Over-the-air channel Decades will host an 86-episode binge of The Beverly Hillbillies (1962-1971) starting Saturday, April 17, at noon ET.
The show stars Buddy Ebsen as simple but wise Jed Clampett, a Tennessee mountain man who “was shootin’ at some food, when up through the ground come a bubblin’ crude.”
A newly minted multimillionaire, Jed relocates with his feisty mother-in-law Granny (Irene Ryan), gorgeous, slingshot-toting daughter Elly May (Donna Douglas) and none-too-bright Oxenford scholar/nephew Jethro Bodine (Max Baer, Jr) to Beverly Hills for one of sitcom history’s greatest fish-out-of-water tales.
Settled into his new mansion, Jed’s fortune remains under the obsessive, groveling supervision of Commerce Bank President Milburn Drysdale (Raymond Bailey). Drysdale’s highly cultured and well-meaning secretary, Jane Hathaway (Nancy Kulp), tries to help the friendly but confounded family navigate the unfathomable dos and don’ts of one of America’s toniest neighborhoods.
Noteworthy binge episodes include:
“The Clampetts Strike Oil” – In the pilot episode, Mr. John Brewster (Frank Wilcox) of the OK Oil Company offers to make Jed super-rich in exchange for the motherlode on his land. Jed’s Cousin Pearl (Petticoat Junction’s Bea Benaderet) says with that kind of money, Beverly Hills is the place for Jed and kin to be. (April 17, noon)
“Trick or Treat” – The Clampetts go door-to-door to meet their new neighbors who mistake them for trick-or-treaters. Author’s note: When I was little, I trick-or-treated as Jed Clampett and did, in fact, receive candy. (April 17, 2 pm)
“Elly’s First Date” – The Drysdales’ spoiled dandy of a son (comedian Louis Nye) comes-a-courtin’ Elly May but then goes running home to mother. (April 17, 4 pm)
“Granny versus the Weather Bureau” – Granny’s weather predictions are even more accurate than that of the Weather Bureau. (April 18, 5:30 pm)
“Cabin in Beverly Hills” – The Clampetts reassemble their old cabin in the backyard, by the “see-ment pond,” to soothe a homesick Granny. (April 18, 10 pm)
“Jethro’s Graduation” – A chimp takes Jethro’s place at his sixth-grade graduation ceremony, impressing visiting dignitaries. (April 18, 11 pm)
“Doctor Jed Clampett” – Jed receives an honorary doctorate, so the clan thinks he now has healing powers. (April 19, 1:30 am)
The series garnered consistently high ratings during its nine-season, 274-episode run on CBS, only to be cancelled in the network’s notorious “rural purge.”
You can find a complete marathon schedule at decades.com/schedule. You can find your local Decades channel number – either free over-the-air via antenna, or on cable — on the network’s Where to Watch page.
The Beverly Hillbillies also airs Saturdays at 6 and 6:30 am on over-the-air channel MeTV.
(Top image source: Decades)
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