For six seasons and 170 episodes, the sitcom “Green Acres” aired on national TV. This was yet another take on the fish-out-of-water trope — but this time, the rich folks left Manhattan by choice to go live on a farm. It was a little unusual for the time in that every spisode was shot in color. And very typical for the time, every episode also featured a laugh track.
The cast included Eddie Albert (as Oliver Wendell Douglas), Eva Gabor (as Lisa Douglas), Tom Lester (Eb Dawson), Frank Cady (Sam Drucker), Pat Buttram (Mr Eustace Haney) and Alvy Moore (Hank Kimball).
“Green Acres” debuts on CBS (1965)
Eddie Albert, eager actor who says he never turns down any role, will star in his first television comedy series, “Green Acres.” He portrays a kind of reverse rube — a New York lawyer who abandons the city to become a farmer.
“It’s not ‘King Lear,’ but I think it’ll be entertaining,” Albert said. “Eva Gabor plays my wife, and she is sensational. Wait ’til you see Eva in a negligee and a $150,000 square-cut necklace, feedings pigs with one hand and flipping pancakes with the other.”
“It will be in living, vibrating color — unique and bizarre,” Albert said. “There will be enough situations to carry the show 40 years, although it might pail on you by then.”
“Green Acres” will have a direct tie-in with “Petticoat Junction,” another CBS rural life show that will be returning for its third season. As Oliver Wendell Douglas, Albert will reside in the Hooterville Valley, near the Hamlet known as Petticoat Junction.
“I expect to appear in at least one scene on ‘Petticoat Junction’ each week,” Albert said. “Bea Benaderet, Edgar Buchanan and others will work on my show, and I will work on theirs. Edgar and Eva make quite a combination.”
Paul Henning and Jay Sommers work together as producers of both shows. Sommers is listed as the initiator of “Green Acres” and Henning has credit for starting “Petticoat Junction.” Henning also is the producer and initiator of “The Beverly Hillbillies,” returning for its fourth season on CBS. All three shows are filmed on adjoining sound stages at Filmways Studios in Hollywood.
Albert, whose career includes the stage, motion pictures, television, radio and nightclubs. said he did not think his new role would be vastly different from other things he had done.
I’ve worked in practically everything,” he said. “I never turn down anything. I love to work. On ‘Green Acres,’ I will play it straight, but the situations will be funny. I’ll give it sincere playing. My show will not be as a broad as The Beverly Hillbillies’ or ‘Petticoat Junction.”