Hello everyone and welcome to an exciting throwback video. We will uncover the hidden truths behind ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’ production, cast, and filming. From glamorous casinos to kangaroos, this show truly had it all. This series captivated viewers with its unconventional storyline and sheer humor. Let’s dive right into 11 amazing facts, along with a reveal as to why the show got canceled. This is Facts Verse Presents: 11 Amazing ‘Beverly Hillbillies’ Facts + Why The Show Got Canceled. Don’t forget to like this video and subscribe to our channel for more. Click the notification bell icon to ensure you never miss a new video.
‘The Beverly Hillbillies’ is based on the Clampett family. Jed Clampett, the head of the household, is a poor and widowed mountaineer. He is sitting on a “plot of gold” (which happens to be oil). Little does he know until a surveyor pays him a visit. Upon discovering his hidden wealth, the Clampett family pack up and move to Beverly Hills. The property was expected to earn $25 million. The Clampett family moved to Beverly Hills after some brief encouragement from Jed’s cousin Pearl Bodine. The family moves next door to their banker who handles their finances. However, the journey only just begins once they arrive. Fans of the show marvel at the cultural puns and comical misunderstandings. Let’s find out exactly what the best-kept secrets were on this TV series…
NUMBER ONE: Critics Can Be Tough
It is not uncommon for shows to receive bad press and negative reviews, epically upon release. It can take time for the public to warm up to a new show. However, ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’ saw criticism unlike any other. Major media and newspaper outlets were describing the show in a less than positive manner. For example, The New York Times called the show “unfunny” and “strained.” Time Magazine called it the worst and lowest humor. Furthermore, Variety called it “painful” to watch. Three major media companies at the time fully doubted the show’s success. However, despite all of the criticism, the show carried on.
NUMBER TWO: Ratings Don’t Lie
Despite all of the initial backlash, ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’ showed incredible ratings after just six weeks of airing. Within a month and a half, it became the most-watched program on TV. In fact, it averaged 57 million viewers. During the years of 1962 and 1964, the show had the best ratings. In addition, January 8th’s episode and January 15th’s episode during 1964 received the title “most-watched episodes” for the entire 60’s decade. Episodes such as “The Giant Jackrabbit” are highly noted and referenced when discussing the show’s legacy. In fact, ‘The Giant Jackrabbit’ aired to the public on the exact same day as president LBJ’s State of the Union speech. During the time of the episode’s release, the series had a significant following. Around 60 million viewers tuned in to the show every week. The show even attained 44% of all American viewers during its height.
NUMBER THREE: Theme Tune
The theme song for the show was sung by the duo, Foggy Mountain Boys, featuring Flatt and Scruggs. The Foggy Mountain Boys were very popular for their country/ bluegrass genre. However, their most successful song was the opening tune for the series. The song was called “The Ballad of Jed Clampett.” The song quickly soared to the top of the charts, peaking at No. 44 in the pop category. Foggy Mountain Boys, Flatt, and Scruggs made cameo appearances on the show. To be specific, they were featured in 7 episodes. However, the original song was sung by Jerry Scoggins. When the movie version was being filmed, Scoggins called the studio with the hope of reprising his original tune. Interestingly enough, the studio said they never reached out because they didn’t know the original musician (Scoggins) was still alive.
NUMBER FOUR: Grand Appeal
‘The Beverly Hillbillies’ was filmed in a real home, one located not too far from the show’s setting. The mansion was addressed as “750 Bel Air Road.” The gorgeous estate was built in the 1930s for 2 million dollars. It’s important to keep in mind that was a large sum of money back then, epically at the height of the Great Depression. The mansion spanned 21,523 feet with a waterfall measuring 150 feet. In addition, the estate featured a pipe organ, an elevator, a landing pad, and all the luxurious amenities you could want. An engineer named Lynn Atkinson built the mansion as a present to his wife. However, his wife did not approve of the opulence, and the couple decided to sell instead. The mansion was sold to Arnold Kirkeby, a real estate investor, collector, and businessman. He decided to rent the home for the production of ‘Beverly Hillbillies.’ The price for renting the home per day may shock fans… The production team shelled out $500 a day to enjoy the home’s richness. ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’ wasn’t the only show filmed at this location, Cinderfella, Over the Top and Disorderlies also used the location for filming. Countless A-list movie stars, entertainers, and performers have graced the residence over nearly 6 decades.
