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Old 03-07-2012, 11:33 AM   #16
Leslie Eckhardt
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Originally Posted by lucyandethel
According to "The Complete Director to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows 1946 - present (2007)" for the 1970-71 TV season, Green Acres was not even listed in the Top 30 shows. (and not for the 1969 - 70 TV season either) The show had dropped considerably in the ratings, so it was likely justified to be cancelled.

I'm not certain The Beverly Hillbillies justified being cancelled in 1971. The show likely could have ran another season, at least ratings wise, even though it was not in the Top 30 for 1970-71 either. Cast members of TBH expected to be renewed for a tenth season, supposedly. For 1969 - 1970, it was No. 18. Not sure how much it dropped to for the 1970-71 season.

Petticoat Junction had not ranked in the Top 30 since 1967, so a 1970 cancellation for it was no surprise either.
It was time to retire some of these shows. The Beverly Hillbillies, Green Acres and Petticoat Junction were all shows that were hilarious in their early seasons, but the writing suffered in the later ones. It's surprising given the fact that these shows had a small writing staff to turn out the scripts as opposed to some series which used a lot of freelance writers.
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Old 04-06-2012, 03:06 PM   #17
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I like all 3 of these shows, from what I remember reading about Bev. Hillbillies it was still doing good in the ratings when it was cancelled when All In the Family and these crudeer and harsher progams came about. I remember watching Bev. Hillbillies till the very end as a kid. But I will agree that as the years went by they each became less funny. Pet. Junction was still interesting to watch though more as an ongoing dramedy than a full blown comedy. Bev. Hillbillies seemed to do more and more "stunts" (going to London etc.) to keep fresh and though they were different, I still preferred them when they stayed home. Green Acres seemed to get more and more bizarre as the years went by, this one never became a drama. But I liked all of them and have seen them all all the way thru. My favorite, if I had to make a choice, is Pet. Junction. But the other 2 are excellent too.
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Old 05-20-2012, 08:30 PM   #18
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I think what hurt CBS was the fact that so many of these shows were cancelled at once instead of phased out. "Hee Haw" and "Mayberry R.F.D." still had high ratings in fact. This most certainly wasn't unnoticed at the time; it was a public relations fiasco that still gets brought up to this very day. Count "Lassie" in that group of shows too. It survived another two years in syndication. "Hogan's Heroes," also gone in that wave.

I can understand their decision, as they had "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and "All in the Family" at the time, and I certainly would've wanted to go in that direction too. They should have, in fact. But cancelling so much else at once got the network a lot of bad press.

I remember seeing an interview with Ken Berry, who had to move out of a house he'd just bought due to the cancellation of "Mayberry R.F.D." This despite the show being 15th in the ratings for that season.

CBS even appeared to be trying to make up for some of their late 1960s/early 1970s decisions in their live 75th anniversary special in 2002, giving the rural shows of the 1960s their own segment that apparently ate up the time supposed to be used by another segment devoted to reality programming. (They also allowed the Smothers Brothers to openly mock the network's decision to cancel them in 1969.)

"Green Acres" might have lasted another year, "Mayberry" another two years, "Hee Haw" forever. The beleaguered "Petticoat Junction" actually saw its ratings go up a bit during its final season. The quality of the sitcoms had for sure decreased but they still got the numbers. Note the shows that came along later because of these decisions ("The Jeffersons," "Alice," "One Day at a Time") seemed to go on forever, despite ratings losses.

I honestly think the network caught so much flack about their decision to "cancel everything with a tree in it" that part of the reason "The Waltons" got on the air was CBS needed a rural hit for damage control purposes.

For what it's worth, "Mayberry R.F.D." was replaced by "Arnie," a show about an intellectual that bombed after one season.
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Old 06-12-2012, 07:44 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by dwayne986
For what it's worth, "Mayberry R.F.D." was replaced by "Arnie," a show about an intellectual that bombed after one season.
Arnie was not really an intellectual. He was a blue-collar worker who was promoted to management, so he traded in his hardhat for a business suit, so to say.

Actually Arnie lasted two seasons, running 1970-72 on CBS, so it ran on CBS concurrently with Mayberry RFD in its first season. For its second season, CBS premiered it fall 1971 in a strange timeslot for sitcoms, 10:30 PM ET, following My Three Sons, in its twelfth and final season, at 10:00 PM ET. Both shows were moved to other nights before the end of the season.

Another reason for the mass cancellations at CBS (and the other networks as well) was the FCC Prime-Time Access Rule, which went into effect fall 1971 and was meant to encourage more local programming. This rule limited each network to 3 hours primetime programming each night, so each network lost a half-hour of programming from every night of the week. Network primetime used to begin at 7:30 PM ET all nights except for Sunday night (7:00 PM ET start then). After this change, by fall 1972 networks were all beginning their primetime programming a half-hour later than they had prior to fall 1971.
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