Talk:Rural purge

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On April 28, this article was nominated for deletion. The discussion can be found at Wikipedia:Votes for deletion/Rural purge. The result was no consensus. —Xezbeth 14:43, May 7, 2005 (UTC)

Flagged for POV[edit]

This entire article reads like a complaint. (talk) 05:21, 17 January 2011 (UTC)

I agree that this article reads like a complaint. Someone dislikes the decision to cancel these shows, and those feelings are obvious from how parts of this article are written. The article includes opinions, unsupported claims, and factual errors (in some instances, factual errors that are THE OPPOSITE of what actually happened).

Take this sentence as an example: "Both 'Green Acres' and 'The Beverly Hillbillies' had fallen out of the Nielsen top 30 by the end of the 1970/71 season, yet both shows had continued to win their respective time slots and had a loyal following, warranting renewal for another season."

Phrases like "loyal following" and "warranting renewal for another season" are pure opinion. The author, to his or her credit, acknowledges that both shows were out of the top 30. But the author then says both shows "had continued to win their respective time slots." Actually, both shows aired on Tuesday nights on CBS that season, opposite ABC's 'Mod Squad', which was number 11 for the season. Since it was in the Top 15, and 'Hillbillies' and 'Acres' weren't in the top 30, 'Mod Squad' clearly won the time slot. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:48, 20 February 2012 (UTC)


In the interest of accuracy, this article should mention that most of the cancelled shows had declined in popularity and were not in the Nielsen top thirty at the time of their cancellations. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:09, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

It would be helpful, in my opinion, if someone could find and post specific ratings information about the cancelled shows. One of the persistent myths about the "rural purge" is that the cancelled shows were still popular. Books, magazine articles, and the internet often say that 'The Beverly Hillbillies,' 'Green Acres,' and 'Petticoat Junction' (the latter cancelled in 1970) were popular. Sometimes, they're described as "very" popular.

When 'Petticoat Junction' was cancelled in 1970, it had been out of the top 30 for three years. When 'Green Acres' left the air in 1971, it had been out of the top 30 for two seasons. 'The Beverly Hillbillies' dropped out of the top 30 in its final season only -- but it was still outside the top 30. In short, these shows weren't that popular.

Why is that important? First, it's just factually inaccurate to say the shows were all "very popular." That's reason enough. Second, the idea that these shows were "very popular" suggests CBS made a bold or controversial decision -- when in actuality, cancelling a group of shows with mediocre ratings didn't represent a risk at all. CBS had almost nothing to lose by cancelling these shows.

Admittedly, 'Mayberry R.F.D' was in the top 15. Cancelling it was a bold decision. That's a different story. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:23, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

Is this a widely-used term?[edit]

I realise it can be difficult to find references for an event that happened 40 years ago, but this article needs them to demonstrate that this is, in fact, a notable term. As it is, the article appears to consist mostly of original research. Robofish (talk) 00:29, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

'Beverly Hillbillies' Reference Unsupported[edit]

As of October 23, 2010, this article lists 'The Beverly Hillbillies' as being 33rd in the ratings for the 1970-71 season. When you check the citation listed, you find a list of the top 30 shows of that season. You do NOT find a list that extends beyond that. Thus, there's still no evidence provided to demonstrate that 'The Beverly Hillbillies' was 33rd that year. I'm not trying to be a jerk about this. I'd love to know the show's rating for that year. If someone has the proof, please, post it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:38, 23 October 2010 (UTC)

I agree, and have deleted that passage. While I don't doubt that 'The Beverly Hillbillies' was #33, or that the person who wrote that knows it, the citation doesn't support it. The paragraph already says that it and 'Green Acres' were out of the top 30, and the citation supports that. It's not necessary to mention 'The Beverly Hillbillies' again while not mentioning 'Green Acres' again. Richard K. Carson (talk) 06:37, 22 December 2011 (UTC)

Cleaning up the list of purged shows[edit]

As the article's intro states, the "rural purge" was about TV shows (many but not all with rural theme) being canceled not because of low ratings but because they where seen as having too old of a demographic. As such, many of the examples listed in the article do not count as part of the "rural purge" as they got the ax for low ratings, even if they might have had a rural theme or are older demographic. The examples should only include shows axed despite being popular except with older less desirable demographic. I've removed a number of shows from the list that had poor ratings at the time they were canceled and thus don't qualify as victims of the rural purge. I think all the others I kept do qualify for being on the list. I removed the example clean-up tag since I believe the problem has been properly addressed. --Cab88 (talk) 22:04, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

