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''The Andy Griffith Show '' is an American
situation comedy A sitcom, Clipping (morphology), clipping for situational comedy (situation comedy in the U.S.), is a genre of comedy centered on a fixed set of characters who mostly carry over from episode to episode. Sitcoms can be contrasted with sketch comed ...
television series that aired on
CBS CBS is an American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S ...

CBS
from October 3, 1960, to April 1, 1968, with a total of 249 half-hour episodes spanning eight seasons—159 in
black and white Black-and-white (B/W or B&W) images combine black and white in a continuous spectrum In physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστήμη), physikḗ (epistḗmē), knowledge of nature, from ''phýsis'' 'nature'), , is ...

black and white
and 90 in
color Color (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. Currently, American Engli ...

color
. The series originated partly from an episode of ''
The Danny Thomas Show ''The Danny Thomas Show'' (titled ''Make Room for Daddy'' for its first three seasons) is an American sitcom A sitcom, Clipping (morphology), clipping for situational comedy (situation comedy in the U.S.), is a genre of comedy centered on a fix ...
.'' The show stars
Andy Griffith Andy Samuel Griffith (June 1, 1926 – July 3, 2012) was an American actor, comedian, television producer, southern gospel singer, and writer whose career spanned seven decades in music and television. Known for his Southern drawl, his charact ...
as Andy Taylor, the widowed sheriff of
Mayberry, North Carolina Mayberry, North Carolina is a fictional community that was the setting for two popular American television sitcoms, ''The Andy Griffith Show ''The Andy Griffith Show '' is an American sitcom, situation comedy television series that aired on C ...
, a fictional community of roughly 2,000–5,000 people. Other major characters include Andy's cousin, the well-meaning and enthusiastic deputy,
Barney Fife Bernard "Barney" Fife is a fictional character in the American television program ''The Andy Griffith Show ''The Andy Griffith Show '' is an American sitcom, situation comedy television series that aired on CBS from October 3, 1960 to April 1, ...
(
Don Knotts Jesse Donald Knotts (July 21, 1924February 24, 2006) was an American actor and comedian. He is widely known for his role as Deputy Sheriff Barney Fife on ''The Andy Griffith Show'', a 1960s sitcom for which he earned five Emmy Awards. He also p ...
); Andy's aunt and housekeeper, Bee Taylor (
Frances Bavier Frances Elizabeth Bavier (December 14, 1902 – December 6, 1989) was an American stage and television actress. Originally from New York theatre, she worked in film and television from the 1950s until the 1970s. She is best known for her role of ...
); and Andy's young son, Opie (
Ron Howard Ronald William Howard (born March 1, 1954) is an American filmmaker, and actor. He first came to prominence as a child actor The term child actor or child actress is generally applied to a child acting on stage or in motion pictures or tele ...

Ron Howard
). Eccentric townspeople and, periodically, Andy's girlfriends complete the cast. Regarding the tone of the show, Griffith said that despite a contemporary setting, the show evoked nostalgia, saying in a ''
Today Show ''Today'' (also called ''The Today Show'' or informally, ''NBC News Today'') is an United States, American news and talk breakfast television, morning television show that airs on NBC. The program debuted on January 14, 1952. It was the first o ...
'' interview, "Well, though we never said it, and though it was shot in the '60s, it had a feeling of the '30s. It was, when we were doing it, of a time gone by." The series never placed lower than seventh in the
Nielsen ratings Nielsen TV ratings (commonly referred to as Nielsen ratings) are the audience measurement Audience measurement measures how many people are in an audience An audience is a group of people who participate in a show or encounter a work of art ...
, ending its final season at number one. The only other shows to end their runs at the top of the ratings are ''
I Love Lucy ''I Love Lucy'' is an American television sitcom that originally aired on CBS from October 15, 1951, to May 6, 1957, with a total of 180 half-hour episodes, spanning six seasons. The show starred Lucille Ball, her husband, Desi Arnaz, along with ...
'' (1957) and ''
Seinfeld ''Seinfeld'' (; ) is an American sitcom television series created by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld. It aired on NBC from July 5, 1989, to May 14, 1998, over nine seasons and List of Seinfeld episodes, 180 episodes. It stars Seinfeld as Jerry S ...

Seinfeld
'' (1998). On separate occasions, it has been ranked by ''
TV Guide TV Guide is an American digital media Digital media means any communication media that operate with the use of any of various encoded machine-readable data Machine-readable data, or computer-readable data, is data Data are units of infor ...
'' as the ninth- and thirteenth-best series in American television history. Though neither Griffith nor the show won awards during its eight-season run, co-stars Knotts and Bavier accumulated a combined total of six
Emmy Awards The Emmy Awards, or Emmys, are awards for artistic and technical merit in the television industry. It is considered one of the four major entertainment awards in the United States, the others being the Grammy The Grammy Award (stylized ...
. The series spawned its own spin-off—'' Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.'' (1964–1969) and a reunion telemovie, ''
Return to Mayberry ''Return to Mayberry'' is a 1986 American made-for-television A television film is a feature film, feature-length motion picture that is produced and originally distributed by or to a television network, in contrast to theatrical films made ex ...
'' (1986). After the eighth season, when Griffith left the series, it was retitled '' Mayberry, R.F.D.,'' with
Ken Berry Kenneth Ronald Berry (November 3, 1933 – December 1, 2018) was an American actor, dancer and singer. Berry starred on the television series '' F Troop'', ''The Andy Griffith Show'', ''Mayberry R.F.D.'' and ''Mama's Family''. He also appea ...
and
Buddy Foster Lucius Fisher "Buddy" Foster IV (born July 12, 1957) is an American former child actor. Beginning his professional acting career at the age of eight, Foster is perhaps best known for his roles in various television series throughout the late 1960s ...
replacing Griffith and Howard in new roles. In the new format, it ran for 78 episodes, ending in 1971 after three seasons. Reruns of ''The Andy Griffith Show'' are often shown on
TV Land TV Land is an American pay television Pay television, also known as subscription television, premium television or, when referring to an individual service, a premium channel, refers to subscription The subscription business model is a bus ...

