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'Bonanza' | 1959-1973
White hat: The Cartwright clan, from left -- affable Eric "Hoss" (Dan Blocker), proud patriarch Ben (Lorne Greene), brooding Adam (Pernell Roberts) and hot-headed "Little" Joe (Michael Landon) -- are traditional white hats with modern issues. Ben keeps his dissimilar children close, fighting injustice and taking care of neighbors in the rough-and-tumble west. On their prolific ranch, there's plenty to do and plenty of trouble involving vagabonds, gold-crazed miners and wayward outlaws.
Black hat: The villainous black hat takes the form of 1960s and 1970s issues of the day, with episodes taking on such topics as environment change ("Different Pine, Same Wind") and antiwar sentiments ("The Weary Willies"). Racism and domestic violence were also tackled by the ever-complicated band of father and sons.