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Green Acres aired from September 1965 until September 1971 on CBS.
One of the most successful sitcoms for CBS in the 1960's, Green Acres was closely intertwined with Petticoat Junction - another show produced by the same people.
Oliver Wendell Douglas( Eddie Albert), was a highly successful Manhattan lawyer who, despite having "the good life" in New York City, longed to get closer to nature. Ignoring the objections of his socialite wife, Lisa ( Eva Gabor), Oliver bought a 160-acre farm - sight unseen - from Mr. Haney (Pat Buttram). The farm was located outside the town of Hooterville (which was also the setting for Petticoat Junction). It was in terrible shape. The house was run down, unfurnished and in desperate need of repairs and the farm hadn't been worked in years.
Lisa had had enough when she first saw it - she wanted to go back to her Park Avenue penthouse in New York City immediately, but Oliver persisted in his determination to give it a go. They found a shy, gawky handyman named Eb ( Tom Lester), to help them get the place back in working order, and utilized the services of a sister-and-brother carpenter team named Alf and Ralph Monroe ( Sid Melton, Mary Grace Canfield), to rebuild the house and barn.
Lisa never quite adjusted to farm life. She kept applying the standards of sophisticated socialites to the ingenuous people of Hooterville. Even her clothes - long flowing gowns and lots of jewelry - seemed out of place on the farm. She did, however, grow quite fond of the animals they owned, giving names to all the chickens, cows, etc... During the second season, a pig became a featured member of the cast. One of the Douglas' neighbors, pig farmer Fred Ziffel ( Hank Patterson), had a pet pig named Arnold who watched television, could do tricks on cue and was so intelligent that Fred treated him like a son.
Others in this rather large cast icluded Alvy Moore as Hank Kimball; Barbara Pepper and later Fran Ryan as Doris Zeffel; Frank Cady as Sam Drucker, owner of the general store; Kaye E. Kuter as Newt Kiley; and Judy McConnell as Darlene Wheeler.
Until Petticoat Junction left the air in 1970, there was always interplay between it and Green Acres, with characters from one series making special appearances on the other.
A Look At The Fall 1965 TV Season From Time Magazine
The Overstuffed Tube
Friday, Sep. 24, 1965
It was a week such as television has never known. After months of preparation and pilots, all three networks were jamming a whole yearful of new shows into eight consecutive nights. All totaled there were 88 premieres, 34 of them brand-new. And lest the viewers remain lethargic, the ads flanking the newspaper TV schedules flogged away at the public. "The new year begins tonight! Turn on the excitement," proclaimed ABC. "Celebrate NBC week,a week so big it lasts eight days," announced NBC. "Hey, look us over," pleaded CBS, "so fasten your seat belts and watch."
Seat belts? Straightjackets, perhaps. Even a three-handed, six-eyed shut-in would have been hard-pressed to cope; Friday evening alone, for instance, nine new shows were thrown on the air. New York Times TV Critic Jack Gould felt compelled to footnote his column, explaining that he had been able to write his reviews only because he had seen filmed previews. But by week's end it was clear that the quicker it was over the better. For never have the TV gristmills ground so ponderously and turned out such thin gruel.
Hack Hotspurs. The big news, such as it was, lay in the massive shift to color. NBC plunged heaviest, jumping its color programs from 70% of prime time last season to 96%. CBS (50% color) and ABC (40%) were more cautious, but still 18 of the new shows glowed with splashy hues. Their targets are the 3,600,000 color sets already in use and the networks are buoyed up by the knowledge that the public is now buying new color sets at the rate of 1,400,000 a year. That color provides an added dividend was clear both to viewers, for whom even a bad western becomes more bearable with real sunsets, and to the networks, who have proved that color can boost a show's rating by an all-important point or two. The ads look better that way too.
But even by TV's own mass-entertainment standards, the content of the new shows was deplorable, hackneyed, timid and banal. The new season fielded one barely passable show for every seven that were artistically bankrupt and boring. If the season seemed to have a theme, it was, what's new, copycat? ABC, for instance, tried to cash in on NBC's No. 1 Bonanza with The Big Valley. For Cartwrights there were Barclays, for Lome Greene there was a silver-haired ranch matriarch, Barbara Stanwyck, who is trying to head off the railroad from expropriating the family spread. The scriptwriters are only hack hotspurs. "No men beat the iron," runs a line, mouthed ominously by a railroader. "Sooner or later they die, and all they leave behind is dust."