TV Land
,
MeTV MeTV, an acronym for Memorable Entertainment Television, is an American broadcast Broadcasting is the distributionDistribution may refer to: Mathematics *Distribution (mathematics) Distributions, also known as Schwartz distribution ...

MeTV
,
The CW The CW Television Network (commonly referred to as simply The CW) is an American English-language commercial broadcast television Broadcast Broadcasting is the distributionDistribution may refer to: Mathematics *Distribution (mathema ...

The CW
and
SundanceTV Sundance TV (formerly known as Sundance Channel) is an American pay television channel owned by AMC Networks that launched on February 1, 1996. The channel is named after Robert Redford's character in ''Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid'' and, w ...
. On those channels, the episodes are edited to make room for commercials, but some airings on SundanceTV air the full uncut versions. The complete series is available on DVD and is intermittently available on such streaming video services as Amazon Prime. Mayberry Days, an annual festival celebrating the sitcom, is held each year in Griffith's hometown,
Mount Airy, North Carolina Mount Airy is a city in Surry County, North Carolina, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, 2010 census, the city population was 10,388. History Mount Airy was settled in the 1750s as a stagecoach stop on the road between Winsto ...
.


Origin

Sheldon Leonard Sheldon Leonard Bershad (February 22, 1907 – January 10, 1997), known professionally as Sheldon Leonard, was an American film and television actor, producer, director, and writer. Early life, family and education Sheldon Leonard Bershad was ...
—producer of ''The Danny Thomas Show''—and
Danny Thomas Danny Thomas (born Amos Muzyad Yaqoob Kairouz; January 6, 1912 – February 6, 1991) was an American actor, singer, nightclub comedian, producer, and philanthropist Philanthropy consists of "private initiatives, for the public good, foc ...
hired veteran comedy writer Arthur Stander (who had written many of the "Danny Thomas" episodes) to create a pilot show for Griffith, featuring him as justice of the peace and newspaper editor in a small town.Kelly, Richard. ''The Andy Griffith Show''. Blair, 1981. At the time, Broadway, film, and radio star Griffith was interested in attempting a television role, and the
William Morris Agency The William Morris Agency (WMA) was a Hollywood Hollywood is a neighborhood A neighbourhood (British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, ...
told Leonard that Griffith's rural background and previous rustic characterizations were suited to the part. After conferences between Leonard and Griffith in New York City, Griffith flew to Los Angeles and filmed the episode. On February 15, 1960, ''The Danny Thomas Show'' episode "Danny Meets Andy Griffith" aired. In the episode, Griffith played fictional Sheriff Andy Taylor of Mayberry, North Carolina, who arrests Danny Williams (Thomas' character) for running a stop sign. Future players in ''The Andy Griffith Show,'' Bavier and Howard, appeared in the episode as townspeople Henrietta Perkins and Opie Taylor (the sheriff's son), respectively.
General Foods Image:GeneralFoodsOldLogo.png, 120px, General Foods's longest-lasting logo, used until 1985. General Foods Corporation was a company whose direct predecessor was established in the United States by C. W. Post, Charles William Post as the Postum Cer ...
, sponsor of ''The Danny Thomas Show,'' had first access to the
spin-off A spin-off is something that was created as a byproduct of something else. Types of spin-offs include: *Spin-off (media), a new media product derived from an existing product or franchise *Corporate spin-off, a type of corporate transaction formin ...
and committed to it immediately. On October 3, 1960, at 9:30 p.m., ''The Andy Griffith Show'' made its debut.Beck, Ken, and Jim Clark. ''The Andy Griffith Show Book''. St. Martin's Griffin, 1995.


Production

The sitcom's production team included producers
Aaron Ruben Aaron Ruben (March 1, 1914 – January 30, 2010) was an American television director and producer known for ''The Andy Griffith Show ''The Andy Griffith Show '' is an American sitcom, situation comedy television series that aired on CBS from ...
(1960–1965) and Bob Ross (1965–1968). First-season writers (many of whom worked in pairs) included Jack Elinson, Charles Stewart, Arthur Stander and
Frank Tarloff Frank Tarloff (February 4, 1916 – June 25, 1999) was a blacklisted Blacklisting is the action of a group or authority, compiling a blacklist (or black list) of people, countries or other entities to be avoided or distrusted as being deemed ...
(as "David Adler"), Benedict Freedman and John Fenton Murray, Leo Solomon and Ben Gershman, and Jim Fritzell and Everett Greenbaum. During season six, Greenbaum and Fritzell left the show and Ruben departed for '' Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.'', a show which he owned in part. Writer Harvey Bullock left after season six. Bob Sweeney directed the first three seasons save the premiere. The show was filmed at
Desilu Studios The Culver Studios is a movie studio in Culver City, California Culver City is a city in Los Angeles County, California Los Angeles County, officially the County of Los Angeles, and sometimes abbreviated as L.A. County, is the List of the ...
, with exteriors filmed at Forty Acres in Culver City, California. Woodsy locales were filmed north of
Beverly Hills Beverly Hills is a city in Los Angeles County, California Los Angeles County, officially the County of Los Angeles, and sometimes abbreviated as L.A. County, is the List of the most populous counties in the United States, most populous coun ...

