CBS Television Distribution

Here's what Ken Berry had to say to people who thought Mayberry R.F.D. was ''unrelatable''

Mayberry was the quintessential small town that embodied an idyllic, nostalgic view of rural life in the 1960s. The tiny town's popularity in The Andy Griffith Show spawned a 1968 spin-off called Mayberry R.F.D.

When The Andy Griffith Show ended in '68, it left many viewers feeling like a piece of their hearts was missing. The town of Mayberry and all its unique and quirky citizens felt relatable for many, and for many others, it was a place they called home for eight seasons.

When Ken Berry moved to town for a starring role in Mayberry R.F.D., viewers and critics alike believed the new Mayberry missed the mark.

According to a 1970 interview with Palladium-Item, Berry said that many people believed the Mayberry legacy should have ended with The Andy Griffith Show. However, fans, ratings, and Berry all proved otherwise.

"Mayberry is about people who don't have much to do and their problems are not terribly important," Berry said. "I've heard it doesn't relate to the problems of today. If you want to see the problems of today, turn on the news. I think there's room for shows that are pure entertainment."

In the interview, Berry admitted that he was worried about CBS moving away from its emphasis on television series trying to appeal to the rural community. He didn't believe that Mayberry should be lumped into the same category as The Beverly Hillbillies and Green Acres.

"Those shows are farces and you have to accept that to enjoy it," Berry said. "But I am worried. I can't understand the thinking. There are many people who think Mayberry couldn't exist, but it does. CBS executives say there is no such place. They get on a plane in New York and fly here and never see what's in between."

No matter what the critics had to say, the show still ranked high among fans and in the Nielsen ratings, just like Berry believed it would. He was proud to be a Mayberry citizen and defended his fictional hometown until the series ended in 1971.

"I never liked the ratings until I got into a high-rated show," Berry said. "Now, I like them fine."

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