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Green Acres

About Green Acres

Green Acres, TV's 160 acres of agrarian psychedelia, aired on CBS from 1965 to 1971. It was the brainchild of writer Jay Sommers and creative overachiever writer/producer Paul Henning.

Successful lawyer Oliver Wendell Douglas (Eddie Albert) longs to leave behind the complications of modern society and life as a Manhattanite, and despite the protestations of his glamorous socialite wife Lisa (Eva Gabor), Oliver buys a farm from swindler Mr. Haney. The couple says goodbye to city life and takes up residence in Hooterville, USA. While there is some debate among the show's fans as to the actual geographic location of Hooterville, one thing is clear: It exists in a state of mind-bending logic and hallucinatory natural laws, and is inhabited by an eccentric population that includes favorite son Arnold Ziffel, a multi-lingual, TV-watching pig. The farm Oliver has purchased is a shambles, the farmhouse in a state of advanced disrepair. Along with hired hand Eb, Oliver tries to make a go at being a gentleman farmer. Meanwhile, Lisa settles in to her new surroundings despite herself, and attempts to bring gracious living and the finer things to the oddball residents of this off-the-map town.

Henning was the inspired force behind The Beverly Hillbillies and Petticoat Junction, and his clout with CBS was such that in 1965 -- while Henning's schedule was jam-packed with supervising nearly every aspect of those shows -- CBS President James Aubrey offered Henning a half-hour primetime slot to produce whatever he wanted. According to The Hooterville Handbook, A Viewers Guide to Green Acres by Stephen Cox, "The meeting went like this: James Aubrey (sometimes known as "the smiling cobra") told Henning CBS would air whatever he handed in. No pilot necessary. Just do it."

In 1971, CBS wanted to revamp its image and canceled Green Acres and the other shows on its roster set in rural environs. Nevertheless, the show lived on in syndication and in the hearts and imaginations of its devoted fans. In other words, the pig stays in the picture.

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