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As many people know this show is essentially a sequel to the Andy Griffith Show. The producers decided that instead of canceling the show all together, they would continue it with essentially the same cast except for the leads. Ken Berry and Arlene Golonka were okay replacements for Andy Griffith and Aneta Corsaut, but Sam and Millie were no Andy and Helen. Also, even though this show was still popular at the time of the rural purge of 1971, I don't think that its cancellation hit people as hard as the cancellations of The Beverly Hillbillies and Green Acres.
Mayberry RFD was one of the quinessential follow-ups to one of the most
beloved and most wholesome sitcoms of all time("The Andy Griffith
which ran for three seasons before it became the onslaught on the network's
crusade of eliminating its rural programming(which it was on CBS-TV and ran
The series here picked up where TAGS left off leaving the fictional town of Mayberry,North Carolina-USA under a new sheriff Sam Jones(played by Ken Berry)and leaving Andy Taylor into another position. However,just like Andy Taylor,Sam Jones was also a single dad raising a little boy as well named Mike(played by Buddy Foster) who was taken care of by Aunt Bee(played by Frances Bavier)while his dad has job duties as the law and order of the town and just like Sheriff Taylor,Sheriff Jones also didn't carry a gun,and what he carry was a heart of gold. However,this show did very well without Andy Griffith(who was the executive producer of the series along with Bob Ross)and it still had the same characters everyone has grown to love..........
However,you had Howard(Jack Dodson)who was head of the town council, Emmett(Paul Hartman)who ran the fix-it-shop,and then there's the unpredictable and lovable Goober Pyle(played by George Lindsey)who brought out and now runs Wally's Service Station and the rest of the town's folks.
The episode that was my favorite was the wedding of Andy Taylor during the show's first season where audiences would see Andy Taylor finally walked down the aisle of the church with his sweetheart Helen Crump (played by Aneta Corseaut) along with the rest of the original cast of TAGS (guest stars Don Knotts,Jim Nabors,Ronnie Howard,and even The Dillard's--and even town regulars Ernest T. Bass and Otis were there!)since this was the episode where after the wedding the scenary goes from Mayberry to sunny Florida where the newlyweds Andy and Helen Taylor are having their honeymoon.
But still,the show did have some great moments,even though it didn't last long on the air. The series was cancelled in the spring of 1971. This show was one of CBS' changing(or primary assault) of its rural programming of that year(1971) which included"Green Acres", "The Beverly Hillbillies","Petticoat Junction","Hee-Haw","The Glen Campbell Show","The Jim Nabors Hour",and this series. Catch the episodes on TV Land!
I remember watching this series on re-runs in the early and mid 70's. I
now, as then, liked the original THE ANDY GRIFFETH SHOW better but was
entertained. I had not seen an episode of Mayberry R.F.D. in probably over
20 years as it is not shown in syndication like TAGS is. However, last
and this year I was able to watch and tape most of the episodes off of TV
Land and in doing so have gained a new respect for the
I remember as a kid watching TAGS and always knowing when the episode stories and characters were going down the tubes. I could tell this by the episodes that were in color. The color episodes meant that Mayberry was a town no longer lost in time but now it had a more up to date feel. Also, key characters would leave the show such as Barny & Floyd. I really missed these guys and somehow Emmet and Howard did not replace them. Lastly, the final season of TAGS was less about Andy and more about Sam Jones and this was somewhat disappointing.
Now watching M-R.F.D. I feel differently. The final season of TAGS was a good way to bridge the two shows. I think it would have been harder on the fans if all of a sudden Sam Jones showed up on the scene while Andy fell by the wayside. Oddly enough I find myself now liking the new characters such as Howard and Emmet. I don't view them as replacements for other missing characters. Somehow in this series they seem to belong. I do wish that there had been more of Aunt Bee in M-R.F.D..
So even though Mayberry no longer seems quite as rural and laid back and even if some of the plots are borrowed from TAGS it is still a good show and makes me and probably others feel good. I look forward to visiting Mayberry no matter if its via TAGS or M-R.F.D..
I've never seen more than a couple of episodes of the Andy Griffith
Show. But for some reason, I saw probably the entire run of Mayberry
RFD in reruns during the mid-70s. Mainly because it happened to be on
after I got home from school, most likely.
What surprises me looking back is how good an actor Ken Berry was. Generally a comic actor (and a fine dancer to boot), as Sam Jones he was essentially a straight man and his performances here were always nicely understated (too much so for some people, judging from other comments here) and very believable. From time to time, he showed quite a bit of depth.
I'm thinking right now of a couple of episodes. 1) Sam's struggling with a mild depression after some of his crops fail. 2) He and Millie are in Los Angeles (don't remember why), they have a fight and make up. Something about the emotion Ken Berry delivered in these - not too much, always knowing just how far to step outside his character's ordinary range - made then unexpectedly powerful.
