Well, think again!
Most of us are familiar with the TV series (though I never could figure out why they include “chores” as one of the supposedly good things about farm life vs city life), but few of us know it’s pre-history. Green Acres came about when they wanted a spinoff show for Petticoat Junction, except that Green Acres existed first. “What??”, you say? Well, it turns out the Green Acres TV series is actually based on an old radio Show “Granby’s Green Acres”. When they were deciding on a premise for Petticoat Junction’s spinoff, they decided to adapt the old Green Acres radio show. This actually isn’t too surprising though, since the wife on Granby’s Green Acres later played the matron on Petticoat Junction. This show was only 13 episodes long, and only 6 of those can currently be found on the internet, but it’s worth checking out for any Green Acres fan.
There are a number of differences between the old radio show & the more familiar TV show; The husband was a banker instead of a lawyer, they have a daughter, Eb is an old man, Mr. Kimball is the store owner instead of the county agent. The characters of Mr. Haney and the Monroe Brothers seem to be absent.
Now, Granby’s Green Acres was actually based on a couple of characters from another OTR show, “My Favorite Husband”. My Favorite Husband was the direct precursor to the “I Love Lucy” TV series. It starred Lucile Ball, and had most of what the world would later become so familiar with, the only significant difference was that her husband on the radio show was played by a “normal” American guy. When they decided to remake the series for TV, they replaced him with Lucy’s real husband Desi Arnez. Interestingly, they later back-ported the I Love Lucy show back to the radio, effectively making two different radio versions of the I Love Lucy show. In another twist, the husband on Granby’s Green Acres was played by Gale Gordon, who would later play a similar character on “The Lucy Show”.
The net result of this twisted mess is that Green Acres has the unique distinction of having been spun off from two different shows at two different times.