Green Acres: Original Series Director Wants to Continue Classic Sitcom

Green AcresIt’s been over three decades since Green Acres went off the air. Is it time to go back to country life in Hooterville?

Green Acres debuted on September 15, 1965 on CBS as a spin-off of The Beverly Hillbillies and Petticoat Junction. The sitcom followed New York attorney Oliver Wendell Douglas (Eddie Albert) as he lived out his life-long fantasy of being a farmer. His glamorous and ditzy wife Lisa (Eva Gabor) was dragged unwillingly from her sophisticated life to live in a ramshackle farm in Hooterville. The bizarre small town was populated by a wide variety of eccentric characters like dimwitted farmhand Eb Dawson (Tom Lester), oily salesman Mr. Haney (Pat Buttram), scatterbrained county agent Hank Kimball (Alvy Moore), elderly farmers Fred and Doris Ziffel (Hank Patterson and Barbara Pepper, later Fran Ryan) and their “son,” Arnold the pig.

Like Hillbillies and Junction, Acres became incredibly popular and the show ran for 170 episodes. The sitcom’s 1971 cancellation was part of CBS’ “rural purge” that saw the cancellation of shows like Hillbillies, Mayberry R.F.D., and Hee Haw. Junction and Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. had been cancelled a year earlier. Acres’ ratings were still high when it was cancelled but the older demographic wasn’t very attractive to advertisers. As Buttram once said, “It was the year CBS killed everything with a tree in it.”

Now, 36 years later, veteran TV director Richard L. Bare hopes that network tastes have changed. Bare directed all 168 episodes of Acres and plans to pitch a revival of the classic sitcom. He’s acquired rights from the widow of series creator Jay Sommers and wants to simply pick up where the original Acres left off. Casting is already underway for original cast lookalikes and location scouting has also begun. A script has been written by William Justice Forbes and veteran director Tom Logan has agreed to helm the pilot.

Though he didn’t plan it this way, Bare thinks that the writers strike will increase his chance of success. He told The Hollywood Reporter, “Studios are going to be searching for properties that have been written and ready to go into production without upsetting WGA in any way.”

Of the original cast, only Lester, Frank Cady (Sam Drucker), Sid Melton (Alf Monroe) and Mary Grace Canfield (Ralph Monroe) are still with us. None have been seen on-camera in years and Lester is the youngest of the group at age 69. It’s too early to know if any of them will be involved with this new project but, based on his long history with Acres, it seems likely that Bare will honor the original series in any way he can.

Would today’s audiences be interested in returning to the crazy town of Hooterville? Will the new series get a greenlight? Stay tuned! TV Series Finale home page

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15 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. european_lady says

    I LOVE the show! LOVE LOVE LOVE it !
    anyways I could try to replace Eva Gabor ( pardon my modesty). I look like her A LOT, I’m from europe and I speak with accent, I could easilyt realte to her sillines and could naturally pull it of on a screen.
    Too bad, it is 2012 and looks like there will not be any show :(

    • european_lady says

      I LOVE the show! LOVE LOVE LOVE it !
      anyways I could try to replace Eva Gabor ( pardon my modesty). I look like her A LOT, (figure+face)I’m from europe and I speak with accent, I could easilyt relate to her sillines and could naturally pull it off on the screen. When I was watching her I felt like she was my twin lol …. DIRECTORS, WHERE ARE YOU ?? Another silly Lisa is here! no need to look anywhere else!!
      Too bad, it is 2012 and looks like there will not be any show :(

  2. Nan says

    No way, Jose! I’m the biggest Green Acres fan in the entire country! And there is no way that you can remake this series. Eva Gabor, Eddie Albert, and the rest of the deceased cast members (Mr. Haney, Mr. and Mrs. Ziffel, Mr. Kimball, and Oliver’s mother) are all practically spinning in their graves. Eva Gabor and Eddie Albert were Oliver and Lisa Douglas. Nobody else could ever play these fine people. I’d rather see the original series than a remake. The remake would probably flop in no time, and be taken off the air as fast as Oliver ate one of Lisa’s hotscakes! And you know why? Because nobody else wants to see any other actors play the roles of Oliver and Lisa Douglas, the Ziffels, Eb, Mr. Drucker, Mr. Haney, and Oliver’s mother.

  3. Boy Genius says

    I love Green Acres, but I think the re-cast revival is a bad idea. I saw the same thing happen to The Munsters, with well-meaning but awful re-cast shows. But I guess if you can sell advertising time for it, it could get made. But it would be a cute oddity at best, a disaster at worst. I think a reality show would be better…and I hate reality shows.

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  4. Aaron says

    The Strike is long over, but I still want to see it, Green Acres was a good family show, it was funny, and really ahead of it’s time, with the surreal humor, like when Lisa picks up the eggs, and sees all the names on them, it could make a good new show, if it were done right, as long as they didn’t try to hard to ” update ” it, and try to make it seem cool, because that will deffinetly put off any of the original fans of the show

    I’ve got my fingers crossed, that they still make this, we don’t have any sitcoms ( worth watching ) on TV right now, this may bring back the sitcom, and finally un-do the effects that the rural purge had on TV for over 30 years

  5. Buck says

    You know what? It just might work!
    Hey, “The Addams Family” did it, why not “Green Acres?” And if you’ll remember, both shows were produced by Filmways as well as having the same music composer, the great mister Vic Mizzy!
    I met Tom(Eb Dawson)Lester a few years ago and I understand he’d like to get back into acting. He could guest star as Eb’s real dad like John Astin guested as Grandpapa Addams in the “Addams Family” revival.
    I’m all for it!

  6. GreenAcresFan says

    I would love to see it come back, but I fear that a revival in today’s time will only be downright stupid and all messed up, as much of TV have become. It was a great show, but I think we need to keep it a good show, and never try to mess with it. I think someone should push it back into syndication, tht would be awesome. As much as I would love to head back to hooterville, we all know it just won’t be the same. That show was perfectly casted, no one can ever replace Eddie Albert and Eva Gabor, they WERE oliver wendell douglas and Lisa Douglas.

  7. John Lang says

    I’d rather see them spend that money on releasing the rest of the Original Series on DVD. In my opinion, a new “Green Acres” series would be a bad idea, they’d probably would add “adult humor” to it or something like that.

  8. Dennis Armstrong says

    Oh wait!

    My wife had a great idea, At first I thought she was crazy. But then when I thought about it I thought it just might work. She said,” the could use Salma Hayek.” I thought no way. Then she
    told me about her accent. You know that could work. Salma Hayek as Lisa Douglass. She came
    from Central America and could only make Tortillas. The Tortillas are just like Hot Cakes in the old


  9. Dennis Armstrong says

    I love Green Acres. I would love to see it taken on again. However you would never find anyone who could replace Eva Gabor. She made the show, But she is gone. Her sister is far to old and could not pull it off anyway.

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