Petticoat Junction

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Petticoat Junction
Petticoat Junction title screen.jpg
Created by Paul Henning
Ruth Henning
Starring Bea Benaderet
Edgar Buchanan
Linda Kaye Henning
Jeannine Riley
Pat Woodell
Gunilla Hutton
Lori Saunders
Meredith MacRae
Smiley Burnette
Jimmy Hawkins
Rufe Davis
Frank Cady
Mike Minor
Elna Danelle Hubbell
June Lockhart
Jonathan Daly
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 7
No. of episodes 222 (List of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Jay Sommers
Charles Stewart
Camera setup Single-camera
Running time 25 minutes
Production company(s) Wayfilms, Inc.
The CBS Television Network
Distributor Viacom Enterprises (1971-1995)
Paramount Domestic Television (1995-2006)
CBS Paramount Domestic Television (2006-2007)
CBS Television Distribution (2007-present)
Original network CBS
Picture format Black-and-white
Audio format monaural
Original release September 24, 1963 (1963-09-24) – April 4, 1970 (1970-04-04)
Related shows The Beverly Hillbillies
Green Acres

Petticoat Junction is an American situation comedy that originally aired on CBS from September 1963 to April 1970.[1] The series takes place at the Shady Rest Hotel, which is run by Kate Bradley, her Uncle Joe, and her three daughters Billie Jo, Bobbie Jo and Betty Jo. The series is one of three interrelated shows about rural characters created by Paul Henning. Petticoat Junction was created upon the success of Henning's previous rural/urban-themed sitcom The Beverly Hillbillies (1962–1971). The success of Petticoat Junction led to a spin-off, Green Acres (1965–1971). Petticoat Junction was produced by Wayfilms (a joint venture of Filmways Television and Pen-Ten Productions).


The show follows the goings-on at the rural Shady Rest Hotel. Kate Bradley (Bea Benaderet) is the proprietor. Her lazy-but-lovable Uncle Joe (Edgar Buchanan) helps her in the day-to-day running of the hotel while she serves as a mediator in the various minor crises that befall her three beautiful daughters: redhead Betty Jo (Linda Kaye Henning); brunette Bobbie Jo (first Pat Woodell, later Lori Saunders); and blonde Billie Jo (first Jeannine Riley, then Gunilla Hutton, and finally Meredith MacRae). Uncle Joe frequently comes up with half-baked get-rich-quick schemes and ill-conceived hotel promotions. Much of the show also focuses on the Hooterville Cannonball, an 1890s steam-driven train run more like a taxi service by engineer Charley Pratt (Smiley Burnette) and conductor Floyd Smoot (Rufe Davis). It's not uncommon for the Cannonball to make an unscheduled stop in order for passengers to go fishing, or to pick fruit for Kate Bradley's apple butter. Many plots involve railroad executive Homer Bedloe's futile attempts to shut down and scrap the Hooterville Cannonball. Occasionally, youngest daughter Betty Jo can be found with her hand on the Cannonball's throttle, as running the train is one of her favorite pastimes. The series pilot introduced a feminist element whereby Betty Jo turned out to be skilled at driving the train.[2] Since train engineer was traditionally a man's job, executives from the C. & F.W. Railroad's headquarters are shocked when they learn of this.[3] Trips on the Cannonball usually include a stop in Hooterville at Drucker's Store, run by Sam Drucker (Frank Cady). Drucker's is favored by Hooterville farmers because he is willing to extend credit, whereas the nearby Pixley stores want cash. Sam Drucker also has a telephone and acts as an answering service of sorts for the phoneless Shady Rest Hotel.


The Shady Rest Hotel is located on a branch line of the C. & F.W. Railroad halfway between the rural farm community of Hooterville and the small town of Pixley, each about 25 miles (40 km) away. Kate Bradley says her grandfather built the hotel there because that's where the lumber fell off the train. The town of Pixley, at one end of the Cannonball's route, was named for Pixley, California. A number of location shots were filmed in the real Pixley. The exact geographic location of Hooterville is never mentioned on Petticoat Junction or Green Acres. It is likely in the Ozark Mountains; one of the proposed titles for the show was Ozark Widow.

The Shady Rest is an old-fashioned hotel, accessible only by train, where guests share bathing facilities and eat together with the family at a large dining-room table. Kate Bradley cooks sumptuous meals on a wood-burning stove, and her specialty is chicken 'n' dumplings. Meals were prepared for the show by property master Vince Vecchio. In a 1966 interview, Bea Benaderet said "I suspect that Vince is better at cooking things like mother used to than anybody's mother ever was." [4]

Regarding the show's title, Petticoat Junction, the hotel is located at a whistle stop, not a junction (where two or more railroad lines meet).[5] The train stop is nicknamed "petticoat junction" because the Bradley sisters often go skinny-dipping in the railway's water tower and leave their petticoats hanging over its side. [6] The opening titles of the series show their petticoats hanging on the tower[7] while they are swimming.[8][9] The theme song has the double entendre "Lotsa curves, you bet, and even more when you get to the junction: Petticoat Junction" while shots show the train on a curving track, the petticoats, and the three naked sisters seen from shoulders up in the water tower.[10]

Show History[edit]

The idea for Petticoat Junction came from Paul Henning's wife, Ruth. Paul Henning said, "The Shady Rest was based on a real hotel in Eldon, Mo., run by my wife's grandmother... that's where the hotel and the train and the whole setting came from, from Ruth's reminiscences of visiting her grandma." [11] Ruth Henning would tell him stories of her childhood adventures at the Burris Hotel, which was owned by her grandparents in Eldon, Missouri. [12] Once called the Rock Island Hotel, the Burris was located next to the Rock Island Line railroad tracks. Ruth Henning's mother, Alice (Burris) Barth, also told her many stories about the hotel and about growing up in the small town of Eldon. [13] The stories of Ruth and her mother, Alice, became the basis of the show.

