Media Relations: media commentary and criticism

Wednesday, August 28, 2002

real beverly hillbillies - 'Beverly Hillbillies' to become reality show: CBS is resurrecting "The Beverly Hillbillies" as a reality series, Variety reports. The network will soon begin casting for a weekly half-hour series that will follow the adventures of a rural, lower-middle class family -- yes, there will be a granny -- as they are transplanted from their humble digs to a Beverly Hills mansion. The project is tentatively titled "Real Beverly Hillbillies." During their one-year stay in California, they'll be afforded a wide variety of luxuries they'd normally be unable to afford, from maid service to personal assistants. They'll also have a chance to earn a substantial income each week, either via a stipend or through some other means. ---CNN story

OK, I am impressed. And also aghast. Apparently, making people do stunts, live on an island, date and then be interviewed and dissected by the date's friends and parents, and live in a fishbowl ... apparently, all that is still not enough for us. Now we want to take a family, transplant them into luxurious digs, and laugh at them as they try to figure out the rules. Oh, I say, isn't that just ever so droll?

OK, Mr Maynard, CBS veep of alternative programming and corporate moron, here's a concept: the reason that the original Beverly Hillbillies series worked is because you were intended to laugh at them. They weren't real. Nobody's feelings or sensibilities were at issue. We knew they were actors and we were laughing at the characters, not the real people. And unlike the real world, they always came out on top of those city slickers. Do you really think there will be anything like that in this series?

"Oh, look! Lack of education and income produces ignorance of the ways of the rich and famous! It is to laugh!"

Well ... no, it really isn't. And you should be ashamed of yourself for even considering this.

But you're a corporate shill and a network vice president besides, so you know no shame. And so this show will be inflicted upon our airwaves.

And because the rest of us also know no shame, it will probably succeed wildly.

In the meantime, the Rainbow Tour ... er, that is, the casting junket is going on around the country, so just wait, and it will come to a very very small town near you sometime soon.

Posted by iain at 11:52 AM in category



I am trying to find the qualifications of the family to be on the "Real Beverly Hillbillies". If you know where to find them or if you have them please notify me.

Posted by Lance Roberson at September 24, 2002 04:11 PM

I am a R.N. from tenn who is trying to get on the show. I want to show everyone who thinks poor country people are dumb and stupid how wrong they are.I have an education and my family works very hard to make it week to week. We are country and proud. We will show all you people who think this is a bad idea how to laugh and enjoy your family, which is the only thing that is realy important to anyone no matter how much money you make. When you don't have alot you learn how to laugh,and if I can make some of you tight shirts laugh and realize if you don't have a family and can laugh at life you don't have life

Posted by teresa nickles at October 18, 2002 09:13 PM

The way I understand what I have read tryouts for the show are sometime in October but in eastern KY. I can't remember where I found it at though because I found it a couple of weeks ago and thought it made no sense to look for a family from the southern states and then only hold tryouts there.

Posted by Andrea Rowe at October 20, 2002 09:40 PM

I am from Virginia and they had casting calls in my town today. Apparently all of you that are doing this show think that just because we are from the South that we are stupid rednecks that live in shacks and eat roadkill for dinner.The people that are making this show are pathetic and will do anything for money. Most people that live around here are well educated and have already went to the "big city" as you all call it. Yeah I thought it would be funny to go try out but then I thought of how degrading it is. The people who live around here are loyal hard working people who jsut try to make a living and all you guys want to do is make fun of them.

Posted by MELANIE LANE at October 26, 2002 03:52 PM

What an insulting idea. There is a very interesting culture barely remaining in the Hills that echoes from our pioneer past.
It's a shame to poke fun at what little remains of it in such a degrading fashion.
I hope this show never makes it to air. What's next? Fights to the death? Jousting? Lion pits?
Please do not credit me with these ideas if one of the networks decides to make a show out of them.

Posted by Son of the Soil at January 4, 2003 03:21 PM

Equally entertaining and only too real could be a show about someone from the other side, the Beverly Hills resident or tv producer who didn't have powerful friends or a golden parachute working at a fast-food restaurant or grocery store. Now that would be a hoot wouldn't it? Come to think of it I think that would be a fitting jail sentence for Mr. Lay. Please oh please!!

