In 2003, The Dick Van Dyke Show was honored at the very first TV Land Awards with the Legend award. Surviving castmembers Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore, Rose Marie, and Larry Mathews were on hand to accept, along with series creator Carl Reiner. While on stage, Reiner commented that he’d been thinking about writing a reunion for the classic sitcom that would essentially be like a new episode of the show. While the audience watched, Reiner secured the involvement of the cast and a commitment from TV Land’s president, Larry Jones.
What resulted was The Dick Van Dyke Show Revisited, a light-hearted hour that brings back the characters and a very impressive replica of the classic living room set. Ray Romano, who was then starring on CBS’ popular Everybody Loves Raymond, introduces the episode.
In this new installment, Richie Petrie (Mathews) is moving into his parents’ old house in New Rochelle. Rob (Van Dyke) and Laura (Moore) are living in New York where he plays with computer animation and she teaches ballet. Rob and Sally Rogers (Marie) each receive a phone call from their old boss, Alan Brady (Reiner), with a strange request.
Alan admires the eulogies that the pair wrote for the funerals of Buddy Sorrell, Mel Cooley and Jerry Helper, and wants them to write his eulogy before he dies. He reasons that he wants to be able to control what is said about him and offers them a big fee for doing it. Can Rob and Sally do it without their true feelings about rotten Alan Brady shining through?
Millie Helper (Ann Morgan Guilbert), Herman Glimscher (Bill Idelson), and Stacey Petrie (Jerry Van Dyke) are along for the ride.
The Dick Van Dyke Show Revisited aired on May 11, 2004 on CBS and then on TV Land (both are owned by Viacom). It ranked first in its timeslot and attracted 14.6 million people with a 9.9/15 rating/share. The reviews for the show weren’t very good but it was clear that viewers wanted to see the old gang again. Thanks to a nice YouTuber, you can too…
What do you think? Was it good to see Rob, Laura and the rest once again? What did you like or dislike about the special?