The Andy Griffith Shows:
The Andy Griffith Show
Mayberry R.F.D /Jim Nabors Hour
Don Knotts Show / Headmaster
The New Andy Griffith Show
How it All Ended & Return to Mayberry
TV Guide's New Andy Griffith Show Page, with TV Listings, Photos, Videos, Exclusive News and More.
Andy / Andy Griffith TV Shows / Mayberry / TV Blog / Classic TV Blog / 2007 New Fall TV Shows / Classic TV / I Love Lucy / Television Shows / TV on DVD / TV Shows on DVD / Prime Time TV / Television Blogs / TV Show Reviews / TV Shows on DVD Reviews / TV DVD Reviews / Amos and Andy on TV / Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek / Andy of Mayberry / Andy Griffith
The New Andy Griffith Show
Debuting Jan. 8, 1971, The New Andy Griffith Show was long on Southern hokum but woefully short on laughs.
Intentionally, there were few surprises - and that was the show's undoing. If Headmaster strained to be relevant, the new Andy show was belligerently irrelevant.
The pilot was written, created and produced by Aaron Ruben who guided the first five seasons of The Andy Griffith Show and Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. and directed by Lee Phillips, who directed almost all of the last two seasons of TAGS. Earl Hagen crafted the theme song and incidental music to be nearly identical to his efforts for TAGS and Mayberry RFD.
This time the setting was a mid-sized North Carolina town called Greenwood (pop. 12,785, ten times the number of people that lived in Mayberry), with Griffith portraying Andy Sawyer, a returning hometown boy who instantly becomes the town's new Mayor Pro-tem.
Andy Sawyer was the model family man, always agreeable and understanding, spending lots of quality time with his young 'uns - the kind of dad who takes his eight-year old daughter on a three hour bus ride so he'll have someone to talk to. In other words, the exact opposite of any father I ever encountered growing up in the South.
Dressed in a humble yellow ochre vest, white shirt and gray slacks, Andy Sawyer was much simpler and more deferential than Andy Taylor ever was; often the lines they gave Andy to mouth would have been more appropriate coming from Goober Pyle.
Lee Meriwether was remarkably cast (but underutilized) as Andy's wife. Meriwether was already well-known to TV audiences as a former Miss America who went on to play Catwoman in the Batman movie and Dr. Ann MacGregor on Time Tunnel from 1966-67. More importantly for Griffith, she had been Andy's wife in Angel in My Pocket.
Marty McCall (left) and Lori Rutherford were seen as the 2.5 kids. Of course, there was a live-in relative - Lee's sister Nora played by Ann Morgan Guilbert (Millie Helper on The Dick Van Dyke Show and Yetta on The Nanny). Instead of matronly and supportive like Aunt Bee, Nora was constantly complaining, neurotic, meddling and superstitious.
Rotund country comic Glen Ash was cast as town councilman Buff McKnight. Don Knotts discovered Ash, introducing him to TV audiences when he hosted The Hollywood Palace in 1968. As a result, Ash made the rounds on The Leslie Uggams Show, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., Mayberry RFD, The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, Petticoat Junction and others during the 1969-70 season.
For safe measure, The New Andy Griffith Show brought Don Knotts together with George Lindsay as Goober Pyle and Paul Hartman as fix-it man Emmett Clark in a memorable (but confusing) first episode that reunited the former costars of the original Andy Griffith Show for the first time in two years.
In that episode, Emmett and Goober travel from Mayberry to Greenwood to ask their old pal Andy to use his influence with the city to rezone a plot of land each of them wants to start a new business.
Strangely, the Mayberry residents don't recognize Don Knotts' unamed character, even though he's wearing the same salt and pepper suit that Barney Fife favored on The Andy Griffith Show; heck, he even wore that suit to Andy and Helen's wedding on Mayberry RFD!
