‘The Andy Griffith Show’ Was the 60th Most-Watched Show in 2016, Nearly 50 Years After it Ended

by Matthew Memrick
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“The Andy Griffith Show” ranked as the 60th most-watched show in 2016, and it shows how great the program was 50 years after it ended.

But in these pandemic times, an accurate indicator of how comforting the classic 1960s show is may come from how much time folks watch it.

What can you say about a six-time Emmy Award-winning show that encompasses Americana so well that fans probably watch it daily? Shoot, fans still flock to Griffith’s hometown of Mt. Airy, N.C. regularly in an attempt to recapture that show magic all those years later. Also, the show’s loveable characters, basic plot structure, and memorable lines keep bringing fans back all these years.

Besides, look at all the things happening in the world, and you’ll see a need to tune in and tune out with the tremendous nostalgic programming of years back.

‘Andy Griffith Show’ Gross Minutes Watched

During the pandemic, folks turned to the television to take their minds off the real world. Many shows of yesteryear like “Friends,” “Roseanne,” and “Family Matters” have picked up steam in the last few years.

Nielsen, famous for their ratings, looked at several “comforting” shows and found that “The Andy Griffith Show” saw a 29 percent jump in minutes watched between 2019 and 2020.

In 2020, folks tuned in to see Sheriff Andy Taylor and his crew for 58,292,939,519 minutes while they watched the show for 45,265,171,514 minutes in 2019.

Plus, the 24-hour availability of the show in accessible formats like MeTV, Pluto TV, and Amazon Prime makes it an easy show to time and time again.

One more thing. A March USA Today article said the “Andy Griffith Show” is ranked as the favorite comedy in two North Carolina TV markets.

TV Viewers Escape To “Andy Griffith Show”

It all makes sense to tune into Opie and Aunt Bee. The last year, TV has been all about the pandemic, protesting over racial justice and a divisive presidential election.

These old shows harken back to a life where TV content was tamer and aimed at the broadest audience possible so that the whole family could tune in together. Now that everyone has a mini TV screen in their pocket, multi-generational families can connect in one room easier.

MeTV reported that Fox Sports writer Michael Mulvihill went to the Nielsen Ratings well and looked at minutes viewed in 2016. With those top minutes viewed stat, he concluded that Law & Order: SVU was the top watched show. 

“SpongeBob SquarePants,” “NCIS,” and “Forensic Files” came next. Animated show “Teen Titans Go” came next, followed by “Good Morning America,” “CNN Newsroom,” and NBC’s “Today.” “American Pickers” and “Big Bang Theory” rounded out the top ten. 

Why did these ten do so well? Mulvihill said they are on all the time

How many viewers did “Andy Griffith Show” get in 2019. They got 36.9 billion to clock in at that No. 60. Happy watching! 

Outsider.com