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Two Chairs No Waiting 64: The New Andy Griffith Show

Host: Allan Newsome
Running time: 0:15:48

Two Chairs No Waiting

Two Chairs No Waiting

The time between Christmas and New Year is normally a very slow time for podcast listeners so I thought I’d focus on something that you might enjoy but that isn’t part of Mayberry.

The NEW Andy Griffith Show debuted January 8, 1971 and was Andy Sawyer rather than our beloved Andy Taylor.  This was Andy’s second try at returning to television after leaving The Andy Griffith Show/Mayberry R.F.D.

The first being “The Headmaster,” a half-hour drama from the fall of 1970 where Andy played the character Andy Thompson and was headmaster of a prestigious private school located in California. Headmaster ran until January 1, 1971 and was cancelled.

One week later, Andy Sawyer appeared as the focus of The NEW Andy Griffith Show. Sawyer was a man returning home to Greenwood following time spent in state government.  The mayor of Greenwood was retiring and the town wanted Sawyer to return to be the mayor. Andy Sawyer has 2 children and a wife named Lee played by Lee Meriwether.

The pilot episode was written, produced and created by Aaron Ruben how had lead the creation of the first five years of The Andy Griffith Show.  Andy Griffith also brought in Lee Phillips, who had been the director for most of the last two seasons of The Andy Griffith Show, to direct the pilot and Earl Hagen to create the theme song and music for the NEW show.

To kick off the first eisode, they also brought in George Lindsey as Goober Pyle and Paul Hartman as Emmett Clark both of whom were currently a part of Mayberry, R.F.D.  This was confusing because it was Andy “Sawyer” and not Andy “Taylor” yet the two of them knew Sawyer like they were old friends.

Emmett and Goober has traveled to Greenwood to ask Sawyer to try to have the city rezone some land they wanted to use to start a business.

Don Knotts showed up as “an old friend” on that pilot episode as well. It was a nice scene between Griffith and Knotts but one could only wish it was Fife and Taylor rather than Sawyer and “old friend.”

The show was cancelled on May 21, 1971. This was the same year that Mayberry, R.F.D. went off the air and was the first time in eleven years that some form of Mayberry was not on CBS on Monday nights.

Don’t forget to leave comments or ask questions on the iMayberry.com/podcasts website or using the contact information given in the podcast. We’d love to have you be a part of our next feedback episode.

Related Links:

  • Mayberry R.I.P. – TVParty.com has a wonderful history of The Andy Griffith Show and all that followed.  Drop by for a look at the several pages of information and a nice history lesson.
  • The New Andy Griffith Show – Wikipedia’s entry on The New Andy Griffith Show is a situation comedy broadcast in the United States by the CBS television network in 1971.

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{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Janet Anderson December 30, 2009, 2:50 am

    That was very interesting, Allan. I don’t even recall watching “The New Andy Griffith Show” when I was a kid, but I can’t imagine that my family wouldn’t have tuned it in. Perhaps my inability to remember the show is the result of its very brief run and the fact that it didn’t go into reruns. So I am glad that you chose to talk about it on one of your podcasts. I agree that it would have been odd to see Goober and Emmett being friends with a “different” Andy! And seeing Don Knotts as a Barney-like character, but not being Barney! Sounds like Andy was trying to recapture some of the magic of Mayberry with this show. Too bad that it failed. But how blessed we are that the “real” Mayberry is still going strong after all these years both on TV and on DVD.

  • Jeff Koontz January 5, 2010, 4:59 pm

    A little off topic, but listening to the sponsor commercial for TNAGS made me think of Ralphie Parker getting soap poisoning from Lifebuoy soap in the movie ‘A Christmas Story.’

    I’m glad that at TNAGS Rerun Watchers Club wasn’t formed – only because it doesn’t have the same ring as TAGSRWC. haha


  • Tim Bradshaw January 29, 2013, 8:08 pm

    Wow, I learned something new tonight. I am not sure that I remember anything about The New Andy Griffith Show at all….of course at the time this came on I was not watching as much tv, too busy being a teenager and working at the Winn Dixie. If I did see any of this show, I don’t think I would have liked it as much as there was nothing that could be added to TAGS. Man that theme music is 70’s music for sure ! The early 70’s was the beginning to the end of a lot of memorable Hollywood History. The new blood running the studios not only killed our rural tv shows but eventually liquidated many of the famous backlots and including the Old 40 Acres for the sake of money. Of course, by the time the 40 acres was destroyed, it was in pittyful shape, but it would have been nice if they could have restored it , just think of how it would have been to have a Mayberry Days celebration in Mayberry !

  • Geno Cuddy August 15, 2016, 8:02 pm

    Hey, love TAGS and Andy and have always been interested in this one, I’d love to see some episodes.

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