Last August, in a nod to the long-running former sitcom "The Beverly Hillbillies," CBS announced plans to develop a type of reality show that would feature a rural family (most likely from Appalachia) that would be transplanted to Beverly Hills. CBS (and its parent company Viacom) came under attack by many within (and outside of) the region, particularly when the network began circulating fliers in the poorest counties of Kentucky offering an one thousand dollar reward for information that would lead them to a suitable family. Critics labeled these tactics a "hick hunt," and most recently, Mike Smith, a senator from Louisiana, introduced a resolution that would ask CBS to not air the show if it ever makes it to the production stage. Additionally, the Center for Rural Strategies purchased full-page advertisements in several prominent newspapers protesting these actions, along with including the comment, "Imagine the episode where they have to interview maids," which was made by one CBS executive.
The first link leads to an entertainment article from the Los Angeles Times about the ongoing controversy. The second link will take visitors to an online article that deals with CBS’s plans to create this "fish-out-of-water" reality show. The third link leads to complete text of the recent resolution introduced into the Louisiana legislature by Mike Smith. The fourth link leads to a statement by Senator Zell Miller from Georgia expressing his extreme displeasure with the idea of such a reality show. The fifth link will take visitors to the Center for Rural Strategies home page, an organization that advocates on the behalf of people through rural America, along with providing helpful information about their activities. Developed and maintained by the Institute for Regional Analysis and Public Policy at Morehead State University in Kentucky, the sixth site is the Center for Virtual Appalachia, which contains a number of excellent links to online resources about Appalachian culture, history, and demographics. The final link leads to a recent report written and researched by scholars at the Carl Vinson Institute of Government, which deals with the persistent problems of poverty within the southeastern United States, along with the prospects for the area's future.