By David Flynn
One of the most popular tv comedy series of the 1960s, in Ireland, was ‘Green Acres’, which featured former Hollywood movie stars, Eddie Albert and Eva Gabor.
‘Green Acres’ premiered on RTÉ not long after its CBS channel debut in September 1965 in America. Albert and Gabor played Oliver and Lisa Douglas – a New York couple who buy a rundown farm in the backwoods area of Hooterville, USA. While they are fishes out of water, i.e., Oliver never farms without his suit on, and Lisa longs for New York life and glamour, the Douglas pair becomes loved and respected by the Hooterville folk.
Most of the show was about how these two people react to a town and situation that is completely different from what they are used to. Oliver and Lisa are surrounded by oddball characters such as Fred and Doris Ziffel, Arnold the Pig, Newt Kiley, Floyd Smoot, Haney, Eb, and Drucker.
Oliver and Lisa do their best to farm the land, despite them both being dressed in the finest of New York city’s 1960s clothes. Lisa learns how to cook ‘hot cakes’, but they’re seemingly not to be tasted.
When the series premiered on Wednesday nights on CBS in 1965, it was up against a new western series, ‘The Big Valley’ on the ABC network and a Bob Hope theatre show on NBC network. It was squeezed between the very popular comedy shows, ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’ and ‘The Dick Van Dyke Show’.