‘The Andy Griffith Show’ Was One of Only Three Series to End With This Incredible Achievement

by Joe Rutland

The Andy Griffith Show remains one of the most popular classic TV shows to watch these days and it also was popular in its first run. Now, this show ran between 1960-68 as part of the CBS lineup that dominated TV for years. This show also produced a couple of spinoffs in Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. and Mayberry R.F.D. But the sitcom would finish up with quite an achievement to its name.

When you think of well-received sitcoms on TV, there’s no doubt this one ranks up there. Watching Andy, Barney, Aunt Bee, Opie, Otis, Gomer, and Goober go through things is a hoot. The storylines and scripts were always top-notch. This would translate into solid ratings, too. These ratings also play a role in the show’s achievement.

‘The Andy Griffith Show’ Was a Ratings Winner

A MeTV story indicates that it finished No.1 in the Nielsen ratings in 1968, its final season. Mind you, this also would be a show that did not have the amazing Don Knotts for its last three seasons. Knotts, of course, played Deputy Barney Fife to great acclaim. He would take home a few Emmy Awards for his work on the show. Yep, he won five and Frances Bavier won one for playing Bee.

But this achievement of finishing at the top in the final season is amazing. Besides The Andy Griffith Show, only two other sitcoms can make that claim. They are I Love Lucy and Seinfeld, two quite different sitcoms but they had one thing in common. If you look at the shows’ main cast, then each of those shows had four core actors in it. The Andy Griffith Show leaned a lot on Griffith and other cast members in the final three seasons.

Knotts would come back for an occasional guest-starring spot as Fife. But Mayberry would continue to flourish as storylines turned toward different characters like Howard Sprague, played by Jack Dodson, and Emmett Clark, played by Paul Hartmann. Of course, Goober, played by George Lindsey, also found some space for episodes as well. The idyllic nature of having a small town like Mayberry become a central part of the show during its run proves quite popular to this very day.

What keeps people coming back to see this show is the amazing part each person plays individually. Fans still laugh at the antics of everyone on the show. While he didn’t appear in many episodes, it’s hard not to laugh at seeing Ernest T. Bass, played for laughs by Howard Morris. The cast and crew of The Andy Griffith Show knew what they were doing each week. It all worked like magic. Besides other TV channels, the show runs regularly on the streaming platform Pluto TV.