Linda Kaye Henning said that her father "wrote the series for Bea Benaderet." [14] Paul Henning thought the show would make an ideal starring vehicle for the veteran character actress. Since the 1930s, Benaderet had played second banana roles on radio and television to such personalities as Jack Benny, Lucille Ball, and George Burns and Gracie Allen. She was an uncredited voice actress for many Warner Brothers cartoons, and provided the voice of Betty Rubble on The Flintstones. She also played the semi-regular character Cousin Pearl Bodine on season one of The Beverly Hillbillies. Henning felt that Benaderet had more than paid her dues and had earned the right to headline her own series.

During pre-production, proposed titles for the show were Ozark Widow, Dern Tootin' and Whistle Stop.[15]

The Hooterville Cannonball[edit]

Motion shots of the Hooterville Cannonball were filmed on the Sierra Railroad, based in Jamestown, California. The steam locomotive used was the 4-6-0 (ten-wheeler) Sierra No. 3, which has the distinction of appearing in more movies than any other locomotive. Its first sound film appearance was in 1929 with Gary Cooper in The Virginian, and it has since appeared in many other western films, including a prominent role in the climactic ending of Back to the Future Part III. It was also used in such television shows as Little House on the Prairie and The Iron Horse. Today, the Sierra No. 3 locomotive is still operational and can be found at Railtown 1897 State Historic Park.

A full-size locomotive replica was used for studio scenes in and around the locomotive cab. The prop locomotive was provided by the Hoyt Hotel in Portland, Oregon. It was displayed in the lobby of the hotel as part of the décor of its Barbary Coast Lounge, hence the screen credit at the end of each episode "Train furnished by Barbary Coast, Hoyt Hotel, Portland, Oregon". [16]

Guest stars[edit]

Dennis Hopper is Bobbie Jo's beatnik boyfriend in "Bobbie Jo and the Beatnik". Betty White is a librarian in "The Cannonball Bookmobile". Joan Blondell is Hooterville's bombshell from Sam and Uncle Joe's younger years in "Girl of Our Dreams". Don Ameche plays Steve's Uncle George. Rudy Vallee is a wealthy man who thinks Uncle Joe lent him money twenty years earlier in "But I've Never Been to Erie, PA". Harry Dean Stanton is a poacher in "One of Our Chickens is Missing". Rich Little is Billie Jo's comedian boyfriend in "Billie Jo and the Big Big Star". Batman star Adam West is a doctor in "My Daughter the Doctor" and "Hooterville vs. Hollywood", and Buddy Rogers and Richard Arlen appear as themselves when their 1927 movie Wings is shown at the Pixley Bijou movie theater in "Wings".

Cast notes[edit]

The only actors who appeared in all seven seasons were Edgar Buchanan, Linda Kaye Henning and Frank Cady. Buchanan was the only one to appear in every episode. Linda Kaye Henning appeared in every episode but two: the first season episode "Bobbie Jo and the Beatnik" and the second season episode "Have Library, Will Travel".

Edgar Buchanan, who portrayed the uncle of Bea Benaderet's character, was only 3 years older than Benaderet in real life. Buchanan was a dentist before he became a professional actor.

The Season 3 cast of Petticoat Junction in 1966. Sitting on table: Higgins the dog. Front row (L-R): Lori Saunders (Bobbie Jo), Bea Benaderet (Kate) and Edgar Buchanan (Uncle Joe). Back row (L-R): Frank Cady (Sam Drucker), Gunilla Hutton (Billie Jo), Linda Kaye Henning (Betty Jo), Rufe Davis (Floyd Smoot) and Smiley Burnette (Charley Pratt)

Four of the six actresses who portrayed the Bradley girls were born in 1944: Gunilla Hutton (15 May), Meredith MacRae (30 May), Pat Woodell (12 July, sometimes shown as 15 July) and Linda Kaye Henning (16 September).

The girls' canine companion was called simply "Dog" or "Boy". Different names are suggested by the sisters when he first arrives ("Spike," "Prince" and "Byron"), but they never decide, so the dog is never actually named. Press releases for the show referred to him as the "Shady Rest Dog". [17] He was portrayed by Higgins, who later went on to even greater fame as Benji. Edgar Buchanan also appeared with Higgins in the movie Benji. Higgins won a PATSY Award in 1966 for his work on Petticoat Junction.

Veteran character actor Charles Lane played Cannonball nemesis Homer Bedloe in twenty-four episodes.[18] Lane said that he perfected his stern curmudgeon character-type on I Love Lucy; recalling in 1981 his many roles, he said "They were all good parts, but they were jerks. If you have a type established, though, and you're any good, it can mean considerable work for you." [19] The New York Times reported that Lane's persona was so familiar to the public "that people would come up to him in the street and greet him, because they thought they knew him from their hometowns." [20]

The character of Selma Plout was introduced in 1964 to serve as a female nemesis for Kate Bradley. As played by actress Virginia Sale, the role came off as rather harsh and severe. For the 1965-1966 season Sale was replaced by veteran character actress and comedienne Elvia Allman, and her interpretation brought more humor into the character. (During the first two seasons of Petticoat Junction, Allman was featured on the show in other roles). The part of Selma's daughter, Henrietta, was first seen in Season 3 as a haughty rival to the Bradley girls and was played by actress Susan Walther. The following year, Walther was replaced by Lynette Winter (formerly of the TV series Gidget), who made the part more comical but likeable.

