|Based on|| Lou Grant |
by James L. Brooks and Allan Burns
|Developed by||Leon Tokatyan|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||5|
|No. of episodes||114 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||46–48 minutes|
|Production company||MTM Productions|
|Original release||September 20, 1977 –|
September 13, 1982
|Preceded by||The Mary Tyler Moore Show|
|Followed by||Mary and Rhoda|
Lou Grant is an American drama television series starring Ed Asner in the title role as a newspaper editor that aired on CBS from September 20, 1977 to September 13, 1982. The series was the third spin-off of the sitcom The Mary Tyler Moore Show . The show was created by The Mary Tyler Moore Show co-creators James L. Brooks and Allan Burns, along with Gene Reynolds.
Lou Grant won 13 Emmy Awards, including "Outstanding Drama Series" twice. Asner won the Emmy Award for "Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series" in 1978 and 1980. In doing so, he became the first person to win an Emmy Award for both "Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series" and "Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series" for portraying the same name and character. Lou Grant also won two Golden Globe Awards, a Peabody Award, an Eddie Award, three awards from the Directors Guild of America and two Humanitas Prizes.
Lou Grant works as city editor of the fictional Los Angeles Tribune daily newspaper, a job he takes after being fired from WJM-TV in Minneapolis at the end of the sitcom The Mary Tyler Moore Show . (Grant mentions several times on Mary Tyler Moore that he had begun his career as a print journalist.) Given the shift from comedy to drama in this show, the nature of Grant's interactions with others is toned down. References to Grant's oftentimes excessive drinking, which had been an ongoing comic theme on Mary Tyler Moore, were deemphasized on the new show.
The rest of the main cast includes: general-assignment reporters Joe Rossi (Robert Walden) and Billie Newman (Linda Kelsey) (Kelsey joined the show in the fourth episode, replacing Rebecca Balding, who had portrayed reporter Carla Mardigian); managing editor Charles Hume (Mason Adams), an old friend of Lou's who has convinced him to move from Minneapolis to Los Angeles; assistant city editor Art Donovan (Jack Bannon); photographer Dennis Price (Daryl Anderson), usually referred to as "Animal"; and widowed, patrician publisher Margaret Jones Pynchon (Nancy Marchand), a character loosely based on a composite of real-life newspaper executives Dorothy Chandler of the Los Angeles Times and Katharine Graham of The Washington Post . Recurring actors who played editors of various departments included Gordon Jump and Emilio Delgado; Peggy McCay had a recurring role as Charlie Hume's wife Marion.
Despite the show's connection with The Mary Tyler Moore Show, none of that series' other regular characters ever appeared (or were even referred to). The only MTM character ever seen on Lou Grant was Flo Meredith, a churlish veteran journalist (and Mary Richards' role model and honorary aunt, played by Eileen Heckart) with whom Lou had had a brief fling while in Minneapolis. However, lead actors from other MTM shows did appear in guest roles as other characters, including Jane Rose and Julie Kavner.
The episodes often had Grant assigning Rossi and Billie to cover news stories, with the episode's plots revealing problems of the people covered in the stories as well as frustrations and challenges reporters experienced to get the stories. The younger reporters are frequently seen turning to Lou for guidance and mentorship over some of the hard questions and moral dilemmas they experience as they work on their stories. The series frequently delved into serious social issues, such as nuclear proliferation, mental illness, prostitution, gay rights, domestic violence, capital punishment, child abuse, rape and chemical pollution, in addition to demonstrating coverage of breaking news stories such as fires, earthquakes, and accidents of all kinds. The series also took serious examination of ethical questions in journalism, including plagiarism, checkbook journalism, entrapment of sources, staging news photos, and conflicts of interest that journalists encounter in their work. There were also glimpses into the personal lives of the Tribune staff.
Lou Grant was a spin-off from The Mary Tyler Moore Show . Unlike The Mary Tyler Moore Show, which was a 30-minute sitcom, Lou Grant was a one-hour drama.
When The Mary Tyler Moore Show ended its run, that series' co-creators and producers, James L. Brooks and Allan Burns, had a commitment to create a new show starring Ed Asner. They decided that it was easier to retain the popular Lou Grant character and make it a spinoff series. Mary Tyler Moore had already established that the character had a previous newspaper career. Brooks and Burns' decision to make the spinoff series a one-hour realistic drama instead of another situation comedy was influenced by the 1976 film All the President's Men , and how that movie depicted the operation of a major newspaper.
Gene Reynolds, who was producing the TV show M*A*S*H at the same time, was also brought on as a co-creator and executive producer. Gary David Goldberg was a producer for the series. The theme music Lou Grant was composed by Patrick Williams.
Lou Grant aired on CBS from September 1977 to September 1982. A total of 114 episodes were produced. In the second half of the 1990s, in syndication, the show was carried on cable TV's A&E Network.
For a list of episodes, see List of Lou Grant episodes.
Lou Grant won several critical honors during its run, including 13 Primetime Emmy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, a Peabody Award, and two Humanitas Prizes.
Asner won two Emmys for his portrayal of Grant; Marchand won an Emmy for "Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series" four of the five years the series ran; Walden, Kelsey, and Adams all received multiple nominations for supporting Emmys.
