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A Producer on the Exhibit Had ‘Unease’ With Andy Griffith’s Bringing Far too Significantly ‘Mayberry’ Into the Drama

When the courtroom drama Matlock began in 1986, it was a welcome new start for actor Andy Griffith.

According to a Griffith biographer, the exhibit, which lasted nine seasons, turned funnier, folksier, and for a person of the producers a minimal much too Mayberry as each individual period went on.

Andy Griffith as ‘Matlock’ holds a modest guitar in 1992 | Walt Disney Tv via Getty Photographs Image Archives/Walt Disney Television via Getty Photographs

‘Matlock’ was crafted all over Griffith

With the attractiveness of CBS’ Murder She Wrote, NBC noticed the option to make a identical thriller sequence all over the previous Andy Griffith Exhibit star. The network’s president of entertainment Brandon Tartikoff assigned producers Dean Hargrove and Fred Silverman the process of producing Griffith’s upcoming significant hit.

In his biography of Griffith and actor Don Knotts Andy and Don: The Creating of a Friendship and a Typical American Television set Exhibit, author Daniel de Visé sums up the id of the show’s direct character: “Ben Matlock is a venerable Atlanta defense lawyer whose just-folks persona conceals a intense intellect. He hates to eliminate virtually as much as he hates injustice. He’s low-cost sufficient to shine his very own sneakers, and adequately mercenary to shake down a client for his previous $100,000.”

Andy Griffith as Ben Matlock in jail on 'Matlock'
Andy Griffith as Ben Matlock | Frank Carroll/NBCU Photograph Lender

From the drama’s initial time, Griffith began bringing on board his aged Griffith Exhibit friends.

Thelma Lou actor Betty Lynn played his secretary for four episodes in the initial time. Griffith’s previous sidekick Don Knotts played Matlock’s neighbor Les Calhoun in 17 episodes.

And his outdated on-display (and real-life) flame Aneta Corsaut portrayed a choose on the series in a handful of episodes.

https://www.youtube.com/view?v=X_51kao-66M

RELATED: ‘Matlock’: Andy Griffith Complained About Feeding on So Lots of Sizzling Dogs on the Demonstrate

NBC even arranged a press convention to publicize the start off of Knotts’ appearances in 1988.

“Don Knotts is the ideal comedian actor I ever met,” Andy said at the time. “I play straight for him far better than any male in The us.”

The producer who grew involved at the ‘Mayberry-ization’ of ‘Matlock’

When Griffith approached Matlock‘s producers about inviting Knotts on to the exhibit for an undetermined selection of episodes, just one producer in unique was involved, in accordance to de Visé.

Andy Griffith and Don Knotts in a scene from 'Matlock'
Andy Griffith and Don Knotts in a scene from ‘Matlock’ | Paul Drinkwater/NBCU Picture Financial institution

“Joel Steiger, who was using above day-to-day business on Matlock, viewed the creeping ‘Mayberry-ization’ with escalating unease,” he wrote. “Andy seemed intent on re-creating his best television achievement on Matlock, even if it imperiled the success of his comeback.”

Steiger informed de Vise: “He wished to put Don on the clearly show. I didn’t know how we have been going to use him, mainly because Don as a character could seriously only be Andy’s mate. We arrived to the summary that we would not use him in each and every episode. And we’d use him as a friend who stopped by the business, and stuff like that…I didn’t want to rip the display apart just to have Don in it.”

In the end, Griffith and Knotts agreed the arrangement wasn’t working and the previous Barney Fife actor stopped his appearances on Matlock.

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