"WITH their father being THREE YEARS OLDER than they ARE!!".
Verily, RIP, IMDB guy and MikeF6: I don't think that Lorne Greene was old enough, or if so, just barely, to have been the biological father of Pernell Roberrt and Dan Blocker. Michael Landon, I suppose, yes.
Hey, he was old enough to be Ava Gardner's father in 'Earthquake', so there.
I've discovered that those so-called "lost episodes" are airing on MeTV. At that time, the iconic theme music was jettisoned for a more "modern" score. Ugh!!
Those episodes were lost for good reason. They just are not very good. They were trying to appease people that were whining about violence in TV and make the show more family oriented. The show had about 11 good seasons before the bottom fell out.
I made an error in my OP. Little Joe's wife was killed in a fire, but it wasn't set by a jealous suitor, but by her worthless nothing of a brother!
I apologize for the faux pas.
Little Joe falls in love with Alice Harper played by a young Bonnie Bedelia who he meets while rescuing her gambler brother John from a poker game gone bad. The two eventually marry and are expecting a baby. However, things go sour for them when John Harper owes a large sum of money to a professional gambler named Damion played by actor Larry Golden. When Damion attempts to collect the debt from John, he and his gang pay his sister Mrs Alice Cartwright a visit. Damion encounters a valuable music box given to her by Joe as a wedding gift and demands that Alice surrenders the box as payment for the gambling debt. When she refuses both she and John are murdered and the house is burned to the ground to conceal the evidence. Joe later finds the music box in the possession of a prostitute. It was given to her by Damion. Joe concludes that his wife's death was no accident. And he and Candy seek to bring the culprits to justice.
Evil Gambler Damion set the fire. All of this is in the link posted earlier in the thread … here it is again