‘Green Acres’: The Hit TV Show Was Based on a Radio Program

by Josh Lanier
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The backstory to Green Acres, the tale of a rich couple giving up the comforts of the city for the freedom of the farm, is a winding one that is based on a true story.

But the popular show got its start on the radio long before it was a massive hit television show. According to Mental Floss, the radio serial “Granby’s Green Acres” has a similar plot. A banker quits his job to take up farming, even though he’s never sewn a seed in his life. The show lasted less than two months, but it gave creator Jay Sommers time to create the popular TV show.

Sommers didn’t come up with this story completely on his own. He drew inspiration from the life of his stepdad moving his family to a farm.

“I got the idea from my stepfather when I was a kid,” Sommers said in a 1965 interview. “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.”

Somers found more inspiration from real-life. Eddie Albert, who starred as Oliver Wendell Douglas, grew corn at his home in Pacific Palisades and had a greenhouse on the property, Mental Floss reported.

Eva Gabor collected animals like her character and found the creature comforts of the city much more appealing than life on a farm.

Gwen Stefani Jokes She’s Living in ‘Green Acres’

Gwen Stefani grew up in California as a ska kid. But her fiance, Blake Shelton, is a country boy to the core. So, over the past several months, Stefani says she’s felt like Oliver Douglas’ wife Lisa on Green Acres.

The former No Doubt singer told Ellen DeGeneres that she’s taken on extra responsibilities during the pandemic now that she’s living on Shelton’s 12,000 acres Oklahoma farm. And, while she enjoys it, it can be overwhelming.

“It’s the first time I ever spent that amount of time basically manning the house. We had about 12 people there,” Stefani said. “I was cooking. I was cleaning, doing laundry, homeschooling. Like zooming. It was a lot. And it was a lot of fun at the same time. We did stuff like we found a baby armadillo, we found baby hogs we were raising. We cut trees, like I did like a chainsaw. All of it. Everything you can think of we did it.”

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