Why 'The Beverly Hillbillies' Was Really Cancelled
The Beverly Hillbillies was one of TV's top shows of the 1960s before it was suddenly cancelled in 1971. Over the years, there have been rumours about why CBS ended the popular series — including one about a controversial episode that may have led to its demise. Here's what really happened all those years ago.
The Beverly Hillbillies lasted nine seasons before a sudden cancellation in 1971.
The popular CBS sitcom had even been the No. 1 show on TV for its first two seasons, and it remained in the Top 10 until its final season. Ratings declined in season 9, but that wasn't the main reason the Hillbillies got cancelled.
Why did The Beverly Hillbillies get cancelled?
In the decades since the show ended, one rumour about the cancellation has grown popular: that a "controversial" scene or episode led to the demise of The Beverly Hillbillies. But that isn't true.
The Beverly Hillbillies controversy is a myth that was even debunked by Snopes. It came from YouTube videos that falsely said the show had a scene that prompted backlash, which got it cancelled. Here's what really happened.
Controversial episode didn't end The Beverly Hillbillies
In truth, The Beverly Hillbillies fell victim to changing times. As the '70s arrived, advertisers wanted to target younger, urban viewers on television.
As a result, CBS and other media adjusted programming in what became known as the "rural purge." To the dismay of fans, several shows set in rural settings or with rural characters, such as The Beverly Hillbillies, were cancelled.
In its final three seasons, the sitcom's viewership had also been declining. In season 9, The Beverly Hillbillies even fell out of the Top 30 for the first time, which also may have contributed to CBS's decision.
Nevertheless, it remained a well-liked show, and fans still enjoy reruns to this day. Find out what the show's last-surviving cast member Max Baer Jr. is up to now here.