Before The Dick Van Dyke Show
, suburbia was never portrayed on television as a haven of sophistication. We never followed Ozzie Nelson to work. And we never, ever fantasized what Ward and June Cleaver did behind closed doors. But Your Show of Shows
veteran Carl Reiner's groundbreaking series broke the staid, sitcom mold. Just consider Mary Tyler Moore's Laura Petrie, the ravishing wife of Dick Van Dyke's comedy writer, Rob Petrie. "I'm just a housewife," she proclaims in the episode "To Tell or Not to Tell," just before breaking into an incendiary bossa nova in the Petrie living room. In "The Return of Happy Spangler," she is jokingly identified as Jackie Kennedy. But the comparison is apt. She's got style (those capri pants scandalized the show's sponsors!), she's got grace, and when Moore came into her own as a gifted comedienne, she took her stock character to dizzy new heights. The Dick Van Dyke Show
boasted a peerless ensemble, gold-standard writing, and characters who became icons: Son Ritchie (played by Larry Matthews), man-hungry Sally Rogers (Rose Marie), old school "human joke machine" Buddy Sorrell (Morey Amsterdam), and tyrannical boss Alan Brady (Reiner).
Incredibly, the show was nearly canceled after its first season. Executive producer Sheldon Leonard championed the series, and CBS moved the Petries to follow the top-rated Beverly Hillbillies. The rest is television history. Unlike the high-concept Hillbillies, the more sophisticated Dick Van Dyke Show's appeal was in its more grounded situations and three-dimensional characters, each of whom were given ample opportunities to shine. Rob's deft and daft juggling of his glamorous career and harried home life inspired some of the best episodes, but at the heart of this series' timeless appeal was the palpable chemistry between Rob and Laura, as witness their sudden embrace at the moving conclusion of "The Square Triangle." A pop culture benchmark, The Dick Van Dyke Show is must-own television. --Donald Liebenson
Trip into the living room of comedy writer Rob Petrie (Dick Van Dyke) along with his lovely wife, Laura (Mary Tyler Moore), wisecracking co-workers and nutty neighbors. Consistently ranked among the top TV comedies of all time and renowned for its top-notch cast and stellar writing, this groundbreaking series is now available in one special collectible box set, presented fully restored and uncut! All Episodes Digitally Remastered for Unsurpassed Video and Audio Quality!