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Mayberry R.F.D.

By Persona Non Grata

When Andy Griffith decided to leave the Andy Griffith Show after eight years as Mayberry sheriff Andy Taylor, CBS continued the highly rated series as Mayberry RFD. They were able to keep most of the cast and added Sam Jones (Ken Berry) who, like Andy, was a widower with a young son, Mike (Buddy Foster). Sam had recently moved to Mayberry and soon was elected to the Mayberry Town Council. What he lacked in experience he made up for with cheerful zeal. Andy’s Aunt Bee (Frances Bavier) became their housekeeper and moved in with Sam and his son. Replacing her as housekeeper in the third season was Alice (Alice Ghostley).

Despite the fact that the show did well in the ratings and reached number one in its final year, it was canceled when CBS decided to cut most of its “rural” programming.

CAST:
Sam Jones – Ken Berry
Aunt Bee – Frances Bavier
Goober Pyle – George Lindsey
Howard Sprague – Jack Dodson
Emmett Clark – Paul Hartman
Millie Swanson – Arlene Golonka
Mike Jones – Buddy Foster
Alice – Alice Ghostley

 

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Check out our Mayberry R.F.D. forum! Do you have a favorite episode of the show? What do you remember about the series? Do you have any questions about it or its stars? Now you can post comments and questions directly to our TV forums! Click here to see what other Mayberry R.F.D. viewers have said or to post your own comments about the show!

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The one person I admired the most on MRFD was "Aunt Bee". The show premiered when I was about 9 years old. But as I watched the reruns in later years I realized that "Aunt Bee" was not her old self as I perceived her. Her acting was not up to par based on her excellent performances on the Andy Griffith Show. When I read director Howard Morris's comments about her, that she wasn't always up to playing the part, then I realized that by the time MRFD aired she was probably getting tired of her part just as Andy Griffith had gotten tired of his.

Elderly people often don't like changes (ie; as in the case of Agnes Moorehead when they "switched" Darrens on "Bewitched") so it could very well be that Frances was getting more difficult to work with as she often was on the Andy Griffith Show. Newcomers like Ken Berry, Arlene Golonka, and Buddy Foster probably realized that. You can notice that on MRFD she was seldom seen in two consecutive episodes, till finally she surrendered the "Aunt Bee" part altogether by the 3rd season.

--cj

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TV TIDBITS

Aired: September 23, 1968 - September 6, 1971

Cast: Ken Berry, Frances Bavier, Alice Ghostly

Network: CBS

Genre: Sitcom

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