CBS producer Paul Henning had major successes with Petticoat Junction and The Beverly Hillbillies so the network asked him to produce another half-hour show….no pilot required. So he sought some help from another producer friend named Jay Sommers. Sommers had a radio show in 1950 called “Granby’s Green Acres” about a big city couple that moved to the country.
COOL TRIVIA ALERT: That radio show starred Gale Gordon (Mr. Mooney from the Here’s Lucy series) and Bea Benaderet (Pearl Bodine from The Beverly Hillbillies and the original voice of Betty Rubble on the Flintstones)
The show centered around big city attorney Oliver Wendell Douglas (Eddie Albert) and his glamorous wife Lisa who hated rural living. Oliver decided to act on his life-long dream of being a farmer and moves out to the country.
The first episode was a mock documentary about the couples move. It was narrated by a famous CBS newscaster…John Charles Daly.
The show debuted in September of 1965 and ran until 1971. Whether you liked Mr. Haney, Hank Kimball or Sam Drucker, Green Acres was for sure a surrealist world of insane misfits that added up to be the bane of Oliver’s existence. It was truly hilarious.