It was about Oliver Wendell Douglas (Eddie Albert), an accomplished and erudite New York City attorney, acting on his dream to be a farmer, and Lisa Douglas (Eva Gabor), his glamorous, bejeweled Hungarian wife, dragged unwillingly from the privileged city life she adored to a ramshackle farm.
Much of the humor of the series derived from the pragmatic yet short-fused Oliver attempting to make sense of the largely insane world around him. There seemed to be a dual perspective of reality: Oliver versus everyone else. The latter envelops the Hootervillians – and inexplicably Oliver's affluent mother. Mother Douglas lampoons Oliver and mollifies Lisa. There were times when it appeared that Oliver himself lost his bearings, such as when he rented a rooster or climbed a telephone pole to make a call.
The dishonest, oily salesman Mr. Haney, who sold Oliver the Green Acres farm, continues to con his easy "mark" in most episodes. Haney, along with young, glib farmhand Eb Dawson, scatterbrained county agent Hank Kimball, and grocer Sam Drucker, make up the main supporting cast. Eb habitually addressed the Douglases as "Dad" and "Mom", much to Oliver's irritation.