Fans of Classic TV recently took a hit from the death of writer/producer/actor Carl Reiner, who, among many other things, created The Dick Van Dyke Show. Now the MeTV and Decades television networks are honoring his memory with two very distinct marathons that highlight the comic power of the series and of Carl himself.
“Multi-talented, creative genius, patriot and world class citizen,” offers Neal Sabin, Vice Chairman, Weigel Broadcasting Co. which runs both networks. “Words often used or over-used to describe those we have lost. In the case of Carl Reiner, they barely cover his contributions, talents and character. He will live on in the words and deeds of his life.”
And, of course, The Dick Van Dyke Show.
MeTV’s tribute airs on Sunday nights throughout July and features Carl’s favorite episodes (a full guide follows below), consisting of a total of eight episodes. Decades’ kicks off on Friday, July 10, with four episodes, but then continues from Saturday, July 11 at 12:00 p.m. until Monday, July 13 at 7:00 a.m.
In 1959, Reiner developed the television pilot Head of the Family, where he was set to star as a suburban family man who worked in show business. The pilot was ultimately rejected, but producer Sheldon Leonard decided to rework the show, famously telling Reiner, “We’ll get a better actor to play you.” That “better” actor would turn out to be Dick Van Dyke.
The resulting The Dick Van Dyke Show followed the work and home life of Rob Petrie (Dick), head comedy writer for the fictional variety series The Alan Brady Show, starring Alan Brady (Carl Reiner), with plots inspired by Reiner’s real-life experiences as a writer for the live variety show Your Show of Shows and the sketch-comedy series Caesar’s Hour. Mary Tyler Moore portrayed Rob’s wife, Laura Petrie, and earned two Primetime Emmy Awards for her performance. The Dick Van Dyke Show is considered by fans and critics alike to be one of the best sitcoms in television history, as the series earned 25 Primetime Emmy nominations and won 15 Primetime Emmy Awards during its 1961 to 1966 run.
Needless to say, The Dick Van Dyke Show earned its reputation as a classic, offering up a sophisticated adult comedy that never forgot the most important lesson: to keep the audience entertained and make them laugh.
Please scroll down for a guide to the episodes of the show that will be part of the MeTV marathon.
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