Petticoat Junction

petticoatjunction_051 9 6 3 - 1 9 7 0 (USA)
222 x 30 minute episodes

Nobody - but nobody - looked as good swimming in a water tower as the Bradley girls, Billie Jo, Bobbie Jo and Betty Jo.

Hooterville (fnarr fnarr!) might not have had a lot of city slicker accoutrements, but with a sturdy water tower and swimmers like those, small town life just couldn't have been that bad . . .

Widow Kate Bradley (Bea Benaderet) ran the Shady Rest Hotel, with the help of her aforementioned daughters, and the Shady Rest was about the only place a visitor to Hooterville could find room and board.

City folks dropped by to catch their breath from their hectic city-life pace, because let's face it, nothing much was ever happening in Hooterville.

Except that Kate was always butting heads with Homer Bedloe (Charles Lane), the head honcho at the C.F. & W Railroad, who wanted to retire the services of the town's beloved steam engine train, the Cannonball.

And since the rambling old train was the town's usual transport to Drucker's General Store, thanks to engineers Charlie (Smiley Burnette) and Floyd (Rufe Davis), plenty of Hootervillians were up in arms. Except for Uncle Joe (Edgar Buchanan) - he was too lazy to be up in anything.

Petticoat Junction made its debut one year after the hick hi-jinks of The Beverly Hillbillies hit TV.

petticoatClearly, folksy Americana was charming viewers and CBS wanted writer-producer Paul Henning to keep working his charm mojo.

Two years after Petticoat debuted, CBS added Green Acres to its small-town repertoire - a show about a big city businessman who ditched life in the fast lane so he could buy a farm near Hooterville.

There was plenty of interplay between the two shows, and Green Acres characters Newt Kiley and handyman Eb Dawson made regular appearances on Petticoat Junction.

But that was just the beginning of Petticoat Junction's casting developments. In the fall of 1966, handsome pilot Steve Elliott (Mike Minor) crashed near town, and after he was convalesced at the hands of the Bradley sisters, he married Betty Jo.

After actress Bea Benaderet passed away during the 1968-69 season, actress June Lockhart (formerly mom to Lassie's Timmy) came to town as Dr. Janet Craig. And the actresses who played the Bradley sisters shuffled around a number of times, though good looks and water tower frolic capabilities were never sacrificed.

petticoat_722Even though the show's ratings were never quite as high as they were in its pioneer year, Petticoat Junction was one of CBS's staple shows during the 60s. Quirky, small-town life has always had a niche in television, and this cheekily-named municipality helped make sure that niche never stopped charming viewers.

Petticoat Junction bore at least three other titles - Ozark WidowDern Tootin' and Whistle Stop - before making it onto the air.

One of the best-remembered characters was Higgins the dog (merely called "dog" on the show), who was brought out of retirement after the series was no longer in production to launch a career as famed movie mutt Benji.

Come ride the little train that is rollin' down the track to the Junction
Forget about your cares it is time to relax at the Junction
Lotsa curves, you bet 'n even more when you get to the Junction
Petticoat Junction

There's a little hotel called the Shady Rest at the Junction
Petticoat Junction
It is run by Kate, come and be her guest at the Junction
Petticoat Junction
And that's Uncle Joe, he's a-movin' kinda slow at the Junction
Petticoat Junction

Kate Bradley 
Bea Benaderet
Uncle Joe Carson 

Edgar Buchanan
Billie Jo Bradley 

Jeannine Riley (1)
Gunilla Hutton (2)
Meredith MacRae (3)
Bobbie Jo Bradley 

Pat Woodell (1)
Lori Saunders (2)
Betty Jo Bradley Elliott 

Linda Henning
Floyd Smoot 

Rufe Davis
Charlie Pratt 

Smiley Burnette
Homer Bedloe 

Charles Lane
Sam Drucker 

Frank Cady
Norman Curtis 

Roy Roberts
Selma Plout 

Virginia Sale (1)
Elvia Allman (2)
Henrietta Plout 

Susan Walther (1)
Lynette Winter (2)
Newt Kiley 

Kay E. Kuter
Eb Dawson 

Tom Lester
Steve Elliott 

Mike Minor
Dr. Janet Craig 

June Lockhart
Dr. Barton Stuart 

Regis Toomey
Wendell Gibbs 

Byron Foulger
Bert Smedley 

Paul Hartman
Kathy Jo Elliott 

Elna Hubbell
Jeff Powers 

Geoff Edwards
Orrin Pike 

Jonathan Daly