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Lou Grant

By Lee Staley

The unique quality of this show among others is that "Lou Grant" is the first and only dramatic spinoff from a comedy. On the "Mary Tyler Moore Show", Ed Asner's character of Lou Grant was Mary's gruff but loveable boss. From the TV newsroom in Minneapolis, Lou went to Los Angeles to take a job as the crusading city editor of the fictional "Los Angeles Tribune."

The show mainly focused on the issues behind the stories the "Tribune" covered. Among the shows principal characters were strong-willed publisher Margaret Pynchon, fatherly managing editor Charlie Hume, brashly eager reporter Joe Rossi, down-to-earth reporter Billie Newman, and unorthodox photographer Dennis Price, known as the "Animal."

Another distinguishing quality of "Lou Grant" was the realistic treatment of such issues as school violence, mental illness, rape, and labor disputes through certain episodes. Several Emmy Awards for acting and best dramatic series were won over the series five-year-run as well. Although it was never a top 20 series, the show had a loyal following and drew praise from several drama critics for the serious approach taken in its storylines.

Many viewers claim the show could have lasted a few more seasons if Ed Asner hadn't become so critical of US involvement in Central American wars at the time. However, the show enjoyed a five-year run and was highly regarded for having one of the most genuine storylines of any show of its time. It's also not rerun as much as it should be.

 

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Check out our Lou Grant forum! Do you have a favorite episode of the show? What do you remember about the series? Do you have any questions about it or its stars? Now you can post comments and questions directly to our TV forums! Click here to see what other Lou Grant viewers have said or to post your own comments about the show!

Your Memories Shared!

My favorite episode of "Lou Grant" was a late 1979 entry called "Hollywood". It was reminiscent of lots of the "whodunit" mysteries. The story revolved around a long-unsolved murder of a famous prizefighter that Lou sought to solve throught a series of investigative reports. Several fictitious former Hollywood starts were interviewed for their comments about the murder which took place at an abandoned Hollywood cantina. Eventually, the "Animal" discovered a reclusive former actress who lived above the cantina. She turned out to be the murderer when she confessed to him that she was forbidden to marry him since he was Filipino. Another distinguishing factor of this episode was that it was the only one that Ed Asner narrated in the background. It also won some Emmy Awards as well.

--woogly

Note: This is just a random sample of the Lou Grant messages in our TV forums! Click here to see what others have said or to post your own comments!

 

TV TIDBITS

Aired: September 20, 1977 - September 13, 1982

Cast: Ed Asner, Robert Walden, Mason Adams, Linda Kelsey, Nancy Marchand, Jack Bannon

Network: CBS

Genre: Drama

Theme song

Spinoff of: Mary Tyler Moore Show

Image courtesy of CBS


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Use of this site is subject to our Terms of Service.
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