Episodes: 168 (half-hour)
TV show dates: September 19, 1970 — March 19, 1977
Series status: Cancelled/ended
Performers include: Mary Tyler Moore, Gavin MacLeod, Edward Asner, Ted Knight, Valerie Harper, Georgia Engel, Betty White, and Cloris Leachman.
TV show description:
Single woman Mary Richards (Mary Tyler Moore) moves to Minneapolis, Minnesota to get a fresh start after breaking up with her boyfriend of two years.
She moves into an apartment in a large house that’s managed by her self-involved friend, Phyllis Lindstrom (Cloris Leachman). Mary initially conflicts with her self-deprecating upstairs neighbor, Rhoda Morgenstern (Valerie Harper), but they later become best friends.
Mary finds a job working as an associate producer for the six-o’clock newscast at the local WJM television station. She works under gruff producer Lou Grant (Ed Asner) and sits next to long-suffering news writer Murray Slaughter (Gavin MacLeod). They’re all constantly frustrated by the antics of pompous and buffoonish news anchor Ted Baxter (Ted Knight).
Later characters include the man-hungry host of The Happy Homemaker program, Sue Ann Nivens (Betty White), and sweet-natured and naive Georgette Franklin (Georgia Engel), Ted’s eventual wife.
During the run of the series, Leachman and Harper left for their own spin-offs — named Phyllis and Rhoda, respectively. After the end of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Asner continued to play his character in a spin-off drama series, Lou Grant.