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Friday, July 6, 2012

TV honors Andy Griffith with marathon programming

Posted by on Fri, Jul 6, 2012 at 2:24 PM

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Folks who stayed out of the house all day on July 4 may have missed out on all-day TV tributes to Andy Griffith, but that's OK. They'll get some more chances over the next couple of weeks.

TV Land and The Hallmark Movie Channel wasted no time in honoring the Mt. Airy, N.C. native, who died the day before of a heart attack, at the age of 86.

The Andy Griffith Show was cherry-picked for a five-hour run on TV Land, and Hallmark has been giving Matlock fans a long, loving look at rumpled, feisty southern lawyer Ben Matlock, played by Griffith to folksy perfection from 1986 to 1992.

Anyone who missed the TV Land marathons can check them out again on on Saturday, June 7 and Sunday, July 8 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. But here in North Carolina, fans may find more comfort in watching Andy, Opie, Barney, Aunt Bee and the whole happy Mayberry bunch all day long this weekend on WRAL.2.

The Andy Griffith Show has a special home on WRAL, where many of us Carolina folks grew up watching the series in syndication. So it seems fitting that on Saturday and Sunday (July 7 and 8) from 1 p.m. to 1 a.m., we can all remember Griffith with 24 hours of solid Andy on WRAL.2 THISTV 5.2 (TWC channel 106).

That's 48 episodes in all, folks, including such classics as "The Pickle Story," in which Aunt Bee makes a batch of pickles so foul that only flies like them; and "The Darlings Are Coming," about the boisterous shenanigans that ensue when the Darling family come down from the mountains to visit Mayberry town.

Oh, we could go on and on—and on Saturday and Sunday, we will. But for now, you can check out the entire schedule here.

Let's not forget that Griffith had a movie career. That's the message of Turner Classic Movies (TCM), which will look back at four of Griffith's film performances on Wednesday, July 18.

It kicks off at 8 p.m. with Elia Kazan's 1957 drama A Face in the Crowd, which features Griffith's acclaimed performance as "Lonesome" Rhodes, a drunken drifter who flukishly rises to fame as a TV star, becoming a destructive megalomaniac in the process.

Next, at 10:15 p.m., it's No Time for Sergeants, the 1958 World War II Air Force comedy in which Griffith (as country bumpkin Pvt. Will Stockdale) shares the screen with future TV co-star Don Knotts.

At 12:30 a.m., the 1975 comedy Hearts of the West features Griffith in a supporting role as Howard Pike (aka Billy Pueblo) next to star Jeff Bridges, playing an aspiring novelist in the 1930s who gets cast as the leading man in B-grade westerns.

Finally, at 2:15 a.m., it ends with Onionhead , a somewhat dark 1958 comedy-drama set on a U.S. Coast Guard ship during World War II.

Yep, that's an awful lot of Andy. But as 52 years and millions of hours of collective views of a certain TV series have proven by now, you can never get too much Andy. RIP, Sheriff Taylor.

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This weekend, on WRAL.2, there will be 48 hours of Mayberry heaven. Later this month, Turner Classic Movies will run four classic Andy Griffith films in one evening—and yes, that includes A Face in the Crowd.

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