Mary later said that although she interacted well with all of the show's cast, a division existed between the actors who were featured in Rob's home life (herself, Jerry Paris, Ann Morgan Guilbert) and those who were featured in his work life (Morey Amsterdam, Rose Marie, Richard Deacon). Mary said the two factions competed against each other for scenes.
“Dick Van Dyke” won 15 Emmys in five seasons and finished in the top 10 for three of those seasons. Reiner had predicted the show would run for no more than five seasons, and after the 1966 season the show was still a ratings success but members of the cast decided to call it quits to work on other projects.
Four years after "The Dick Van Dyke Show" ended, Mary starred in her own show. As Mary Richards she was a ground breaking TV character for the times: a never-married, single career woman, relocated to the big city not searching for a man to support her, but determined to "make it on her own."
Mary wasn't sure if her character would be accepted by audiences because Laura Petrie had been such an universally loved character. Mary Richards was originally
intended to be a divorced woman, but the producers thought that viewers would assume she had divorced Rob Petrie, so she was changed to a single woman rebounding from a broken engagement.
Since her days of playing Laura Petrie, Mary Tyler Moore had transformed from a twenty-something young lady into a beautiful, vibrant thirty-something woman.
Somehow Mary, the most attractive single woman in Minneapolis, remained single throughout the course of the show. When she dated, she didn't feel the need to fall in love because she didn't need to rely on a man for her self-worth.
Since she rarely dated one man for long, Mary Richards presented herself to male viewers as available.