Synopsis of TV Show
Nobody—but nobody—looked as good swimming in a water tower as the Bradley girls. Hooterville 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 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, 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 Charley and Floyd, plenty of Hootervillians were up in arms. Except for Uncle Joe…he was too lazy to be up in anything.
Petticoat Junction made its debut one year after the hick hijinks of The Beverly Hillbillies hit TV. Clearly, 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 chucked 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 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.
Even 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 60’s. Quirky, small-town life has always had a niche in television, and this randily-named municipality helped make sure that niche never stopped charming viewers.
Release History of Prime Time Show9/24/63 - 9/12/70 CBS
TV Sub Categoriescomedy
Television StudioCBS, Filmways
TV CastKate Bradley (1963-68) Bea Benaderet
Uncle Joe Carson Edgar Buchanan
Billie Jo Bradley (1963-65) Jeannine Riley
Billie Jo Bradley (1965-66) Gunilla Hutton
Billie Jo Bradley (1966-70) Meredith MacRae
Bobbie Jo Bradley (1963-65) Pat Woodell
Bobbie Jo Bradley (1963-65) Lori Saunders
Betty Jo Bradley Elliott Linda Kaye
Charlie Pratt (1963-67) Smiley Burnette
Floyd Smoot (1963-68) Rufe Davis
Homer Bedloe (1963-68) Charles Lane
Sam Drucker Frank Cady
Norman Curtis (1963-64) Roy Roberts
Newt Kiley (1964-70) Kay E. Kuter
Selma Plout (1964-65) Virginia Sale
Selma Plout (1965-70) Elvia Allman
Henrietta Plout (1965-66) Susan Walther
Henrietta Plout (1966-70) Lynette Winter
Steve Elliott (1966-70) Mike Minor
Eb Dawson (1966-70) Tom Lester
Dr. Barton Stuart (1968-69) Regis Toomey
Dr. Janet Craig (1968-70) June Lockhart
Wendell Gibbs (1968-70) Byron Foulger
Bert Smedley (1968-69) Paul Hartman
Kathy Jo Elliott (1968-70) Elna Hubbell
Jeff Powers (1968) Geoff Edwards
Orrin Pike (1969-70) Jonathan Daly