In 2003 USA Today called it “one of the best shows to ever air on TV” The Mary Tyler Moore Show hit the airwaves in the fall of 1970. It was a groundbreaking show in that Mary played a 30-year-old single carreer minded woman who wasn’t divorced or widowed, something unusual for the time.

COOL TRIVIA ALERT: The producers were afraid to have Mary be divorced since they were worried that people would think that Mary Petrie had divorced Rob Petrie from The Dick Van Dyke Show so they had her break a two-year-long engagement instead.

Who could forget the grumpy but sensitive news director Lou Grant (Ed Ansner) or news writer Murray Slaughter (Gavin McLeod) and all his quips to dim-witted news anchor Ted Baxter (Ted Knight) and Sue Ann Nivens (Betty White). Mary’s friend Rhoda (Valarie Harper) was a great character as well. Always there for Mary but a little rough around the edges for sure.

The show won 29 emmys in 7 years, a television record until Frasier got its 30th in 2002. It was a critically acclaimed show and made CBS very proud. Some of the most famous moments were when Chuckles The Clown died and Mary couldn’t top laughing at his funeral and of course, the last episode when they all got into “group hug” status and sang.

It also spawned several spin-offs with “Phyllis”, “Rhoda” and “Lou Grant” with the latter being a rare case of a sitcom pinning off a dramatic series.
Mary Richards remains one of the best television characters in history.

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