Mike Minor first appeared on the series as Selma Plout's son Dan in the third season episode "Mother Of The Bride" that aired December 15, 1964. After that episode, the character of Dan Plout is never seen again. Two years later, in the fall of 1966, Mike Minor rejoined the series as handsome crop duster Steve Elliott. Steve is originally the love interest of eldest daughter Billie Jo, but later marries Betty Jo. This evolved from the real-life romance between Linda Kaye Henning and Minor. They were married in real-life in 1968.

The three Bradley sisters (played by Linda Kaye Henning, Pat Woodell and Jeannine Riley) form a Beatlesque band called "The Ladybugs" with their friend Sally Ragsdale (Shiela James) in the season one episode "The Ladybugs". They wear mop-top wigs and perform the Beatles song "I Saw Her Standing There" with the word "Him" substituted for "Her". On March 22, 1964 the four actresses performed this same song as "The Ladybugs" on the The Ed Sullivan Show. [21] [22]

Lori Saunders and Jeannine Riley, who never appeared together on Petticoat Junction, both starred in the 1970s situation comedy Dusty's Trail. The show was like Gilligan's Island set in the Wild West. Lori Saunders played the Mary Ann-ish part of Betsy and Jeannine Riley played the Gingeresque Lulu.

Gunilla Hutton and Jeannine Riley were both regular cast members on the country variety show Hee Haw.

Frank Cady, who played Sam Drucker, was the only actor in television history to play the same recurring character on three different shows at the same time: Petticoat Junction, Green Acres, and The Beverly Hillbillies. [23]

Bea Benaderet played Mrs. Granby on the short-lived 1950 radio show Granby's Green Acres. This show was the inspiration for the Petticoat Junction spin-off Green Acres. The Mrs. Granby character was altered on television and became Lisa Douglas, played by Eva Gabor. [24] [25]

Linda Kaye Henning provided the voice-over for Jethro Bodine's twin sister Jethrine on The Beverly Hillbillies. Jethrine was played by (Jethro actor) Max Baer in drag.

Jack Bannon got his start on this show. The son of Bea Benaderet, he originally was the dialog coach before stepping in to play small parts over the course of the show, usually as a boyfriend or date for one of the Bradley girls..

Byron Foulger played two different recurring characters on Petticoat Junction. In the early seasons he was banker Mr. Guerney, and in later seasons he was train engineer Wendell Gibbs. Foulger appeared in hundreds of film and television roles and was known for playing hilariously meek characters.[26]

Jimmy Hawkins appeared in five episodes as Betty Jo's love interest Orville Miggs. He also appeared in four other episodes as four other characters. Hawkins played Jimmy Stewart's son in the film It's A Wonderful Life.

Jonathan Daly, who played Bobbie Jo's boyfriend Orrin Pike in season seven, also played Jimmy Stewart's son in the 1970s television series The Jimmy Stewart Show.

In season seven, Steve and Betty Jo's baby Kathy Jo was played by Elna Danelle Hubbell. In season six, Kathy Jo was played (uncredited) by infant twins Heather and Barbara White. As of 2009, Heather is a teacher in Louisiana. She said that she and her sister landed the role when their mother heard that the producers were looking for red-haired babies. She also said that she has no first-hand memories of working on the show. [27]

Cast changes[edit]

In 1967 the show suffered its first loss when Smiley Burnette (engineer Charley Pratt), died of leukemia. Rufe Davis (Floyd Smoot) took over both jobs as engineer and conductor for a while and then was replaced the following year by Wendell Gibbs, played by Byron Foulger. During the show's last season (1969–1970), Foulger became too ill to continue, and he didn't appear in any episodes of the last season. Davis returned as Floyd Smoot for two episodes, one of them being "Last Train To Pixley". Coincidentally, Foulger died on the same day that the final episode of Petticoat Junction aired: April 4, 1970.

Bea Benaderet, who played the main character Kate Bradley, died in 1968; June Lockhart then joined the show as Dr. Janet Craig, a mother figure to the girls, from 1968 until the show's end in 1970.

The actresses who originally played Billie Jo and Bobbie Jo left the series after season two. "They wanted to pursue other careers," said Linda Kaye Henning, who played (redhead) Betty Jo for the entire series.[28]

Billie Jo (the blonde) was originally going to be played by Sharon Tate. While a cast photo was taken with Sharon Tate, she never appeared in the show. Explanations vary from CBS deciding not to use her when 'scantily clad' photos emerged, to her agents talking her into turning down the role to focus on films. Billie Jo was played for the first two seasons (1963–1965) by Jeannine Riley, who left to pursue a movie career. In season three (1965–1966) she was replaced by Gunilla Hutton (not present for eleven episodes), and for the rest of the show's run (1966–1970) the role of Billie Jo was played by Meredith MacRae.