Posted by Dean Woody at January 7, 2003 06:26 AM

Remember Amos and Andy?? The show was pulled from television many many years ago for "making fun of" the black and african american community. I view "The Real Beverly Hillbillies" in very much the same light with exception to race. Both parties didn't receive the same opportunities as others' therefore making it easy for those "better off" to mock or "make fun of" those particular groups in some fashion or another. I oppose highly the singling out of those individuals for any number of reasons, but specifically for the creation of your show. "Survivor" - multi-cultural, multi-gendered, multi-raced... "Big Brother" - multi-cultural, multi-gendered, multi-raced... "The Amazing Race" - multi-cultural, multi-gendered, multi-raced. Let us keep it fair ladies and gentlmen. I am 30 years old and along with the rest of my generation have fought hard and long to reduce significantly the "tensions" between disparate races, cultures, and beliefs. Let us not rekindle that flame by airing "The Real Beverly Hillbillies" as I am sure will be produced in such a way as to bring to the forefront the PERCEIVED ignorance and unintelligence of the Appalachian culture while surpressing the "good natured", friendly and kind-hearted personalites many of those in the region retain.

Posted by Gary Burchfield II at January 7, 2003 12:39 PM

Once more with feeling:


Please address your comments to CBS or the production company, if you can find the addresses. (No, I don't know them.)

Posted by iain at January 7, 2003 03:22 PM

All I want to know is what happend to "unity" and the coming together in America?

Everyone says how 9/11 brought us all together and brought out the unity in Americans. hmmmm.

Lets make a program about fowl mouthed Jewish TV producers who can dish it but can't take it! Oh wait, that would be bigoted of me wouldn't it. I'm sure the ACLU would hate that! Let's rename the Washington Redskins the Washington Blackskins! Oh wait, that would be bad wouldn't it even though Washington D.C. is mostly of African Ancestry... I bet the NAACP would throw a fit! How about lets make a program making fun of poor white people from the hills of Appalachia! Oh wait, too late...

Posted by J. Taylor at January 8, 2003 02:35 PM

I cannot believe that CBS would actually consider airing the show "The Real Beverly Hillbillies".
Why not a show about transplanting a family from the projects in New York or Los Angeles? I mean, think about the year 2000 13.4 percent of rural residents fell below poverty standards, and 10.8 percent of inner city residents fell below that same standard, so why not "transplant" an inner city family to Beverly Hills?
I'll tell you why not, if they even dared to think about doing a show like that there would be more Civil Rights lawsuits than all the lawyers for CBS could respond to. By picking a show about a "poor rural family that hasn't traveled much and have a limited income and poor/limited education" CBS believes that they can get away with it!
Too bad that shows such as CSI and CSI:Miami air on a network that thinks rural Americans are just poor dumb hicks that really just don't count! I am one of those hicks, and I sure will miss watching CSI, but then again, maybe CBS doesn't realize that we "poor rural families" have televisions!

Posted by T. Liles at January 12, 2003 12:17 AM

THERE IS A REAL FAMILY!!! In Boone County West Virginia. Morgantown West Virginia Public Broadcasting Company aired a story & had a tape available over their network you could buy, which I have a copy. It's called the Dancing Outlaw, and it records Jessico Whites' lifestyle, family, and his desire to follow in his fathers tap dancing career. He's an avid Elvis Presley fan, has a room in his trailer dedicated to Elvis. He has a mike he got from a outdoor theatre & makes his wife listen to him sing Elvis with all his attire (white large lappel shirt, white pants, silk jacket with Elvises name in gold on the back & of course black sun glasses. He prepares himself by sniffing glue from a bag & sniffing the tale pipe of his car while it's running! He hopes that his tape will be seen by a producer and he will be discovered and become famous.
Maybe you will!!
Please let me know if you find this family and If I helped Jessie become famous.
Ginny Morris

Posted by Ginny Morris at January 16, 2003 11:03 AM

Hey! Ya'll folks at CBS looking for someone for the show? How 'bout me? There's nothing I'd love more than letting all the city folk and yankees make fun of my roots. I'm white, southern, and talk with a thick accent. I think I'd be great for the show.
I am a 19 year old college student, and I do still have all my teeth, but I don't think all that matters. I mean I'm from boonies of North Carolina, so I must be stupid, Right?
My parent's could come too! they'd be great! I'm sure my mom would love to let America laugh at how she had to bag groceries for 25 years to help make sure I could get an education and not have to do the same thing. I'm sure dad would be more than happy to entertian you the fact that he's spent most of his life making diddly squat on a tobbacco farm!
So gather 'round everyone, and make fun of the hard workin', poor, southern white family! But know this: I'm proud at what my family has accomplished dispite our economic status, and at least we give a damn about people's lives.

Posted by Bubba T. at February 5, 2003 08:01 PM

I wonder if this is a hoax, thought up to produce a documentary? That might be an interesting program.

What they seem to have forgotten is the pervasiveness of television has levelled out American culture. We all talk more or less like TV weather people now. Kids in mountain towns listen to rap music.

