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Old September 1st, 2002, 12:30 PM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Clearwater, FL
Posts: 8,267
Life is Stranger than Fiction

I got this emailed to me a couple of days ago. It's worth a chuckle.

CBS hopes hicks click in "Hillbillies" reality TV
Wed Aug 28, 2:45 AM ET

By Josef Adalian

HOLLYWOOD (Variety) - CBS is resurrecting "The Beverly Hillbillies" as a
reality series.

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

Cameras will watch their every move as the rural clan attempts to fit in
with folks who eat at the Grill rather than use a grill, or who shop at
Harry Winston instead of Wal-Mart. And while the series will focus on a
group of five or six, it's expected their extended family will also stop
by for a visit sometime during their stay in the mansion.

CBS vice president of alternative programming Ghen Maynard said the
series will have a humorous tone, though with a respect for the family
and some elements of drama.

"It's a great fish-out-of-water story," he told Daily Variety. "A lot of
it will be funny, but a lot of it will be real. We want to fnd a family
that's different from what most people know but still relatable, a family
that loves each other a lot."

The concept was pitched by producers Gary Auerbach and James Jones and
veteran documentarian Dub Cornett, and CBS bought it almost immediately.

"It's rare that you hear an idea and in the first 30 seconds, you
instantly get it," Maynard said. It helped that CBS still owns the right
to the "Beverly Hillbillies" title.

Maynard said that while there will be "some structure" to the show, most
plots will come naturally -- a la MTV's "The Osbournes" or E!'s "The Anna
Nicole Show."

"Imagine the episode where they have to interview maids," he said.

Maynard said the show is not designed to mock the rural family, unlike
scripted entertainment that often takes a dim view of hick culture.

"The intent is to be respective but at the same time enjoy the humor that
comes from the fish-out-of-water scenario of the show," he said. "We want
a family who has a sense of humor about themselves."

Maynard expects to have several episodes of "Hillbillies" in the can
before the show launches, but it's possible some future episodes will
focus on how the fame of the Eye TV show further changes the clan.

While the family will be afforded numerous luxuries, they won't truly
live like millionaires.

"It will be lavish, but not to the point of absurdity," Maynard said.

And while the new "Hillbillies" will borrow the overall structure of the
original comedy, many elements of the first show will not be repeated.
It's not a given, for example, that the family will get their own Miss
Jane Hathaway.

A hotline is expected to be opened within days allowing potential
families to audition for the show.

CBS aired the first "Beverly Hillbillies" from 1962 until 1971, producing
274 episodes. The series was one of the linchpins of the network's
one-time dominance of rural communities, who tuned in for "Hillbillies,"
"Green Acres," "The Andy Griffith Show" and other countrified fare.

At one point, the show was TV's No. 1 program, attracting up to 60
million viewers weekly. Buddy Ebsen starred as Jed Clampett in the first
"Beverly Hillbillies," while Irene Ryan played Granny.

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