The Great Beyond. ABC, whose Peyton Place has already proliferated into versions I, II and III, tried again with The Long Hot Summer, which had the gall to credit "the stories of William Faulkner," and then fell even below the standards of the 1958 Hollywood adaption. CBS's Green Acres tried a sitch switch on its own Petticoat Junction and Beverly Hillbillies. Carbon paper also produced a blurred copy of the
No. 2 show Bewitched. The result was NBC's I Dream of Jeannie, in which a genie (Barbara Eden) is discovered by Astronaut Larry Hagman inside a wide-bottomed bottle. Fatuously, he assumes that everyone at Cocoa Beach will believe his story. Naturally, no one does, including most viewers.
Even Ed The Talking Horse inspired emulation. CBS's My Mother the Car tried combining the U.S. fascination with cars, sex and Mom. But something happened in casting: the car is a 1928 convertible; Mother (who returns to earth from celestial regions, using the car radio as a voice box) is an invisible Ann Sothern; and as for Hero Jerry Van Dyke, he has finally answered the question, what is it that Jerry hasn't got that Brother Dick has? The Smothers Brothers also tried to cope with the Great Beyond. Tom Smothers is drowned at sea, returns to visit his brother Dick as an inept angel. It was better than coming back as an antique automobile, but not much.
Moron Smart. The new season had been billed as the big Bond payoff, and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. seemed to have found the right spoofing approach; even with reruns, U.N.C.L.E. managed during the summer to stay up in the top ten. But oh what sins producers commit when they begin to counterfeit. ABC's Jane Bond, Honey West (Anne Francis) has all the getaway gadgets including tear-gas earrings and a garter that converts to a gas mask but she has not a chance of escaping the banalities of her script. CBS's The Wild, Wild West and Ulysses S. Grant ("The nation is in a pot of trouble, boy") enlist Major James West as a post-Civil War Bondsman. He is outfitted with his own railroad car replete with pool table, cues that unsheath to become sabers, billiard balls that detonate as hand grenades. But such gimmickery is simply cumbersome. Except for President Grant, who needs him?
Which is not to say that the Bond lode is worked out. NBC's parody, Get Smart, proves to be a very viable Fleming entry, mainly because it dares to be healthily sick when the competition is all sickeningly healthy. Straight-faced nasal Comic Don Adams plays Idiot Agent Maxwell Smart, an 0 bungling desperately to become an 007. In the opening episode, he was pitted against Mr. Big, played by Dwarf Michael (Ship of Fools) Dunn. Smart received a phone call during a black-tie concert from a receiver in his shoe. Then he sat down in Dunn's child-sized chair and walked away with it stuck to the seat of his pants, puffed madly at Dunn's butt-sized cigarettes, and generally behaved in outrageous taste. But somehow by the show's close, against the dull grey background of his colleagues, Moron Maxwell Smart seemed brighter than anybody. And funnier.
Moxie & Malarky. NBC's I Spy also succeeds, in part because it turns its back on the Fleming flammery, makes a hip thriller out of two CIA types touring the world as a tennis bum (Robert Culp) and his Oxford-educated Negro trainer (Bill Cosby). For all its stereotyped gunplay, the production has a style to which TV audiences should hope to become accustomed: lavish locations (Hong Kong in color for the first eight episodes), virtually choreographed direction, a swinging score, and a cant-and-clich -free script, for which Culp doubled as author.
Also possessed of that swing is Trials of O'Brien, starring Peter Falk as a Manhattan criminal lawyer. A comedy successor to The Defenders, it is suffused with a breath of fresh (for TV) wit and literacy, and Falk steeps the role in a New York City boy's moxie and malarky. After winning a case, he shrugs: "You can't lose them all." Not in court anyway, though Falk blows enough on the ponies and at craps to stay hopelessly in arrears on his rent and alimony payments. All of which should make him an empathic and irresistible anti-hero to all but a handful of complaining image makers from the American Bar Association. The latter have already issued a complaint.
