Andy Griffith Season 1 2015 (DVD)
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The “ensemble” feel of The Andy Griffith Show has not entirely solidified during the series’ first season on CBS. Thus, we find more episodes centering exclusively around the character of Mayberry, NC sheriff Andy Taylor (Andy Griffith) than would be customary in later seasons. Still, there is plenty of time for the series’ secondary characters to shine, notably Don Knotts as Andy’s uptight, overzealous deputy Barney Fife (identified as Andy’s cousin in the episode “The Manhunt,” a familial link that would be ignored and forgotten as the series rolled on). Also allowed to take center stage from time to time are the widowed Andy’s young son Opie (Ronny Howard) and Andy and Opie’s housekeeper, Aunt Bee (Frances Bavier), who is “hired” in the series’ very first episode. Throughout season one, the writers endeavor to develop a romance between Andy Taylor and Ellie May Walker (Elinor Donahue), a headstrong and highly intelligent young woman who clerks at her uncle’s drugstore. Evidently, however, the sparks never flew, and Ellie would be written off the show by season’s end. Introduced as part of CBS’ powerhouse Monday night sitcom lineup (all of them sponsored by General Foods), The Andy Griffith Show ended its first season as the nation’s fourth most popular series. As a bonus, Don Knotts picked up the first of his five Emmy awards for Outstanding Performance in a Supporting Role.