The Headmaster (TV Series)
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The Headmaster TV Series
Headmaster Andy Griffith Butch Patrick 1970.jpg
Griffith with guest star Butch Patrick in the pilot episode "May I Turn On?"
Created byAaron Ruben
StarringAndy Griffith
Jerry Van Dyke
Claudette Nevins
Parker Fennelly
Theme music composerPatrick Williams
Kelly Gordon
Opening theme"Only A Man", sung by Linda Ronstadt
Composer(s)Patrick Williams
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes14
Executive Richard O. Linke
Aaron Ruben
Running time30 minutes
Production ADA Productions
Original networkCBS
Original releaseSeptember 18, 1970 (1970-09-18) -
January 1, 1971 (1971-01-01)
Rob Reiner with Griffith in episode "Valerie Has an Emotional Gestalt for the Teacher" (1970)

Headmaster is an American half-hour television comedy-drama starring Andy Griffith and broadcast by CBS in the United States during the 1970-71 season.

Headmaster marked the return to series television of Griffith, whose previous eponymous show had been one of CBS's major hits of the 1960s prior to his voluntary departure and a program which was still in production (as Mayberry R.F.D.), when Headmaster was launched. Griffith had just signed a three-picture deal with Universal Pictures but was so disappointed with the first film in the contract, the rural comedy Angel in My Pocket, that the two parties never made the other two films and he quickly returned to television.

With Headmaster, Griffith fulfilled his desire to be cast in a television series as something other than a rural bumpkin dispensing folksy wisdom; here his character, Andy Thompson, was the headmaster of a prestigious Californian private school, the Concord School. His wife, Margaret (Claudette Nevins), was an English teacher. Two other cast members from Angel in My Pocket joined Griffith on Headmaster: Parker Fennelly essentially reprised his role as a caretaker, here named Mr. Purdy, and Jerry Van Dyke played the role of athletic coach Jerry Brownell, Thompson's best friend. The show's theme song was performed by Linda Ronstadt.

Headmaster was given a favorable time slot, Friday at 8:30 p.m. Eastern Time, which had most recently been occupied by the hit sitcom Hogan's Heroes. The new program proved to be, by Griffith's own admission, "a very bad show" and was routinely beaten in the Nielsen ratings by both The Partridge Family on ABC and The Name of the Game on NBC. When this pattern became apparent, production of Headmaster was terminated, with the last first-run episode being broadcast January 1, 1971, and the program replaced by a new situation comedy starring Griffith, The New Andy Griffith Show. This replacement program met with little more success than Headmaster, and was last broadcast on May 21, 1971. In June 1971, Headmaster returned to the time slot in reruns, with the last repeat episode being aired on September 10, 1971.[1]

Viewing this series now is a rarity, despite the big name lead. It is not on YouTube, has had no DVD release, did not show up in syndication, and seldom is available with private collectors. One episode, "One for the Gipper," is archived in the collection at the Paley Center for Media.

Episode list

Episode # Episode title Original airdate
1-1 "May I Turn On?" (pilot) September 18, 1970
1-2 "The Battle of the Mini" September 25, 1970
1-3 "Valerie Has An Emotional Gestalt For the Teacher" October 2, 1970
1-4 "Bridge That Gap" October 9, 1970
1-5 "One For the Gipper" October 16, 1970
1-6 "Will the Real Mother Of Tony Landis..." October 23, 1970
1-7 "The Experiment" October 30, 1970
1-8 "Nobody's Perfect" November 6, 1970
1-9 "Bach Rock" November 13, 1970
1-10 "Let's Try It Mr. Hiller's Way" November 20, 1970
1-11 "Harvard Or Bust" November 27, 1970
1-12 "Count the Ways I Love You" December 4, 1970
1-13 "Romeo & Juliet & Gary & Hilary" December 18, 1970
1-14 "Guess Who's Not Coming To Dinner" January 1, 1971


  1. ^ TV Guide Guide to TV. Barnes & Noble. 2004. p. 280. ISBN 0-7607-5634-1.

Brooks, Tim and Marsh, Earle, The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows

External links

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