mary Tyler Moore morphed native a contemporary mother on "The dick Van Dyke Show" to a solitary and ... <+> independent career mrs on "The mar Tyler Moore Show."

Source: AP

At a time once CBS was looking to burned its rural-themed comedy visibility (think The Beverly Hillbillies, Green Acres, Petticoat Junction and Mayberry R.F.D.

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, amongst other), along come The mary Tyler Moore Show, the story of one independent single woman who moves come Minneapolis after ~ a failure relationship and in search of a new beginning. That premiered ~ above Saturday, September 19, 1970, exactly 50 years ago to this day.


Mary Tyler Moore, of course, was well-known as the happy married Laura Petrie top top The dick Van Dyke Show (”Ohhh...Rob!!!), therefore CBS walk not want to do her...egads!...divorced. The network even had mar wear a long-haired format wig in season one therefore no one would certainly think that her together wife and mother Laura Petrie. And also different native Laura she definitely was as the endearing, funny, loveable, relatable and also revolutionary mar Richards, that we every rooted to check out “make that after all.”

While the common consensus point out to mary as mar Richards together the an initial single mrs to it is in headlined in a sitcom, that honor actually goes come Marlo thomas on ABC’s That Girl, i beg your pardon debuted in 1966 and also was in its critical season when The mary Tyler Moore Show debuted. Yet no one deserve to deny the affect this groundbreaking TV comedy made, wherein the laughter underscored social points that room still pertinent today.


From The Beginning

Debuting at a time as soon as there were simply three broadcast networks (ABC, CBS and also NBC), no computers, no cabinet phones, and also absolutely no society media, it to be the proverbial “water cooler” and positive reviews that initiated the early buzz for The mar Tyler Moore Show. Originally airing immediately following comedy Arnie, certification Hershel Bernardi, and into drama Mission: Impossible in the Saturday 9:30 p.m. ET half-hour, viewers gravitated come the facility characters and storylines (in comparison to the simplistic characters and plots frequently visible in the previously mentioned rural comedies). Through season two, then with current entry All in the Family anchoring Saturday, The mary Tyler Moore Show rose into the top 10.

Fun factoid: The comedy leading into The mary Tyler Moore Show in season 2 was The new Dick van Dyke Show.

By season three, The mary Tyler Moore Show lived in the Saturday 9 p.m. Half-hour ~ above a night that television considered by countless as the finest comedy line-up in TV history. The CBS schedule included All in the Family, M*A*S*H, The mary Tyler Moore Show, The Bob Newhart Show, and The Carol Burnett Show.


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“MTM” through the Years

Given the intricacy of the initial cast (Ed Asner together gruff but lovable father number Lou Grant, Ted Knight together wacky WJM-anchor Ted Baxter, Gavin MacLeod as judicious Murray Slaughter, Valerie Harper as solitary and insecure Rhoda Morgenstern, and also Cloris Leachman as snobbish and also self-absorbed Phyllis Lindstrom), the was inevitable a spin-off collection was top top its way. And along came Rhoda, headlined by Harper, who moves to brand-new York City and also gets married, effective in the autumn of 1974. By the time, Betty White as man-hungry co-worker Sue Ann Nivens and Georgia Engel together ditzy Georgette Franklin, Ted’s future wife, were also component of the cast.

When Rhoda damaged of the box as an prompt hit, next was Phyllis, starring Cloris Leachman, in the loss 1975. V Mary’s two finest buds on your own, Rhoda in new York and also Phyllis currently in san Francisco, it to be time for mar to exit her cozy studio apartment in the old 9,500 foot mansion that offered as she abode, right into a one bedroom high rise building in season six.

By the 1975-76 TV season, all 3 comedies native the MTM secure finished the season in the peak 20: Phyllis in ~ No. 6; Rhoda tied in ~ No. 7 (with Sanford and also Son); and also The mar Tyler Moore Show at No. 19.


