Mayberry R.F.D. aired from September 1968 until September 1971 on CBS.
This was the direct successor to The Andy Griffith Show, in which Andy had starred for 8 years as the sheriff of quiet, rural Mayberry, N.C. When Griffith decided to call it quits in 1968, CBS kept most of the cast together, added a new lead in the person of Ken Berry, and continued the show under the title Mayberry R.F.D.
Like Griffith's Andy, Berry's Sam Jones was a young widower with a small son, Mike ( played by Buddy Foster, the brother of future Academy Award Winner Jodie Foster).Sam was a gentleman farmer who had recently taken up residence near Mayberry. Not long after his arrival he found himself elected to the Mayberry Town Council, a position for which he had no prior experience. That hardly mattered in Mayberry, however, as in his friendly, bumbling way he attempted to perform his new duties and tend to the simple needs of the townsfolk.
Andy's character Andy Taylor Married longtime girlfriend Helen Crump( Aneta Corsaut) on the premiere episode and he continued to make guest appearances during the first season before he and Helen and young son Opie moved out of Mayberry. He and Helen would make a later guest appearance in which it was revealed that they had had a baby boy whom they named
Andy Jr. With Andy and Helen newly married Aunt Bee ( Francis Bavier)moved in with Sam and Mike as their housekeeper.
Others in the cast were George Lindsay as Goober Pyle, slow-witted gas-pump jockey who often filled in as Sheriff after Andy left town; Arlene Golonka as Millie Swanson, girlfriend of widower Sam; Paul Hartman as Emmett Clark, owner of the town repair shop; Mary Lansing as Martha Clark, Emmett's wife; and Jack Dodson as Howard Sprague, the county clerk. In 1970 Aunt Alice ( Alice Ghostley)replaced Aunt Bee as Sam's housekeeper ( Francis Bavier had retired from acting).
For a couple of years Mayberry R.F.D. was virtually as popular as The Andy Griffith Show had been. The new program was one of the top 4 shows on television during it's first 2 seasons ( Andy Griffith had reached #1 in it's final season). It was still in the top 20 when CBS canceled it in 1971 as part of an extensive cutback in " rural" oriental programming.
Andy Griffith and Richard O. Linke were the executive producers of the series.
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