Mary Tyler Moore and Her Spin-Offs

Caproni

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Apr 6, 2018
Messages
201
Real Name
DRB
It is absolutely mind-boggling to me just how many classic and groundbreaking shows I've let fall by the wayside all these years I've boasted of being an avid fan of classic television.

There was one time when I was in middle school and we were reading a short story as part of a class assignment. I forget the title of the story, but we occasionally read parts of the it aloud in class together. There was one piece in the story where the main character made reference to Mary Tyler Moore: "And we all know who Mary Tyler Moore is," or something like that. Our substitute teacher that day said: "Oh, I use to love to watch her show."

It wasn't anything out of the ordinary for me to be practically the only member of my class to get references to old film and television. I've always been the nerd that would rather see Garbo self-sacrificing herself in CAMILLE, then catch the latest FAST AND THE FURIOUS flick. Just my taste. Yeah, I'm that WEIRD kid.

Anyway, this got me into wanting to actually watch THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW (although the show bills itself as simply MARY TYLER MOORE) and see what it was all about. I caught a marathon when Hallmark had it on its schedule. I think they kicked off that marathon with the telemovie MARY & RHODA, the reunion show reuniting Mary Richards and Rhoda Morgenstern. The show didn't last well on Hallmark, which didn't really shock me. The only shows they seem to be able to successfully syndicate is I LOVE LUCY and THE GOLDEN GIRLS, which I'm thankful they do.

For a long time I only had the first and sixth seasons (that's all Walmart ever had in stock) of MARY TYLER MOORE on DVD. A couple of years ago, though, I got lucky when Walmart had the complete in stock for like $35. I snatched it up quickly. With the entire series also being on Hulu, I can watch it whenever I please. I enjoy the show, and I was wondering there were any other fans here.

Of course, the show spun off three characters: RHODA, PHYLLIS, and LOU GRANT. I bought the third season of RHODA (which is all the FYE store had) a couple of weeks ago for $10. It was a steal, and I cannot wait to watch it.

Any thoughts?

1600095184784.png
1600095206999.png
 
  • Love
Reactions: Detour (1945)

Matt Hough

Reviewer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2006
Messages
22,335
Location
Charlotte, NC
Real Name
Matt Hough
Rhoda began well, but I didn't think its final seasons were very good (after she and Joe split up). I loved Phyllis' first season, but when Judith Lowry passed away after season one and the show got revamped a bit, it was less funny. Lou Grant was an excellent dramatic series.
 

Bob Cashill

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2001
Messages
3,614
Not to derail this thread (MTM and Bob Newhart Show reruns sustained me through a difficult patch some years ago) but I found an episode of the short-lived Diana sitcom (73-74) on YouTube today. Our favorite departed Dame wasn’t too “a-peeling” as an MTM clone—it was very hard to pull off what Moore did.
 

Detour (1945)

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jun 1, 2017
Messages
248
Location
Ontario, Canada
Real Name
Steve
Huge fan of MTM growing up. I'm currently rewatching the series.

I don't remember watching RHODA back then, but now have all the seasons and it's next on the docket.

I've never seen PHYLLIS, but I wish they would put it out on DVD. Any word on that?

I caught a couple of LOU GRANTS, when it aired, and have picked up the first season so far.

Just a great collection of actors.
 

Josh Steinberg

Premium
Reviewer
Joined
Jun 10, 2003
Messages
19,335
Real Name
Josh Steinberg
I’m currently watching MTM on DVD, but I don’t think I’ll be watching any of the spinoffs. I kinda felt like the Rhoda character had run her course by the time she left MTM, and I can’t really imagine spending more time with her. She’s just not that interesting to me. And the Phyllis character I actively dislike - and I kinda thought that was the point that she was unbearable - but there’s just no way I could watch a show devoted to that character. I’m eagerly awaiting her departure from MTM.

I am a little bit more intrigued about Lou Grant graduating from a half hour sitcom to an hour-long procedural but I’m not sure if I’m interested enough to fully commit.
 
  • Agreed
Reactions: BobO'Link

Waldo Lydecker

Auditioning
Joined
Oct 20, 2016
Messages
9
Real Name
David N. Heathman
The show that you really need to see is “Mary’s Incredible Dream”...Rumored to cost over a million (1976) dollars and featuring the current vogue artists of the day including Ben Vereen and the Manhattan Transfer. No dialogue, just Mary warbling and cavorting about Ziegfeld like set pieces...I can still see my parent’s shell shocked expression when it was over...It disappeared after the one airing...
 
  • Haha
Reactions: Detour (1945)

Wiseguy

Second Unit
Joined
Dec 31, 2011
Messages
320
Real Name
Erich P. Wise
Anyway, this got me into wanting to actually watch THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW (although the show bills itself as simply MARY TYLER MOORE) and see what it was all about. I caught a marathon when Hallmark had it on its schedule. I think they kicked off that marathon with the telemovie MARY & RHODA, the reunion show reuniting Mary Richards and Rhoda Morgenstern. The show didn't last well on Hallmark, which didn't really shock me. The only shows they seem to be able to successfully syndicate is I LOVE LUCY and THE GOLDEN GIRLS, which I'm thankful they do.
Thank you for noting the real title of the series. It has amazed me through the years how every reference book and every person referring to the series calls it The Mary Tyler Moore Show when the words The and Show never appeared in the title. I recall during the first season Ted Knight did the announcing for the series and he would say "The Mary Tyler Moore Show brought to you by..." By the time the second season started he was replaced by an anonymous announcer who said "Mary Tyler Moore brought to you by..." and that stayed the same for all future announcements.