Beverly Hills
at Franklin Canyon, including the opening credits and closing credits with Andy and Opie walking to and from "the fishin' hole".
Don Knotts Jesse Donald Knotts (July 21, 1924February 24, 2006) was an American actor and comedian. He is widely known for his role as Deputy Sheriff Barney Fife on ''The Andy Griffith Show'', a 1960s sitcom for which he earned five Emmy Awards. He also p ...
, who knew Griffith professionally and had seen ''The Danny Thomas Show'' episode, called Griffith during the developmental stages of the show and suggested the Sheriff character needed a deputy. Griffith agreed. Knotts auditioned for the show's creator and executive producer,
Sheldon Leonard Sheldon Leonard Bershad (February 22, 1907 – January 10, 1997), known professionally as Sheldon Leonard, was an American film and television actor, producer, director, and writer. Early life, family and education Sheldon Leonard Bershad was ...
, and was offered a five-year contract playing Barney Fife. The show's theme music, "The Fishin' Hole," was composed by
Earle Hagen Earle Harry Hagen (July 9, 1919 – May 26, 2008) was an American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America (USA ...
and
Herbert Spencer Herbert Spencer (27 April 1820 – 8 December 1903) was an English philosopher, biologist Francesco Redi, the founder of biology, is recognized to be one of the greatest biologists of all time A biologist is a professional who has speciali ...
, with lyrics written by
Everett Sloane Everett H. Sloane (October 1, 1909 – August 6, 1965) was an American character actor, who worked in radio, theatre, films, and television. He was also a songwriter and theatre director. Early life Sloane was born in Manhattan on Octo ...
, who also guest starred as Jubal Foster in the episode "The Keeper of the Flame" (1962). Whistling in the opening sequence, as well as the closing credits sequence, was performed by Earle Hagen. One of the show's tunes, "The Mayberry March," was reworked a number of times in different tempo, styles and orchestrations as background music. The show's sole sponsor was
General Foods Image:GeneralFoodsOldLogo.png, 120px, General Foods's longest-lasting logo, used until 1985. General Foods Corporation was a company whose direct predecessor was established in the United States by C. W. Post, Charles William Post as the Postum Cer ...
, with promotional consideration paid for (in the form of cars) by
Ford Motor Company Ford Motor Company (commonly known as Ford) is an American multinational corporation, multinational automobile manufacturer headquartered in Dearborn, Michigan, Dearborn, Michigan, United States. It was founded by Henry Ford and incorporated ...
(mentioned in the credits).


Griffith's development of Andy Taylor

Initially, Griffith played Taylor as a heavy-handed country bumpkin, grinning from ear to ear and speaking in a hesitant, frantic manner. The style recalled that used in the delivery of his popular
monologue In theatre Theatre or theater is a collaborative form of performing art that uses live performers, usually actors or actresses, to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience in a specific place, often a stage ...
s such as " What It Was, Was Football." He gradually abandoned the "rustic Taylor" and developed a serious and thoughtful characterization. Producer Aaron Ruben recalled:
He was being that marvelously funny character from ''
No Time for Sergeants ''No Time for Sergeants'' is a 1954 best-selling novel by Mac Hyman, which was later adapted into a teleplay on '' The United States Steel Hour'', a popular Broadway play and 1958 motion picture A film, also called a movie, motion pict ...
,'' Will Stockdale role Griffith played on stage and in filmnbsp;... One day he said, "My God, I just realized that I'm the
straight man The straight man is a stock character A stock character is a stereotypical Police officers buying doughnuts and coffee, an example of perceived stereotypical behavior in North America. Social psychology Social psychology is the ...
. I'm playing straight to all these kooks around me." He didn't like himself n first year rerunsnbsp;... and in the next season he changed, becoming this character.
As Griffith stopped portraying some of the sheriff's more unsophisticated character traits and mannerisms, it was impossible for him to create his own problems and troubles in the manner of other central sitcom characters such as Lucy in ''I Love Lucy'' or Archie Bunker in ''
All in the Family ''All in the Family'' is an American sitcom A sitcom, clipping Clipping may refer to: Words * Clipping (morphology) In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every asp ...
,'' whose problems were the result of their temperaments, philosophies and attitudes. Consequently, the characters around Taylor were employed to create the problems and troubles, with rock-solid Taylor stepping in as problem solver, mediator, advisor, disciplinarian and counselor.


Premise and characters

The series revolves around Andy Taylor (
Andy Griffith Andy Samuel Griffith (June 1, 1926 – July 3, 2012) was an American actor, comedian, television producer, southern gospel singer, and writer whose career spanned seven decades in music and television. Known for his Southern drawl, his charact ...
), the sheriff of the sleepy, slow-paced fictional community of
Mayberry, North Carolina Mayberry, North Carolina is a fictional community that was the setting for two popular American television sitcoms, ''The Andy Griffith Show ''The Andy Griffith Show '' is an American sitcom, situation comedy television series that aired on C ...
. His laid-back, level-headed approach to law enforcement makes him the scourge of local
moonshine Moonshine is high-proof liquor Liquor or spirit (also hard liquor, or distilled alcohol) is an alcoholic drink An alcoholic drink is a drink A drink (or beverage) is a liquid A liquid is a nearly incompressible fluid ...

