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Return to Mayberry Will Air on MeTV on May 1st

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Return to Mayberry spoiler alert

Return to Mayberry first aired in 1986 and became the most-watched television movie of the year. The made-for-TV film is based on The Andy Griffith Show which ran on CBS from 1960-to 1968. There were 249 episodes that have been on the air for the past 60 years and fans cannot get enough.If you missed the reunion film when it first aired or did not catch it on MeTV in 2021 you now have another opportunity. The film that reunites the Mayberry characters will air on Sunday night May 1st at 8:00 PM on MeTV. The network also airs the original series weeknights at 8:00 PM.If you have not seen this film and don't like spoiler alerts please stop here and tune in on Sunday night. One of the distressing realities of the movie is that the characters have aged. The reruns from the 8 years of The Andy Griffith Show airing on CBS show the characters as we remember them. The film takes place 20 years later and everyone has aged.This may shock those have not kept up with the cast in later kife.

Behind the scenes in Mayberry

The action in the movie begins when Andy Taylor returns to Mayberry to be on hand for the birth of his first grandchild Opie is now an adult and married. Andy also desires to run for Sherrif again but backs out when he finds out Barney also. In addition to the movie MeTV will be airing some of the most popular episodes from The Andy Griffith Show. One of them will be the famous pickle episode.The cast had nothing but good things to say about filming the reunion film but that was not the case with the television show. Sadly there were problems behind the scenes considering this statement;“I can only repeat what I was told, but on The Andy Griffith Show, "Howard Morris, who played Ernest T. Bass on the show and directed episodes of it, said that directing Frances was like stepping on a landmine. If you would ask her to move three inches to the right to get in the proper frame, she’d blow a fuse and refuse.”

The absence of Aunt Bee

For years there have been rumors that Frances Bavier was unhappy in her role as Aunt Bee on The Andy Griffith Show. The actress got her start on Broadway snd allegedly said that is where she preferred to be. Fans could not tell based on her performance as Aunt Bee seemed to genuinely love Andy, Opie, and all things Mayberry. Off screen the actress was said to be standoffish and hot tempered. Allegedly the on-screen warmth and chemistry did not hold up once the cameras were off.Griffith did not give details but during an interview with Larry King he said Bavier apologized to him a few months before she died. There were several reasons given for Bavier not returning for the reunion movie. Some said that she did not desire to come out of retirement while others said she was ill. A third explanation was that the actress simply did not desire to return to the role that she supposedly despised. There is a scene in Return to Mayberry where Aunt Bee's voice is heard but it's not Bavier. The voice of Bee Taylor is provided by Janet Waldo who was the original voice of Judy Jetson, and Penelope Pitstop.

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Thelma Lou and Barney get hitched

The highlight of the film Return to Mayberry is when Barney Fife ( Don Knotts) and Thelma Lou Betty Lynn} get married.The preacher is portrayed by Rance Howard the father of Ron Howard ( Opie Taylor) and Clint Howard Leon). Rance also was in a few episodes of The Andy Griffith Show. Fans may recall that Barbey left Mayberry for another job when Knotts left the series to make films. Thelma Lou was simply written out because the producers did not want her around without Barney. In the later episode, The Return of Barney Fife it is revealed that Thelma Lou married a man named Gerald Whitfield, In the reunion film she is divorced and she and Barney finally tie the knot. Practically all of the old gang from the early episodes is in town and the movie is heartwarming. Be sure you tune in on May 1st and spread the word.

Sources

Aunt Bee was trouble off screen

Return to Mayberry

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Cheryl E Preston

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