Mayberry R.F.D. is an American television series produced as a spin-off and direct continuation of The Andy Griffith Show. When star Andy Griffith decided to leave his series, most of the supporting characters returned for the retitled program, which ran for three seasons (78 episodes) from 1968–1971.
During the final season of The Andy Griffith Show, widower farmer Sam Jones (Ken Berry) and his young son Mike (Buddy Foster) are introduced and gradually become the show's focus. Sheriff Andy Taylor takes a backseat in the storylines, establishing the new premise. The show's first episode, "Andy and Helen's Wedding", had the highest ratings in recorded television history (up to premiere date in 1968). Sheriff Taylor and newlywed wife Helen make guest appearances on Mayberry R.F.D. until late 1969 and then relocate with Opie. Mayberry R.F.D. (which stands for Rural Free Delivery) was popular throughout its entire run, but was canceled after its third season in CBS's "rural purge" of 1971