Bobbie Jo (the brunette) was played in the first two seasons (1963-65) by Pat Woodell, who left the series to start a singing career. Pat Woodell was absent from several episodes, and was at times played by a double who did not show her face. For the remaining seasons (1965–1970), Bobbie Jo was played by Lori Saunders. Woodell and Saunders resembled each other physically, but the character of Bobbie Jo was gradually revamped after the cast change, going from a shy bookworm to a humorous scatterbrain. The book Glamour, Gidgets, and the Girl Next Door by Herbie J. Pilato attributes this change in character to actress Lori Saunders having "a different flair for comedy than Pat [Woodell]." After Saunders took over the role, she would at times give her lines "a slightly daffy delivery." The show writers picked up on this and gradually changed the character of Bobbie Jo from Paul Henning's original conception of a brainy introvert into "a high-spirited, delightfully ditzy extrovert."[29]

Changes in tone and characters[edit]

For the first three seasons, Petticoat Junction focused mostly on broad humor and slapstick comedy. There was much physical comedy and other types of wild humor, much as on its sister shows The Beverly Hillbillies and Green Acres. Beginning in season four, however, Petticoat Junction gradually took on an entirely different feel. Stories began to focus less on the Hooterville Cannonball and more on the Bradley sisters, specifically on the romance of Steve and Betty Jo, who slowly but surely became the central characters. The show became more of a domestic comedy, and slapstick took a back seat.[30] Musical numbers and singing became prominent. Songs featured the Bradley sisters singing as a trio, Billie Jo solo, Steve solo, or Steve and Betty Jo as a duet. There were sometimes as many as two or three songs per episode. The additions of Mike Minor as Steve Elliott and Meredith MacRae as the third Billie Jo influenced this change, as they were both accomplished singers.[31] The characters of Billie Jo and Bobbie Jo also changed. Billie Jo went from being a boy crazy dumb blonde to a strong independent young lady. Bobbie Jo went from being book-smart (nicknamed "the walking encyclopedia") to more of a bubble-head used for comic relief.[32] And Kate Bradley's appearance changed. In the first two seasons, Kate's wardrobe and hair style depicted her as a dowdy country farm woman. Beginning with the third year (in color), her clothing and coiffure were much more flattering and appealing.

Death of Bea Benaderet[edit]

Sickness kept Bea Benaderet away for the last portion of season five as she recuperated from lung cancer. She missed two episodes (ep. 159, 160), came back for one (ep. 161), then missed eight more. Storylines had Kate on a trip, as everyone hoped that Benaderet would recover. Paul Henning brought in temporary replacement mother figures Rosemary DeCamp (as Kate's sister Helen) and Shirley Mitchell (as Kate's cousin Mae). In March 1968, it was announced that Benaderet's treatment was successful, and she returned for the season five finale "Kate's Homecoming". In that episode it was quite evident that Benaderet had lost a considerable amount of weight and appeared slightly weak. Nonetheless, plans for the season six immediately got under way. It was decided that Betty Jo would have a baby. After Benaderet filmed the first three episodes of season six, it was discovered that her cancer had returned. The third episode "Only A Husband" was Benaderet's final physical appearance on the show, featuring her in only one brief scene with Mike Minor.

Linda Kaye Henning recalled: "The last few shows we knew she was very ill. They recorded her voice, and there would be a stand-in."[33] When it became obvious to Paul Henning that Benaderet would not recover, he decided that the fourth episode of season six would be the birth of Betty Jo's baby, so that Benaderet's character could be included. In the episode "The Valley Has A Baby" Bea provided only her voice. She's heard when Betty Jo and Steve read the letter that Kate has sent them, and when Cannonball engineer Wendell Gibbs answers the phone at Drucker's Store. Bea's stand-in (actress Edna Laird) plays Kate with her back to the camera, with Bea providing only her voice, when Kate is on the hand car helping Wendell, and at the end of the episode when Kate is at Betty Jo's bedside. The episode also has three short flashbacks of Kate from season five: "You Know I Can't Hear You When The Thunder Is Clapping" where Betty Jo reveals to Kate that she and Steve are in love; "A Cottage For Two" where Betty Jo's dream house turns out to be an old shack; and "With This Gown I Thee Wed" where Steve and Betty Jo get married. The episode aired just 13 days after Benaderet's death on October 13, 1968. (Benaderet's husband, Eugene Twombly, died of a heart attack on the day of her funeral.)

Benaderet was very popular with viewers. In fact, her fan mail increased during her illness, and she received many get-well cards from fans. In the first five years of Petticoat Junction, she was indisputably the star of the program. As a result, the absence of her character, Kate Bradley, had to be handled very delicately. In the 1950s and 60s, it was almost unheard of for a main character on a television show, especially a sitcom, to die. The character of Margaret Williams died off-camera at the beginning of season four of The Danny Thomas Show, because actress Jean Hagen decided to leave the series. Actor George Cleveland died in the middle of season four of Lassie, and the episode "Transition" had his character "Gramps" pass away as well. In the fall of 1966, veteran film actress Ann Sheridan was enjoying a major comeback when her Pistols 'N Petticoats premiered on CBS. The show immediately became quite popular with viewers. However, Sheridan was diagnosed with terminal cancer shortly after the premiere. When she died in January 1967, she had completed 21 out of the 26 shows for that season. At first, CBS was undecided as to what to do about the program. Since Sheridan was the unifying center of attention on Pistols 'N Petticoats, her absence was keenly felt by audiences. Therefore, CBS canceled the series in the spring of 1967.

Similarly, Benaderet's death put Petticoat Junction in a state of flux. However, the producers and the network decided to continue the show, and it was decided that Kate would be referred to as being "out of town." Benaderet's name was removed from the opening credits and Edgar Buchanan was from then on billed as the star of the series. Though Petticoat Junction was still beloved by fans, the central premise of a country family was lost without a motherly figure. The long absence of Kate was only mentioned once in passing during the final two seasons. In the season seven premiere "Make Room For Baby", the Bradley sisters and baby Kathy Jo return from swimming in the water tower. Steve has paternal qualms about his daughter's safety, to which Billie Jo and Bobbie Jo wistfully reply: "Mom taught us to swim in that very same water tower."

