The Andy Griffith Show, a staple at 5:30 p.m. on WFMY Greensboro for about a half-century, has moved to a double run at 3 to make room for what WFMY is calling an “investigative/consumer news program” that launches Thursday. WFMY has hired anchor Julie Luck from WGHP; her start at the station coincides with 2 Wants to Know’s debut April 25.
WFMY’s promotional materials call Luck “The Piedmont Triad’s most popular news anchor.”
Gannett owns WFMY.
Andy Griffith is simply massive in the market; the show’s iconic Mayberry is a stand in for Mount Airy, NC, the locals tell me. According to the local Times-News, “the series has been on WFMY since it first started airing in the 1960s. It has been in the 5:30 timeslot in reruns for much of that time.”
WFMY debuted “After School Andy”, at 3 and 3:30 p.m., last month. The Times-News says not all viewers in DMA No. 46 are pleased with the change. GM Larry Audas reminds them that it is actually twice as much Andy Griffith in the 3-4 p.m. slot.
Since he passed away last year, Andy Griffith is on a bit of a hot streak, at least in terms of local TV. On February 28, Gannett’s WKYC Cleveland pre-empted NBC’s prime to air a Matlock movie. GM Brook Spectorsky said Matlock is popular in Cleveland, and suggested it may have been a response to the Oscars snubbing Griffith in its In Memoriam segment.
WFMY leadership is hopeful Andy Griffith can deliver at 3–and Luck can deliver at 5:30. “This is a great opportunity to deliver classic episodes of a great show at a new time for a new generation!” said WFMY.
Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.
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