In the second episode, written by TAGS vets Jim Fritzell and Everett Greenbaum (who also wrote the hit movies The Ghost and Mr. Chicken and The Reluctant Astronaut for Don Knotts), Glen Campbell was the guest in an old chestnut of a plotline - Buff McKnight claims to be friends with Glen Campbell and can get him for the town's centennial show, but Glen... you can guess the rest.
In the third episode, with Elliot Lewis (The Lucy Show) directing, little old lady Miss Gossagg (played by regular Ruth McDivett) wants to erect a memorial fountain in the town square and Andy is forced to supervise the project.
Besides McDivett, other bit players from The Andy Griffith Show were seen frequently on this program. Burt Mustin, Forrest Lewis, Owen Bush and writer Everett Greenbaum (seen right) all played various townsfolk on both the new and original series.
It was painfully obvious from the start that this production was trying too hard to be The Andy Griffith Show in a larger town. The scripts were flat and predictable; audiences weren't buying into the derivative premise. Besides, you don't parade around with two different wives in the same season, at least you didn't back then.
"Headmaster was a very bad show," Griffith stated in 1971. "And because of Headmaster, The New Andy Griffith Show simply did not have an audience."
Once again, Nielsen ratings for the first episode hit number 12 - then quickly slid back down into the sixties. The series was cancelled on May 21, 1971. Headmaster reruns were scheduled to play out the summer until The New Andy Griffith Show(s) were removed from the schedule.
Similarly, The Don Knotts Show proved no match for The Mod Squad on ABC and The Beverly Hillbillies on CBS. It was scrapped after one season.
The Jim Nabors Hour dropped out of the top twenty-five for the 70-71 season and it too was cancelled.
As if that wasn't bad enough, CBS axed the entire town of Mayberry that year as well - despite the fact that Mayberry RFD was the number-four rated show for the first two seasons and finished a solid fifteenth for the final year.
In a surprise move, CBS cleared the schedule of all of their highly-rated down-home comedies (like Green Acres and Beverly Hillbillies) in the fall of 1971 to make way for shows appealing to more urban viewers, programs like All In The Family, Arnie and The New Dick Van Dyke Show. That strategy worked brilliantly.
Andy wasn't needed anymore; Opie had grown up and Aunt Bee moved to Siler City. After eleven years on Monday nights, Mayberry itself receded into the past.
The original 1970s Dark Shadows movies
Lost Kid Shows / Movie Stars on TV / Saturday Morning Shows / Video Vault / Classic Christmas Specials / Fabulous Fifties / Unseen Scenes / Game Shows / Requested Forgotten TV Shows / The Super Sixties / The New * * Shows / 1980's Wrestling / TV Blog
|TV's Embarrassing Moments / Action Shows of the Sixties / TVparty Mysteries and Scandals / Variety Shows of the 1970s / The Eighties / The Laugh Track / 1970's Hit Shows / Response to TVparty / Search the Site / Add Your Comments|
The New Andy Griffith Show / The New Dick Van Dyke Show
New (everybody else) Shows / Theme Song Makeovers / The New Bill Cosby
