Short-Lived Series 'The New Andy Griffith Show' Built An Episode Around Glen Campbell


After attempting to escape typecasting with the short-lived, California-based TV show Headmaster (1970-'71), Andy Griffith returned to his rural roots with another ill-fated series, The New Andy Griffith Show (1971).

Instead of reprising his role as Andy Taylor, the sheriff of tiny Mayberry, Griffith played Andy Sawyer, mayor pro tem of medium-sided Greenwood. He's joined by Miss America winner Lee Meriwether, country comic Glen Ash and former The Dick Van Dyke Show star Ann Morgan Guilbert. In place of Opie, the Sawyer family's kids are played by Marty McCall and Lori Rutherford.

With all of that said, there were more similarities than differences. Both sitcoms aired on CBS and were set in North Carolina. When The Andy Griffith Show stars Don Knotts (Barney Fife), George Lindsey (Goober Pyle) and Paul Hartman (Emmett) appeared in the new series, they interacted with Andy Sawyer as if he was the same person as Sheriff Andy Taylor.

Plus, many of the behind-the-scenes players from Griffith's past, including Andy Griffith Show creator Aaron Ruben and writers Everett Greenbaum and Jim Fritzell, had a hand in the new series.

It wasn't terrible, but it was a weaker spin-off than both Jim Nabors' Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C. and a show that aired at the same time as The New Andy Griffith Show, Mayberry R.F.D. The latter continued the story of Aunt Bee (Frances Bavier) and other Mayberry regulars instead of trying to replicate the same old charm in a new town.

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One of the 10 episodes of The New Andy Griffith Show builds around a guest appearance by Glen Campbell. Per IMDB's description of "Get Me Glen Campbell," "Buff MacKnight (Ash) promises Andy he can get Glen Campbell to appear at the Greenwood Centennial Celebration, but things don't go exactly as planned."

MacKnight accidentally lands Glenn Campbell, a clumsy old-time musician, instead of the advertised Hollywood star. It's the opposite of when Oscar the Grouch got booked to duet with Glen Campbell, not the Wichita Trashman.

The highlight comes when little Lori Sawyer helps Campbell (Glen with one "n," that is) cover Jimmie Rodgers' "My Little Lady."

Now Watch: Stroll Through the Real Mayberry from 'The Andy Griffith Show'

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Short-Lived Series 'The New Andy Griffith Show' Built An Episode Around Glen Campbell