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John Rich dies at 86; director of landmark sitcoms

John Rich dies at 86; director of landmark sitcoms

As a top television comedy director who won an Emmy directing "The Dick Van Dyke Show"in the early 1960s, John Rich was faced with a tough choice in 1970. On the same day he received a phone call from Mary Tyler Moore wanting to set up a meeting to discuss his directing the initial episode of her new TV series, he got a call from Norman Lear who wanted to send him a script for a pilot he was about to produce. Rich was impressed with both scripts, but he was shocked by the "unusually explicit language" he found in Lear's offering. PHOTOS: Notable deaths, classic TV In the end, Rich couldn't resist going with the series that he doubted would ever "see the...

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