‘The Beverly Hillbillies’ Actor Explained Show’s Luck, Why ‘Nobody Knows What Makes a Hit’

by Keeli Parkey

Television shows come and go. But, there are some that stand the test of time. For fans, “The Beverly Hillbillies” is definitely a series that continues to be loved.

One actor who played a major role in the show’s success was Max Baer Jr. He played the character of Jethro Bodine. He talked about the show during an interview with The Five Count.

During the interview, Baer was asked what qualities the show had that made it popular when it aired and in the decades that have followed. “The Beverly Hillbillies” was the air from 1962 until 1971, according to IMDb.com.

Was it the acting? Was it the comedic scenarios? The chemistry between the cast members? Something else? Or, a combination of factors?

Surprisingly, Max Baer Jr. really didn’t have a definite answer to why “The Beverly Hillbillies” became the success it has been.

“Well you know, opinions are like rear ends. We all have one. If I knew, I’d be doing, making, television shows right now – producing them anyway,” the actor said.

According to Baer, he’s not the only person who can’t pinpoint why some television shows have such great success compared to others.

“Because nobody knows what makes a hit,” he also said. “If anybody did they’d never have any failures because they could take and figure out what it was and put it in some computer and spit it out.”

‘The Beverly Hillbillies’ Star Max Baer Jr. Also Said Networks ‘Still Do the Same Thing’

“The Beverly Hillbillies” actor said the process for making television has not changed much since his years on the beloved sitcom.

“But, they still do the same thing that they used to do, which is do a pilot – which is a sample show,” Baer said during the interview. And, play it for different audiences and see what the reactions are. And then, the networks figure out. Well, now more than the networks – it used to be just ABC, NBC, CBS – and now they’ve got all kinds of different networks. And, they see if it fits into their niche – what they feel that they’re missing for that part of programming on their network.”

What makes networks choose some shows and not others is also something Baer is unsure about.

“I have no idea what ruler that they use,” he said of the networks. “Never have known.”

You can listen to Max Baer Jr. talk about “The Beverly Hillbillies” below. His comments about the show’s luck begin around the 12:40 mark of the video. He covered many other topics related to the show during the interview. These included his feelings on recording the show’s album, as well as his close relationship with his costar Buddy Ebsen.