For her birthday, Thursday, my mother got the complete Dick Van Dyke Show. One of the the things included on the first disk is the original pilot, Head of the Family, which starred Carl Reiner as Rob Petrie (which was pronounced "pete-ry," like the dish). According to the book that came with the set people, producers I think, didn't like Reiner in the lead role. After watching it, I'm not so sure.
The whole episode had a more cynical tone than what the show changed into. Laura was more sarcastic (and if you've watched the show you know that makes her a lot more sarcastic). Buddy's really neurotic, although his coffee order is the same. Sally's more abrasive. Ritchie's a whiny little shit and hides in cupboards and closets. And Rob's more self-centered and needy. All of this adds up to a family comedy show that's darker than the other sit-coms of 1960. However, it sounded and looked very modern, except for the black-and-white. Like if they cut the laugh track and re-filmed it today it could sit along side 30 Rock.
Still, I'm really happy with Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore. Who wouldn't be?