Cloris Leachman (left), mary Tyler Moore (centre), Valerie Harper pose, sit on stools, attract ... <+> Seveties fashions, in a public portrait issued because that the US television series, "The mar Tyler Moore Show", USA, circa 1974. The sitcom starred Leachman as "Phyllis Lindstrom", Tyler Moore as "Mary Richards", and Harper together "Rhoda Morgenstern". (Photo by Silver display screen Collection/Getty Images)

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Leaving While quiet Ahead

With the Emmy Awards mounting year after year (29 in full for its seven season run, including three for superior Comedy collection in the final three seasons), the pressures behind The mary Tyler Moore Show complied with in the footsteps of Moore’s an initial big hit, The dick Van Dyke Show, and exited while the collection was still at the top of its video game creatively. While there was speak of a spinoff special Betty White together Sue Ann Nivens, White opted because that a new self-titled comedy co-starring Georgia Engel in the autumn of 1977. But Ed Asner maintained his character alive in drama Lou Grant, which was collection in the newsroom of a Los Angeles newspaper and also aired for 5 seasons.

In 2000, Moore and also Harper reprised their functions in a two-hourABCTV-movie,Mary and Rhoda (which offered as a pilot for a brand-new potential collection that never went into production).

Did girlfriend Know?

In respect of the 50th birthday of The mar Tyler Moore Show, below are 10 tidbits around the collection you might not know.

1) uneven Valerie Harper, who was a collection regular in periods one with four, Cloris Leachman showed up on just a recurring basis. In her 5 seasons together Phyllis Lindstrom, Leachman appeared in just 35 episodes of The mar Tyler Moore Show.

2) Gavin MacLeod very first auditioned because that the part of Lou Grant. ~ a terrible an initial reading, he insisted ~ above a 2nd chance and landed the part of Murray.

3) Gavin’s TV mam on The mar Tyler Moore Show, Joyce Bullifant, to be the very first choice to play Carol Brady on The Brady Bunch.

4) Ed Asner is the only actor in history to victory an Emmy (as Lou Grant) for the same character in both a comedy (Supporting Actor for The mary Tyler Moore Show) and a drama (Lead Actor because that Lou Grant).

5) Asner’s Lou provide was initially an alleged to it is in of the Jewish faith, but the producers felt the Rhoda Morgenstern gift Jewish to be enough.

6) Jack Cassidy was originally readily available the duty as Ted Baxter, but did not desire to it is in in the supporting actors of a female-led show. Plus, he had played a comparable character in one season CBS sitcom He & She (from 1967 to 1968). Cassidy later guest starred as Ted"s brother.

7) Betty White to be originally just going to show up in a one-episode guest spot together Sue Ann Nivens, but was immediately promoted to a series regular.

8) return both were nominated in the supporting comedy categories, Gavin MacLeod and Georgia Engel to be the only cast members not to victory an Emmy Award.

9) mary Tyler Moore wanted to perform the collection for another couple of seasons yet the writers and creator James l Brooks wanted to end the show when that did.

10) automatically segueing right into Capt. Merrill Stubing on ABC’s The Love Boat, Gavin MacLeod to be featured in a consistently scheduled role in a television collection on Saturday evenings for 16 right years.

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In respect of 50 years, Happy Half-Century birthday to The mary Tyler Moore Show, which will certainly live on forever in repeats!


Betty White, Gavin MacLeod, Cloris Leachman, mar Tyler Moore, Valerie Harper, Georgia Engel and ... <+> Edward Asner the "Mary Tyler Moore" 12865_MC_0250.jpg (Photo through M. Caulfield/WireImage)

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I to be Marc Berman and my moniker, “Mr. Television,” is a an outcome of decades in prior of the proverbial tv set. Now, in this era that “Peak TV,” that also includes the digital landscape. Together a veteran journalist, i honed my an abilities writing about television at previous trade newspaper Mediaweek (where I created my current email newsletter, The Programming Insider). Ns have likewise written because that The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, The brand-new York Post, The new York daily News, NBC.com, Emmy magazine, Promaxbda, and – at current – Programminginsider.com, CBS Watch, campaign US and Newspro (among others). Ns have likewise appeared ~ above camera for plenty of outlets, including CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, E!, and also newsmagazines “Entertainment Tonight,” “Extra,” “Access Hollywood” and “Inside Edition.” and I take trip throughout the nation giving presentations on the state the the media landscape.