moonshine
rs and out-of-town criminals, while his abilities to settle community problems with common-sense advice, mediation, and conciliation make him popular with his fellow citizens. His professional life, however, is complicated by the repeated gaffes of his inept deputy,
Barney Fife Bernard "Barney" Fife is a fictional character in the American television program ''The Andy Griffith Show ''The Andy Griffith Show '' is an American sitcom, situation comedy television series that aired on CBS from October 3, 1960 to April 1, ...
(
Don Knotts Jesse Donald Knotts (July 21, 1924February 24, 2006) was an American actor and comedian. He is widely known for his role as Deputy Sheriff Barney Fife on ''The Andy Griffith Show'', a 1960s sitcom for which he earned five Emmy Awards. He also p ...
). Barney is Andy's cousin and best friend. At home, widower Andy raises his young son Opie ( Ronny Howard), assisted by his maiden aunt and housekeeper,
Aunt Bee Aunt Bee is a Character (arts), fictional character from the 1960 American television sitcom ''The Andy Griffith Show''. Played by Frances Bavier, the character migrated to the spinoff ''Mayberry R.F.D.'' (1968–1971) when ''The Andy Griffith Sho ...
(
Frances Bavier Frances Elizabeth Bavier (December 14, 1902 – December 6, 1989) was an American stage and television actress. Originally from New York theatre, she worked in film and television from the 1950s until the 1970s. She is best known for her role of ...
). Opie tests his father's parenting skills season after season, and Aunt Bee's ill-considered romances and adventures cause her nephew concern. Andy's friends and neighbors include, at various times, barber
Floyd Lawson Floyd Lawson (Floyd the Barber) is a fictional character In fiction Fiction generally is a narrative form, in any media (communication), medium, consisting of people, events, or places that are imagination, imaginary—in other words, not b ...
(
Howard McNear Howard Terbell McNear (January 27, 1905 – January 3, 1969) was an American stage, screen, and radio character actor A character actor is a supporting actor who plays unusual, interesting, or Eccentricity (behavior), eccentric character (ar ...
;
Walter Baldwin Walter S. Baldwin Jr. (January 2, 1889 − January 27, 1977) was a prolific character actor whose career spanned five decades and 150 film and television roles, and numerous stage performances. Baldwin was born in Lima, Ohio from a theatrical ...
portrayed the role in the 1960 episode "Stranger in Town"), service station attendants and cousins
Gomer Pyle Gomer Pyle is a fictional character played by Jim Nabors and introduced in the List of The Andy Griffith Show episodes#Season 3 (1962–1963), middle of the third season of ''The Andy Griffith Show''. A naïve and gentle auto mechanic, he becam ...
(
Jim Nabors James Thurston Nabors (June 12, 1930 – November 30, 2017) was an American actor, singer, and comedian, widely known for his signature character, Gomer Pyle. Nabors was discovered by Andy Griffith while working at a Santa Monica, California, Sa ...

Jim Nabors
) and
Goober Pyle Goober Pyle is a fictional character in the American Television, TV Situation comedy, sitcom ''The Andy Griffith Show'' and its sequel series ''Mayberry RFD''. He was played by George Lindsey. Lindsey first read for the part of Gomer Pyle, Goober' ...
(
George Lindsey George Smith Lindsey (December 17, 1928 – May 6, 2012) was an American comedian and character actor, best known for his role as Goober Pyle on ''The Andy Griffith Show'', ''Mayberry R.F.D.'' and his subsequent tenure on ''Hee-Haw''. Life and ...
), and local drunkard
Otis Campbell Otis Campbell is the fictional " town drunk" in Mayberry on the American TV sitcom ''The Andy Griffith Show ''The Andy Griffith Show '' is an American sitcom, situation comedy television series that aired on CBS from October 3, 1960 to April ...
( Hal Smith). There are two mayors over the course of the series: Mayor Pike (
Dick Elliott :''For the U.S. senator with the same name, see Dick Elliott (politician).'' Richard Damon Elliott (April 30, 1886 – December 22, 1961) was an American character actor who played in over 240 films from the 1930s until the time of his death. ...

Dick Elliott
) is more relaxed, but often indecisive, while Mayor Roy Stoner (
Parley Baer Parley Edward Baer (August 5, 1914 – November 22, 2002) was an American actor An actor is a person who portrays a character Character(s) may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''Character'' (novel), a 1936 Dut ...
) has a more assertive personality. Other semi-regulars include townswoman
Clara Edwards Image:Clara 01.jpg, Clara Edwards (Hope Summers). Clara Edwards (originally Bertha Edwards, Bertha Johnson and then Clara Johnson) is a fictional character on the United States, American television Situation comedy, sitcom ''The Andy Griffith Show'' ...
(
Hope Summers Sarah Hope Summers (June 7, 1896 – June 22, 1979), better known as Hope Summers, was an American character actress known for her work on CBS's ''The Andy Griffith Show ''The Andy Griffith Show '' is an American sitcom, situation comedy ...
), Barney's sweetheart
Thelma Lou Thelma Lou, or Thel by boyfriend Barney Fife Bernard "Barney" Fife is a fictional character in the American television program ''The Andy Griffith Show ''The Andy Griffith Show '' is an American sitcom, situation comedy television series that ...

Thelma Lou
(
Betty Lynn Elizabeth Ann Theresa Lynn (born August 29, 1926) is an American retired actress. She is best known for her role as Thelma Lou Thelma Lou, or Thel by boyfriend Barney Fife Bernard "Barney" Fife is a fictional character in the American televisi ...

