Top 10 TV Shows from the Andy Griffith Genre

These were some of the best shows from when I was growing up. Clean humor, small town values, farming communities – great TV. To be on this list, the TV show had to be around in the 60s, was set in a small town or rural area, and had clean humor and family values from a different era. I excluded shows set in the past.

10. Mr. Deeds Goes to Town


Starring Monte Markham

Short-lived TV show about a man who inherits money and moves to the big city.

9. The Real McCoys


Starring Richard Creena, Lydia Reed, and Walter Brennon

This show is about a hillbilly family that moves to California.

8. Mayberry RFD


Starring Ken Berry, George Lindsey, Jack Dodson, Arlene Golonka, and Frances Bavier (Aunt Bea)

This spin-off of the Andy Griffith Show is about the town folks of Mayberry after Sheriff Taylor and his family moved away. Not as good as the original, but it kept us going after Andy Griffith went off the air.

7. Mr. Ed


Starring Alan Young

A young architect and his wife move to the country and buy a farm that comes with a horse that can talk. Of course.

6. Green Acres


Starring Eddie Albert and Ava Gabor

Nothing is funnier than placing Eddie Albert and Ava Gabor in farm country in the middle of crazy characters and watching their reactions. This is loosely related to Beverly Hillbillies and Petticoat Junction.

5. Beverly Hillbillies


Starring Buddy Epson, Irene Ryan, Max Baer Jr., Donna Douglas, and Raymond Bailey

Jed Clampett, a down and out hillbilly, strikes oil on his farm and becomes rich. Of course, the thing to do is to move to Beverly Hills. Another show loosely related to Petticoat Junction and Green Acres.

4. Gilligan’s Island


Starring Bob Denver, Alan Hale Jr., Natalie Schafer, Jim Backus, Dawn Wells, Tina Louise, and Russell Johnson

In case you’re wondering why I included this show, what’s more rural than a secluded island?

3. Gomer Pyle USMC


Starring Jim Nabors and Frank Sutton

The best spin-off of the Andy Griffith Show. Take a goofy, likable, backwoods mechanic and put him in the Marines under the toughest drill sergeant in the world, and you have this show. Too funny. I still remember how flustered Gomer Pyle would make Sergeant Carter. 

2. Petticoat Junction


Starring Bea Benaderet, Edgar Buchanan, Jeannine Riley, Gunilla Hutton, Meredith MacRae, Pat Woodell, Lori Saunders, Linda Henning

This little remembered TV show about three girls coming of age in rural America is one of my favorites. I wanted to be Betty Jo.

1. Andy Griffith Show


Starring Andy Griffith, Don Knotts, Ron Howard, Frances Bavier

This is the show that defined the genre. Andy Griffith will always be remembered for small town values in Mayberry, USA.


This entry was posted in Lists and More Lists, Top 10 Lists, TV Shows Lists by Tamera Kraft. Bookmark the permalink.

About Tamera Kraft

Tamera Kraft has been a children’s pastor for over 20 years. She is the leader of a ministry called Revival Fire For Kids where she mentors other children’s leaders, teaches workshops, and is a children’s ministry consultant and children’s evangelist. She is also a writer and has curriculum published including Kid Konnection 5: Kids Entering the Presence of God published by Pathway Press. She is a recipient of the 2007 National Children’s Leaders Association Shepherd’s Cup for lifetime achievement in children’s ministry.

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