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Beverly Hillbillies, The (CBS 1962-1971, Buddy Ebsen, Irene Ryan)

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“Well, listen to a story ’bout a man named Jed,
Poor mountaineer barely kept his family fed,
Then one day he was shootin’ at some food,
And up from the ground came a bubblin’ crude’
Oil, that is, black gold, Texas tea”

This catchy ditty by bluegrass legends Flatt and Scruggs led millions of viewers each week into the world of The Beverly Hillbillies. The show was never a critical favorite (critics…who needs ’em?) but always did well with viewers, drawing in an audience of nearly 60 million each week during its peak years. It was also instrumental in popularizing the ‘high-concept’ sitcom with television audiences (a lead that would later be followed by shows like Gilligan’s Island).

The story (like the theme explained) focused on the Clampetts, a hillbilly family in the Ozarks that became unexpectedly rich after finding oil beneath their property. Jed, widowed patriarch of the clan, decided to pack up the family and their new millions so they could move to Beverly Hills, the land of ‘swimming pools’ and ‘movie stars.’ The rest of the clan included daughter Elly Mae, nephew Jethro, and Jed’s mother-in-law, Granny.

Upon arrival, the family deposited their $25 million fortune into the Commerce Bank. This automatically brought them to the attention of the bank’s president, Milburn Drysdale. Since the Clampetts were now his bank’s most important customers, Mr. Drysdale decided to take them under his wing. He did so by moving them into a grand mansion next to his own home, much to the displeasure of his snooty socialite wife, Mrs. Drysdale.

Most of the show’s plotlines stemmed from Mr. Drysdale’s either trying to make the Clampetts more civilized or creating some sort of diversion to keep them from becoming too homesick to stick around. That wacky Drysdale attempted to enroll Jethro in elementary school, got a medical practice for Granny, and made endless attempts to find Elly Mae a suitor. Mr. Drysdale’s main assistant in these many capers was his officious but always capable right-hand, Miss Hathaway.

The Beverly Hillbillies

The show also got endless mileage from ‘fish-out-of-water’-themed humor as the Clampetts tried to come to terms with everything from indoor plumbing to political corruption. Jed always maintained cool in the face of a crisis, confronting surprises with a mild exclamation of, ‘Well, doggies!,’ and dealing with the problem at hand with his home-spun wisdom. Jethro and Granny’s over-the-top antics guaranteed plenty of slapstick humor, and Elly Mae provided much cheesecake appeal by simply strutting around in tight jeans.

Critics considered The Beverly Hillbillies too ‘lowbrow’ (well, duh), but the show was a big hit from the start. In fact, the series lasted almost a full decade and racked up a total of 274 episodes before being canceled in September of 1971. Although its ratings declined as the show neared its end, the main reason for its cancellation was that CBS decided to do away with all of its rural-themed programming (Petticoat Junction, Green Acres, et al) in late 1971. This was done to placate advertisers who didn’t believe the show’s primarily non-urban audiences bought their products.

The Beverly Hillbillies immediately went into syndication and has been in reruns continuously since its cancellation. The Return of the Beverly Hillbillies, a television film reuniting most of the show’s stars, was telecast in 1981. The Beverly Hillbillies was also remade as a motion picture with an all-new cast, including Jim ‘Ernest’ Varney as Jed Clampett, in 1993. You just can’t keep a good hick down.

production details
USA / CBS – Filmways / 274×25 minute episodes / Broadcast 26 September 1962 – 7 September 1971

Creator and Executive Producer: Paul Henning / Executive Producer: Al Simon

cast
Buddy Ebsen as Jed Clampett
Irene Ryan as Granny Daisy Moses
Donna Douglas as Elly May Clampett
Max Baer Jr. as Jethro Bodine (1962-71)
Raymond Bailey as Milburn Drysdale
Nancy Kulp as Miss Jane Hathaway
Louis Nye as Sonny Drysdale (1962)
Bea Benaderet as Cousin Pearl Bodine (1962-63)
Sharon Tate as Janet Trego (1963-64)
Harriet E. MacGibbon as Mrs. Margaret Drysdale (1962-69)
Frank Wilcox as John Brewster (1962-66)
Lisa Seagram as Edythe Brewster (1965-66)
Phil Gordon as Jasper DePew (1962-63)
Arthur Gould-Porter as Ravenswood the Butler (1962-65)
Sirry Steffen as Marie the Maid (1962-63)

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TV

Clochemerle (BBC-2 1972, Cyril Cusack, Roy Dotrice)

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Clochmerle BBC 1972

Period sitcom, based on a novel by Gabriel Chevallier that was adapted by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, that saw the French villagers of Clochemerle kick up a fuss over plans to install a new toilet.

cast
CYRIL CUSACK as Major Piechut
ROY DOTRICE as Ponosse
KENNETH GRIFFITH as Ernest Tafardel
WENDY HILLER as Justine Putet
HUGH GRIFFITH as Alexandre Bourdillat
BERNARD BRESSLAW as Nicholas the Beadle
MADELINE SMITH as Hortase Girodet
GEORGINA MOON as Rose Biraque
PETER USTINOV as Narrator

crew details
Writers: Ray Galton, Alan Simpson
Novel: Gabriel Chevallier
Producer: Michael Mills

production details
Country: UK
Network and Production Companies: BBC Two – Bavaria
Duration: 9×30 minute episodes
Aired From: 18 February – 14 April 1972 Fridays at 10.05pm

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TV

Clairvoyant, The (BBC-2 1986, Roy Kinnear, Sandra Dickinson)

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BBC 2 Logo

In Roy Clarke penned sitcom The Clairvoyant used car salesman Arnold Bristow is knocked down in a car accident and suddenly finds himself with psychic powers – or so he believes. There was a pilot broadcast 27 Nov 1984.

cast
ROY KINNEAR as Arnold Bristow
SANDRA DICKINSON as Lily
HUGH LLOYD as Burma
SHAUN CURRY as Newton
GLYNIS BROOKS as Dawn
CARMEL CRYAN as Carmen

crew details
Writer: Roy Clarke
Producer and Director: Alan J.W. Bell

production details
Country: UK
Network and Production Companies: BBC-2
Duration: 6×30 minute episodes
Aired From: Pilot – 27 November 1984 and Series – 15 May – 19 June 1986

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Christmas Princess (UP 2017, Nicole Munoz, Zak Santiago)

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Christmas Princess Nicole Munoz

Christmas Princess is the true story of Donaly Marquez who, through a childhood of neglect and abuse, achieved her dream of becoming a rose bowl princess. An inspirational story of resilience, strength and finding a family to call your own.

cast
Nicole Muñoz as Donaly Marquez
Rosa Blasi as Sara
Zak Santiago as Ignacio Marquez
Olivia Steele Falconer as Emily Marquez
Jaedon Siewert as Abraham Marquez
Lina Renna as Young Donaly
Paloma Kwiatkowski as Chloe
Ty Wood as Trent
Pendo Muema as Monique
Kalyn Miles as Maria
Kaaren de Zilva as Roberta
Garfield Wilson as Dr. Miller
Clay St. Thomas as Judge #1
Patti Allan as Judge #2
Natalie von Rotsburg as Judge #3

crew details
Director: Allan Harmon
Writer: Tracy Andreen

production details
Country: Canada
Network and Production Companies: UP
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From: Sunday 10 December 2017

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