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The Andy Griffith Show: Season 08 ()

The Andy Griffith Show may have been America's top-rated series during its eighth season on the air, but star Andy Griffith had decided that he would leave the program at season's end, and that was that. The departure of Griffith's character, Mayberry sheriff Andy Taylor, is carefully orchestrated throughout the season's episodes, beginning with Andy finally asking his longtime sweetheart Helen Crump (Aneta Corsaut) to marry him, and ending with the slow and steady buildup of Andy's potential replacement on the series: local farmer and town councilman Sam Jones, played by Ken Berry. A widower, Sam lives with his son Mike Jones, and is courting local gal Millie Hutchins (Arlene Golonka), former girlfriend of town clerk Howard Sprague (Jack Dodson). In addition to Berry and Golonka, Paul Hartman has been added to the cast as handyman Emmet Clark, Sam Jones' rival for the position of councilman. Hartman, along with most of the other supporting characters (including Frances Bavier as Aunt Bee and George Lindsey as Goober Pyle), would remain on the series after Griffith's departure and during the show's re-emergence in the fall of 1968 as the "new" sitcom Mayberry RFD. While the final Andy Griffith Show episodes are enjoyable, few are standouts. An exception is "Aunt Bee, the Juror," in which the defendant in a burglary trial is played by none other than Jack Nicholson! ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi Hide synopsis

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