Don Knotts never thought The Andy Griffith Show would go beyond five seasons

''Then Andy suddenly said he was going to stay on another two or three years. I never expected it to go on.''

For the first five years of The Andy Griffith Show, Don Knotts grew into the role of Barney Fife, which eventually became a phenomenon of its own. 

The Mayberry deputy to Sheriff Andy Taylor didn't shy away from talking a big game on the force, despite the fact that he was only allowed to carry one bullet. When push came to shove, Deputy Fife did his best to keep Mayberry safe. Yes, it was safe to begin with, but still. 

The Andy Griffith Show of course went on without Knotts for three seasons, after he left the show for the big screen and new opportunities. Knotts' five years on TAGS were the best of the series according to fans worldwide, and it's no surprise. The duo of Griffith and Knotts gave the show its tone and is why the series is still so loved today. 

Though the small-town series carried on for multiple years after Knotts' departure, it wasn't the same. Mayberry was used to having Deputy Fife on the hip of Sheriff Taylor. The viewers were used to it too.

Knotts, who continued on to a successful career after TAGS, said there was a tentative timeline for the series from the very beginning, and that it came from Andy Griffith himself. 

"I left because Andy had said he would never do the show longer than five years," Knotts explained during a 1999 interview with the Television Academy Foundation. "I had a five-year contract. During the fifth season I thought 'jeez, I better start looking around for more work.'"

Knotts did look around, and unsurprisingly found work. But as the initial five year mark drew closer, Griffith decided he wanted to call Mayberry home for a little longer.

"I wound up getting an offer from Universal to do movies and do my own pictures. Then Andy suddenly said he was going to stay on another two or three years." 

Knotts' final episode as a Mayberry regular was during the season five episode "Opie Flunks Arithmetic," but he did return to Mayberry in a handful of episodes after his departure. Though he found success outside of Mayberry, the ultimate decision to leave wasn't an easy one. But by the time The Andy Griffith Show was set for a sixth season and beyond, Knotts had made up his mind. 

"I had focused all my attention in that direction... and I just went ahead. It was a tough time for me because I enjoyed the Griffith show so much, that I hated to leave. I never expected it to go on." 