Betty Lynn
) and Andy's schoolteacher sweetheart
Helen Crump Helen Crump is a fictional dramatic character on the American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America (USA), ...
( Aneta Corsaut). Ellie Walker (
Elinor Donahue Elinor Donahue (born Mary Eleanor Donahue, April 19, 1937) is an American actress, best remembered today for playing the role of Betty Anderson, the eldest child of Jim and Margaret Anderson on the 1950s American sitcom ''Father Knows Best ...
) is Andy's girlfriend in the first season, while Peggy McMillan (
Joanna Moore Joanna Moore (born Dorothy Joanne Cook, November 10, 1934 – November 22, 1997) was an American film and television actress, who played more than eighty television and film roles. From 1963 to 1967, she was married to actor Ryan O'Neal, with wh ...
) is a nurse who becomes his girlfriend in season 3. In the color seasons, County Clerk
Howard Sprague Howard Sprague (Jack Dodson) Howard Sprague is a fictional character on the CBS television sitcom ''The Andy Griffith Show'' (TAGS), and its spin-off ''Mayberry R.F.D.''. He was played by Jack Dodson from 1966-71. He was characterized by his wikt ...
(
Jack Dodson John Smeaton "Jack" Dodson (May 16, 1931 – September 16, 1994) was an American television actor best remembered for the milquetoast character Howard Sprague on ''The Andy Griffith Show'' and its Spin-off (media), spin-off ''Mayberry R.F.D.'' ...
) and handyman Emmett Clark (
Paul Hartman Paul Hartman (March 1, 1904 – October 2, 1973) was an American dancer, stage performer and television actor. Biography Born in San Francisco, California San Francisco (/Help:IPA/English, ˌsæn fɹənˈsɪskoʊ/; Spanish language ...
) appear regularly, while Barney's replacement deputy
Warren Ferguson The following is a list of characters of '' The Andy Griffith Show'', an American sitcom A sitcom, Clipping (morphology), clipping for situational comedy (situation comedy in the U.S.), is a genre of comedy centered on a fixed set of character ...
(
Jack Burns John Francis Burns (November 15, 1933 – January 27, 2020) was an American comedian, actor, voice actor, writer, and producer. During the 1960s, he was part of two comedy partnerships, first with George Carlin George Denis Patrick Carlin ...
) appears in about half of season six. Ernest T. Bass made his first appearance in episode #94 ("Mountain Wedding"), as well as four later episodes. The actor who portrayed him,
Howard Morris Howard Jerome Morris (September 4, 1919 – May 21, 2005) was an American actor, comedian, and director who was best known for his role in ''The Andy Griffith Show'' as Ernest T. Bass, and as "Uncle Goopy" in a celebrated comedy sketch on Sid Caes ...
, also played George, the television repairman in episode #140 ("Andy and Helen Have Their Day") and two uncredited voice roles, as Leonard Blush and a radio announcer. Morris also directed a total of eight episodes of the show, none while portraying Ernest T. Bass.
Unseen character An unseen character in theatre, comics, film, or television, or silent character in radio or literature, is a character Character(s) may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''Character'' (novel), a 1936 Dutch novel by Ferdina ...
s such as telephone operator Sarah, and Barney's love interest, local diner waitress Juanita Beasley, as mentioned in the first season, are often referenced. The show's announcer for the first five seasons, Colin Male, portrayed Game Warden Peterson in Episode #140 ("Andy and Helen Have Their Day"). In the series' last few episodes, farmer Sam Jones (
Ken Berry Kenneth Ronald Berry (November 3, 1933 – December 1, 2018) was an American actor, dancer and singer. Berry starred on the television series '' F Troop'', ''The Andy Griffith Show'', ''Mayberry R.F.D.'' and ''Mama's Family''. He also appea ...
) debuts and later becomes the lead of the retitled show, '' Mayberry R.F.D..'' Don Knotts, Aneta Corsaut, Jack Dodson and Betty Lynn also appeared on Griffith's later show '' Matlock.''


Episodes

The show comprises eight full seasons and 249 episodes—159 episodes in black and white (seasons 1–5) and 90 in color (seasons 6–8). Griffith appears in all 249 episodes with Howard appearing in 209. Only Griffith, Howard, Bavier, Knotts and Hope Summers appeared in all eight seasons. Knotts left the show at the end of season five to pursue a career in films (on the show, it is told that he takes a job as a detective with the Raleigh Police Department) but returned to make five guest appearances as Barney in seasons six through eight. His last appearance is in the final season, in a story about a summit meeting with Russian dignitaries "ranked eleventh among single comedy programs most watched in television between 1960 and 1984, with an audience of thirty-three and a half million."


