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The New Andy Griffith Show
Andy Griffith Lee Meriwether 1971.JPG
Andy Griffith and Lee Meriwether, 1971.
Created byAaron Ruben
Written by
Directed byLee Philips
ComposerEarle Hagen
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes10 (list of episodes)
Executive producerRichard O. Linke
ProducerAaron Ruben
CinematographyWilfred M. Cline
EditorJames Galloway
Camera setupMulti-camera
Running time22–24 minutes
Production companyADA Productions
Original networkCBS
Audio formatMonaural
Original releaseJanuary 8 (1971-01-08) –
May 21, 1971 (1971-05-21)

The New Andy Griffith Show is an American sitcom that was broadcast in the United States on CBS in 1971 on Fridays at 8:30 ET. It debuted on January 8, 1971, and ended on May 21, 1971.[1]


Actor Andy Griffith had left his first sitcom, The Andy Griffith Show, voluntarily after the 1967-68 season while it was still number one in the Nielsen ratings and despite a high-dollar offer from CBS to continue it, in order to pursue his other interests, singing and motion picture acting, and to prevent his being typecast solely as a rural Southern sheriff.

When he decided to return to network television two years later, in the fall of 1970, it was in Headmaster, a drama, in which he played the headmaster of an exclusive California private school. When that program very quickly sank in the ratings, Griffith replaced it immediately with this one, which was much closer in tone and content to his earlier, more successful role (also sharing some writers and music director Earle Hagen),[2] and this program replaced Headmaster on the CBS Friday night schedule effective January 8, 1971.

The New Andy Griffith Show fulfilled the ten remaining episodes of Headmaster's series commitment and was not renewed beyond that season, with the last new episode airing March 12.


Griffith portrays Andy Sawyer, who upon returning to his hometown is immediately installed as the new Mayor pro tem. The series is set in the fictional small city of Greenwood, North Carolina, with a population slightly under 13,000 residents and thus noticeably larger than Mayberry.[2]

Andy Sawyer was the model family man, always agreeable and understanding, spending much quality time with his children. His character bore more of the folksy attitude Griffith had previously portrayed in early episodes of The Andy Griffith Show and the 1958 teleplay and film No Time for Sergeants.

Lee Meriwether was cast as Andy's wife, reprising a pairing of the two from the 1969 film Angel in My Pocket. Marty McCall and Lori Rutherford were seen as Griffith's children, T.J. and Lori, respectively, while Ann Morgan Guilbert portrayed Lee's sister Nora, a live-in relative who was constantly complaining, neurotic, meddling and superstitious. Rotund country comic Glen Ash was cast as town councilman Buff McKnight. Ruth McDevitt played Mrs. Gossage.[3]


The premiere episode was a major success for CBS, buoyed by guest appearances by The Andy Griffith Show regulars Don Knotts, George Lindsey and Paul Hartman. Lindsey and Hartman explicitly played "Goober" and "Emmett", their characters on both The Andy Griffith Show and Mayberry R.F.D. (still on the air at the time); this is confirmed in both dialogue and in the closing credits. Knotts, meanwhile, played an unnamed character who was identical in mannerisms to Barney Fife of The Andy Griffith Show. All three characters were "old friends" of the character Andy Sawyer; they dropped by his new house, ostensibly to welcome him to town, but actually to seek political favors. These Mayberry characters treated Andy Sawyer exactly as if he were Andy Taylor,[2] and the two characters had similar backstories: both Andys by this point were married and had two children (although Taylor's two sons, Opie and infant Andy Jr., were both boys as opposed to Sawyer's one boy and one girl), and prior to the start of The New Andy Griffith Show, both were living in larger cities.

Overall, the introduction of characters from Mayberry along with the similarities in character, writing, music and show title gave the appearance that the show was an alternate version of Griffith's earlier show, only with some names and details changed, creating confusion.[2] Griffith also blamed the bad reputation of Headmaster for making it more difficult for The New Andy Griffith Show to succeed.[2] Coincidentally, CBS had a public desire to overhaul its image to appeal to wealthier, more sophisticated audiences, which left the network less eager to promote rural sitcoms that previously had been a network staple.[4]

Although the premiere gathered respectable ratings, viewership quickly declined over the next several weeks, and after ten episodes, CBS canceled the series on March 12, 1971.[2] These ten episodes repeated through May 21, then were replaced with reruns of Headmaster during the summer.


No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
1"My Friend, the Mayor"Lee PhilipsAaron RubenJanuary 8, 1971 (1971-01-08)
2"Get Me Glen Campbell"Lee PhilipsJames Fritzell & Everett GreenbaumJanuary 15, 1971 (1971-01-15)
3"Berries, T.J. and the Law"UnknownUnknownJanuary 22, 1971 (1971-01-22)
4"Town Square"Elliott LewisJames Fritzell & Everett GreenbaumJanuary 29, 1971 (1971-01-29)
5"Nearly Nuptials For Nora"UnknownUnknownFebruary 5, 1971 (1971-02-05)
6"Otis Burfoot Is A Hundred Years Old"UnknownUnknownFebruary 12, 1971 (1971-02-12)
7"Big Noise, Small Claims"UnknownUnknownFebruary 19, 1971 (1971-02-19)
8"The Connection"UnknownUnknownFebruary 26, 1971 (1971-02-26)
9"The Millionth Visitor Is A Bum – Or Is He?"UnknownUnknownMarch 5, 1971 (1971-03-05)
10"A Visit From Cousin Billy Jim"UnknownUnknownMarch 12, 1971 (1971-03-12)


  1. ^ Leszczak, Bob (2012). Single Season Sitcoms, 1948–1979: A Complete Guide. McFarland. p. 137. ISBN 9780786493050. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f The New Andy Griffith Show,, retrieved February 12, 2020
  3. ^ Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010 (2nd ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. p. 752. ISBN 978-0-7864-6477-7.
  4. ^ Kelly, Richard Michael (1981). The Andy Griffith Show. John F. Blair, Publisher. pp. 68–69. ISBN 9780895870438. Retrieved 3 January 2018.