CBS, Paramount Surprise With New Andy Griffith Show Season One BD Re-Issue

Courtesy:  CBS Home Entertainment/Paramount Home Entertainment

Courtesy: CBS Home Entertainment/Paramount Home Entertainment

The Andy Griffith Show is one of the single greatest sitcoms to ever grace television sets across the nation. There is not a sliver of doubt about that. It first made its debut on CBS nearly fifty-four years ago on CBS. It aired its final episode on April 1, 1968. That was over forty-six years ago. In the years since it ended its initial run on CBS, The Andy Griffith Show has remained a family favorite regardless of the network that has carried the series. All eight of its seasons have been released on separate DVD box sets, too. And last month, the series was given a new beginning once again thanks to the release of the series’ first season on blu-ray. The newly re-issued first season is a joy for viewers of any age, especially for those that have yet to start adding the series’ seasons to their own library. The main reason for this is that this re-issue contains every episode from the first season in its entirety. This actually is something important believe it or not. Just as important to the re-issue of the series’ first season is the clarity of the picture. The bonus material included in The Andy Griffith Show Season One is the final piece of the puzzle so to speak. Included among the bonus material in this newly re-issued season set are: An episode of The Danny Thomas Show, a vintage interview between Andy Griffith and Edward R. Murrow from his famed series Person to Person, and the hard to find movie Return To Mayberry among even more bonuses. The bonus material alone makes this set well worth the addition to any fan’s home library. The bonus features in conjunction with the re-mastered picture and the inclusion of every episode from Season One collectively make The Andy Griffith Show: Season One a wonderful re-birth for one of the greatest sitcoms in the history of television.

The Andy Griffith Show: Season One is a joy for every family first and foremost because it includes every episode of the series’ first season in a single box. From helping local Mayberry guitarist Jim Lindsey get his shot at stardom in “Guitar Player” to helping out his deputy and best friend Barney Fife in “Andy Saves Barney’s Morale” to the special holiday episode “Christmas Story” and more, there is so much to enjoy throughout the first season of The Andy Griffith Show. It just goes to show once more that television can be entertaining and family friendly at the same time. It’s too bad that such quality programming doesn’t exist anymore in any of the sitcoms that currently run on both broadcast and cable networks. Thankfully, audiences have this latest re-issue to make up for that. And especially being that TV Land either runs The Andy Griffith Show late at night now or doesn’t even run it at all—and apparently, neither do Me-TV, Antenna TV or the other retro networks—it becomes all the more important and valuable for any fan of truly worthwhile programming.

The people at Paramount and CBS Blu-ray have scored in a big way by including every original episode from the first season of The Andy Griffith Show on this newly re-issued box set. The inclusion of so many fun episodes is in itself a just the tip of the iceberg in the set’s success. On a deeper level, the very fact that every episode from Season One was included in a single set instead of split into multiple sets makes the set even more of a success. Far too often, people take such a factor for granted in purchasing box sets of their favorite television series. As many have seen though, there are some studios that have made a habit over the years of splitting certain shows up into multiple box sets. This causes viewers to have to spend more money over time. And such practice is anything but ergonomic. So to have every single episode of the series’ first season in one Blu-ray box set is a huge positive. Making it even more of a positive is the fact that each disc is placed on its own plastic “insert” within the box. This protects the discs from scratching one another and in turn allows for them to be enjoyed for many years as long as they are properly cared for. On another level, the new Blu-ray re-issue of Season One takes up far less space on DVD racks than its DVD counterpart.

Having examined the inclusion of the complete first season of the Andy Griffith Show, the next logical step is to examine the presentation of the episodes themselves. The automatic assumption of presenting a classic black and white television show in HD wouldn’t make that much difference in the look of the show. The surprise reality of the episodes in Season One is that there is a noticeable difference in the quality of the picture. While the original grainy quality of the show is still there, it is quite obvious that those charged with re-mastering these episodes did quite the job of cleaning them up. And they did so without losing any of the charm of the show’s original look. In short, it could be compared to transferring a classic vinyl record to CD. It is much cleaner, but it still maintains that vintage presentation at the same time. That that balance is present here only serves to make The Andy Griffith Show Season One all the more impressive of a re-introduction for audiences.

