The New Andy Griffith Show is an American situation comedy broadcast in the United States by the CBS television network in 1971.
Actor Andy Griffith had left his first sitcom, The Andy Griffith Show, voluntarily after the 1967-68 season while it was still number one in the Nielsen ratings and despite a high-dollar offer from CBS to continue it, in order to pursue his other interests, singing and motion picture acting, and to prevent his being typecast solely as a rural Southern sheriff.
When he decided to return to network television two years later, in the fall of 1970, it was in The Headmaster, a drama, in which he played the headmaster of an exclusive California private school. When that program very quickly sank in the ratings, Griffith replaced it immediately with this one, which was much closer in tone and content to his earlier, more successful role, and this program replaced The Headmaster on the CBS Friday night schedule effective January 8, 1971.
This time the setting was a mid-sized North Carolina town called Greenwood (pop. 12,785, ten times the number of people that lived in Mayberry), with Griffith portraying Andy Sawyer, a returning hometown boy who instantly becomes the town's new Mayor Pro-tem.
Andy Sawyer was the model family man, always agreeable and understanding, spending lots of quality time with his children.
Dressed in a humble yellow ochre vest, white shirt and gray slacks, Andy Sawyer was much simpler and more deferential than Andy Taylor ever was; often the lines they gave Andy to mouth would have been more appropriate coming from Goober Pyle.
Lee Meriwether was cast as Andy's wife.
Marty McCall and Lori Rutherford were seen as his children, T.J. and Lori, there was a live-in relative - Lee's sister Noro, played by Ann Morgan Guilbert. Instead of matronly and supportive like Aunt Bee, Nora was constantly complaining, neurotic, meddling and superstitious.
Rotund country comic Glen Ash was cast as town councilman Buff McKnight. Don Knotts discovered Ash, introducing him to TV audiences when he hosted The Hollywood Palace in 1968. As a result, Ash made the rounds on Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., Mayberry RFD, and others during the 1969-70 season.
Despite a successful premiere, and its greater similarity to his earlier, successful role and series, The New Andy Griffith Show was little more successful than The Headmaster had been. In fact, after 10 first-run episodes of The New Andy Griffith Show had been exhausted (the last first-run episode airing March 12, 1971, with repeats through May 21, 1971), CBS chose to rerun The Headmaster during the summer instead.