E! True Hollywood Story: Season 5, Episode 1

The Beverly Hillbillies (7 Jan. 2001)

TV Episode  -   -  Documentary | Biography | Crime
7.1
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Beverly Hillbillies cast members Donna Douglas, Max Baer, Louis Nye, Buddy Ebsen and more are interviewed and asked about what it was like working on this show. Max Baer talks about how he ... See full summary »

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Title: The Beverly Hillbillies (07 Jan 2001)

The Beverly Hillbillies (07 Jan 2001) on IMDb 7.1/10

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
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Herself
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Himself (archive footage)
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Himself
Paul Henning ...
Himself (archive footage)
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Herself (archive footage)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
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Milburn Drysdale (archive footage)
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Pearl Bodine / Kate Bradley (archive footage)
Herbert W. Browar ...
Himself
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Himself
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Himself (archive footage)
Kingsley Colton ...
Himself
Mike Dann ...
Himself (as Michael Dann)
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Herself
Ruth Henning ...
Herself
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Herself (archive footage)
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Storyline

Beverly Hillbillies cast members Donna Douglas, Max Baer, Louis Nye, Buddy Ebsen and more are interviewed and asked about what it was like working on this show. Max Baer talks about how he did not like playing a stupid Jethro. Also the deaths of Irene Ryan 'Granny', Raymond Bailey 'Milburn Drysdale' and Nancy Kulp 'Hathaway' are discussed. A look at Nancy Kulp's campaign for office days, as well as a mean thing Buddy Ebsen did: he made a commercial for her opponent and told everybody not to vote for her. Written by Dylan Self <robocoptng986127@aol.com>

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Despite a negative prospect, "The Beverly Hillbillies" becomes an instant hit.


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7 January 2001 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?

Crazy Credits

During the end credits, Roy Clarke and Donna Douglas sing the Beverly Hillbillies theme song. See more »

Connections

Spoofs The Beverly Hillbillies (1962) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Here's the strange part: I enjoyed this documentary and I'm not even a fan of the show!
20 August 2001 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The E! True Hollywood Story's episode on The Beverly Hillbillies presented the fascinating process of how a program is created, produced, sold, canceled, syndicated, and revived. There were interviews from creator Paul Henning about his struggle to sell the idea to executives without knowing if the show will be a hit to TV viewers, actors Max Baer Jr., Donna Douglas, and in archive footage) Buddy Ebsen and the late Irene Ryan discussing their own take of their experiences before being hired for the show, what it was like doing the show and what happened to their careers and lives after the show has been off the air.

Throughout the documentary, there are some fascinating tidbits:

In it's first season, it was the number one show on television. What some viewers may not know is the program was nominated for 4 Emmy awards in it's first season including nominations for Irene Ryan and for best comedy series. (According to the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the actual category the show was nominated for was "Outstanding Program Achievement in the Field of Humor" (?). Also, the show was nominated for 7 Emmys in it's 9 year history.) Many critics (some of them were the same ones who originally panned the show) thought it was favored to win best comedy series. It lost to another classic CBS series "The Dick Van Dyke Show".

Also, in spite of the show's popularity, the network brass at CBS chose to cancel the show after 9 seasons to create and air shows that were more "urban". Between 1970 and 1971 CBS had an eclectic schedule ranging from "rural" comedies like the Hillbillies, "Petticoat Junction", "Green Acres" and the music variety show "Hee Haw" to the so-called "urban" shows like "All in the Family" and "Mary Tyler Moore".

Another interesting fact that came out of the documentary is the ill-fated decision in 1981 to produce and air a TV reunion movie. It would be about 10 years after the original show ended. The producers and the network hoped it would be as successful as the original. (Perhaps CBS thought it could correct a programming mistake they made of canceling the show 10 years earlier). Because of the deaths of Irene Ryan (Granny) and Raymond Bailey (Mr. Drysdale), new characters were added to pick up the slack. There was also the recasting of Jethro Bodine since Max Baer (wisely) declined the offer. The results of what happen to the TV movie "The Return of the Beverly Hillbillies" might also be an indication that the idea of a reunion movie are better left as an idea and not be produced. There's also a mention of the not too successful 1993 movie in the program and the fact that despite the show leaving the air for over 20 years, it's still a very popular show in syndication.

The person who really impressed me while watching the documentary was the late Irene Ryan. I don't think she was given as much credit for her talent because she played Granny. She was certainly the heart of "The Beverly Hillbillies" and, in it's own way, the documentary presented in some insightful interviews bits, why Ryan loves her character and why the audience loved Granny and the show.

When The E! True Hollywood Story first started, the producers mostly concentrated on the rather lurid, sad and controversial people in the entertainment field. I think "True Hollywood Story" soars when it concentrates on TV programs and the entire process of why a TV show is produced. They've had several shows about "The Brady Bunch", "Gilligan's Island", "The Partridge Family", "All In The Family", "Good Times" and other programs. I find it better to look at why a show was successful from a subjective distance instead of trying to recapture the success of the original.


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