The final two seasons[edit]

Choosing not to recast the Kate Bradley role, or to sign Rosemary DeCamp on full-time (she was also playing the mother of Marlo Thomas on That Girl), the producers introduced the new character of Dr. Janet Craig, played by June Lockhart. Dr. Craig takes up a medical practice at the hotel and also serves as a counsel of sorts for the girls. The cast was described as "most welcoming" to Lockhart as the newcomer during a difficult time.[34] By mid-season, Lockhart graduated from featured billing at the end of each episode to co-star billing in the opening credits. The show's theme song lyrics were slightly altered to accommodate the change in cast.

A decline in Nielsen ratings had begun in season five when CBS moved the show from Tuesday night to Saturday night. In season six the show failed to make the ratings top thirty. With the sitcom's future hanging in the balance, CBS considered cancelling the show in the spring of 1969. The season six finale "Tune In Next Year" was meant to be the series finale. Dr. Janet Craig receives a good job offer in another city and decides to accept it. However, at the end of the episode, Dr. Craig decides to stay when Steve and Betty Jo announce that they are going to have another baby.

At the last minute, CBS decided to renew the series for a seventh season. The main reason for the renewal was that it would give the series five full years of color episodes for syndication, which would be very profitable for the network. When the show returned for its seventh and final season in September 1969 there were two major plotline changes. The first is that Steve and Betty Jo, and their daughter Kathy Jo, move out of their cottage and into The Shady Rest Hotel. The storyline involving Betty Jo's new pregnancy was dropped and never referred to again. The second change is the addition of bumbling, but well-meaning, game warden Orrin Pike (played by actor Jonathan Daly), who becomes Bobbie Jo's boyfriend, much to the annoyance of Uncle Joe. In the spring of 1970, despite somewhat improving ratings, Petticoat Junction was canceled as a precursor to the infamous CBS rural purge of the early 1970s, when all rural-themed shows were canceled. The series officially ended its prime-time run on Saturday, September 12, 1970 at 9:30 PM and was replaced one week later by The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

Petticoat Junction did not have a series finale. However, "Last Train to Pixley", the fourth-to-last episode to air, is in some ways like a series finale. In the episode, Hooterville Cannonball conductor Floyd Smoot decides to retire. The residents of the Shady Rest Hotel and Sam Drucker all take a ride on the Cannonball and recall (with flashbacks) such treasured memories as fishing from the train, a very pregnant Betty Jo driving the train when she is about to give birth, and the Christmas time Cannonball decorated with lights. [35] During the episode, Floyd sings the song "Steam, Cinders and Smoke". The song was written by Smiley Burnette, who played train engineer Charley Pratt until his death in 1967. It was released as a single in 1964 by Burnette and Rufe Davis (who played Floyd Smoot). [36] At the end of the episode, Floyd decides not to retire when the people of Hooterville write him letters asking him to stay.


Petticoat Junction was the only one of Paul Henning's country trio not to return in an updated reunion movie. In the 1970s, Meredith MacRae and Linda Kaye Henning tried to produce "Hello Again Hooterville: A Thanksgiving Reunion", but the project never came to fruition.[37] [38] The game show Family Feud featured a Petticoat Junction cast reunion in 1983 when Frank Cady, Linda Kaye Henning, Lori Saunders, Gunilla Hutton and Meredith MacRae competed against cast members from The Brady Bunch. [39] And Linda Kaye Henning, Lori Saunders, and Gunilla Hutton returned to the railway water tower for a Me-TV promo in 2015.

In 1990, the character of Sam Drucker appeared in Return to Green Acres, in what was Frank Cady's final acting role. In 1981, Linda Kaye Henning and Charles Lane both appeared in The Return of the Beverly Hillbillies, but not as Betty Jo and Homer Bedloe. Henning played a secretary named "Linda" and Lane played "Chief".

Episode list[edit]

Cast of characters[edit]

Character Actress/Actor Years # of Episodes
Kate Bradley Bea Benaderet 1963–1968 164
Uncle Joe Carson Edgar Buchanan 1963–1970 222
Betty Jo Bradley Linda Kaye Henning 1963–1970 220
Bobbie Jo Bradley Pat Woodell 1963–1965 64
Lori Saunders 1965–1970 147
Billie Jo Bradley Jeannine Riley 1963–1965 72
Gunilla Hutton 1965–1966 23
Meredith MacRae 1966–1970 107
Sam Drucker Frank Cady 1963–1970 152
Dog Higgins, the Dog 1964–1970 149
Steve Elliott Mike Minor 1966–1970 112
Dr. Janet Craig June Lockhart 1968–1970 45
Charles "Charley" Pompous Pratt Smiley Burnette 1963–1967 106
Floyd Smoot Rufe Davis 1963–1968; 1970 128
Homer Bedloe Charles Lane 1963–1968 24
Norman P. Curtis Roy Roberts 1963–1964
Fred Ziffel Hank Patterson 1963–1966 11
Newt Kiley Kay E. Kuter 1964–1969 17
Oliver Wendell Douglas Eddie Albert 1965–1968 12
Lisa Douglas Eva Gabor 1965–1969 9
Eb Dawson Tom Lester 1967–1968 6
Aunt Helen Rosemary DeCamp 1964–1968 7
Wendell Gibbs Byron Foulger 1968–1969 18
Orrin Pike Jonathan Daly 1969–1970 11
Orville Miggs Jimmy Hawkins 1964 5
Cousin Mae Belle Jennings Shirley Mitchell 1967–1968 4
Miss Hammond Eve McVeagh 1963 3
Selma Plout Virginia Sale 1963–1965 6
Elvia Allman 1966-1970 17

