The sixth season of The Andy Griffith Show was the first season to be filmed in color -- and the first to do without the services of longtime co-star Don Knotts, who had abandoned his Emmy-winning role of Mayberry deputy Barney Fife to pursue a film career. For a while, it looked as though star Andy Griffith would follow Knotts' lead, thereby ...
The sixth season of The Andy Griffith Show was the first season to be filmed in color -- and the first to do without the services of longtime co-star Don Knotts, who had abandoned his Emmy-winning role of Mayberry deputy Barney Fife to pursue a film career. For a while, it looked as though star Andy Griffith would follow Knotts' lead, thereby voluntarily ending one of CBS's most popular sitcoms. At the last moment, however, Griffith opted to remain with the show, though reports still persist that he was never entirely happy with this decision. With the exception of Knotts, the series' familiar supporting cast remained intact: Ronny Howard as Opie Taylor, son of widowed sheriff Andy Taylor (Andy Griffith); Frances Bavier as the Taylors' housekeeper, Aunt Bee; Aneta Corsaut as Andy's schoolteacher sweetheart Helen Crump; Howard McNear as jittery town barber Floyd Lawson; George Lindsey as gas station attendant Goober Pyle; and Hal Smith as town drunk Otis Campbell. New to the series is Jack Burns as Andy's new deputy, the over-conscientious Warren Ferguson; and Jack Dodson as mother-dominated town clerk Howard Sprague. This season marked the first time that The Andy Griffith Show relied upon story arcs, with a single storyline spread throughout several consecutive episodes. The first of these found Andy, Opie, Aunt Bee, and Helen heading to Hollywood to oversee production of "The Sheriff Without a Gun," a film based on Andy's law career. The second arc, consuming two episodes, finds Barney Fife Don Knotts returning to Mayberry to attend his high school reunion. Ironically, these two installments proved to be the highlights of the season, and also earned Don Knotts his fourth Emmy award for his portrayal of Barney Fife! Although some aficionados feel that The Andy Griffith Show lost momentum during its post-Barney "color years," the series remained an audience favorite throughout its sixth season, ranking as America's sixth highest-rated program. Hal Erickson, Rovi
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