Reruns, spinoffs and reunions

In 1964, daytime reruns began airing during the fall season and has been in syndication for years. The show was retitled ''Andy of Mayberry'' to distinguish the repeat episodes from the new episodes airing in primetime. At the end of season four (May 1964), the
backdoor pilot A television pilot (also known as a pilot or a pilot episode and sometimes marketed as a tele-movie) is a standalone episode An episode is a narrative unit within a larger drama Drama is the specific Mode (literature), mode of fiction Mime ...
"Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C." aired and the following September, the spinoff series '' Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.'' debuted with Jim Nabors in the role of Gomer and
Frank Sutton Frank Spencer Sutton (October 23, 1923 – June 28, 1974) was an American actor best remembered for his role as Gunnery Sergeant Vince Carter on the CBS CBS (Columbia Broadcasting System) is an American commercial broadcast television ...
as
drill instructor A drill instructor is a non-commissioned officer A non-commissioned officer (NCO) is a military officer who has not earned a commission. Non-commissioned officers usually obtain their position of authority by promotion through the enlisted ran ...
Sergeant Vince Carter. In the last episodes of the eighth season, as Griffith was preparing to leave, the character Sam Jones, played by
Ken Berry Kenneth Ronald Berry (November 3, 1933 – December 1, 2018) was an American actor, dancer and singer. Berry starred on the television series '' F Troop'', ''The Andy Griffith Show'', ''Mayberry R.F.D.'' and ''Mama's Family''. He also appea ...
, was introduced as the new star and the series was retitled '' Mayberry R.F.D..'' Most of the cast members continued their original roles, with Bavier becoming Sam's housekeeper. To create a smooth transition, Andy and Helen were married in the first episode with the new title and remained for a few additional episodes before leaving with a move to
Raleigh Raleigh (; ) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller lo ...
, effectively ending their appearances. After ''RFD''s cancellation in 1971, George Lindsey played Goober for many years on the popular country-variety show ''
Hee Haw ''Hee Haw'' is an American television Television, sometimes shortened to TV or telly, is a telecommunication Telecommunication is the transmission of information by various types of technologies over wire A wire is a single ...
.'' Goober, Barney and Emmett all made appearances in the series premiere of ''
The New Andy Griffith Show ''The New Andy Griffith Show'' is an American sitcom A sitcom, Clipping (morphology), clipping for situational comedy (situation comedy in the U.S.), is a genre of comedy centered on a fixed set of characters who (mostly) carry over from episo ...
,'' which starred Griffith as a similar but canonically different character, Mayor Andy Sawyer. All three characters treated Sawyer as if he were Andy Taylor. The series as a whole only lasted ten episodes.The New Andy Griffith Show, TVparty.com
retrieved February 12, 2020
In 1986, the reunion
telemovie A television film is a feature-lengthIn Internet marketing, online marketing, a landing page, sometimes known as a "lead capture page","single property page", "static page", "squeeze page" or a "destination page", is a single web page that appe ...
''
Return to Mayberry ''Return to Mayberry'' is a 1986 American made-for-television A television film is a feature film, feature-length motion picture that is produced and originally distributed by or to a television network, in contrast to theatrical films made ex ...
'' was broadcast with several cast members reprising their original roles. Absent, however, was
Frances Bavier Frances Elizabeth Bavier (December 14, 1902 – December 6, 1989) was an American stage and television actress. Originally from New York theatre, she worked in film and television from the 1950s until the 1970s. She is best known for her role of ...
. She was living in
Siler City, North Carolina Siler City is a town in western Chatham County, North Carolina, Chatham County, North Carolina, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, 2010 census, the town's population was 7,887. The population of the small town has increased by 75% ...
in ill health and declined to participate. In the TV movie, Aunt Bee is portrayed as deceased (and in fact, Bavier did die three years later), with Andy visiting her grave. Also absent were Howard McNear, Paul Hartman, Jack Burns and the cast members who were featured only in the ''Mayberry RFD'' seasons. Griffith and Howard reprised their roles a final time for a
Funny or Die Funny or Die is a comedy video website and film/television production company founded by Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, Mark Kvamme, and Chris Henchy. The website Funny Or Die contains exclusive material from a regular staff of in-house writers, produc ...
skit supporting the 2008 presidential campaign of Barack Obama. In 1993, ''The Andy Griffith Show'' had a Reunion Special which featured Andy Griffith, Don Knotts, Ron Howard, Jim Nabors, George Lindsey and Jack Dodson. In 2003, four surviving cast members (Griffith, Howard, Knotts, and Nabors) came together for a reunion special that featured the actors reminiscing about each other's time on the show. The production was interspersed with archival footage and short filmed interviews with some of the other surviving cast members. This special was called ''The Andy Griffith Show: Back to Mayberry.''


Ratings

''The Andy Griffith Show'' was a top ten hit through its entire run, never ranking lower than seventh place in the yearly ratings. A Nielsen study conducted during the show's final season (1967–68) indicated the show ranked number one among blue collar workers followed by ''
The Lucy Show ''The Lucy Show'' is an American sitcom that aired on CBS from 1962 to 1968. It was Lucille Ball's follow-up to ''I Love Lucy''. A significant change in cast and premise for the fourth season (1965–1966) divides the program into two distinct e ...
'' and ''
Gunsmoke ''Gunsmoke'' is an American radio and television Western (genre), Western drama series created by director Norman Macdonnell and writer John Meston. It is set in and around Dodge City, Kansas in the 1870s, during the settlement of the Western U ...
.'' Among white collar workers, the show ranked number three following ''Saturday Movies'' and ''
The Dean Martin Show ''The Dean Martin Show'', not to be confused with the ''Dean Martin Variety Show'' (1959–1960), is a TV variety- comedy series that ran from 1965 to 1974 for 264 episodes. It was broadcast by NBC and hosted by Dean Martin. The theme song to th ...
''. ''The Andy Griffith Show'' is one of only three shows to have its final season be the number one ranked show on television, the other two being ''I Love Lucy'' and ''Seinfeld.'' In 1998, the year ''Seinfeld'' ended, more than five million people a day watched the show's reruns on 120 stations.


Awards and nominations


Emmys

1961 * Outstanding Performance in a Supporting Role by an Actor or Actress in a Series: Don Knotts – Won * Outstanding Program Achievement in the Field of Humor – Nominated (Winner: ''
The Jack Benny Program ''The Jack Benny Program'', starring Jack Benny, is a radio-TV comedy series that ran for more than three decades and is generally regarded as a high-water mark in 20th century American comedy. He played one role throughout his radio and televis ...
'') 1962 * Outstanding Performance in a Supporting Role by an Actor: Don Knotts – Won * Outstanding Program Achievement in the Field of Humor – Nominated (Winner: ''
The Bob Newhart Show ''The Bob Newhart Show'' is an American sitcom A sitcom, Clipping (morphology), clipping for situational comedy (situation comedy in the U.S.), is a genre of comedy centered on a fixed set of characters who (mostly) carry over from episode to ...
'') 1963 * Outstanding Performance in a Supporting Role by an Actor: Don Knotts – Won 1966 * Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Comedy: Don Knotts for "The Return of Barney Fife" – Won 1967 * Outstanding Comedy Series – Nominated (Winner: ''
The Monkees The Monkees were a rock Rock most often refers to: * Rock (geology) A rock is any naturally occurring solid mass or aggregate of minerals or mineraloid matter. It is categorized by the minerals included, its Chemical compound, chemical ...
'') * Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Comedy: Don Knotts for "Barney Comes to Mayberry" – Won * Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Comedy: Frances Bavier – Won


TV Land Awards

* Favorite Second Banana: Don Knotts – Won (2003) * Single Dad of the Year: Andy Griffith – Won (2003) * Legend Award – Won (2004)


