The Mary Tyler Moore Show

Show Type: Sitcom

First Telecast: September 19, 1970

Last Telecast: September 3, 1977

Theme Music: "Love Is All Around," sung by Sonny Curtis


Mary Richards..... Mary Tyler Moore

Lou Grant..... Edward Asner

Ted Baxter..... Ted Knight

Murray Slaughter..... Gavin MacLeod

Rhoda Morgenstern (1970-1974)..... Valerie Harper

Phyllis Lindstrom (1970-1975)..... Cloris Leachman

Bess Lindstrom (1970-1975)..... Lisa Gerritsen

Gordon "Gordy" Howard (1970-1973)..... John Amos

Georgette Franklin Baxter (1973-1977)..... Georgia Engel

Sue Ann Nivens (1973-1977)..... Betty White

Marie Slaughter (1971-1977)..... Joyce Bulifant

Edie Grant (1973-1974)..... Priscilla Morrill

David Baxter (1976-1977)..... Robbie Rist


The Mary Tyler Moore Show was one of the most realistic, literate and enduring sitcoms of the 70's. Mary Richards was the idealized single career woman. She had come to Minneapolis after breaking up with a man she had been dating for four years. Ambitious and looking for new friends, she moved into an older apartment building and went to work as an assistant producer for the local news show on television station WJM-TV. In her early 30's, Mary symbolized the independent woman of the 1970's. She would consider marriage, but only if it was to the right man. She was warm, loving and vulnerable - and although it was never directly shown to the audience, she could spend the night with a man she wasn't madly in love with!

Mary worked for WJM-TV News producer Lou Grant, an cantakerous, Blustery man whose bark was much worse than his bite. Underneath the harsh exterior beat a heart of gold. During the 1973-1974 deason, Lou separated from his wife Edie and they were later divorced. There was an underlying feeling that Mary and him might have had a serious relationship - but it never developed.

Murray Slaughter was the head newswriter at the station. He was happily married, had a positive outlook no matter what happened and was a good friend to all. Ted Baxter was an anchorman on the WJM-TV News. He was not too bright, prone to put his foot in his mouth both on and off the air and was so convinced of his own wonderfulness that he was the butt of everyone's jokes. Ted's long courtship with well-meaning, empty-headed Georgette Franklin culminated in a marriage he was not quite ready for in November 1975. The following spring they adopted 8-year-old David and in the fall of 1976, had a baby of their own.

Rhoda Morgenstern was Mary's neighbor and closest friend. She was a window dresser for a local department store who, like Mary, was still single though in her 30's. Unlike Mary, however, she was desperate for a husband. Unable to find one in Minneapolis, she moved back home to New York City and to her own series, Rhoda, in 1974. Her other neighbor, Phyllis, was the building's resident busy-body and though it took quite a while to find out, also its landlady (her husband Lars, who was talked about but never seen, actually owned the building). Phyllis was oblivious to everyone else's feelings and has an extremely flaky personality. She, too, eventually got her own series, Phyllis, when, following Lars' death, she and her daughter Bess moved to San Francisco in the fall of 1975. At that time, Mary moved into a more luxurious apartment in a high-rise.

As some of the regular cast members left the series, including Gordy Howard, WJM-TV's weatherman, others came in. Sue Ann Nivens arrived in 1973 with her "Happy Homemaker Show," and Georgette's role was expanded. Sue Ann was in her late 40's and extremely man-hungry. She was constantly trying to get every man in sight into bed, but most of all, Lou Grant. Mary was promoted from associate producer to producer as Lou moved to the job of news director.

Mary Tyler Moore along with husband Grant Tinker, produced The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and decided that the series would end in 1977. In the final episode, new management took over the station and, in an effort to bolster its weak news ratings, fired almost all of the entire staff. Ironically, the one survivor was anchorman Ted Baxter, probably the major reason for the news' low ratings!

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