Sep. 24, 1963
30 min.
CBS TV Network

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Petticoat Junction tv show photo

Petticoat Junction

The Shady Rest motel is owned was Kate Bradley who runs it with her daughters Bobbie Jo, Billie Jo, and Betty Jo. She has a problem with her lazy Uncle Joe who always tries to make money for the motel or himself from numerous silly schemes. They travel to Sam Drucker's Store by the Cannonball an old time train run by Charlie Pratt with Floyd Smoot the conductor.

Trivia Facts | Top Quotes | Goofs/Mistakes
  • To pick the three Bradley girls, Paul Henning interviewed 1,500 women. At the suggestion of Bea Benaderet, one of the girls he picked was his daughter, Linda Henning.
  • The dog on the show was simply named "Dog". While the dog's name was Higgins the Dog (one episode was called "Higgins Come Home"), the name was never mentioned by any characters. His last acting role was as the title character in the movie Benji, which was also Edgar Buchanan's last movie.
  • Based on the stories told to Paul Henning by his wife, who had spent summers in Eldon, Missouri, at a small hotel located near the train station.
  • Set in the same town as Green Acres. Characters from that series often appeared on this one. The series was also linked to The Beverly Hillbillies and the two shows occasionally crossed over. In episode 175 "Granny, the Baby Expert", when Granny comes to Hooterville to tend to Betty Jo and Steve's baby she mistakes Uncle Joe for Kate and says 'They's right about you Kate, you and Cousin Pearl are lookalikes'. Bea Benaderet had played Pearl Bodine in several of the first season episodes of The Beverly Hillbillies. Also during Bea's entire duration as Kate Bradley not once was there ever a connection or mention that alluded to The Beverly Hillbillies.
  • During the run of this show, Charley Pratt (Smiley Burnette) was the engineer of the Cannonball, and Floyd Smoot (Rufe Davis) was the conductor. Burnette died during the fourth season, and Floyd took over Charley's duties as engineer, as well as continuing his own duties as conductor.
  • Sharon Tate is said to have landed the role of Billie Jo, briefly, but apart from some test film and publicity pictures, never took on the part.
  • The only members of the cast to remain with the series throughout its entire run were Edgar Buchanan, Frank Cady and Linda Henning.
  • When Bea Benaderet became ill with cancer and was forced to leave the series, her absence was explained by having Kate go away to visit her sister. Rosemary DeCamp was brought in as a temporary replacement, to play the Bradley girls' Aunt Helen, Kate Bradley. Benaderet only managed to return twice on the show after her departure. Following her death in October, 1968, June Lockhart was brought in as a surrogate mother figure and lady M.D. who sets up practice at the Shady Rest Hotel. Benaderet's anchoring presence was missed by the public, however, and the show lasted only two more seasons (1968-1970).
  • The marriage of Betty Jo and Steve coincided with the real life marriage of Linda Henning, who played Betty Jo, to Mike Minor, who played Steve.
  • During the first two years Pat Woodell played Bobbie Jo as a singing bookworm while Billie Jo (Jeannine Riley) was a flirty playgirl. By the end of the run with different actresses, the characters were almost reversed, with Lori Saunders Bobbie Jo as a fun-loving, somewhat man-crazy ditz and Meredith MacRae playing Billie Jo as a quiet girl in search of a singing career.
  • The first two seasons of B&W episodes, featuring Jeannine Riley and Pat Woodell as Billie and Bobbie Jo, are highly regarded and coveted by fans, as they have never been in syndication. Many have only been seen once since 1963-1965 on CBS. Ironically these are also the only episodes released on DVD, as the color episodes have yet to be released in that format. [UPDATE: MeTV network is showing all episodes, including the black and white ones. Nov 2015]
  • Although Meredith MacRae replaced Gunilla Hutton at the beginning of the '66-'67 season, in the opening credits' longshot of the Bradley girls coming down from the water tower, it's still Gunilla who appears, never corrected, for the next four years!
  • Uncle Joe wears both suspenders and a belt at the same time.
  • The real "Cannonball" train was operated on the Sierra Railroad, based in Jamestown, California. The steam locomotive used was 4-6-0 (ten-wheeler) #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 since has appeared in many other western films. It was used in some episodes of Little House on the Prairie and Iron Horse. A full-size "prop" locomotive used for scenes in the locomotive cab was said to have been furnished by: "Barbary Coast Hoyt Hotel", Portland, Oregon.
  • 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.
  • Gunilla Hutton, the second Billie Jo, was supposed to be a year or two older than Bobbie Jo, who was played by Pat Woodell, at the time she joined the cast. In actuality, Hutton was only a month older than Woodell.
  • In the birth order of the Bradley girls Billie Jo was older than Bobbie Jo. However, Meredith MacRae, who took over the role of Billie Jo from Gunilla Hutton in season four, was actually three years younger than Lori Saunders who replaced Pat Woodell in season three as middle sister Bobbie Jo. In fact, Saunders was three years older than Hutton as well. Also, Linda Henning who played youngest daughter Betty Jo was the same age as Woodell, MacRea and Hutton.
  • For the first two seasons the order of the girls in both the opening water tower shot and the closing credits was Billie Jo, Bobby Jo & Betty Jo. Beginning in the third season the order is Betty Jo, Bobby Jo & Billie Jo.
  • Betty Jo's full name was Elizabeth Josephine Bradley.
  • Kate's youngest daughter, redheaded Betty Jo (Linda Henning) is something of an early pioneer for the women's liberation movement serving both as the relief engineer on the Cannon Ball train locomotive and as a shortstop on the Hooterville Hawks baseball team.
  • Gunilla Hutton, who played the second Billie Jo, was rumored to be a longtime mistress to famous singer Nat King Cole.
  • Christmas episode from season 1 and season 4 are the same scripts with the exception that it has been colorized, and the characters of Billie Jo and Bobbie Jo are played by different actresses. They also added the character of Steve Elliott in season 4.
  • The Shady Rest Hotel is 25 miles from Hooterville.
  • The date on Betty-Jo and Steve's marriage license in June 7, 1967.
  • In seasons 1 and 2 (the black and white years) the Cannonball showed the number 3 on its front plate. In all the other seasons (shot in color) the number is 8.
  • Smiley Burnette's first TV performance.
  • In Petticoat Junction as they are repairing the Hooterville Cannonball, they mention the Emma Sweeney, the locomotive used in the 1950 movie, A Ticket to Tomahawk. Also, the engine double for the Hooterville Cannonball is the model double for the Emma Sweeney, the engine that was disassembled in the 1950 movie.
  • In season 1, episode 4, one of Railroad President Norman P. Curtis friends Frank is asking for a new throttle lever for the "Hooterville Cannonball". He asked his staff to take one from the "Emma Sweeny". The "Emma Sweeny" was the star of the 1950 movie A Ticket to Tomahawk and is actually steam locomotive Nr. 20 from the Rio Grande Southern.
  • Hooterville High's football team is know as the Hooterville Hornets.
  • First appearance of pig farmer Fred Ziffel.

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