Mayberry R.F.D. is the After Show to the popular CBS Sitcom The Andy Griffith Show, and ran for three seasons from 1968 to 1971. The show focused on widower Sam Jones (Ken Berry) and his son Mike (Buddy Foster), who were introduced during the final season of The Andy Griffith Show. Also appearing on the show were several Andy Griffith supporting characters, including Aunt Bea Taylor (Frances Bavier), Goober Pyle (George Lindsey), Howard Sprague (Jack Dodson), and Emmett Clark (Paul Hartman).
The show was fairly popular, which is unusual for an After Show, and finished in the Top 20 of the Nielsen ratings during the three seasons it was on the air (and in the Top 5 in its first two). Despite this, CBS decided to cancel the series as part of The Rural Purge.
This series provides examples of:
- The Bus Came Back: Barney Fife returned to be the best man at Andy and Helen's wedding.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Andy and Helen give birth to a son, Andy Jr., during this series. However, he isn't mentioned during the Andy Griffith reunion movie Return to Mayberry.
- Lethal Chef: Sam
- Missing Mom: Like Andy Taylor, Sam Jones is a widower.
- Moment Killer: Barney accompanies Andy and Helen on their honeymoon.
- Spinoff Sendoff: Andy and Opie Taylor, Helen Crump, and Barney Fife appear in the first episode.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute:
- Sam and Mike essentially fill the role of Andy and Opie from Andy Griffith (even going so far as having Aunt Bee as their housekeeper).
- In the third season, Sam's cousin Alice replaces Aunt Bee as the Jones' housekeeper.