This American classic has been shown on many stations around the world but I remember it best from the 1990’s on Channel 4.
The Beverly Hillbillies was a US sitcom that ran for nine series between 1962 and 1971. After it’s cancellation in 1971 some of the original cast came together in 1981 for a one off TV movie: The Return Of The Beverly Hilbillies and a one off retrospective TV special, The Legend of the Beverly Hillbillies in 1993. Around this time there was a big screen version made. Released in 1993 it had an all new cast, including Erika Eleniak of Baywatch fame and a special guest appearence from Buddy Ebsen.
The series was not a hit with critics. Despite this according to Nielsen Media Research (August 6, 2000) the show ranked among the top 20 most-watched programs on television for eight of its nine seasons, twice ranking as the number one series of the year, with a number of episodes that remain among the most-watched television episodes of all time.
It had a UK run in the late eighties/early 1990’s on Channel 4.
Jed Clampett, a poor mountaineer, is living alongside an oil-rich swamp with his daughter and mother-in-law. Whilst out shooting for food Jed comes accross oil. A surveyor for the OK Oil Company realizes the size of the oil field, and the company pays him a fortune for the right to drill on his land.
With a small fortune to his name, his cousin Pearl persuades him to move to California. So that’s exactly what they do load up and move to Beverly Hills.
Here he meets Milburn Drysdale A bank manager who arranges for Jed to deposit the money in his bank. He then finds the family a mansion next door to his own and helps them settle in.
Now the Clampetts are simple mountain folk not used to the ways of a modern city. This is where the comedy ensues as the series revolves around Drysdale’s outlandish efforts to keep the Clampetts in Beverly Hills and their money in his bank and the family’s periodic attempts to return to the mountains, often prompted by Granny’s perceiving a slight from one of the “city folk”. Double entendres and cultural misconceptions make for some great humour along the way.
Max Baer Jr.
Harriet E. MacGibbon
CBS (USA), Channel 4 (UK)
Created By: Paul Henning
Original Transmission Dates (USA): September 26th, 1962 – March 23rd, 1971