Nifty Legs. With comedy this season all but moribund, it comes as a surprise to find it popping up in, of all places, a German P.W. camp in Hogan's Heroes (CBS). Naturlich, the World War II Teutons are Dumkopfs, and the prisoners run rings around their captors, blackmailing them into submission with dark hints that if anything goes wrong at the camp, Hitler will send them all marching off to the Russian front. So they allow the captives to print money, smoke their cigars to do everything in short but escape. It's slapstick Stalag 17, but just funny enough to keep viewers happily in the bag.
Celebrities proved largely loss leaders. Steve Lawrence tried using Lucille Ball, got his show stolen right out from under him as she sang, danced and displayed, at age 54, the best pair of legs in town. The Dean Martin Show tried flooding the screen with headliners such as Frank Sinatra, Eddie Fisher and Diahann Carroll, but for all the nudging, warbling, winking and leering, the party turned out to be the kind you would thank the stars for not attending. "Folks," said Martin at the close, "there's an old show-business tradition: the show must go off."
Could be, and the substitute Thursday night was no farther away than a flick of the dial, where Sinatra was competing with himself as Major Marco in The Manchurian Candidate. Beside CBS's Thursday Night Movies, there is also NBC's Tuesday Night at the Movies and Saturday Night at the Movies and ABC's Sunday Night Movie. Since the three networks, now locked in a furious three-way ratings tie, can't begin yanking shows for 13 weeks, and significant ratings will not emerge before late November, these may provide the only safe haven.
An Article on CBS's Good Ratings from Time Magazine
Let Them Eat Crow
Friday, Dec. 03, 1965
It was almost like old times distressingly so. There in the Nielsen top ten last week were the old familiar faces, from NBC's Bonanza, in first place for the second year, to Gomer Pyle, The Farmer's Daughter, Lucy, Dick Van Dyke, The Beverly Hillbillies, Walt Disney and Bewitched. There was Red Skelton, now in his 12th year and ranked No. 6. And back into the lead surged CBS,* which is still indebted to its fired ex-president, James Aubrey, for almost all of its current programming, including six out of the top nine.
What of the new blood? Not one new show had made the top ten, but CBS still managed to look good. Its new series, Green Acres, ranked eleventh, and its Hogan's Heroes was tied for 13th position with still another Aubrey oldie, Gilligan's Island. NBC's top new show, Get Smart!, which in earlier Nielsens had reached No. 7, slipped last week to No. 16. Only seven other new shows were in the top 50.
NBC, which had been on top since the season began, noted that it is now tied with CBS on a cumulative basis.
ABC, in third place, pointed out that it is closing the gap. So which network is really winning? Actually, none. When the Nielsens of prime-time programs are averaged, they show that 1,900,000 fewer people are watching the typical show this fall than last. Comparing just the new programs of the two seasons, the listenership loss is 2,800,000. This should give TV programmers little to crow about considering that, since last year, the number of U.S. households with TV sets has jumped by 1,200,000.
Eva Gabor's Obituary from The New York Times
Eva Gabor, 74, the Actress; Youngest of Celebrated Sisters
Published: July 5, 1995
Eva Gabor, the actress best known for her role as an out-of-place city socialite stuck on a farm on television's "Green Acres" in the 1960's, died today at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center here. She was 74.
The cause was respiratory distress and other infections, a hospital spokesman said. She had entered the hospital on June 21 after breaking a hip in a fall.
Miss Gabor, who probably achieved as much celebrity from being one of the three Gabor sisters as she did from her acting, was born in Budapest to an upper-middle-class family and began her career as a cafe singer and ice skater. She and her older sisters, Magda and Zsa Zsa, and their mother, Jolie, emigrated to the United States in the 1930's and 40's.
Critical acclaim in the 1950 Broadway production "The Happy Time" earned Eva guest roles on television variety shows and led to her own interview program, "The Eva Gabor Show."
It was during the 1950's that the much-married Gabor sisters gained notoriety for their love lives. Eva Gabor, who was married four times, was credited with saying: "Marriage is too interesting an experiment to be tried only once or twice."
People often confused Zsa Zsa and Eva Gabor, although Zsa Zsa's divorces and other legal troubles gave her the more colorful reputation.
"It's awfully boring to be called the 'good Gabor,' " Eva Gabor said in a 1990 interview. "Why should we be linked together, darling? That annoys the hell out of me. Because we have very different lives and what is white for her is black for me. Of course, she's my sister and I love her."
