The Mary Tyler Moore Show
The Mary Tyler Moore Show
Mary’s apartment is converted to a delivery room when Georgette goes into labor at Mary’s party (First Aired: September 25, 1976).
The Mary Tyler Moore Show (also known simply by the name of the show’s star, Mary Tyler Moore) is an American television sitcom created by James L. Brooks and Allan Burns that aired on CBS from 1970 to 1977. The program was a television breakthrough, with the first never-married, independent career woman as the central character: “As Mary Richards, a single woman in her thirties, Moore presented a character different from other single TV women of the time. She was not widowed or divorced or seeking a man to support her.” It has also been cited as “one of the most acclaimed television programs ever produced” in US television history. It received high praise from critics, including Emmy Awards for Outstanding Comedy Series three years in a row (1975–77), and continued to be honored long after the final episode aired.
- Mary Richards (Mary Tyler Moore), a single native Minnesotan moves to Minneapolis in 1970 at age 30 and becomes Associate Producer of WJM-TV’s Six O’clock News. Her sincere, kind demeanor often acts as a foil for the personalities of her co-workers and friends.
- Lou Grant (Edward Asner) is the Producer (later Executive Producer) of the news. His tough, work-oriented demeanor does not hide his soft-hearted nature. He is referred to as “Lou” by everyone, including Mary’s friends, with the exception of Mary herself, who can rarely bring herself to call him by his first name rather than “Mr. Grant.” He was originally married to Edie, but during the run of the show they separated and divorced.
- Murray Slaughter (Gavin MacLeod), the head writer of the news makes frequent quips for Ted Baxter’s mangling of his news copy, and Sue Ann Nivens’ aggressive, man-hungry attitude. He is Mary’s closest coworker and close friend. Murray is married to Marie, and has several children.
- Ted Baxter (Ted Knight), is the dim-witted, vain, and miserly anchorman of the Six O’Clock News. He frequently makes mistakes and is oblivious to the actual nature of the topics covered on the show, but considers himself to be the country’s best news journalist. He is often criticized by others, especially Murray and Lou for his many shortcomings, but is never fired from his position.
- Rhoda Morgenstern (Valerie Harper) (1970–74), is Mary’s best friend and upstairs neighbor. She is outgoing and sardonic, often making wisecracks, frequently at her own expense. Like Mary, she is single. She dates frequently, often joking about her disastrous dates. After four years, Rhoda moves back to New York for the spinoff series Rhoda.
- Phyllis Lindstrom (Cloris Leachman) (1970–75), is Mary’s snobbish friend and neighbor. She is married to an unseen character, Lars, a dermatologist, and has a precocious daughter, Bess. Phyllis is controlling and often arrogant. She is actively involved in groups and clubs, is a political activist and a supporter of Women’s Liberation. Rhoda and Phyllis are usually at odds with each other and often trade insults. After five seasons, Phyllis is widowed, learns that her husband had virtually no assets, and moves to San Francisco in the spinoff series Phyllis.
- Georgette Franklin (Georgia Engel) (1972–77) is Ted’s sweet-natured but slightly naïve girlfriend and eventual wife.
- Sue Ann Nivens (Betty White) (1973–77), host of WJM’s The Happy Homemaker show. While her demeanor is superficially cheerful, she makes judgmental comments about Mary, exchanges personal insults with Murray, and uses many sexual double entendres, especially around Lou, to whom she is strongly attracted.