Don Knotts said television was ''in a rut'' in the late 1960s
After he left the industry to pursue motion pictures, Knotts saw a big change in television.
Television has changed over time, which is obvious, but many always refer to the '60s as one of the best decades that produced quality television productions. Many of the shows from that decade are considered classics, and reruns could be seen on MeTV for the ultimate memorable television experience.
Every week, from 1960 to 1968, new episodes of The Andy Griffith Show appeared on our television screens, making us laugh and wish there was some way we could all move to Mayberry.
Don Knotts played everyone's favorite deputy, Barney Fife. At the time, fans probably couldn't imagine the series without Knotts' character, but it happened. The actor left the show after the fifth season in 1965 to flourish in a different area — motion pictures.
He left the show because he was under the impression that it would end after five seasons, but Griffith decided to continue. Knotts already signed a five-film contract with Universal Studios.
It's a story we've heard several times. However, in an interview with Pensacola News Journal in 1966, the actor gave his thoughts on the then-current state of television after he left the industry to pursue films.
"The big change in TV today is that they have gone mostly to half-hour situation comedies," he said. "I think TV could be better, but it is in a rut."
You're probably thinking, "Well, wasn't he on a half-hour situational comedy himself?" Yes, he was. Knotts was perhaps referring to the lack of shows in various genres. For example, some people could say the same about the '50s. Although there were a few sitcoms and dramas on then, Westerns pretty much took over.
Knotts also explained why he preferred to stay in movie production, even though he excelled in television.
"I rather make it by the motion picture route. You have more time to develop, and in the long run, it is easier on you. TV is a grind from dawn to night," he added.