Hit Shows of the Seventies: Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy / Gene Roddenberry in the 1970s / Star Trek Animated / Dark Shadows Movies / The Music Dark Shadows / 1970 TV Shows / Mike Wallace, Virginia Graham & Jim Longworth / Dick Clark / Fall Previews of the 70s / Lance Link, Secret Chimp / Star Wars Holiday Special / Alias Smith and Jones / 1977 Year in Review / Top Ten 1970-76 / The Rockford Files / All in the Family / Sam Hall (Dark Shadows) Interview / Battlestar Galactica / Wonder Woman / Network Jingles / Class of '74 / Happy Days / Good Times / Mr. Bill / Dinah! / Maude / Doris Day Show / Pamelyn Ferdin Interview / The Bicentennial Minute / Jingles & Catch Phrases of the 1970s / Early Cable TV 1970s / TV commercials for Women / TV Moms / Country Music TV Shows of the 1960s & 1970s / Betty White Show / Rodney Dangerfield / How Sanford & Son Ended / Sanford & Son Spin-Off Grady / Great Memoirs / Virginia Graham Show / The "N" Word on TV / 10 Classic Comedy Routines You Have To Laugh At Before You Die / Hollywood Squares / 1970's Teen Idols & The Hudson Brothers / Unsold Pilots / Jackie Cooper / The Good Guys / Match Game / Mannix & Gail Fisher / Bette Midler in the 1970s / Bonus 1970's Stuff: Silent Star Marion Mack / Biff Burger / 1970s Fast Food Chains / Latin Casino
|Classic TV Commercials / 1950's TV / 1960's TV / Punk Book / / 1970's TV / TV Games / Honey Boo Boo / Lucy Shows / 2012 Emmy Awards / Classic Cars / John Wayne / Gene Roddenberry / Rockford Files / Sea Hunt / Superman on DVD / Toy Gun Ads / Flip Wilson Show / Big Blue Marble / Monty Hall / Carrascolendas / Mr. Dressup / Major Mudd / Chief Halftown / Baby Daphne / Sheriff John / Winchell & Mahoney / Fireball X-L5 / Mr. Wizard / Captain Noah / Thanksgiving Day Specials / Disney's First Christmas Special / Saturday Morning Cartoons / The Magic Garden / Amahl & the Night Visitors / Holiday Toy Commercials / Lucy & Desi's Last Christmas Show / Joey Heatherton / Fat Albert / The Virginian / Bewitched / Death of John Wayne / 1974 Saturday Mornings / Chuck McCann / Rudolph Collectables / Shrimpenstein / Local Popeye Shows / New Treasure Hunt / 1966 ABC TV Shows / 1967 TV Shows / 1968 TV Shows / Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes & Baby Doll / Fridays / TV Moms / Red Skelton / Star Wars / KISS / Lancelot Link / Saturday Morning Cartoons / The Magic Garden / Wonder Woman / Classic Comic Books / Andy Griffith / Cher / TV Shows on DVD / Outtakes & Bloopers / 1967 TV Shows / Romper Room / ABC Movie of the Week / The Goldbergs / Daws Butler Commercials / Saturday Morning Commercials / Captain Kangaroo / Chicago Local Kiddie Shows / Boston Local TV / Philly Local TV / NYC Local Kid Shows / Amos 'n' Andy / Electric Company / Bette Davis / Judy Garland / Christmas Specials / Redd Foxx / Good Times / Sitcom Houses / What's Happening! / Winky Dink & You / Sonny & Cher / Smothers Brothers / Commercial Icons of the 1960s / Soupy Sales / The Carpenters / Route 66 / Bozo / The Carpenters Christmas Specials / Local Kid Shows / Death of TV's Superman / Wonderama / Sesame Street / Bob Hope Specials / Little Rascals / 1980's Retro Gay T-Shirts / 1980's TV Wrestling / Fess Parker / Howdy Doody / TV Blog / Lost In Space / Pinky Lee / 1980's LA Punk Rock / Alex Toth Book / TV Terrorists / Irwin Allen / The Untouchables / Carol Burnett Show / Batman TV Show / Green Hornet / Today Show History / Our Gang / Doris Day Show / 1970's Commercials For Women / Bill Cosby in the 1970s / The Golddiggers / Lola Falana / 1970s TV Shows / David Bowie on TV / Hudson Brothers / Jackie Gleason / Hollywood Squares / Match Game / Bob Keeshan / Gumby / The Flip Wilson Show / Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour / The Bobby Darin Show / The Richard Pryor Show / George Burns / Lucy's Lost Christmas Special / Classic Christmas Toy Commercials / Cricket On The Hearth / 1950's Holiday Shows / Amahl and the Night Visitors / A Christmas Carol on TV / The Yule Log / Celebrity Commercials / Rudolph / Movie Posters & More!|