A half century of Cartwrights: Bonanza’s 50th anniversary
NBC’s Bonanza brought location shooting, tourists, and money to Nevada
By Dennis Myers
It was a bold stroke, the very opposite of the tokenism that plagued television in those days—an interracial marriage with interracial casting, no less. Within the safe confines of a family-oriented program, blacks and Indians would have achieved a permanent showcase rather than a one-time guest appearance, while Roberts’ misgivings about the cookie-cutter shows would have been appeased.
Unfortunately, producer David Dortort’s response to Roberts’ proposal was pure tokenism—a counterproposal for Sammy Davis Jr., to make an unrelated guest appearance which, as it happened, never came off.
For more on the subject, see:
The Paiute War in Bonanza
Day of Reckoning in Bonanza
The Lone Ranger vs. Bonanza
El Toro Grande in Bonanza
Death on Sun Mountain in Bonanza