The inclusion of The Andy Griffith Show’s entire first season in a single box set and the laughs provided are both central to the success of this recently released Blu-ray box set. That those charged with re-mastering the episodes were able to enhance the picture without losing too much of the series’ original vintage look makes the set all the more of a success. Looking at these positives, there is only one positive left to examine in this set. That last remaining factor is the collective bonus features included with the episodes. Paramount and CBS Blu-ray have given audiences quite the impressive list of bonus features to finish off the viewing experience. The bonus material starts off small with the inclusion of a full episode of The Danny Thomas Show. Audiences will find the episode in question interesting as there are some slight changes to Mayberry here. Aunt Bea goes by a different name. And Otis the town drunk has been replaced. What’s more, Barney isn’t there, either. However, it is still Mayberry interestingly enough. Things step up a little bit more from here with the inclusion of an interview between legendary broadcaster Edward R. Murrow and Andy Griffith on Murrow’s famed interview series Person to Person. The pair discusses Griffith’s sitcom and more. And finishing off the whole presentation is the inclusion of the hard to find Andy Griffith Show spinoff movie, Return To Mayberry. This movie came nearly two decades after the original series ended. According to the movie, Sheriff Taylor was no longer the head lawman in Mayberry. His former deputy, the beloved bumbling Barney Fife was making a run for the town’s head officer. And Andy’s son Opie is now all grown up and about to become a father himself. Needless to say, it’s a happy reunion for all involved. Of course it isn’t without some bumps along the way. It is the final piece to the puzzle that is The Andy Griffith Show Season One a surprisingly impressive and welcome re-issue.

The Andy Griffith Show Season One is available now in stores and online. More information on this and upcoming seasons of The Andy Griffith Show on Blu-ray is available online at and To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at

Hey Dude Season 4 Offers Thirteen More Episodes Of Laughs And Lessons

Courtesy:  Nickelodeon/Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Nickelodeon/Shout! Factory

Saddle up, fans!  Hey Dude has returned once again thanks to the good people at Nickelodeon and Shout! Factory.  Now in its fourth season, this classic kid friendly sitcom is just as enjoyable as its previous three seasons.  Sure, by today’s standards, much of the writing is corny to say the least.  But much of it is also very serious.  The combination makes for a wonderful sense of nostalgia among those that grew up with this ingenious precursor to so much of the lesser material currently airing on Nickelodeon and its sister stations (Nicktoons, TeenNick, etc.).

Hey Dude Season Four is comprised of thirteen more episodes on two discs packaged quite well.  Among this season’s thirteen episodes are plenty more laughs and life lessons that will take any original viewer back.  They will also serve as a reminder both for said viewers and their own children of what once made television great.  Among the best of the best this time are the episodes, “Magnum Ernst”, “Do The Right Thing”, and “Dudesbury.”  The latter pair of the trio both feature Danny, the ranch’s Native American hand as the main character.  And while both teach important lessons, audiences will appreciate the different feel of each episode.  “Dudesbury” is more lighthearted in its lesson about respecting others’ feelings, while the other—“Do The Right Thing”–is more serious and just as important to society to this day.  This episode sees Danny facing off against an archaeologist who wants to dig up an ancient Native American burial ground near the Bar None Ranch and put the artifacts and bones on display.  He makes an interesting argument when he asks Mr. Ernst if he would want someone digging up one of his family members and putting them on display for people to gawk at.  At another point, the archaeologist makes a rather harsh comment about the land on which the burial ground sits was not Native American land, thus justifying his actions.  While this episode was filmed back in the early 1990’s, this is an issue that the Native American community still deals with to this day.  So in hindsight, it makes this episode on more worth checking out in Season Four.  While the episodes featuring Danny offer their own entertainment and insight, “Magnum Ernst” is nothing but good old fashioned slapstick comedy.  It will entertain both kids and adults.  Older audiences will appreciate this episode in that it directly pays tribute to the much more classic sitcom, The Andy Griffith Show.  Mr. Ernst does quite the job of mirroring the buffoonery of one Deputy Barney Fife.  Given Don Knotts can never be beaten in what he did.  Many have tried.  But actor David Brisbin made for his own share of laughs in his attempt.

The episodes noted comprise just a part of everything that the show has to offer, content-wise in its penultimate season.  All thirteen episodes contained in this set’s two discs offer entertainment and life lessons that still ring true for audiences of all ages today.  Speaking of the set’s dual disc setting, the set’s packaging is another of its positives.  Each of the set’s two discs is placed securely on either side of the case in its own space.  This protects the discs from being scratched up and likely helps cut back on the set’s overall cost to consumers.  This maintains the integrity of each disc for much longer than perhaps other lesser packaged multi-disc sets from other companies.  Together with the set’s enjoyable episodes, it all comes together to make Hey Dude Season Four one more great set for any fan of Nickelodeon’s greatest era.  It’s available in stores and online and can be ordered direct via Shout! Factory’s online store at

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at