3. The Andy Griffith Show
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If you’ve got an affinity for small-town life, you’ll value this show from a quieter time when everyone appreciated their neighbors, and life was far less complicated. The show follows Andy Taylor (Andy Griffith), a widowed sheriff of Mayberry, North Carolina, who is a single dad raising his son Opie (Ron Howard), helped by his spinster Aunt Bee (Frances Bavier).
Andy supports his family and upholds law and order while guiding quirky, overconfident deputy, Barney Fife, played by comic actor Don Knotts. Many episodes center on Barney’s gross incompetence and Andy’s attempt to iron out the issues while allowing Barney to save face.
The show also features a delightful supporting cast portraying a diverse band of townspeople, all clamoring for Andy’s wisdom.
The show is funny and heartfelt, teaching valuable lessons that are relevant today as they were when the show aired between 1960-1968. The performance earned six Emmy Awards and several others, including TV Land and Writers Guild of America awards. In 2006, The Andy Griffith Show earned the OFTA TV Hall of Fame award.
4. My Three Sons
My Three Sons was one of the first sitcoms to feature a single dad’s family. In the backdrop of suburbia, widower Steve Douglas (Fred MacMurray), a former test pilot working as an Aeronautical Engineer, attempts to raise three sons aided by his father-in-law, Michael “Bub” O’Casey (William Frawley).
Each week, the boys would get into believable mischief that Douglas would resolve. Despite the challenges, Fred MacMurray’s portrayal of a single dad was convincing. In 2004, ‘Steve Douglas’ was ranked #7 in TV Guide’s list of the “50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time.”
The show’s 12-year run started in black and white on ABC in 1960 and switched to color on CBS in 1965 until the show ended in 1972. My Three Sons is the 2nd longest-running comedy in US TV history until The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet topped it.
My Three Sons won the Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series in 1962. Although it never took another win, the show was nominated nine times for several awards, including three Primetime Emmy Awards.
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