There was talk of a new Green Acres TV series a few years back but that project seems to have stalled. Now, there’s talk of bringing the community of Hooterville to Broadway in a new musical.
Green Acres debuted in 1965 on CBS as a spin-off of The Beverly Hillbillies and Petticoat Junction. The sitcom follows NY lawyer Oliver Douglas (Eddie Albert) as he moves to live his life-long fantasy of being a farmer. His glamorous and bubble-headed wife Lisa (Eva Gabor) is dragged unwillingly from her sophisticated life to live in a ramshackle farm in Hooterville. The bizarre small town is populated by a wide variety of eccentric characters like dim-witted 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.
According to Variety, Richard L. Bare (who directed almost all of the classic sitcom’s episodes) and production company Hemisphere Two are behind the project. Bare has written an initial script and E. Jack Kaplan and Hemisphere’s Richard Chapman are expected to rewrite it. No composer, lyricist or director has been attached to the project as yet. There’s also no specific timeline on when the Green Acres musical will actually be produced.
Supposedly Bare’s script picks up where the 1960s sitcom left off and treats the musical like it was another episode of Green Acres. This sounds an awful lot like Bare’s earlier plans to bring Green Acres back to television.
He acquired the rights to the TV series from the widow of series creator Jay Sommers and wanted the new show to pick up where the old one had left off. Casting for lookalikes was reportedly underway in 2007 but the project doesn’t appear to have moved forward. William Justice Forbes had written a script and veteran director Tom Logan had agreed to helm the pilot. Bare hoped that the writers strike would increase his chances at getting the project made.
While bringing Green Acres to the stage as a musical might seem like an unusual idea, both The Addams Family and Gilligan’s Island have found new life on the boards in recent years.
What do you think? Would you be interested in seeing a musical version of Green Acres? Does the stage seem like a better venue than a new TV series?
Only with Bare’s name on it would I give this the slightest chance of success, but I just think he should just concentrate on getting the final three seasons of the show released on DVD finally. The mass public never got the show…journalists always just seem to talk about Arnold the pig and the surrealism aspect of the show misses them entirely and if Bare wants to continue the original “feel” of the original show he’ll be in for a let down. Maybe this was his only big success and he wants to re-live the past, I don’t know.
I would not like it if it was a remake, but with it being a musical that seems ok. This way we can protect the classic and just have a new page to go along with it. I hope that this works out.