05/07/2003 at 12:00 AM EDT
TV's first sexy sitcom couple, Rob and Laura Petrie, are coming back.
Carl Reiner, 81, creator of the indelible "Dick Van Dyke Show," tells the Associated Press that he's working on a script for a CBS special that will show what Rob and Laura (Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore) have been doing since the 1961-66 sitcom left the air.
Despite the passage of time, "They're still the same people," insists Reiner. "When you saw Cary Grant in his later years, (it) didn't diminish the fact that he was a great man when he was younger too."
One recurring old gag that will be scratched in order to accommodate Van Dyke's current age -- which is 77 (Moore is 66) -- is the trip over the living room ottoman that Rob always took in the opening credits.
"No, he's too old. He'd kill himself," Reiner admits with a laugh. "I'm eating off what the people are doing today in a sense because Dick and Robert Petrie were similar. So, I'm using who we are today to give me a clue as to what these people would be doing."
On the original show, Rob worked in Manhattan as head comedy writer on "The Alan Brady Show" -- with Reiner playing Brady. Laura remained in suburban New Rochelle, raising son Richie.
Brady is being spun off, in fact, with the TV Land network planning to launch an animated show starring the character (sort of a "Tonight" show host) this summer.
"We see what he's doing today, still on the air," says Reiner, adding that his voice will be used as Brady. "We see him beating up writers. We see him doing all the things he did before, but in the new setup."