Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Green Acres

Green Acres is an American television series starring Eddie Albert and Eva Gabor as a couple who move from New York City to a country farm. Produced by Filmways, Inc., as a sister show to Petticoat Junction, the series was broadcast on CBS from September 15, 1965, to April 27, 1971.

Green Acres was about Oliver Wendell Douglas (Albert), an accomplished and erudite New York City attorney, acting on his dream to be a farmer, and Lisa Douglas (Gabor), his glamorous, bejeweled Hungarian wife, dragged unwillingly from the privileged city life she adored to a ramshackle farm.

After the first episodes the series shifted from a run-of-the-mill rural comedy, developing an absurdist world. Though there were still many episodes that were standard 1960s sitcom fare, the show became notable for its often surreal humor, which sometimes involved transgressing the traditional diegetic or fourth wall 'borders' of TV presentation for deliberately humorous effect – characters addressed the audience directly and were somehow able to perceive and react to post-production elements such as the music soundtrack and the superimposed program credits. Much of the humor of the series derived from the pragmatic yet short-fused Oliver attempting to make sense of the largely insane world around him.

Although still popular, the show was canceled in 1971 as part of the "rural purge" when CBS decided to shift its schedule to more urban, contemporary-themed shows, which drew the younger audiences desired by advertisers. (Nearly the entire Green Acres cast was middle-aged or older.) (The Beverly Hillbillies and other shows with rural settings, including Hee Haw and Mayberry R.F.D., were also dropped).

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