Betty White’s first gig in front of a rolling camera was on a show called Hollywood on Television. She was 27 years old when she was given the job. During her years on the show, she was joined by an actor destined to star in Green Acres.
Hollywood on Television began in 1949. The show was featured on-air six days of the week. Betty White starred in the five-and-a-half-hour show alongside Al Jarvis until 1951. But, when he left the show, Eddie Albert replaced him.
At this point in his career, Eddie Albert was already a bonafide movie star. So, according to Variety, “Her co-host on Hollywood on Television for six months was Eddie Albert, future star of Green Acres.”
For Betty White’s career, this was certainly a helpful thing to happen. When Hollywood on Television came to an end, she landed another TV show called Live with Elizabeth. Eddie Albert had to wait a handful of years until he joined Green Acres, but he had plenty of work come his way in the interim period.
‘Green Acres’ Was Actually Based Off of a Radio Show
The story that Green Acres, for those who didn’t grow up with the show, based itself on was a true story. It was the story of a rich couple giving up city life and moving to a farm in the countryside.
However, before it became a popular television show, it was a radio show first. The radio show was called “Granby’s Green Acres.” And it followed an almost identical plot. In the radio serial, a banker quit his job and transitioned into farming.
But, the radio show didn’t last nearly as long as the television version. In fact, “Granby’s Green Acres” only lasted about two months before the show’s creator turned it into a TV show.
Jay Sommers came up with the plot for both shows after his own stepfather moved his family to a farm. In a 1965 interview, Sommers talked about Green Acres.
“I got the idea from my stepfather when I was a kid,” Sommers recalled. “He wanted a farm in the worst way and he finally got one. I remember having to hoe potatoes, and I hated it. I won’t even do the gardening at our home now, I was so resentful as a child.”
Interestingly, the show’s co-star, Eddie Albert, had a similar life experience. Albert had grown corn at his home in the Pacific Palisades.