Nielsen ratings/Broadcast history[edit]

Season Timeslot Rank Rating
1) 1963–1964 Tuesday nights at 9:00pm #4 33.3
2) 1964–1965 Tuesday nights at 9:30pm #15 26.1
3) 1965–1966 #21 23.8
4) 1966–1967 #23 20.9 (tie)
5) 1967–1968 Saturday nights at 9:30pm Not in the Top 30
6) 1968–1969
7) 1969–1970


Green Acres and Beverly Hillbillies crossovers[edit]

Petticoat Junction is set in the same fictional universe as Green Acres. Both shows are set in Hooterville, and they share such characters as Sam Drucker, Newt Kiley, and Floyd Smoot. A number of core Green Acres characters, such as Fred and Doris Ziffel (originally named Ruth), Arnold the Pig, Newt Kiley, and Ben Miller, first appeared on season two of Petticoat Junction, which saw a number of scripts written by Green Acres creator Jay Sommers. Characters in all of Henning's creations often crossed over into one another's programs, especially during the first two seasons of Green Acres.

During Petticoat's run from 1963 to 1968 (up until Kate Bradley's last few appearances at the beginning of season six), and with the exception of Green Acres, not once was there ever a connection to The Beverly Hillbillies even though Bea Benaderet had played Cousin Pearl Bodine during the latter's first and sixth seasons. Despite this, in a 1968 episode of Petticoat (#175 'Granny, the Baby Expert'), Granny comes to Hooterville to tend to Betty Jo and Steve's baby. Prior to her visit, she reminds Jed that he is related to Kate through Pearl and then later when she arrives at the Shady Rest she mistakes Uncle Joe for Kate and says "They's right about you Kate, you and Cousin Pearl are lookalikes."

Other crossover shows include one where the Clampetts, Milburn Drysdale, and Miss Jane spend both Thanksgiving and Christmas of 1968 in Hooterville on The Beverly Hillbillies and a 1970 episode of The Beverly Hillbillies in which Mr. Drysdale thought that billionaire Howard Hughes lived in Hooterville. (The man turned out to be Howard Hewes who owned real estate in Hooterville, including the field Steve Elliott rented to maintain his crop plane.)

Crossovers with Green Acres[edit]

The following is a list of Petticoat Junction episodes featuring characters from Green Acres. Only those that debuted on Acres before Junction are counted.

Season Three
  • Episode 2: "The Baffling Raffle" – Oliver Wendell Douglas, Lisa Douglas
  • Episode 3: "The Dog Turns Playboy" – Oliver Wendell Douglas
  • Episode 4: "The Good Luck Ring" – Oliver Wendell Douglas, Lisa Douglas
  • Episode 5: "Joe Carson, General Contractor" – Oliver Wendell Douglas, Lisa Douglas
  • Episode 6: "Bobbie Jo's Sorority" – Oliver Wendell Douglas, Lisa Douglas
  • Episode 7: "A Doctor in the House" – Oliver Wendell Douglas
  • Episode 8: "Hooterville-A-Go-Go" – Oliver Wendell Douglas, Lisa Douglas
  • Episode 10: "Betty Jo Goes to New York" – Oliver Wendell Douglas, Lisa Douglas
  • Episode 13: "Uncle Joe Plays Post Office" – Oliver Wendell Douglas
  • Episode 19: "Yogurt, Anyone?" – Oliver Wendell Douglas
  • Episode 21: "The County Fair" – Mr. Haney
  • Episode 29: "Kate Bradley, Peacemaker" – Oliver Wendell Douglas
  • Episode 32: "The Young Matchmakers" – Lisa Douglas
Season Four
  • Episode 1: "Young Love" – Eb Dawson
  • Episode 5: "The All-Night Party" – Eb Dawson
  • Episode 11: "The Runt Strikes Back" – Eb Dawson
  • Episode 13: "The Santa Claus Special" – Eb Dawson
  • Episode 26: "Author! Author!" – Eb Dawson
Season Five
  • Episode 3: "One Dozen Roses" – Eb Dawson
Season Six
  • Episode 4: "The Valley Has a Baby" – Oliver Wendell Douglas, Lisa Douglas
  • Episode 14: "The Ballad of the Everyday Housewife" – Lisa Douglas
Season Seven
  • Episode 3: "The Other Woman" – Mr. Haney
  • Episode 9: "A Most Momentous Occasion" – Mr. Haney

Theme song[edit]

Curt Massey sang the Petticoat Junction theme song. The song was composed by Massey and Paul Henning. Flatt and Scruggs recorded a version of the song "Petticoat Junction".


After its cancellation, Filmways and Paul Henning's company sold the show to CBS. Its distribution has changed hands over the years due to corporate changes involving Viacom, which in 2006 split into two separate companies. Today CBS Television Distribution handles syndication.

The color (1965–70) episodes were shown in syndication for many years after the show's cancellation. However, the rights to the black-and-white (1963–65) episodes were not resolved and they were not included in the syndication package until recently when the Me-TV Network began broadcasting the black-and-white (1963–65) episodes on Tuesday July 12, 2011. The airings of the black-and-white episodes airings were short lived, and, on Thursday July 21, 2011, Me-TV started airing the color episodes once again. Finally, Me-TV began airing the first two black-and-white seasons of the show on November 4, 2013.

