Bonanza - For 14 seasons, viewers invited the Cartwright family into their living rooms on Sunday nights. Patriarch Ben Cartwright (Lorne Greene) was a widower with three sons, each of whom had a different mother. They lived on the sprawling Ponderosa ranch in Nevada. The oldest son, Adam (Pernell Robert) was an architect; gentle giant Hoss (Dan Blocker) was the middle son; and impetutous Little Joe (Michael Landon) was the youngest. Hop Sing (Victor Sen Yung) was the Cartwrights' cook. Roberts left the show in 1965. There were various attempts at adding a replacement character. The only one that "stuck" was teenage orphan Jamie Hunter (Mitch Vogel), whom Ben eventually adopted.
The Big Valley - In 1965, ABC launched its own version of Bonanza, starring the inimitable Barbara Stanwyck as Victoria Barkley, a widow who runs another sprawling ranch (this one in California). Her oldest son, Jarrod (Richard Long) was a lawyer; tough-minded Nick (Peter Breck) ran the ranch; daughter Audra (Linda Evans) was as strong-willed as her mother; and Heath (Lee Majors)...well, he was the illegimate son of Victoria's deceased husband. During the first season, the youngest Barkley child, medical student Eugene (Charles Briles), appeared occasionally...but he was written out of the show!
So, those are your five nominations! Cast your vote in the green sidebar on the right.