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