The color episodes have run constantly, with the show running on TV Land from 1996 to 2000. The show ran on the Retro Television Network from 2005 to 2008, and on Me-TV beginning in June 2012.[42] The program has run on three different Canadian cable channels: Prime-TV from 2000 to 2002, Deja-Vu from 2005 to 2008, and on TV Land Canada from 2006 to 2010. The black-and-white episodes from Season One are now in the public domain, their copyrights having lapsed. As a result, there have been numerous discount DVD releases of these episodes, although with generic bluegrass-like theme music instead of the familiar opening and closing music, which is still under copyright.

DVD releases[edit]

The Paul Henning Estate holds the original film elements to the black-and-white episodes, and in 2005 allowed 20 black-and-white episodes from Season One to be officially released on DVD in an "ultimate collection" via MPI Home Video. This release features the first 20 episodes of the series, excluding the Christmas episode. "Cannonball Christmas" was released by MPI Home Video in a separate release together with the Christmas-themed episode from The Beverly Hillbillies on October 25, 2005.[43][44] This 1963 episode was reshot in color with small variations and aired on December 20, 1966 as "The Santa Claus Special". [45]

On December 16, 2008 CBS Home Entertainment (distributed by Paramount) released the Complete First Season on DVD, with new interviews with cast members, commercials from the original broadcasts, and the original opening and closing theme song. The Complete Second Season was released on July 7, 2009, concluding the black-and-white episodes of the series. (Beginning with the third season, the show switched to color for the remainder of the series.) It, too, contained the original theme song, as well as introductions and an interview from two cast members.

On October 1, 2013 season three was released on DVD as a Walmart exclusive.[46] It received a full retail release on April 15, 2014.[47]

The rights to the show are held by CBS Television Distribution.

DVD Name Ep# Release Date
Petticoat Junction (Ultimate Collection) 20 August 30, 2005
Petticoat Junction (The Official First Season) 38 December 16, 2008
Petticoat Junction (The Official Second Season) 36 July 7, 2009
Petticoat Junction (Return to Hooterville) March 12, 2013
Petticoat Junction (The Official Third Season) 34 April 15, 2014

Petticoat Junction Amusement Park[edit]

There was an amusement park in Panama City Beach, Florida named "Petticoat Junction Amusement Park", which opened in 1963 (the same year that the show first aired) and closed in 1984, 14 years after the show ended. As would be expected, there was a steam railroad attraction at the park, the 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge[48] Petticoat Junction Railroad. Although the park is closed, the locomotives and train cars from its railroad attraction survived. They were bought at auction by the late Fred H. Hallmark in 1985 and are kept and preserved on his family's property in Warrior, Alabama.

Petticoat Junction Cafeteria and Shady Rest Hotel in Mabank, Texas[edit]

