While details are still being hammered out, the show will take a rich, upper-class family or individual -- possibly a celebrity -- and move them from a big city to a much more spartan existence, most likely in the South. Cameras will observe as the former socialites, deprived of access to their bank accounts and Beemers, attempt to get a job, buy groceries and fit in with average Americans.
The series has been in the works for several weeks, according to sources, and precedes the revelation of CBS' tentatively titled "The Real Beverly Hillbillies," which will drop a lower-middle-class family into a Beverly Hills mansion in hopes of much mirth.
"I see a limo with a U-Haul attached," said "Green Acres" executive producer Jon Murray. "There's going to be wonderful humor in this show, as there is with anyone who's a fish out of water. It's like when the first George Bush went to the supermarket and (apparently) didn't understand what a scanner was. It's a fun thing to watch."
His Bunim-Murray Prods., which makes MTV's "The Real World," will develop the "Green Acres" revival with producer 20th Century Fox TV.
Neither Fox nor Bunim-Murray owns the rights to the "Green Acres" name. The rights holders of the title are represented by the Endeavor Agency, and while there's industry buzz that Fox has made inquiries into using the title, no deals have been made.
Indeed, depending on how the project shapes up over the next few weeks, it's possible Fox executives won't even want to use the name "Green Acres," fearing it could alienate more viewers than it would attract.
Except for the fish-out-of-water idea, "Our final concept may end up being real different (than 'Green Acres')," said Mary-Ellis Bunim, Murray's partner in Bunim-Murray.
At the same time, the realities of network marketing could make the idea of using the pre-sold "Green Acres" irresistible to Fox. Executives at the network declined comment.
My God, television really IS a vast wasteland, isn't it? Are we so totally devoid of new ideas that we must recycle ideas from the '70s?? The appallingly depressing thing about this is that both series will probably be obscenely successful, because the average American will watch just about anything- no matter how vacuous or absurd. Ah, well, no matter- hockey season is just around the corner....