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wallyandbagfan 1 month ago
METV and Everyone Else :
Beleive It Or Not there are lots of TV
Viewers who like the color episodes of The Andy Griffith Show-Seasons 6 7 and 8 . Some of the color episodes of TAGS are very good and also funny funny funny (that's what Gomer Pyle said about Duke Slater doing imitations of
Pyle and Sgt Carter.
Viewers Who like Ernest T Bass:
Clips of ETB are right below for you to enjoy.
Saturday mornings from 6am to 7am would be an excellent time to show the color episodes of The Andy Griffith Show replacing The
Beverly Hillbillies which are now seen Monday -Fridays at 9pm which replaced Moriyahs favorite sitcom Gomer Pyle USMC.
Also since The A Team replaced
Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley please show HD and L&S in a different time slot.
I would also like to see The Dukes Of Hazzard and Car 54 Where Are
You The Lone Ranger The Adventures of Superman The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet and Alice on METV.
I Beleive there are 80 years left on your contract to carry Hogans Heroes. Maybe someday METV will carry Mayberry RFD and The Addams Family and The Munsters and Dark SHADOWS.
Beleive it or not but there TV Viewers who liked Deputy Warren
Ferguson (Jack Burns).
METV and Everyone Else :
And equally there are viewers that are happy with MeTV's choice not to broadcast the last three seasons. 2 sides to every coin. Glad they don't show those seasons. There's always other options. Enjoy MeTV's programming choices and certainly not looking or expect the network to carry or adapt to individual opinions or tastes. The network does an excellent job (past,present) and whatever future changes they may make.
wallyandbagfan 1 month ago
A TRIBUTE To Howard Morris
Ernest T. Bass
Five Episodes of The Andy Griffith Show.
McGillahooala 1 month ago
Watching the color episodes of The Andy Griffith show is like getting a Shemp.
I like The Color Episodes of The Andy Griffith Show and I enjoy watching The 6 Stooges:
Moe Howard Larry FINE
Curly Howard Shemp Howard
Joe Besser and Joe DiRita .
Lots of TV Viewers like to watch
the color episodes of The Andy Griffith Show. I also like to watch
Mayberry RFD. Some TV Viewers actually like to watch Characters
Howard Sprague Emmett Clark
Millie Hutchins and Goober Pyle.
wallyandbagfan RachelR 1 month ago
Joe Besser IS great as one of The
Three Stooges especially in the
Three Stooges Short called A Merry
Mix Up about nine Stooges going to a restaurant and the waiter (FRANK
Sully ( gets confused and runs after the Stooges over and over.
Shemp Howard and Curly Howard were BOTH funny.
The 3 Stooges short where Shemp went to Heaven and Came back to
Earth to reform Moe and Larry were great. Shemp Heaven SHORTS:
Bedlam IN Paradise and
Heavenly Daze.
Corny Casanovas with Shemp was remade as Rusty Romeos with
Joe Besser ..The woman at the
Apartment said :
Baked A Cake !!".
There's nothing wrong with Shemp
Howard being one of The 3 Stooges.
wallyandbagfan RachelR 1 month ago
There's nothing wrong with Joe
Besser and later Joe DiRITA as
Members of The 3 Stooges.
McGillahooala 1 month ago
How many times is MeTV going to recycle the same stories?
Forever for Hogans Heroes!
METV probably has a 100 Year Contract with with Hogans Heroes.
Rick 1 month ago
Maybe he meant to say the show *shouldn't* have gone on past five years.
tootsieg 1 month ago
Don Knotts leaving and changing over to color………Not the same show.
JHP 1 month ago
well...his vocal chords had to get pretty sore by then (all the yelling)

but then almost all the rants were followed by the canned laugh track
Runeshaper 1 month ago
Don Knotts was a FANTASTIC actor! 👌
LoveMETV22 1 month ago
"Knotts' five years on TAGS were the best of the series according to fans worldwide."
"Though the small-town series carried on for multiple years after Knotts' departure, it wasn't the same."
"Truer words have never been spoken."
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" I hope that Moriyah has"
I'm sure Moriyah has what she wishes to view. The point though is Weigel has multiple networks
MeTV+ Plus has G.P-U.S.M.C as well as Mayberry R.F.D. at least according to their most recent schedule:

Granted that particular network is only broadcast by their Weigel Owned and Operated stations at the present moment.

Also some of their other networks carry shows such as I Love Lucy and Superman and a few others. The point is though they're not going to run every program on all of their networks. Each network has it's niche and what MeTV broadcasts is a particular niche. Decades, H&I, startTV and MeTV Plus all have there own individual niche's.

It's unfortunate if some viewers disagree, but they can't carry every possible program on one network. also an exhaustive list of programs that may be considered classic they wouldn't be able to carry either due to availability (whether there are broadcast rights, if the show is even in syndication, and any other number of reasons). Even then they couldn't broadcast all the programs spread out over all their networks.

Unfortunately all their networks are not available in every locale, but that's not a choice by Weigel, there are many broadcast groups involved Ie: Scripps, Sinclair, and a number of others (Major or independent). Weigel cannot force their way on to the airwaves, so when you make your various comments, take into consideration that there are many variables that are involved, some of which Weigel Broadcasting has no control over. Meaning it's not as simple as most think it may be.
wallyandbagfan JHP 1 month ago
Jack Burns as Warren ?
Warren did leave Mayberry after 11 episodes of TAGS and relocated in
Cornfield County with Goober .
(Hee Haw )
Coldnorth MrsPhilHarris 1 month ago
So many ways to reply to that statement. ROFL
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