Posted by Mike at February 6, 2003 03:35 PM

I am constantly amazed. How low will these guys go? Obviously, lower than I could have imagined. What's next? A reality show "Death Row" where whomever is voted off is sent for lethal injection and the last one standing is commuted to life without parole? This new "Hillbillies" show is a sham, a cultural insult that many of us who were born and live in the South find offensive on too many fronts to mention.

My hope is that the family chosen gets to LA and then financially obligates CBS to millions in donations to rural education projects, rural utility improvement and ecological preservation. Paying the staff a living wage would be a good step too.

Of course the devil side of me would want them to do Spago and Citrus delivery meals every night or have their personal chef provide Kobe beef for each meal. Maybe they could save up, buy the place next door, tear it down and plant some corn and 'taters. Maybe have some 'possum flown in from home and cook it up for the local terror factor while their coq au vin awaits.

I did like the idea of a reality show reversing the tables. Let's take a Hollywood family (Mr. Moonves comes to mind), move them to Steinhatchee, FL, into a three-room tin-roofed wooden house, with a beat-up '85 Ford F-150, 3 or 4 chickens, a pig and $500.00 a month to live on. I would pay to see him try to deal with a "home cooked" chicken dinner. Slopping the hog would be great laughs too. Hey, wait, what a great idea! "Real Green Acres." Hey, Les, my idea, I called it! Now about that new salary...

To hell with the "Real Beverly Hillbillies". Unfortunately, like the original sitcom, there is too much chance of seeing the simple country folk one-up the social climbers and status seekers with a pragmatic approach to life. If that happens, it will devolve into a maudlin exercise in simple home-spun values vs. the evils of materialism and might even create a new "rural chic" where the glitterati will do the Marie Antoinette and "go rural". We'll see Prada water in little glass milk bottles. We'll see Blahnik muck boots. Maybe even a line of Gucci shotguns with Vuitton cases. The mind reels. Stop them before it's too late.

Posted by Brad at February 26, 2003 10:43 AM

This is the most disgusting thing I have ever heard of I cannot believe that anyone could be so disrespectful and discriminating to the people they share a country with. I already know that Kentucky has a horrible reputation from the few people that live here, and I wouldn't doubt that those are the people you will choose for this show. Not far from where I live there is a family that you have considered choosing, a family from Isonville, KY. I do not know this family personnaly but from what I have heard, the people of this family are not all mentally there. I do not like the idea that you would want to choose people like that to represent the others that live in rural areas or in the Appalachain Area. I know these people already make a bad enough reputation for us, and I know that they will do enough stupid things on your television show without you paying them to do anything more. Which I would say undoubtedly you will. I garuantee that if this show is put on air, you will loose many viewers in the Southern Area.

Posted by Sarah at March 20, 2003 08:32 AM

I would like to say that I am also from the South but see nothing wrong with a harmless laugh. What does it matter if people are making fun of southerners. People make fun all the time no matter what race, sex, or background your from. I think the show will be hilarious!

Posted by Nathaniel at April 23, 2003 04:13 PM

I hope to god this show gets on the air, it sounds hilarious!!! And if you folks from the south think you're so great, you've obviously never been north of the mason-dixon line ;)

Posted by Jeff at May 1, 2003 10:51 AM

Well, Jeff, I have been north of the mason-dixon-line and I'll have to say it's flat and boring up there. I have also traveled all over the world and I would rather not be anywhere else than in my own home in the Smokey Mt. foothills. Not to mention, as you were so kind to prove, the people in the North are extremely rude and pretentious. I would rather be down here shuckin' corn and skinnin' deer than be in the part of the country that still deems it acceptable to exploit the poverty and degredation of a community that just needs some help -- not to be maipulated, stereotyped, and commercialized by outsiders. So, Jeff, if you think YOU'RE so great, then you haven't been South of the mason-dixon line -- moral frailty does not fit too well 'round these here parts...we might have to have a hangin'!!!

Posted by Katie at May 2, 2003 07:01 PM

Ah have rounded up a bunch of "hillbillies" and we have been emailing CBS thru their direct feedback page at

Why don't ya'll do the same, ya hear!

Robert M Brady
Palmdale, CA
Proud Grandson of a "WV Born Hillbilly Country Preacher"

Posted by Robert M Brady at May 12, 2003 02:07 PM

I have sent the following note to CBS:

"My ancestors, beginning in the 17th century, settled Virginia and West Virginia. I am a former editor at The Christian Science Monitor. A member of my Virginia-mountain family became the head of Cox Newspapers. It seems to me that the proposed CBS 'real' TV program about placing 'hillbillies in Beverly Hills, would, in effect, stereotype and ridicule people from the Appalachian area. It is totally out of line. I urge you not to follow through with such an inappropriate, inaccurate, and demeaning proposal."