In 1965 Claudia and J.T. "Peavine" Westmoreland bought an old train depot in Mabank, Texas and converted it into a restaurant. Since the restaurant was next to a working railroad line, the customers nicknamed it "Petticoat Junction", and the name was made official. Specialties at the Petticoat Junction Cafeteria included chicken fried steak and homemade coconut cream pies. The real-life Petticoat Junction was like the fictional show. In her memoirs, Claudia writes: “The train crew grew to be a part of the Petticoat Junction. They would stop and eat with us and we looked forward to the once a day run.” In 1966, the Southern Pacific Railroad sent work crews to elevate the railroad track. Claudia set up makeshift bedrooms for the workers and called it the "Shady Rest Hotel". More permanent lodgings were soon added. Claudia's daughter Ann recalled: “Mother got people from the television show to send her photos of the Petticoat Junction set, the actors, just all kinds of things.” The business was relocated one mile west in the 1970s and an RV park was added. The Petticoat Junction Cafeteria and Shady Rest Hotel lasted until 1996.[49]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ ""Petticoat Junction" (1963)". IMDb. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  2. ^ Spur Line To Shady Rest (DVD) (television). CBS Operations Inc. September 24, 1963. Event occurs at 7 minutes and 38 seconds. ISBN 1-4157-4459-9. 
  3. ^ "Dead Man's Curve scene" (from series pilot)
  4. ^ "As a Cook, She Makes a Good Actress" Independent Star-News from Pasadena, California August 28, 1966 page 99 retrieved October 12, 2015
  5. ^ Spur Line To Shady Rest (DVD) (television). CBS Operations Inc. September 24, 1963. Event occurs at 2 minutes and 49 seconds. ISBN 1-4157-4459-9. 
  6. ^ Terrace, Vincent Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2007 (2008) McFarland p. 828
  7. ^ Spur Line To Shady Rest (DVD) (television). CBS Operations Inc. September 24, 1963. Event occurs at 19 seconds. ISBN 1-4157-4459-9. 
  8. ^ Spur Line To Shady Rest (DVD) (television). CBS Operations Inc. September 24, 1963. Event occurs at 1 minute and 8 seconds. ISBN 1-4157-4459-9. 
  9. ^ "So Much for Old-Time Small-Town Values". The New York Times. 2005-10-23. Retrieved 2012-12-21. 
  10. ^ Spur Line To Shady Rest (DVD) (television). CBS Operations Inc. September 24, 1963. Event occurs at 18 seconds. ISBN 1-4157-4459-9. 
  11. ^ Holston, Noel "Hooterville's Head Hillbilly Henning Put Rural Life On A Television Pedestal" August 3, 1986 Orlando Sentinel retrieved October 13, 2015
  12. ^ "Miller County Hotels". Miller County Museum & Historical Society. 2007-03-07. Retrieved 2013-11-27. 
  13. ^ Hake, Peggy Smith "Burris Hotel In Eldon Inspired 'Petticoat Junction' TV Series" retrieved October 13, 2015
  14. ^ King, Susan The Los Angeles Times December 18, 2008 "Actress recalls her days in 'Petticoat' retrieved October 10, 2015
  15. ^ Weiner, Ed; Editors of TV Guide (1992). The TV Guide TV Book: 40 Years of the All-Time Greatest Television Facts, Fads, Hits, and History. New York: Harper Collins. p. 173. ISBN 0-06-096914-8. 
  16. ^ LaMarche, Bill "Petticoat Junction" star Linda Kaye Henning to Attend Oregon Zoo's Train Party" May 30, 2009 retrieved October 11, 2015
  17. ^ Terrace, Vincent Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2007 (2008) McFarland p. 828
  18. ^ "Charles Lane (I) – filmography". IMDb. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  19. ^ Luther Claudia "Charles Lane, 102; perfected role of meanie" The Los Angeles Times July 11, 2007 retrieved October 10, 2015
  20. ^ Berkvist, Robert "Charles Lane, Hollywood Character Actor, Dies at 102" The New York Times July 11, 2007 retrieved October 10, 2015
  21. ^ Clothier, Gary "Ladybugs band originated on 'Petticoat Junction'" November 30, 2009 Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier retrieved October 10, 2015
  22. ^ "The Ladybugs: Hooterville’s riot grrl Beatles" 7/27/2011 (includes a picture of the Ladybugs with Ed Sullivan)
  23. ^ Vanderborg, Carey "Frank Cady Dead At Age 96, 'Green Acres' Actor Dies And Leaves Behind Sam Drucker Legacy" June 11 2012 International Business Times retrieved October 11, 2015
  24. ^ Westhoff, Jeffrey (Winter 2014). "Bea". Nostalgia Digest 40 (1): 42–48. cited in the Granby's Green Acres Wikipedia article
  25. ^ Dunning, John On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio p. 289
  26. ^ Voger, Mark "My Home Video Staycation" August 1, 2014 The Star-Ledger retrieved October 13, 2015
  27. ^ McBride, Daniel "Houma teacher recalls days as child actor" August 17, 2009 Thibadaux Daily Comet retrieved October 26, 2015
  28. ^ King, Susan The Los Angeles Times December 18, 2008 "Actress recalls her days in 'Petticoat' retrieved October 10, 2015
  29. ^ Pilato, Herbie J (2014) Glamour , Gidgets, and the Girl Next Door p. 138 Taylor Trade Publishing
  30. ^ Mavis, Paul "Petticoat Junction: The Complete Third Season" October 1, 2013 retrieved October 13, 2015
  31. ^ Hayes, Dixon "TV When I Was Born: Petticoat Junction" June 3, 2014 Summer of MeTV Classic Blogathon retrieved October 10, 2015
  32. ^ Hayes, Dixon "TV When I Was Born: Petticoat Junction" June 3, 2014 Summer of MeTV Classic Blogathon retrieved October 10, 2015
  33. ^ King, Susan The Los Angeles Times December 18, 2008 "Actress recalls her days in 'Petticoat' retrieved October 9, 2015
  34. ^ Thomas, Nick "At 90, June Lockhart looks beyond monsters and mutts" June 25, 2015 Sunbury Daily Item retrieved October 11, 2015
  35. ^ Petticoat Junction "Last Train to Pixley" 1970
  36. ^ Leszczak, Bob pp. 86-88 From Small Screen to Vinyl: A Guide to Television Stars Who Made Records Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (2015)
  37. ^ "Meredith MacRae Sheds Petticoat for Live TV" Orange Coast Magazine September 1983 retrieved October 15, 2015
  38. ^ The Ottawa Journal July 15, 1978 p. 112 available online at retrieved October 15, 2015
  39. ^ IMDb "Petticoat Junction vs. Brady Bunch I" (1983)
  40. ^ Brooks, Tim; Marsh, Earle The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows 1946-Present (2007) Ballantine pp, 1683-85
  41. ^ "Grammy Award Nominees 1989 - Grammy Award Winners 1989". 1989-02-22. Retrieved 2014-04-10. 
  42. ^ "Programs on Me-TV". Me-TV Network. Retrieved 2012-06-19. 
  43. ^ "Petticoat Junction and Beverly Hillbillies: Ultimate Christmas Collection, The". 2005-10-25. Retrieved 2012-06-11. 
  44. ^ "Petticoat Junction: Cannonball Christmas". IMDb. Retrieved 2012-06-19. 
  45. ^ "Pettitcoat Junction: The Santa Claus Special". IMDb. Retrieved 2012-06-19. 
  46. ^ "Petticoat Junction DVD news: Release Date for Petticoat Junction - The Official 3rd Season". 2013-12-31. Retrieved 2014-04-10. 
  47. ^ "Petticoat Junction DVD news: Announcement for Petticoat Junction - The Official 3rd Season". 2014-01-13. Retrieved 2014-04-10. 
  48. ^ - Carbon Limestone Co. No. 9
  49. ^ Cantrell, Pearl The Monitor "Petticoat Junction recalled" July 20, 2013 retrieved October 10, 2015

External links[edit]