I also remember an episode in which Sam does a very funny eccentric dance as part of a talent show of some kind.
The secret to a really good sit-com is that it convinces us we're watching real people, even when some of the characters are a bit outlandish. Ken Berry in this show always kept me believing I was watching real people.
I am about to say something that no-doubt will annoy many. While "The Andy Griffith Show" was one of the best shows in television history, after a while it really outlived its usefulness. Without Barney as a series regular, the show tried a variety of either annoying replacements (Warren!!!) or insipid ones (Howard and Emmett)--none of which gave the show the wonderful comedic balance it once had. To make matters worse, after the show limped through three mediocre such seasons, the powers that be at CBS decided to continue the show even when Andy left!!! The 'clever' plan was to introduce a widower, Sam (Ken Berry), who would move to town with his son AND apparently buy Aunt Bee! Talk about a contrived premise--and a poor copy of the original. So now without either leading man, the show was nothing but insipid characters...period. That, in a nutshell, is "Mayberry R.F.D."--like the original show but with none of the humor or interesting characters. Now this isn't to say that the show was bad--it just was bland and inoffensive and that still made it better than some shows. But who wants to live on a steady diet of bland toast--which is, metaphorically speaking, "Mayberry R.F.D.".
This show was cute and innocent like the original, but it lagged a bit in some episodes. But I found out that if the episodes centered around the trio of Goober, Howard and Emmett, then it was funny as anything!! It was hilarious how those three could play off of each other, as they picked up the void of comedy left by Ken Berry and Arlene Golonka (does she always sound like a little girl when she speaks??) Ken Berry was funny when he was on Mama's Family, but in this show, he is not funny at all. But it is still a good show.
Andy Griffith made an end to his TV show but the citizens of Mayberry
still had a couple of years of life left in them with Mayberry, RFD.
Sheriff Andy Taylor and school teacher Helen Crump married and moved away from Mayberry. To give the new show a central character Ken Berry fresh from F Troop plays Sam Jones, a farmer just elected to the Mayberry town council is brought in. He's a widower like Andy Taylor was and raising a small son Buddy Foster. He even hires Aunt Bea to be his housekeeper now that Frances Bavier no longer had to keep house for Andy and Opie.
All the other Mayberry regulars and semi-regulars were retained and the show did well for two seasons. But at that point CBS pulled all its rural based shows to get a different market. And at that point those Mayberry characters like Paul Hartman, George Lindsey, Jack Dodson etc. all went to television Valhalla.
Sad the show ran into CBS's determination to get younger viewers. It's the seniors who watched this and other rural type shows and the seniors least likely to respond to advertising pitches.
Other than reunion movies this ended our look into Mayberry, North Carolina.
I was really happy to see that Mayberry RFD is back on the air. I have never really seen this show except for a few episodes but am anxious to start watching it. As a die-hard fan of The Andy Griffith Show I know this show isn't as good but It's interesting to watch the next generation of Mayberrian's. My favorite episode I've seen so far is the Wedding of Andy and Helen.
I grew up on the Mayberry shows. They're along the best shows ever
created for television and everything since has been pale in comparison
to warmth, charm, and responsibility.
The Andy Griffith Show was a hard act to follow but Ken Berry and company followed through just fine.
It's the cast and the stories that taught morals and responsibility like it's predecessor that makes this show remarkable. CBS should run it again just to set our moral compass right.
Buddy Foster did a great job. Same with everyone on the cast who are now legendary and beloved. The scripts, the directing and storytelling just what the doctor ordered.
When the rural shows were pulled off television our country took a moral nosedive.
We need more shows like this.
Mayberry RFD was a pretty good follow up to The Andy Griffith Show. A lot of newer generation TAGS fans aren't even aware of Mayberry RFD's existence. Hopefully one day it will finally make it to DVD. As with TAGS, I haven't watched an episode that I didn't enjoy. Yes, many of the episodes are rehashes of TAGS episodes. The thing that makes it still work though, is it's still Mayberry. It's still the wholesome fantasy world that we loved in TAGS. The main thing that I wished they would have done of this show was include more of the TAGS guest stars like Otis, The Darlings, and Ernest T Bass. The best episode of the show is by far the first one. Andy and Helen finally get married, and Don Knotts makes his final appearance as Barney Fife until Return to Mayberry. Andy makes several appearances as Sheriff Taylor in the first season until he just disappears and is no longer mentioned until in mid season 2 he returns to Mayberry with Helen and their new baby. I always wondered why in TAGS they never did any farewell episodes to outgoing characters. Usually they just disappear, and occasionally they're mentioned later on such as "Otis started doing his drinking in another town." Sheriff Taylor himself disappears in RFD, never to be heard from again after the "Andy's Baby" episode for the rest of the series. Anyway, if you've never seen it, its worth checking out if you can find it.
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