That appears to be exactly what happened. I remember the ads and previews of the show just before and after it aired. They were portrayed as a bunch of moron redneck hicks that we were supposed to laugh at.
Sadly the libs running a&e seem to think that portrayal is accurate for rural southerners. I was with the a&e boycott when the blow up with DD started but that was hard to do since I never watch anything on it.