lorne Greene as Ben Cartwright, the show told of life on the all-male family ranch, Ponderosa, near Virginia City, Nevada. Ben, a thrice widower, had sons from each marriage: Adam was serious and responsible; Hoss was gregarious and oafish; and Little Joe was impetuous and romantic. Early episodes often revolved around personality conflicts between the brothers, but as the series grew in popularity and longevity, it became more about mining and running the Ponderosa.
After a man named Kane kidnaps Adam, Hoss realizes the only way to save him is to get him to admit his guilt. He does so and gets a second chance at life with Abigail and her daughter Bonnie.
Len Keith wants to buy land adjacent to the Ponderosa from Andy McKaren, but he is bitter about past business dealings with the Cartwrights. His greedy employee tries to stir up trouble between the men and Joe falls in love with the man's daughter.
Hoss and Joe take their sweethearts to a strange carnival where one of the owners, Reed Gerner, has abducted Jennifer Beale, the daughter of wealthy Joshua Beale. A sympathetic judge hears his side and lets him go free. He is later murdered and Hoss is accused of the crime. Joe's friend Dolly Kincaid enlists her father to help him prove his innocence. Hoss must also come to terms with his feelings for Dolly, who has fallen in love with Joe's former girlfriend, Vince Dagen.