On This Day: ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ Stars Land Cover of TV Guide Magazine in 1963

by Madison Miller
(Photo by CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images)

There are many ways in which a show can receive rightful recognition. For “The Andy Griffith Show,” there is still recognition rolling in over 40 years later.

While an Emmy Award is commonly considered one of the best forms of critical acclaim, it certainly isn’t the only one. A show is only as good as it is popular. The popularity, viewership, and ratings of a show are what bring more years and more seasons to the screen.

TV Guide Magazine

One way in which popular shows are given a bit of extra recognition is by landing the cover spot on TV Guide magazine.

On this day back in 1963, Andy Griffith, Don Knotts, and Ron Howard all appeared on the cover of TV Guide. The three actors portrayed Andy Taylor, Opie, and Barney Fife in the popular series, “The Andy Griffith Show.” The three are seen laughing and smiling on the cover with Ron Howard being lifted up in the very center.

On different occasions, TV Guide has ranked the show as one of the best series in American television history. This list changes depending on the year and on the publication releasing the list. For example, in 2013 TV Guide put “The Andy Griffith Show” as No. 15 on the list of the 60 best series of all time. “The Sopranos” got the top spot and “Seinfeld” and “I Love Lucy” were directly below.

The very first issue of TV Guide came out on April 3, 1953. The very first cover featured a photo of Desi Arnaz Jr., the son of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, famous for “I Love Lucy.” It had the headline, “Lucy’s $50,000,000 baby.”

The magazine has been around for over 65 years. In many ways, it has become a staple for American television. The large red logo is a recognizable trademark. The magazine is still very much around. It also has a popular online site that discusses and criticizes new television shows.

‘The Andy Griffith Show’ Family Legacy

“The Andy Griffith Show” has hilarious comedic timing as well as lovable characters. One of the most adored characters on the show was Barney Fife. He was the chaotic and mistake-prone deputy played by Don Knotts.

Knotts was one of two members of the cast to win an Emmy from their time on the show. He won five Emmy Awards for Outstanding Performance in a Supporting Role by an Actor.

As a comedian, Don Knotts was one of the best of his time. He also had been in “Three’s Company” and had his own sitcom called “The Don Knotts Show.” A part of his legacy follows his children. He got married three times and had two kids, Thomas and Karen, with his first wife.

According to a 2011 interview with Murfreesboro Post, Karen Knotts started her own long-running, one-woman show in 2006. It’s called “Tied Up In Knotts!” She talks about growing up with her father and also discusses his different movies and TV shows.

“I consider my live comedy show a ‘Docu-Comedy’ because I’m presenting the truth about Dad’s life as well as delivering laughs. For me, it’s a love story that continues to grow as I share these precious memories with audiences who continue to find joy in the legacy of Don Knotts,” she said.

The show has been going on for over 10 years and she performs it 15 to 20 times a year.