. Weird long diatribe that was situated in the middle of the article for no reason[edit]

. . (This is wrong on many levels. It was never called "The Rural Purge." Did you make that up? The de-ruralization was a CBS event in 1971, which fell under a larger umbrella. The broader picture demonstrates an initial decision to reduce dependence on shows which skewed toward older viewers. Thus, Red Skelton, Jackie Gleason, and Lawrence Welk. Also, it should be noted that this was the first years of the concept of demographics, and A.C. Nielsen ratings had not devised a real means for gathering demographic data, so it was "hit and miss" guessing strategy by the networks. It should be noted the most of the shows listed below were canceled due to overall low ratings. The "Rural Purge" as coined here was equally about older viewers, or as better stated, non-urban viewers. That was the ultimate goal in 1970-1971. And the entire event was mostly due to the change in broadcast laws, as stated by one of the writers of this page. Approximately 14 shows had to leave the schedule since the networks lost so many hours to local affiliates. There were a handful of shows that still had high ratings, such as Mayberry R.F.D. and Hee Haw, but that was not the norm. Many had dipped to levels normal for cancellation. Certainly, these shows were not "replaced" by Maude or The Jefferson's. 14 1/2 hours of programmable blocks literally vanished. No shows replaced those canceled, as the broadcast time did not exist any longer. Television had always had a history of programming youthful, urban oriented shows. The "PURGE" did not continue through the 70's, as indicated below, but as less profitable, shows fell in the ratings, they were eventually canceled. Long running shows are more expensive to produce. And, Here's Lucy was not canceled by networks, but by Lucille Ball. She had wanted to leave after season 5, but CBS persuaded her to do one more year. It was known all season long that the show was in its final season. Most of the shows canceled had lived long runs, some even record breaking. Calling it "the rural purge" suggests a more menacing tactic and a prejudice toward rural America. It was simply dollars and cents, the sudden loss of broadcast hours, and the need for networks to drop less profitable shows. The "fish out of water" era was fading, and Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie and a host of fantasy themed shows fell into this category and were naturally ending their runs too. Sorry, I intended this to be a private note to the authors, as this article feels meandering and agenda driven, and in the process loses a valid point of view... but the tricky html code has failed me).. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:02, 10 August 2013 (UTC)


Was there any criticism of the network for doing this? It would seems like there would be. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:12, 2 February 2014 (UTC)

Is there more information out there?[edit]

Personally, I think this so-called "Rural Purge" article is choppy and lacks a lot of needed, or simply wanted, information. It is very clear that the majority of the shows cancelled were sitcoms with rural themes, but is it not true that dramas with declining ratings and older demographic ratings were axed as well? Shows with long runs, coped with dropping viewership and diminishing creativity were cancelled as well. For example, Petticoat Junction had indeed been loosing viewers for many years, but according to other sites, the series still placed in the Nielsen Top 35 in 1970, which, in my opinion, was still a show with respectable ratings. I have read on numerous sites (not just Wikipedia) that The Beverly Hillbillies and Green Acres placed 33rd and 34th, respectively, in the spring of 1971. I have often doubted that the phrase "Rural Purge" was ever really used; it has, more than likely, evolved over time. I think ratings (that can be found) she be included for all of these shows. This should be, because readers could know where each show placed in the ratings when it was cancelled. I have also read that in the late sixties and early seventies, the TV landscape was rapidly changing. Newer generations were no longer interested in the shows of the past. Sitcoms like Petticoat Junction, Beverly Hillbillies, Green Acres, Andy Griffith Show, and Gomer Poyle, USMC (so on and so forth) were not new to them, and that is why they did not watch them. Westerns were declining as well: Gunsmoke had been loosing viewers for years, just like Bonanza and The Big Valley. Even the zanier and outlandish sitcoms like Bewitched and Here's Lucy were regarded as a passé by the average American viewer. Most of these shows are now regarded as some of TV's classics, but still their popularity had dropped, owing to the end of their initial network runs. More shows that were cancelled, but excluding rural themes, should be discussed. Variety shows, I believe had also dropped in recognition; and even though popular variety shows came in the future (Sonny & Cher and Donny & Marie), the genre had lost much of its core audience. Overall, I believe this article should be expanded, fuller detailed, and better organized through out. This article is not bad, it just needs to be more in depth. — Preceding unsigned comment added by ClassiCoEditor97 (talkcontribs) 01:24, 13 April 2014 (UTC)