The cancellation of Lou Grant in 1982 was the subject of much controversy. Asner served two terms as president of the Screen Actors Guild, in which capacity he voiced opposition to U.S. government policy in Central America, and worked closely with Medical Aid for El Salvador. It has been Asner's consistent position that his political views, as well as the publicity surrounding them, were the root causes for the show's cancellation.CBS denied that the cancellation had anything to do with Asner's politics, citing a fall in ratings for the last two seasons.
Shout! Factory has released all five seasons on DVD in Region 1.
|DVD Name||Ep #||Release Date|
|The Complete First Season||22||May 24, 2016|
|The Complete Second Season||24||August 16, 2016|
|The Complete Third Season||24||November 22, 2016|
|The Complete Fourth Season||20||February 21, 2017|
|The Complete Fifth and Final Season||24||March 13, 2018|
Mary Tyler Moore was an American actress, producer, and social advocate. She was widely known for her prominent television sitcom roles in The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961–1966) and The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970–1977).
The Mary Tyler Moore Show is an American television sitcom created by James L. Brooks and Allan Burns and starring actress and namesake Mary Tyler Moore. The show originally aired on CBS from September 19, 1970, to March 19, 1977. Moore starred as Mary Richards, an unmarried, independent woman focused on her career as associate producer of the fictional WJM news program in Minneapolis. A central female character who was neither married nor dependent on a man was a rarity on American television in the 1970s, leading to numerous publications citing The Mary Tyler Moore Show as a groundbreaking series in the era of second-wave feminism. Ed Asner co-starred as Mary's boss Lou Grant, alongside Valerie Harper as friend and neighbor Rhoda Morgenstern and Cloris Leachman as landlady Phyllis Lindstrom. Other co-stars throughout the series' run included Gavin MacLeod, Ted Knight, Georgia Engel, and Betty White.
Lou Grant is a fictional character played by Ed Asner in two television series produced by MTM Enterprises for CBS. The first was The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970–1977), a half-hour light-hearted situation comedy in which the character was the news director at fictional television station WJM-TV in Minneapolis. A spinoff series, entitled Lou Grant (1977–1982), was an hour-long serious dramatic series that frequently engaged in social commentary, featuring the character as city editor of the fictional Los Angeles Tribune. Although spin-offs are common on American television, Lou Grant remains one of a very few characters to have a leading role on both a popular comedy and a popular dramatic series.
Northern Exposure is an American Northern comedy-drama television series about the eccentric residents of a fictional small town in Alaska, that ran on CBS from July 12, 1990, to July 26, 1995, with a total of 110 episodes. It received a total of 57 award nominations during its five-year run and won 27, including the 1992 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series, two additional Primetime Emmy Awards, four Creative Arts Emmy Awards, and two Golden Globes. Critic John Leonard called Northern Exposure "the best of the best television in the past 10 years".
Rhoda is an American television sitcom created by James L. Brooks and Allan Burns starring Valerie Harper that originally aired on CBS for five seasons from September 9, 1974 to December 9, 1978. The first spin-off of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Harper reprised her role as Rhoda Morgenstern, a spunky and flamboyantly fashioned young woman seen as unconventional by the standards of her Jewish family from New York City.
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Eddie Asner, known generally as Ed Asner and sometimes Edward Asner, is an American actor, voice artist, and a former president of the Screen Actors Guild. He is perhaps best known for his role as Lou Grant during the 1970s and early 1980s, on both The Mary Tyler Moore Show and its spin-off series Lou Grant, making him one of the few television actors to portray the same character in both a comedy and a drama. He is the most honored male performer in the history of the Primetime Emmy Awards, having won seven – five for portraying Lou Grant. His other Emmys were for performances in two of the most significant mini-television series of the 1970s: Rich Man, Poor Man (1976), where he won for Outstanding Lead Actor for a Single Performance in a TV series, and Roots (1977), for which he won for Outstanding Single Performance by a Supporting Actor in a TV series.
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Allan Pennington Burns was an American screenwriter and television producer. He was best known for creating and writing for the television sitcom The Munsters as well as The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Rhoda, both of which he created and wrote for alongside James L. Brooks.
Joseph Anthony Campanella was an American character actor. He appeared in more than 200 television and film roles from the early 1950s to 2009. Campanella was best remembered for his roles as Joe Turino on Guiding Light from 1959 to 1962, Lew Wickersham on the detective series Mannix from 1967 to 1968, Brian Darrell on the legal drama The Bold Ones: The Lawyers from 1969 to 1972, Harper Deveraux on the soap opera Days of Our Lives from 1987 to 1992, Science International from 1976 to 1979, and his recurring role as Jonathan Young on The Bold and the Beautiful from 1996 to 2005.
Linda Jean Kelsey is an American actress. She is best known for her role on the CBS drama television series Lou Grant (1977–1982), which earned her three Golden Globe Award nominations and five Primetime Emmy Award nominations.
Sue Ann Nivens is a fictional character portrayed by Betty White on situation comedy The Mary Tyler Moore Show.
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Rich Man, Poor Man is a 1976 American television miniseries based on the 1969 novel of the same name by Irwin Shaw that aired on ABC in one- or two-hour episodes mostly on Monday nights over seven weeks, beginning February 1. It was produced by Universal Television and was the second time programming of this nature had been attempted. The first TV miniseries, QB VII, had aired — also on ABC — in 1974. These projects proved to be a critical and ratings success and were the forerunner for similar projects based on literary works, such as Roots and Shōgun. The film stars Peter Strauss, Nick Nolte and Susan Blakely.
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