It seems that just about every TV show or movie is getting a reboot or spinoff. Perhaps the most successful and long-running example is the Star Wars franchise. In an era where everything old is new again, fans of Green Acres are wondering if the show could be rebooted for a whole new generation.
‘Green Acres’ was a hit comedy set in rural America
According to IMDb, Green Acres aired from 1965 to 1971 for a total of 170 episodes. The show starred Eddie Albert and Eva Gabor, who played the roles of Oliver Wendell Douglas and Lisa Douglas. The couple left behind their hectic New York City life for farming in rural Hooterville. Lisa Douglas’s elegance and lack of domestic skills provided much of the comedy.
Just like the town of Springfield in The Simpsons, viewers never found out exactly where Hooterville was. The ambiguity of setting the show in an “every man’s” small town only added to its appeal.
Two ‘Green Acres’ spinoffs fell flat
By the early 1970s, CBS was also airing two other rural-themed shows, Petticoat Junction and The Beverly Hillbillies. The network was eager to change its image and wanted to start featuring shows in urban and contemporary settings. All three shows were canceled as part of CBS’s “rural purge.” Viewers didn’t know it at the time, but the last two episodes of Green Acres were actually pilots for spinoff shows.
According to MeTV, the second to the last episode had the Douglases going to Hawaii for a “fifth honeymoon.” This episode prominently featured the hotel owner and his daughter. CBS hoped to capitalize on the exotic location and younger cast members. The working title for this pilot was called Pam, after the hotel owner’s daughter.
And in the very last episode of Green Acres, Oliver Douglas writes a letter to his former secretary, Carol. The rest of the episode’s plot centers around Carol, for whom that pilot was named after. There is a very good reason why TV viewers don’t remember Pam or Carol. Neither pilot took off, and the two spinoff shows were canceled right along with Green Acres.
‘Return to Green Acres’
By 1990, Green Acres had been off the air for almost 20 years. Fans, as well as a new generation, were ready to be reintroduced to the show they so dearly loved. According to IMDb, Return to Green Acres aired on May 18, 1990. The made for TV movie starred many of the same characters, including Eva Gabor, Eddie Albert, and Tom Lester.
And Paris Hilton recently revealed that Green Acres influenced The Simple Life. Prior to filming, Hilton says she was told, “We want this to be Green Acres meets Clueless and we want you to play into the character of you don’t know what you’re doing.”
What does the future hold for ‘Green Acres’ fans?
In recent years, both Mental Floss and Deadline have reported that both a feature film and a Broadway play were in the works. However, nothing has come to fruition yet and the future of these projects haven’t been made public.
Insider recently reported on upcoming reboots, remakes, and spin-offs, but sadly, Green Acres isn’t one of them. And if there is a reboot of Green Acres, it would have to feature an all-new cast. In April 2020, the show’s last surviving cast member, Tom Lester, who played farmhand Eb Dawson, passed away.