By the way, I don't know if terminology has changed during the past decade, but "syndication" has meant reruns sold to local stations. Reruns on networks such as Hallmark, MeTV, TVLand, etc. are set up with different contracts and often different versions of episodes are shown than the ones in true syndication and they often show episodes not available in syndication (such as The Twilight Zone episodes still not shown in syndication, and only Syfy has/had the rights to show the first and last years of Dark Shadows which have never been seen in syndicated reruns.)
 

Wiseguy

Second Unit
Joined
Dec 31, 2011
Messages
320
Real Name
Erich P. Wise
BTW, Mary tried several more times for TV success: a variety show, a sitcom or two, and a dramedy, but nothing seemed to click for her. A shame because she had so much more to offer.
I did like Mary, her 1985-86 sitcom. It was the first series I had seen Katey Segal on. Mary went off the air almost one year to the day before Married with Children premiered.
 

Wiseguy

Second Unit
Joined
Dec 31, 2011
Messages
320
Real Name
Erich P. Wise
Rhoda began well, but I didn't think its final seasons were very good (after she and Joe split up). I loved Phyllis' first season, but when Judith Lowry passed away after season one and the show got revamped a bit, it was less funny. Lou Grant was an excellent dramatic series.
Oddly enough, I liked the fourth season the best after Joe left. Also liked the new recording of the theme song with the guitar intro in the closing theme only used that season. (Incidentally that (1977-78) was also the only season that M*A*S*H had a guitar intro for its closing theme*.)

*Except for one episode.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Blimpoy06

Rob W

Supporting Actor
Joined
May 23, 1999
Messages
873
Real Name
Robert
A little late in the day to be reporting this, but today is the 50th anniversary of the debut of The Mary Tyler Moore Show :


(although in Canada the CBC pre-released the show on the Monday before CBS's Saturday broadcast and it remained on Mondays for the entire run )
 

Wiseguy

Second Unit
Joined
Dec 31, 2011
Messages
320
Real Name
Erich P. Wise
When Mary Tyler Moore premiered in 1970, the local CBS station apparently didn't think much of it. It was decided to tape the entire season and broadcast each episode the following Saturday at 5:30pm. (I don't recall what was shown in its place or if it affected the surrounding series Arnie and Mannix.) At the start of the following season it was shown at its scheduled CBS time. It's possible that many people didn't even realize there was a season before the second showed up on Saturday night.*

An ironic footnote is that this same CBS station quickly picked up the syndication rights when it became available and broadcast the series in prime time bumping some other CBS series (don't recall which series in 1977-78 but in 1978-79 it bumped the new People series (based on the magazine) which didn't last long. At this point the station didn't even bother taping the series and showing it later.) Unfortunately, after a schedule shakeup the following January the MTM reruns bumped the remainder of the first season of WKRP in Cincinnati. I remember having to tune in an out-of-town station to view these episodes (good old analog TV with antenna) while the rest of the city missed out on these episodes and again, many may have believed it was not broadcast between the first few episodes and the second season.

Fortunately, this practice seems to have gone away, at least in this area, with most network programming shown directly from the network. Not so lucky is MeTV, a substation of the NBC affiliate, which has the second weekday M*A*S*H episode bumped by a rerun of the local 6:00pm news (one part of two-parters is not shown) and the first Peter Gunn on Sunday nights is bumped by Matter of Fact with Soledad O'Brien which is already shown on the parent station two or three times during the weekend.

*The station did the same thing to Rhoda when it premiered in 1974.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Osato

BobO'Link

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 3, 2008
Messages
7,118
Location
Mid-South
Real Name
Howie
I’m currently watching MTM on DVD, but I don’t think I’ll be watching any of the spinoffs. I kinda felt like the Rhoda character had run her course by the time she left MTM, and I can’t really imagine spending more time with her. She’s just not that interesting to me. And the Phyllis character I actively dislike - and I kinda thought that was the point that she was unbearable - but there’s just no way I could watch a show devoted to that character. I’m eagerly awaiting her departure from MTM.

I am a little bit more intrigued about Lou Grant graduating from a half hour sitcom to an hour-long procedural but I’m not sure if I’m interested enough to fully commit.
I felt exactly the same way during its original run about Rhoda and Phyllis. I wasn't fond of Rhoda and didn't follow her to the spin off as I was happy to see her go. That they even did a Phyllis spin off had me shaking my head in wonder but at least she was no longer on MTM.

The Lou Grant spin off was a pleasant surprise. I just couldn't see it as a hour long drama but to my surprised it worked and was a pretty good series. In spite of that I've never purchased any seasons and am not likely to as I just don't watch that type of show very often and have more than enough dramas in my collection.
 

Wiseguy

Second Unit
Joined
Dec 31, 2011
Messages
320
Real Name
Erich P. Wise
I felt exactly the same way during its original run about Rhoda and Phyllis. I wasn't fond of Rhoda and didn't follow her to the spin off as I was happy to see her go. That they even did a Phyllis spin off had me shaking my head in wonder but at least she was no longer on MTM.
Phyllis is one of those characters you think appeared more often then she did. She only appeared in 10 episodes in the final three seasons she was on (1972-75).
 
  • Insightful
Reactions: MatthewA

Forum Sponsors

Forum statistics

Threads
345,229
Messages
4,735,308
Members
141,416
Latest member
Bigbob7777