Here's why Dick Van Dyke was intentionally kept out of ''The Mary Tyler Moore Show''

"Everyone loved Mary. What wasn't to love?"

For five years, Mary Tyler Moore and Dick Van Dyke enchanted countless viewers as married couple Rob and Laura Petrie on The Dick Van Dyke Show. It was a love that was as obvious off-screen as it was on screen. In Dick Van Dyke's memoir, My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business, Van Dyke said of his costar, "Everyone loved Mary. What wasn't to love? I adored her from the moment we were introduced." The affection was obviously mutual, as Van Dyke continued, "I think both of us had each other at hello."

The Dick Van Dyke Show wasn't the only time Mary Tyler Moore and Dick Van Dyke performed together. After the series wrapped, the two were paired together for a CBS comedy special. According to the book Rock Me On The Water by Ronald Brownstein, the duo was so well-received that CBS decided to give Moore her own show, which would eventually become The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

However, while Moore's new series was unquestionably successful, there would be no appearances from her former on-screen husband— Dick Van Dyke— in The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

This was a strategic decision, as many people felt during the production of the series that a Dick Van Dyke appearance might actually hurt the series' popularity rather than help them. In an interview with the Quad-City Times, Mary Tyler Moore said of a possible Dick Van Dyke appearance in her new series, "That might destroy the credibility of the new show."

According to Rock Me On the Water, the original decision to have Mary Tyler Moore be a divorcee was scrapped because, as a CBS production chief stated, "People are going to think she divorced Dick Van Dyke."

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8 Comments

WordsmithWorks 2 months ago
Adding Van Dyke to Moore's show would have made it like the Lucy and Desi Comedy Hour. Just a rehash of the old show.
Bapa1 2 months ago
Dick could have walked into Mary's apartment and tripped over the ottoman.
Runeshaper 2 months ago
That makes sense. I was thinking that D.V.D. may actually overshadow Moore, as a possible option for not having him on the The Mary Tyler Moore Show.
JHP 2 months ago
too bad they couldn't keep Jerry out of the show - there is something about that actor that makes me get erpy - he was bad on DVD and TAGS and MTM
MadMadMadWorld 2 months ago
Mary had Jerry (Van Dyke) on two times as 'Wes Callahan', with her dating Wes, the writer for Chuckles the Clown's show. "But Seriously, Folks!" (aired: Nov. 4, 1972) in Season 3, Ep. 8.
And then a follow-up episode, "Son of 'But Seriously, Folks' " (aired: Oct. 27, 1973) in Season 4, Ep. 7.
MadMadMadWorld 2 months ago
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sagafrat69 2 months ago
Ridiculous reasons for not having Van Dyke as a guest star. He could've played a character who was a friend of Lou or Murray or even Baxter. I'm sure the audience was bright enough to know that they both starred together on a different show. Could've been a great wink-wink to the fans of both shows. CBS dropped the ball on this one.
cperrynaples 2 months ago
Another factor may have been The New Dick Van Dyke Show! I'm sure viewers wondered why Dick was married to Mrs. Muir...LOL!
cperrynaples cperrynaples 2 months ago
PS Dick & Mary reunited 2 more times: on Mary's variety series in 1979 and the DVDS reunion in 2004!
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