‘The Beverly Hillbillies’: Rumors Persisted the Show Was Canceled Due to a ‘Controversial Scene’

The Beverly Hillbillies was one of the most popular comedy TV shows in the 1960s. The plot followed the Clampett family as they discovered oil on their rural property. They struck it rich and moved to Beverly Hills, California, where they clearly were unlike anyone else in the area.

While the show found a ton of success for nearly a decade, it was ultimately canceled. Did it have anything to do with a controversial scene? Here’s the truth.

‘The Beverly Hillbillies’ was a comedic hit when it aired

'The Beverly Hillbillies'
‘The Beverly Hillbillies’ | Bettmann/Getty Images

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When The Beverly Hillbillies first came out in the ’60s, it was in good company. Hollywood was all about making shows about folks living in rural areas at the time, and the comedic spin that this particular show had really resonated with audiences. Fans adored The Beverly Hillbillies, and it quickly became a top-rated TV show amongst viewers.

Wide Open Country notes the show became No. 1 within three weeks of its debut. And after John F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963, the episodes that debuted still stand as some of the most-watched half-hour episodes of TV ever.

The Beverly Hillbillies became so popular and highly-rated that it went on to get nominated for seven Emmy Awards. Individual actors were praised for their work on the show, and it was nominated for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy and Outstanding Writing Achievement in Comedy in 1963.

Rumors suggested ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’ was taken off the air due to a controversial scene

'The Beverly Hillbillies' cast
‘The Beverly Hillbillies’ cast | CBS via Getty Images

CBS willingly pulled the show off the air despite its good ratings — and this has caused some rumors as to why. Some suggested The Beverly Hillbillies was actually yanked due to a controversial scene in one of the episodes.

Snopes notes a YouTube channel named “Facts Verse” perpetuated the idea that the errant scene was the reason for the show’s cancelation. Within the video allegedly about the scene, multiple “facts” about the show are read, and the scene the title of the video suggests is never actually talked about or shared.

It seems the idea that a single scene caused the downfall of the show is totally false.

The show was canceled because it wasn’t sophisticated enough

Max Baer, Jr. (as Jethro Bodine); Irene Ryan (as Granny, Daisy Moses);  Buddy Ebsen (as Jed Clampett); and Donna Douglas (as Elly May Clampett) from 'The Beverly Hillbillies'
Max Baer, Jr. (as Jethro Bodine); Irene Ryan (as Granny, Daisy Moses); Buddy Ebsen (as Jed Clampett); and Donna Douglas (as Elly May Clampett) from ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’ | CBS via Getty Images

With such amazing ratings and love for the Clampett family, why did CBS ultimately pull the plug? It seems the network wanted to move in a different direction with their content. In 1971, the network decided they wanted to move away from rural-themed comedies, The Life & Times of Hollywood reports.

The Beverly Hillbillies was one of many shows pulled at the time. The publication notes Petticoat Junction, which started in 1963, was the first to be cut in 1970. Then, Green Acres and The Beverly Hillbillies were cut in 1971. At the time, the shows were still doing well with viewers and pulling in solid ratings, but they weren’t popular with the younger demographic, and that’s who CBS was hoping to target moving forward.

Since the ’70s, there have been a few attempts at a light reboot. The Beverly Hillbillies film was released in 1993, and it included a cameo from Dolly Parton. And prior to this film, The Return of the Beverly Hillbillies was a film-to-TV release in 1981.

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