Posted by Jay Denis Glover at May 12, 2003 05:06 PM

This summer Valley Ridge Theatre in Thomas, WV is reversing the CBS "Hillbilly" plans by bringing two artists from California for them to collaborate for the first time in the hillbilly country of West Virginia. Carol Sorgenfrei on the faculty of UCLA will be directing the play MEDEA, A JAPANESE NOH CYCLE, which she also wrote. Nori Green a popular visual artist on the West Coast will design the costumes.Oh by the way, Nori lives in Beverly Hills. We "real hillbillies" can even be esoteric and produce Fusion Theatre in a small mountain county, where immigrants from 35 nationalitites were naturalized.If the CBS mucky-muck would come to Thomas, WV we could teach you a couple of things about entertainment - which basically means holding (teneo) from inside the heart (entre)- and also a lesson in common courtesy and good breeding (and I'm not talking about inbreeding)

Posted by Dr. E. Reid Gilbert at May 22, 2003 04:50 PM

Valley Ridge Theatre in West Virginia is reversing
the CBS notion of Real Beverly Hillbillies by bringing two California artists to collaborate in a theatre production in the "real" hills. Carol Sorgenfrei of UCLA wrote and is directing MEDEA/A JAPANESE NOH CYCLE, and Nori Green a popular visual artist on the West Coast is designing the costumes. Ms. Green resides in Beverly Hills. We
"real hillbillies" are quite versatile and can even produce esoteric Fusion Theatre.

Posted by Dr. E. Reid Gilbert at May 22, 2003 05:01 PM

On second thought, I should have added that several years ago when there was an uprisng in Chiapas, Mexico a young CBS reporter attempted to explain the situation by saying that Chiapas was no more like the rest of Mexico than West Virginia
was like the rest of America. I called her the next morning and suggested that she owed an apology to the citizens of WV for her egregious affront to its citizens. I'm not sure she understood the language. If the decisionmakers of CBS would come to WV we could teach them a thing or two about "real" entertainment,which basically means to hold (teneo) within the heart (entre) and provide a timely lesson in courtesy and good breeding, and I don't mean inbreeding.

Posted by Dr. E. Reid Gilbert at May 22, 2003 05:16 PM

Appalachian authors have launched a petition drive against this show:

Posted by Scott Nicholson at May 23, 2003 02:58 PM

HAHAHAHAHAHA Stupid Idiots, They said the "Real Beverly Hillbillies" show would "only serve to propel outdated and erroneous stereotypes about rural Americans." If the 'stereotypes' are so "outdated and erroneous", THEN WHAT THE HELL ARE THEY SO WORRIED ABOUT??? The people on the show will come to L.A., and be Classy, and refined, and Modern, (But of course darling... NOT!!!)Unless (as we all know is the case), the 'stereotypes' of mid-west/southern residents are TRUE. I am from a small town in N.H., and have many family members there. They collectively, (along with the rest of the state) have the I.Q. of a carrot. I can't imagine the mid-west is much better, in fact I suspect it is exponentionally worse. I have met many people from Missisippi, and Kentuky, etc. But I have yet to meet one that I recognized as a fellow sentient creature. They are VERY small people, with VERY small lives. There's no other way to see it. Not that there's anything so wrong with that. It's just that we know so little about the universe, We need more Scientists and thinking people in our country. These people are not even able to use proper grammer. They have no perspicacity, and therefore no real way to articulate complex ideas to each other. They simply don't have the vocabulary. Bring the show on, It think it sounds great!

Posted by Hollywood Resident at July 7, 2003 06:21 AM

What about a show where CBS executives have to live in Appalachia for six months?

The viewing audience will shout with laughter as the executive is dropped off in his $3,000 pinstriped Armani suit, silk tie, starched white shirt, cufflinks, hundred dollar haircut and polished Gucci loafers in the middle of West Virginia, but without his wallet or his salary.

They will shriek with delight as he is forced to swap everything he has in order to live.

"Hey boy, if you wanna live in this shack, I'll take them shiny shoes and the socks, too, since you ain't got any money."

"Well, I can't give ya any more credit for groceries, but I'll take that fancy suit and tie in exchange..."

Enjoy the fun as Mister Hotshot learns to milk cows, get along with "sceptical" neighbors and actually, for the first time in his life, WORK FOR A LIVING.

Fun! Humor! Zany Antics! Join us every week as a former impeccably dressed and arrogant executive is transformed before our eyes into a wild-eyed barefoot redneck!


Posted by Jim at July 22, 2003 05:09 PM

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