STAY TUNED: The remarkable staying power of Andy Griffith

BILL GREEN

Andy Griffith might have passed on to that great fishing hole in the sky last year, but when it comes to syndication, a couple of his shows have a staying power rarely seen.

When I left Tennessee in the late ’90s, the CBS affiliate was showing “The Andy Griffith Show” every night at 7:30 p.m. And they still do.

I moved to Miami, where they showed “Matlock” every afternoon on the Fox affiliate (WSVN). And they still do.

I was reminded of all this when I saw a recent headline that read: Affiliate replaces NBC prime-time with ‘Matlock.’

WKYC pulled three of the network’s Thursday night shows recently in favor of a two-hour “Matlock” episode from 1992.

On Feb. 28, the station pre-empted reruns of “The Office,” “Law and Order: SVU,” and an original episode of “1600 Penn.”

Metered-market ratings showed “Matlock” outperformed the recent performance of “1600 Penn” in Cleveland. It was nearly even with the performances of “Office.” However, it failed to outdraw “SVU.”

“Matlock: The Legacy” averaged a 1.12 rating with men 25-54.

Brooke Spectorsky, WKYC president and general manager, told the Hollywood Reporter he had two reasons for the programming change: He said viewers still like “Matlock” and he felt the need to right what he saw as a wrong committed during the most recent Oscar show.

“The Academy did snub Andy Griffith,” Spectorsky tells HR. “We thought it would be a nice tribute.”

Griffith was not included in the show’s “In Memoriam” video honoring actors who passed in 2012.

WKYC followed up by showing “Matlock: The Heist” this past Thursday. No word if the trend will continue beyond that.

For fans, “Matlock” airs daily on Hallmark Movie Channel, WGN America, Inspiration and a handful of stations across the country.

But the Griffith love doesn’t stop there. Just off the top of my head, I can tell you that “The Andy Griffith Show” airs at 7:30 p.m. in Atlanta (WATL), the aforementioned Chattanooga (WDEF), double episodes at 10 p.m. in Nashville (WUXP) and a host of other stations, as well as cable network TV Land.

I’m at a loss to cite an example of comparable network series that have the same staying power in syndication. And to think they both have the same star. Can you? Hit me up at bgreen@naplesnews.com.

Much love to you Sheriff Taylor.

Local Univision acquired

Media Vista Group, LLC announced last week that it has completed its acquisition of four television stations in three markets: KUKC in Kansas City; WUMN 13 in Minneapolis; and, WLZE/WUVF in Fort Myers, all are affiliated with Univision.

“I’m very excited about this transaction. We are partnering with a great network to continue serving U.S. Hispanic audiences across the country, especially in the growing markets we will have presence with these stations,” said Orlando Rosales, CEO of Media Vista Group.

The company announced this planned acquisition on Dec. 26.

Media Vista Group is best known in Southwest Florida as the media company behind D’Latinos al Dia, started in 2002, and publishers of D’Latinos magazine, first published in 2003.

As part of its broadcasting strategy, the group also acquired local station WANA in 2010. The station is affiliated with Azteca America Network.

News & Notes

Those who miss former NBC-2 newsman Craig Wolf can see him as the emcee of “An Evening in Ireland,” a show of Irish music, dance and more, at 7 p.m. Thursday at North Naples United Methodist Church, 6000 Goodlette-Franke Road, Naples. The $25-$35 benefit supports the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade. Information: naplesparade.com.

CBS top exec Les Moonves says the upcoming eighth season of Showtime’s “Dexter” will be its last.

Remember Jim Ramsburg, the Estero resident who literally wrote the book on the Golden Age of radio? He sent me the following about his latest blog post:

“Suppose you turned on your radio and found that all of your local stations had moved around the dial to new frequencies.

“Impossible, you say?

“Nope, it actually happened on March 29, 1941, when over 800 of the country’s radio stations — almost 90 percent of them — switched frequencies in the middle of the night.”

Check the blog out at jimramsburg.com.

And if you have a TV/radio question, email me at the address below.

Until next time, stay tuned.

© 2013 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Comments » 0

Be the first to post a comment!

Share your thoughts

Comments are the sole responsibility of the person posting them. You agree not to post comments that are off topic, defamatory, obscene, abusive, threatening or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be banned. Click here for our full user agreement.

Comments can be shared on Facebook and Yahoo!. Add both options by connecting your profiles.

Features