On "Green Acres" Eva Gabor was Lisa Douglas, the slightly daffy housewife opposite Eddie Albert's farm-loving husband. The CBS sitcom was on the air from 1965 to 1971. With her feathery negligees, perfectly coiffed platinum hair and Hungarian accent, Eva Gabor epitomized the fashionable city dweller suffering her husband's whims.
Though she was best known for that role, Ms. Gabor also had a career on the big screen, with parts in "A Royal Scandal" (1945), "The Wife of Monte Cristo"(1946), "The Last Time I Saw Paris" (1954), "Artists and Models" (1955), "The Truth About Women" (1956), "Dont go Near the Water" (1957), a remake of "My Man Godfrey" (1957), "Gigi"(1958) and "A New Kind of Love" (1963). More recently she was the voice of Miss Bianca on the animated films "The Rescuers" and "The Rescuers Down Under." Her last appearance on Broadway was in 1983, when she replaced Colleen Dewhurst for two months in "You Can't Take It With You."
In later years, Ms. Gabor, whose name conjured images of Hollywood glamour and high-priced living, ran a multimillion-dollar wig company.
But in a 1988 interview, she said she did a lot of her shopping at the 10-cent store. "Because of my allergies I like to buy very cheap makeup with no perfume. I buy things on sale. The prices today are shocking."
In 1990 Ms. Gabor, who was a frequent companion of the television personality and entrepreneur Merv Griffin, starred in "Return to Green Acres," a made-for-TV movie.
"It was easy for me to fall back into the role of Lisa," she said. There's a part of me that is just that kooky, but only a little part. I'm Hungarian, and that accounts for why I've been mixed up since the day I was born."
She is survived by her mother, of Palm Springs, Calif., her sisters, Magda, of Palm Springs, and Zsa Zsa, of Bel Air, and two step-daughters from her fourth marriage, Mary Jamison and Joanne Hunt, both of California.
Eddie Albert's Obituary
May 28, 2005
Eddie Albert, Star of The Longest Yard and TV's Green Acres, Dies age 99
Eddie Albert, best known for his role as Oliver in the TV series "Green Acres," died of pneumonia at his Pacific Palisades home on Thursday, May 26, 2005. His son Edward, 54, was at his side. The younger Albert had put his career on hold for the last eight years to attend to his father who was suffering from Alzheimer's disease.
Eddie Albert was married to Mexican actress Margo for 40 years until her death in 1985 from brain cancer. Albert is survived by his son Edward, daughter, Maria Albert Zucht, and two granddaughters.
-- Eddie Albert - The Early Years --
Eddie Albert was born Edward Albert Heimberger on April 22, 1906 in Rock Island, IL. Many sources mistakenly report his birth in 1908. Albert's mother gave birth to Eddie while she was unwed and back in the early 1900s that was scandalous. When she later married she changed his birth certificate from 1906 to 1908 in an effort to hide his illegitimacy.
Albert attended the University of Minnesota but dropped out before graduating. He held numverous jobs including soda jerk and nightclub and radio singer before acting in stage plays. Albert's first big break was when Warner Bros. signed him to recreate his stage role in "Brother Rat" for the 1938 film.
Albert's career ended quickly when rumor said that he was caught romantically with the wife of studio boss Jack L. Warner. Warner kept him under contract so he couldn't pursue work outside the studio but then didn't give him any good roles. In exasperation, Albert left Hollywood to join a Mexican circus as a clown and trapeze artist.
-- Eddie Albert - World War II --
Then World War II broke and Albert signed up. Albert served as an officer in the navy during World War II, seeing combat in the Pacific Theater. In 1943 during the fighting of the Japanese on Tarawa he rescued 70 wounded Marines, earning him a Bronze Star for his heroic bravery.
-- Eddie Albert - Post World War II --
Albert returned from the war a changed man. When he revived his acting career he brought a much more serious demeanor to his roles. Unfortunately there weren't many offers or opportunities for Albert to show his acting abilities.
-- Eddie Albert - Awards -
Finally in the 1950's Albert achieved recognition for his acting with his first Oscar-nomination for his role as supporting actor in William Wyler's film Roman Holiday (1953). His Oscar nomination brought him more distinguished supporting roles in films such as "The Teahouse of the August Moon" (1956), that earned him his first Golden Globe nomination.