Merchandise and pop culture

Very little merchandise was produced for ''The Andy Griffith Show'' during its original run, a peculiarity for a hit TV show in the 1960s. One theory for the lack of merchandise is that the show's producers, Griffith in particular, wanted to protect its image as a realistic and thoughtful offering and keep the public's focus on the show itself rather than its branding. Among the handful of merchandise released during the show's first run,
Dell Comics Dell Comics was the comic book publishing arm of Dell Publishing, which got its start in pulp magazines. It published comics from 1929 to 1974. At its peak, it was the most prominent and successful American company in the medium.Evanier, Mark" ...
published two ''The Andy Griffith Show''
comic book A comic book, also called comic book, comic magazine or (in the United Kingdom and Ireland) simply comic, is a publication that consists of comics a Media (communication), medium used to express ideas with images, often combined with t ...
s, one drawn by
Henry Scarpelli Henry Scarpelli (July 30, 1930 – April 4, 2010) was an American comic book artist. His work won him recognition from the industry, including the Shazam Award for Best Inker (Humor Division) in 1970, for his work on ''Date With Debbi'', ''Lea ...
, the other by Bill Fraccio. In 2004, copies in near-mint condition were priced in excess of $500 each. There was also a
soundtrack album A soundtrack album is any album An album is a collection of audio recordings issued as a collection on compact disc (CD), Phonograph record, vinyl, audio tape, or another medium. Albums of recorded sound were developed in the early 20th ce ...
, two coloring books, and a 1966
Grape-Nuts Grape-Nuts is a brand of breakfast cereal Cereal, often called breakfast cereal (and further categorized as cold cereal or warm cereal), is a traditional breakfast food made from processed cereal grains. It is traditionally eaten as part of a b ...
cereal box with a photo of Griffith in character as Sheriff Andy Taylor beside a lemon pie recipe on the back. The show's enduring popularity has spawned considerable merchandise during the decades following its cancellation, including board games, bobblehead dolls, kitchenware, and books. In 2007, a line of canned foods inspired by the series was made available in grocery stores across America. Griffith's hometown of
Mount Airy, North Carolina Mount Airy is a city in Surry County, North Carolina, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, 2010 census, the city population was 10,388. History Mount Airy was settled in the 1750s as a stagecoach stop on the road between Winsto ...
annually hosts a week-long "Mayberry Days" celebration featuring concerts, parades and appearances by the show's players. In 1997, the episode "Opie the Birdman" was ranked No. 24 on
TV Guide's 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time 100 Greatest Episodes of All-Time (1997) and Top 100 Episodes of All Time (2009) are lists of the 100 "best" television show A television show – or simply TV show – is any content produced for viewing on a television set A televisio ...
. In 2002, ''
TV Guide TV Guide is an American digital media Digital media means any communication media that operate with the use of any of various encoded machine-readable data Machine-readable data, or computer-readable data, is data Data are units of infor ...
'' ranked ''The Andy Griffith Show'' ninth on its list of the 50 Best Shows of All Time.
Bravo Bravo is an interjection used to signify strong approval, particularly for a performance. It may also refer to: Places *Bravo, Cuba, a community in the municipality of Santiago de Cuba *Rio Grande, a river that flows through Mexico and the United ...
ranked Andy Taylor 63rd on their list of the 100 greatest TV characters. In 2003, the country band
Rascal Flatts Rascal Flatts was an American country music band founded in 1999. Its members were Gary LeVox (lead vocals), Jay DeMarcus (bass guitar, background vocals), and Joe Don Rooney (lead guitar, background vocals). DeMarcus is LeVox's second cousin, a ...
released the song
Mayberry Mayberry, North Carolina is a fictional community that was the setting for two popular American television sitcoms, ''The Andy Griffith Show ''The Andy Griffith Show '' is an American sitcom, situation comedy television series that aired on C ...
and many of the lyrics pay tribute to the show. The 1989 song " Floyd the Barber" by American grunge band
Nirvana ' (, , ; sa, निर्वाण} ''nirvāṇa'' ; Pali Pali () is a Middle Indo-AryanIndo-Aryan refers to: * Indo-Aryan languages ** Indo-Aryan superstrate in Mitanni or Mitanni-Aryan * Indo-Aryan peoples, the various peoples sp ...
references multiple characters from the show, including Floyd, Barney, Opie, Andy, and Aunt Bee. The cable television network
TV Land TV Land is an American pay television Pay television, also known as subscription television, premium television or, when referring to an individual service, a premium channel, refers to subscription The subscription business model is a bus ...

TV Land
erected bronze statues of Andy and Opie in Mount Airy and
Raleigh, North Carolina Raleigh (; ) is the capital city, capital of the state of North Carolina and the List of North Carolina county seats, seat of Wake County, North Carolina, Wake County in the United States. It is the List of municipalities in North Carolina, se ...
(''see:''
Pullen Park Pullen Park is a public park immediately west of downtown Raleigh, North Carolina North Carolina () is a U.S. state, state in the Southeastern United States, Southeastern region of the United States. North Carolina is the List of U.S. stat ...
). The Taylor Home Inn in
Clear Lake, Wisconsin Clear Lake is a village in Polk County, Wisconsin, Polk County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 1,070 at the 2010 United States Census, 2010 census. The village is adjacent to the Clear Lake (town), Wisconsin, Town of Clear Lake along U ...
, is a bed-and-breakfast modeled after the Taylor Home. The Mayberry Cafe in
Danville, Indiana Danville is a town in and the county seat of Hendricks County, Indiana, Hendricks County, Indiana, United States. The population was 9,001 at the 2010 United States Census, 2010 census, up from 6,418 at the 2000 census. In 2019 the estimated popula ...
features Aunt Bee's Fried Chicken and a replica of Andy's
Ford Galaxie The Ford Galaxie is a full-sized car that was built in the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in North A ...