NUMBER FIVE: Swapping Blonde for Brunette
Sharon Tate was best known as a blonde bombshell actress in Hollywood. However, she covered up her beautiful blonde locks for 15 episodes of ‘The Beverly Hillbillies.’ She wore a brunette wig for her scenes. Her role on the show was “Janet Trego.” She even appeared in the famous ‘Giant Jackrabbit’ episode. Janet Trego was a bank secretary. The director of the show noted how much Sharon improved during her time on set. When they first began filming, Tate did not even walk into the room “convincingly.”
NUMBER SIX: Dreams
Max Baer Jr. was the son of famous heavyweight boxer and champion Max Baer. His son profited well off his role in the show. MB Jr. was able to get his hands on ‘Hillbillies’ sublicensing agreements. This included items like slot machines. MB Jr. dreamed of creating a casino based on ‘The Beverly Hillbillies.’ While the casino has yet to be created, plans have been made in Nevada with a replica oil derrick measuring 200 feet. In addition to his cleaver business strategies in real estate, MB Jr. attempted to gain film rights for Madonna’s hit song “Like a Virgin.”
NUMBER SEVEN: Trouble in Paradise
Even when filming on a gorgeous estate, certain cast members of ‘Beverly Hillbillies’ were at odds. The actor who played Jed Clampett, Buddy Ebsen, and the actress who played Miss Jane Hathaway, Nancy Kulp, would argue over their political stances. Ebsen and Kulp had different views on important topics, with Kulp on the liberal side and Ebsen on the conservative side. In fact, when Nancy Kulp ran for the U.S. House of Representatives for the state of Pennsylvania, Ebsen deliberately supported her opponent, Bud Shuster. He even agreed to support his advertisements. Furthermore, Ebsen spoke out against Kulp by saying she exploited her celebrity status and did not have a real understanding of politics.
NUMBER EIGHT: Estate Rules
Arnold Kirkeby was the owner of the estate and had specific rules for filming. He agreed to the show’s filming under the condition they did not release the address. While the exterior was approved for filming, the address was meant to be confidential In fact, it was Kirkeby’s wife that leaked the estate’s address. Following this, many tourists appeared at the estate in hopes of meeting cast members. After this occurred, the show was banned from filming the exterior property.
NUMBER NINE: Ella May Clampett
Ella May Clampett was played by Donna Douglas. She was not well-known prior to the show, even though she had been a working actress for some time. In fact, she was selected to play the role out of 500 actresses. Donna had many things in common with her character Ella. For example, Donna grew up poor in Louisiana. She also had the skills needed to survive on a farm, much like her character.
NUMBER TEN: The Show’s Inspiration
The inspiration for the show came from an idea that creator Paul Henning had. He wondered what life would be like for someone recently relocated to a modern community from the rural south. He specifically wanted to showcase this culture shock during the Civil War era. In fact, the show was set to be filmed in New York City, however, the location was changed to Beverly Hills after budget issues.
NUMBER ELEVEN: Oopsy Daisy!
At the time of Irene Ryan’s audition for the role of Daisy May, another actress had already been selected to play the character. Actress Bea Benaderet was set to play Daisy May. However, upon witnessing Irene’s audition, Paul Henning, the producer, changed his mind. Instead, Irene was cast as Daisy. When Irene read the script, the producer and crew were blown away. They offered her the part on the spot. Bea Benaderet played Jed’s cousin instead. Bea was happy to have the part of Pearl Bodine. She did not have any hard feelings and was glad to work with Irene.
Now that you know these 10 amazing facts, let’s take a deeper look into why the show was canceled.
By the early 1970s, television was making major changes. Comedies such as ‘Beverly Hillbillies’ and ‘Hee Haw’ were forgone for newer comedies such as ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show’ and ‘M*A*S*H.’ These drastic changes were given the title of “Rural Purge.” Advertisement companies were looking for a new approach and a new angle to reach viewers. CBS canceled eight series, including classics such as ‘Lassie,’ ‘Petticoat Junction’ ‘Green Acres’, and ‘The Jim Nabors Hour.’ The cancelation came in 1971, as the target audience was deemed more “sophisticated” and “urban.” When the show was canceled, the ratings were still high and the show attracted viewers, however, they were not the kind advertisers had in mind. Due to this, ‘Beverly Hillbillies’ was canceled, along with other classics.
Thank you guys for tuning into another exciting video. We hope you learned and enjoyed these 10 amazing facts. ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’ marks a truly magical and iconic time in television history. The show will always be cherished and favored for its undeniable comedy. Don’t forget to give this video a ‘thumbs up’ if you enjoyed and subscribe to our channel for the newest videos. We want to know what you think! Leave a comment down below letting us know which ‘Beverly Hillbillies’ fact you found most interesting and whether or not you think the show should have been canceled. We’ll see you in the next one.