The Andy Griffith Show premiered on CBS television on October 3, 1960 and ended on April 1, 1968. In it’s eight year run- there were 249 episodes- 159 were in black and white [seasons 1-5] and the final 90 in color [seasons 6-8.] The show went into daytime reruns in 1964 and has been in syndication for the past 57 years non-stop.
The show was always a winner in the rankings- each season finished in the top ten. The season rankings went like this: Season 1- #4/ Season 2-#7/ Season 3-#6/ Season 4- #5/ Season 5-#4/Season 6- #6/ Season 7-# 3 and finally in the final season- they reached the #1 spot. The show wasn’t cancelled- Andy Griffith wanted to do other things. The show then morphed into Mayberry R.F.D. for three seasons starring Ken Berry.
In the 249 episode -Andy Taylor appears in all of them. Andy’s son Opie- in 203, Aunt Bee Taylor in 175. Deputy Barney Fife appears in 141- Don Knotts who played Barney was a regular the first five seasons then left the show to make movies- only making occasional appearances after that. I am not letting the cat out of the bag when I say out front- the best character on the show was Barney and the show suffered a bit when he left. The show went from great to pretty good in seasons 6-8- and I think in the end Andy Griffith ended it at the right time.
The show is set in the fictional town of Mayberry, North Carolina. A small town of 2000 or so. The principal characters are a widower Sheriff Andy Taylor, Andy’s young son [ six years old when the series begins] Opie Taylor, Andy’s Aunt Bee who moves in with them in the first episode to take care of Andy and Opie- and Deputy Barney Fife. Other key characters who made a number of appearances -Floyd The Barber, the town drunk Otis Campbell, Goober Pyle and his cousin Gomer who are mechanics, Clara Edwards a friend of Aunt Bee’s – who appears in all eight seasons, Helen Crump- Andy’s girlfriend and Thelma Lou- Barney’s girlfriend. I can’t go over a list of characters without mentioning a couple memorable ones who made only a handful of appearances but made a big mark on the show when they are there- The Darling family- six appearances and the unforgettable Ernest T. Bass.
A shout out to Badfinger20 for the idea. He is currently going through every episode of The Twilight Zone on his blog [check that out]- and mentioned to me another great show to do would be The Andy Griffith Show [and that he wasn’t going to be doing it]- So here we go.
I first remember watching The Andy Griffith Show when I was 5 or 6 in the mid-60’s. I have been a fan ever since. It has been one of those shows that is always there. If I feel like watching television and I can’t find anything to watch there is always Andy. I am sure I have seen every episode who knows how many times. One thing I am sure I haven’t done is watch them all in order. Since the episodes stand alone you can watch any episode -whatever is on whatever season. I am going to change that though. In a few days I will start at Season 1- Episode 1- and watch all 249 episodes and write a review and add extra comments of interest on each episode. I will of course give each episode a grade from 1 to 5- 5 being the top grade. My goal is three episodes a week- which will take 83 weeks.