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.”
WATCH IT NOW: See “Green Acres” via streaming video or DVD!
“Green Acres” will be televised by the Columbia Broadcasting System each Wednesday from 9 to 9:30pm, beginning September 14 .
“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.”
“Green Acres” theme song and opening credits (1965)
“Green Acres” theme song lyrics
Sung by Eddie Albert and Eva Gabor
Green Acres is the place to be
Farm livin’ is the life for me
Land spreadin’ out so far and wide
Keep Manhattan — just give me that countryside
New York is where I’d rather stay
I get allergic smelling hay
I just adore a penthouse view
Darling, I love you, but give me Park Avenue
… The chores!
… The stores!
… Fresh air!
… Times Square!
You are my wife.
Goodbye, city life.
Green Acres — we are there
Meet Green Acres’ Eddie Albert
Quad-City Times (Davenport, Iowa) August 27, 1965
HOLLYWOOD — Eddie Albert, as the polished New York lawyer, and Eva Gabor, his city-loving wife with the Hungarian accent, move to the country, a familiar place called Hooterville in ‘Green Acres,” the new CBS Wednesday night comedy to be wedged in between ‘Beverly Hillbillies’ and “Dick Van Dyke” this fall.
Hooterville happens to be home grounds for Tuesday night’s ‘Petticoat Junction,” thus allowing casts from both shows to intermingle in TV’s first cross-pollination attempt. This summer, “Green Acres” stars Albert and Gabor made two episodes for their own series, then appeared in two “Petticoat Junction” comedies. If the intermingling keeps up fans will have to watch both shows to find out what is going on.
Of course, this is exactly what creators Paul Henning and Jay Sommers, who also run “Beverly Hillbillies” and “Petticoat Junction,” have in mind. Actor Albert hasn’t been asked to walk in on the Hillbillies, but fans shouldn’t be surprised to see Eddie, on a half-hour earlier. grinning at Granny.
Eddie compares “Green Acres” to “The Egg And I,” the successful book and picture about city folks learning to live in the country. “Arguments about city life versus country living have been going on since Euripides,” said Albert. ‘We’re taking another crack at it.”
Right off the bat. Albert as Oliver Wendell Douglas, is hoodwinked into buying a misbegotten farm from a foxy drawlin’ fool played by Pat Buttram. The opening show finds the Douglases in their fancy New York apartment, getting ready to ship their stylish furniture to the country while wife Lisa (Eva Ga- bor) rebels with fervor.
“Eva is playing herself,” Albert) continued. ‘The further she goes with her Hungarian accent and her regal mannerisms, the greater the comedy. When Eva tries to teach Bea Benedaret (“Petticoat Junction’s” Kate Bradley) how to make Hungarian goulash we’ll get laughs.’
Kate Bradley and her three daughters, Uncle Joe and the two train loving idiots on ‘Petticoat Junction’ will mix freely in “Green Acres” stories, so fans will only have to get used to stars Albert and Gabor. The folksiness of the Tuesday night show, often an overpowering breeze, is expected to be counterbalanced by the airs of Miss Gabor and the grins of Mr. Albert.
During the last few years, Albert has been on the road entertaining with his guitar. coming home for a few weeks to guest star on series like Rawhide.” “Dr. Kildare” and “Voyage to the Bottom of The Sea.”
The freelance actor’s life isn’t what it’s cracked up to be, says Eddie. “You come home and you take parts you might normally turn down, just because you’re in town for a few days. Even when you’re out fishing for four days, you wonder what’s going on in the studios.”
So, when Paul Henning and Jay Sommers came to Eddie with “Green Acres,” the freelance actor turned respectable and signed. ‘Do you know what doing a series means?” Albert went on. “After a season’s filming, I’ll be free to do other things like travel from March through June. Who else gets four months off a year? Not a college professor, or a lawyer or a freelance actor. Only series performers.
“Right now, I’m trying to think of projects for those four free months that will take me far away.”
Eddie wants to take his guitar, visit Russia and do a show on it. With a camera, he’d like to go down the Nile, the Rhine, the Danube and the Amazon. As the star of a successful TV series, Albert would have the name to encourage backers for such projects.”
“I’d like to go skin diving on the Great Barrier Reef of Australia, or visit the Easter Island,” the dreamer continued. “I tell you there’s nothing like seeing the world on an expense account.”
Meet Green Acres’ Eve Gabor
Quad-City Times (Davenport, Iowa) November 5, 1965
HOLLYWOOD — There was an air of quiet contentment on the “Green Acres” stage five at General Service Studio. Clad in a handsome gown, Eva Gabor nibbled on cold chicken, cheese and a pear, while Eddie Albert dug in the Gabor hamper for his lunch of chicken provided by Eva’s cook.
“Chicken every day this week,” said Albert, working on a wing. “Why all the necks, Eva?”
Eva wouldn’t rise to the bait. “Take a nap darling, or you’ll be grumpy,” she said in a wifely tone.
Stars Albert and Gabor gre old friends, and on the set treat each other like an affectionate married couple. Miss Gabor pats, kisses and feeds her co-star, and even takes Yoga exercises with Albert in the Gabor tradition of keeping their men happy.
‘Today, we are having a letdown,” said Eva. “It is like the day after the opening night in the theater. The latest ratings came out this morning and we are up high. Our show is a success. I tell you that is a nice feeling. There is nothing like success to keep you from getting bored.”
On a two – day notice Miss Gabor left her New York home and husband, Richard Brown, Wall Street broker who now commutes to Hollywood, to play the role of Lisa Douglas, the city-loving, sophisticated wife of Oliver Wendell Douglas, the New York lawyer who wants to take up farming.
None of Eva’s relatives were enthusiastic about the idea, but the youngest Gabor came anyway, and has found herself in a runaway folksy hit, a far cry from the well-established Gabor image.
The Gabor accent, an opposite from the country folk drawlin’ which prevails on the CBS series, hasn’t been tampered with. ‘The thicker the accent, the stronger the character,” says Albert with approval.
“I can’t stand an accent really,” said Eva. “But I can’t do anything with mine. I tried for years to get rid of it and gave it up.”
The Gabor Hungarian accent seems crystal clear to most Americans, noted Eva. ‘Even our writers are beginning to talk Ifke me.” But she has trouble with some words. When Eva says car it sounds like cow.
“Last winter in Puerto Rico I got into trouble with those two words,” Eva explained. “While driving down the road I hit a cow and called in to report the accident. Naturally, I was misunderstood, and the whole police force came out under the impression I had struck a car. I am not crazy about my accent.”
The writers see more in Eva than just a handsome, perfumed woman who walks through scenes and kisses her husband now and then. “They’re making me an acrobat,” says she. “Goose feathers are thrown at me. I’m doused in a shower, and this morning I was standing on a bucket for hours.” She’s not just window dressing.
Miss Gabor takes all this without shrieking. “Gabors are supposed to be temperamental, but I’m not,” she said.
“I have good discipline because I have been in the theater a long time, and I know you don’t fiddle around. Besides, I love this show.”