Ford Galaxie
police car. In 2013, TV Guide ranked ''The Andy Griffith Show'' number 15 on their list of the 60 Greatest Shows of All Time. In 2021, the original feature film ''Mayberry Man'' was produced by children of actors from ''The Andy Griffith Show'' featuring Mayberry tribute artists set in a fictitious modern-day Mayberry.


Home media

In the late 1980s, Premier Promotions released various episodes on VHS. Most tapes had either two or four episodes. In the early to mid-1990s, United American Video released VHS tapes of various episodes. They either had two or three episodes. These compilations were culled from episodes early in the show's run that had lapsed into the public domain; these episodes continue to be circulated on unofficial video releases. Between 2004 and 2006,
Paramount Home Entertainment Paramount Home Entertainment (formerly Paramount Home Media Distribution, and originally Paramount Home Video and Paramount Video) is the home video distribution arm of Paramount Pictures, a division of ViacomCBS. The division oversees PPC’s h ...
and later in 2006,
CBS Home Entertainment CBS Home Entertainment (formerly CBS Video, currently branded as CBS DVD for DVD releases and CBS Blu-ray for Blu-ray releases) is a home entertainment company owned by ViacomCBS ViacomCBS Inc. is an American diversified multinational media c ...
released all eight seasons as single-season packages on Region 1 DVD. ''The Andy Griffith Show: The Complete Series'' was first released as a 40-disc boxed set in 2007. In addition to all 249 episodes of the series, its bonus features included the episode "Danny Meets Andy Griffith" from ''
The Danny Thomas Show ''The Danny Thomas Show'' (titled ''Make Room for Daddy'' for its first three seasons) is an American sitcom A sitcom, Clipping (morphology), clipping for situational comedy (situation comedy in the U.S.), is a genre of comedy centered on a fix ...
'' which served as the pilot, the episode "Opie Joins the Marines" from '' Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.'' which featured Ron Howard and the 95-minute,
made-for-television A television film is a feature-lengthIn Internet marketing, online marketing, a landing page, sometimes known as a "lead capture page","single property page", "static page", "squeeze page" or a "destination page", is a single web page that appe ...
comedy film A comedy film is a category of film A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art The visual arts are art forms such as painting Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, c ...
''
Return to Mayberry ''Return to Mayberry'' is a 1986 American made-for-television A television film is a feature film, feature-length motion picture that is produced and originally distributed by or to a television network, in contrast to theatrical films made ex ...
''. In 2016, ''The Andy Griffith Show: The Complete Series'' was repackaged and released again as a 39-disc set that featured all 249 episodes of the series but did not include the bonus feature disc. 16 episodes from the third season, which lapsed into the
public domain The public domain consists of all the creative work A creative work is a manifestation of creativity, creative effort including Work of art, fine artwork (sculpture, paintings, drawing, Sketch (drawing), sketching, performance art), dance, wr ...

public domain
after CBS neglected to file copyright renewals on the episodes in 1989, are available on discount DVDs. The 2007 lawsuit ''CBS Operations Inc v. Reel Funds International Inc.'' ruled that the episodes in question were
derivative work In copyright law Copyright is a type of intellectual property that gives its owner the exclusive right to copy and distribute a creative work, usually for a limited time. The creative work may be in a literary, artistic, educational, o ...
s based on the copyrighted episodes even though the episodes themselves were not under copyright and granted CBS indirect copyright over the public domain episodes; the ruling
enjoin An injunction is a legal Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment ...
ed Reel Funds International, a public domain distributor, from selling DVDs with those episodes within the jurisdiction of the
United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas The United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas (in case citations, N.D. Tex.) is a United States district court. Its first judge, Andrew Phelps McCormick, was appointed to the court on April 10, 1879. The court convenes in ...
. Note: The Region 1 release of ''The Third Season'' contains two episodes edited for syndication: "The Darlings Are Coming"—which had several scenes cut—and "Barney Mends a Broken Heart," which had its
epilogue An epilogue or epilog (from Ancient Greek, Greek ἐπίλογος ''epílogos'', "conclusion" from ἐπί ''epi'', "in addition" and λόγος ''logos'', "word") is a piece of writing at the end of a work of literature, usually used to bring cl ...
cut.


References


Further reading

* * Beck, Ken, and Clark, Jim. ''Mayberry Memories.'' Rutledge Hill Press, 2000. * * Fann, Joey. ''The Way Back to Mayberry''. Broadman and Holman, 2001. . * Kelly, Richard. ''The Andy Griffith Show'' (John F. Blair, 1981). . * McElroy, Kathleen. "Remembering Mayberry in White and Black: The Andy Griffith Show's Construction of the South," ''Memory Studies,'' 8 (Oct. 2015), 440–53. * Pérez Firmat, Gustavo. ''A Cuban in Mayberry: Looking Back at America's Hometown''. Austin: The University of Texas Press, 2014. *


External links

* * * *
''The Andy Griffith Show'' and ''Mayberry R.F.D.'' background article
(archived) {{DEFAULTSORT:Andy Griffith Show, The
American television spin-offs {{CatAutoTOC Spin-offs A spin-off is something that was created as a byproduct of something else. Types of spin-offs include: *Spin-off (media) In Mass media, media, a spin-off (or spinoff) is a radio program, television program, video game, fil ...
1960s American sitcoms 1960 American television series debuts 1968 American television series endings 1960s American police comedy television series Black-and-white American television shows CBS original programming English-language television shows Nielsen ratings winners North Carolina culture Single-camera television sitcoms Television series about families Television series about widowhood Television series by CBS Studios Television shows set in North Carolina Television shows adapted into films Television shows adapted into comics Television shows filmed in Los Angeles Articles containing video clips