The Mary Tyler Show is an iconic sitcom that arrived on our screens in 1970. The show brought us the fictional character Mary Richards who was instantly able to turn the world on with her unique smile.
The series first premiered on CBS on September 19, 1970, and would go on to have one of the greatest runtimes in television history, leading to several spin-off series.
The Mary Tyler Show was created by James L. Brooks and Allen Burns and starred Mary Tyler Moore as the iconic Mary Richards. Ed Asner starred as Mary’s boss Lou Grant, alongside Gavin McLeod, Ted Knight, Betty White, and Georgia Engel.
The show followed the main character, Mary Richards, who, as an independent woman, set out to start a new life in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She would meet new friends, take a job at a television station, and try to make a life for herself in the authentic American way.
The Mary Tyler Moore Show was a groundbreaking achievement for its time as a female-led series set at the beginning of the second era of feminism. It portrayed an independent and powerful female character who was neither married nor in need of a man. This was rare for 70’s TV.
The show became popular because they built the series around a single main character accompanied by excellent acting equals. This resulted in fans having multiple connections to the show.
When Moore was first approached about the show, she was unsure and unwilling to accept the part, as she had already cemented herself as one of the most popular characters in TV Series history as Laura Petrie on The Dick Van Dyke Show.
However, she would go on to accept the part as Mary Richards and again produce one of the greatest television characters of her generation.
The series aired for an impressive seven years, from 1970 until 1977, and gave fans 168 episodes of laughter, drama, and unforgettable moments. The show received positive criticism for its complex and entertaining storyline, as well as its relatable characters.
The Mary Tyler Moore Show consistently received high ratings and earned itself 29 Primetime Emmy awards, including Outstanding Comedy Series three years in a row.
The show launched multiple spin-off series such as Rhonda, Phyllis, and Lou Grant. The show was awarded no.6 on the Writers Guild of America’s list of the 101 Best Written TV Series of all Time.
In 2007 the series was put on time’s list of the 17 Shows That Changed TV, stating, “the show liberated TV for adults of both sexes by being a sophisticated show about grownups among other grownups having grown-up conversations.”
The Mary Tyler Moore show gave us an incredible amount of laughs and entertainment over its seven-year run time and continues to be a fan favorite to this day. The show took Mary Moore from the status of a star to that of a legend.