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

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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