The Beverly Hillbillies is an American sitcom that was one of the most successful comedies in the history of American television. It ranked among the top 12 most watched series on television for seven of its nine seasons, twice ranking as the #1 series of the year with a number of episodes that remain among the most-watched television episodes of alltime. The series was about a hillbilly family transplanted to Beverly Hills, California after finding oil on their land. A Filmways production, the series aired on CBS from September 26, 1962 – September 7, 1971 and comprises 274 episodes—106 in black-and-white (1962–1965) and 168 in color (1965–1971). The show starred Buddy Ebsen as Jed Clampett, Irene Ryan as Daisy May "Granny" Moses, Donna Douglas as Elly May Clampett and Max Baer, Jr. as Jethro Bodine.
At the beginning of The Beverly Hillbillies series, the OK Oil Company discovers oil in a swamp owned by family patriarch Jed Clampett. Jed moves with his family to the wealthy Los Angeles County city of Beverly Hills, California, where he attempts to live a rural lifestyle despite his wealth. This sequence of events was recapitulated in the title credits for each show and was described in the lyrics of the theme song, so that new viewers would easily understand who the Hillbillies were and why they were in Beverly Hills (although the credits and song portray Jed finding the oil while hunting as opposed to knowing the oil was there but being unaware of the value). Lasting nine seasons and accumulating seven Emmy nominations, it remains in syndication on several cable stations including TV Land.
The Hillbillies themselves were Buddy Ebsen as the widowed patriarch Jed "J.D." Clampett; Irene Ryan as his mother-in-law, Daisy May "Granny" Moses; Donna Douglas as his daughter Elly May Clampett; and Max Baer Jr. as his cousin's son Jethro Bodine. While Granny frequently mentioned that she was from Tennessee, the series never specified the state from which the Clampetts moved to California. However, they often referred to nearby towns such as Joplin, Branson, and Silver Dollar City, all of which are in southwest Missouri. Early episodes also contained several references to Eureka Springs, which is in northwest Arkansas.