First telecast in September, 1970 the Mary Tyler Moore show was part of
the urban-career-girl genre first popularized in the late 60s. After
breaking up with a man she had been dating for several years, Mary
Richards (Mary Tyler Moore) moved into a studio apartment in Minneapolis
and found a job as assistant producer of the local television news show on
WJM-TV. Personifying the new independent woman of the decade, Mary
was open to marriage to the right man yet content with her life and
One of the most amusing and
memorable moments in television sitcom history
occurred at the funeral of Chuckles the Clown.
At WJM-TV she worked for quick-tempered producer, Lou Grant (Edward
Asner), who had a soft spot for Mary. Lou was relentlessly pursued by Sue
Ann Nivens (Betty White) the forty-something star of the Happy
Homemaker Show. Anchorman was narcissistic, Ted Baxter (Ted Knight), a
not-too-bright, buffoon with an enormous ego and the butt of jokes who who
wandered around the newsroom announcing, "Hi, I'm Ted Baxter, the
Murray Slaughter (Gavin MacLeod) was the happily-married, head
news-writer and a good friend to Mary. Mary's best friend was her
man-crazy upstairs neighbor, Rhoda Morgenstern (Valerie Harper), a
department store window dresser, desperately seeking a husband. Landlady,
Phyllis Lindstrom (Cloris Leachman) whose husband Lars (frequently talked
about but never seen) owned the building, was a self-absorbed, busybody.
Mary Richards - Mary Tyler Moore
Lou Grant - Ed Asner
Rhoda Morganstern - Valerie Harper
Murray Slaughter - Gavin MacLeod
Ted Baxter - Ted Knight
Phyllis Lindstrom - Cloris Leachman
Sue Ann Nivens - Betty White
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My favorite MTM show was the one where Lou Grant gets really, really pissed at Ted because
of something he said live on the show. Lou told Ted to go into his
office and wait for him. Things start happening and Lou forgets that
Ted's waiting for him in his office. The day ends, people leave and Ted
is still sitting in the office. At the end of the episode, the lights
are off in the entire office, Ted opens the door, peeks out, and then
closes the door and (as I recall) starts whitstling and just stays in Mr.
Grant's office. It was a classic.
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Aired: September 19, 1970 - September 3, 1977
Cast: Mary Tyler Moore, Ed Asner, Ted Knight, Valerie Harper