-- Eddie Albert - Television - Green Acres -
Besides films, Albert was also busy appearing as a guest star on many TV shows such as "General Electric Theater" and "The Philco Television Playhouse." In 1965 he landed the role he was most noted for, Oliver Wendell Douglas in the TV comedy series "Green Acres." Albert played a New York attorney that longed to live on a farm. His TV wife was played by Eva Gabor. Green Acres was a hit that lasted six seasons. Albert also sang the title song for Green Acres.
When Albert returned to film he was able to make the transition from comedy to drama with ease. Albert earned his second supporting actor Oscar nomination for his performance in "The Heartbreak Kid" (1973) and his second Golden Globe nomination for his performance as the menacing prison warden in the original "The Longest Yard," (1975) that starred Burt Reynolds.
Albert also had a second successful TV series, "Switch" (1975). Albert co-starred with Robert Wagner as a couple of private eyes that turned the table and outwitted the bad guys. Albert continued to act in movies and make guest appearances on TV shows until the late 1990's.
-- Eddie Albert - Environmentalist -
Off screen Albert had a lifelong passion for environmental issues and traveled the world on behalf of UNICEF. He was so involved with helping the environment that when International Earth Day was created it was decided to make April 22 the day of celebration because that was Albert's Birthday. So next Earth Day give a little wink and know Eddie is winking back.
To read some articles about Green Acres go to http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=EKIiAAAAIBAJ&sjid=uqoFAAAAIBAJ&dq=green%20acres&pg=654%2C2349939 and http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=QCgmAAAAIBAJ&sjid=S_4FAAAAIBAJ&dq=green%20acres%20eddie%20albert&pg=2184%2C5071697 and http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=YQYrAAAAIBAJ&sjid=NZgFAAAAIBAJ&dq=green%20acres%20eddie%20albert&pg=4220%2C3979607 and http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=T-FHAAAAIBAJ&sjid=foAMAAAAIBAJ&dq=green%20acres%20eddie%20albert&pg=7023%2C859105 and http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=FvlNAAAAIBAJ&sjid=bIsDAAAAIBAJ&dq=green%20acres%20eddie%20albert&pg=4344%2C7751391 and http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=G_lNAAAAIBAJ&sjid=bIsDAAAAIBAJ&dq=green%20acres%20tv%20show&pg=1026%2C7105415 and http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=sQosAAAAIBAJ&sjid=vcYEAAAAIBAJ&dq=green%20acres%20eddie%20albert&pg=2767%2C3303573 and http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=rjwxAAAAIBAJ&sjid=ogEEAAAAIBAJ&dq=green%20acres%20eva%20gabor&pg=7179%2C756554 and http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=UfJNAAAAIBAJ&sjid=pYoDAAAAIBAJ&dq=green%20acres%20eddie%20albert&pg=6164%2C3427434 and http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=3AofAAAAIBAJ&sjid=D40EAAAAIBAJ&dq=green%20acres%20tv%20show&pg=5438%2C3036529
To watch some episodes from Green Acres go to http://www.solie.org/alibrary/GreenAcres.html
To go to Tim's TV Showcase go to http://timvp.com/tv/greenacres/
For an episode guide go to http://ctva.biz/US/Comedy/GreenAcres.htm
For an article on Green Acres go to http://www.avclub.com/article/i-ithe-amiable-madness-of-igreen-acresi-72592
For a Biography of Eddie Albert go to https://web.archive.org/web/20130121210612/http://www.televisionheaven.co.uk/eddiealbert.htm
To go to Find a Grave-Green Acres go to http://www.findagrave.com/php/famous.php?page=pr&FSctf=136
To listen to Granbys Green Acres radio episodes go to https://archive.org/details/OtrGranbysGreenAcres
To watch Eddie Albert & Eva Gabor talk about Green Acres go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xV5rYd7l0rw
For some Green Acres-related interview videos at the Archive of American Television go to http://www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/shows/green-acres
For a review of Green Acres go to https://web.archive.org/web/20091010010207/http://www.museum.tv/archives/etv/G/htmlG/greenacres/greenacres.htm
To watch the opening and closing credits go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umS3XM3xAPk
� Date: Tue January 10, 2006 � Filesize: 13.1kb � Dimensions: 180 x 215 �
Keywords: Eddie Albert Eva Gabor (Links Updated 5/19/2017)