A spin-off of the CBS program Petticoat Junction (1963), Green Acres surpassed its predecessor in audience popularity – spending four of its six seasons as a Top 20 Nielsen-rated program.
Its family-friendly humor puts Green Acres in the same nostalgic category as shows like The Andy Griffith Show, back when TV sitcoms were all about humor and not as serious as they would later become with the introduction of 1970s stalwarts MASH and All In The Family.
The brainchild of creator Jay Sommers, writer for shows such as The Adventures Of Ozzie & Harriet and Petticoat Junction (where Green Acres characters Sam, Doris, Fred, and Arnold make their first appearances), Green Acres’ unique brand of comedy lives on through a successful and ongoing syndication run, and its catchy theme song even captured the pop culture for a second time when Old Navy incorporated it into one of their trademark clothing commercials…
Green Acres centers around the life of a wealthy Manhattan attorney, Oliver Wendell Douglas (Eddie Albert), and his elite socialite wife Lisa (Eva Gabor). When Oliver gets a hankering to live out his childhood dream of operating a farm, conman Eustace Haney (Pat Buttram) offers him the deal of a lifetime.
Only the deal of a lifetime turns out to be a 160-acre dump in the fictional town of Hooterville. Nevertheless, Oliver sets out to turn the farm into a rural gem, while Lisa is reluctant to leave her life of privilege in New York. Hired hand Eb Dawson (Tom Lester) helps out the Douglas family, and Sam Drucker (Frank Cady), a carryover from Petticoat Junction, runs the local general store.
But the true life of the show emanates from neighbors Fred (Hank Patterson) and Doris Ziffel (Fran Ryan) and their adopted son – a prized pig named Arnold who displays many human-like traits. In time, Lisa learns to love the people of Hooterville, trying her best to bring sophistication to the backwoods region (and while still making use of her Manhattan wardrobe)…
The Green Acres DVD features a number of hilarious episodes including the series premiere “Oliver Buys a Farm” in which New York attorney Oliver Douglas decides to live out his dream of living on a farm.
So, without telling his wife, he quits the law firm of Felton, O’Connell, Clay, Blakely, Harmon, Dillion & Pasteur (whew!) in favor of a rundown tract of land in rural Hooterville. When his wife Lisa sees the farm, she goes ballistic.
Other notable episodes from Season 1 include “You Can’t Plug in a 2 with a 6” in which Oliver must continually remind Lisa never to use an appliance(s) that will push the generator over a 7 on the power scale, and “Lisa Bakes a Cake” in which Lisa decides to bake a cake and ends up with a twenty pound cake.
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