Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted
And all the Brilliant Minds Who Made The Mary Tyler Moore Show a Classic
Forty years later, The Mary Tyler Moore Show is one of the most beloved and recognizable television shows of all time. It was an inspiration to a generation of women who wanted to have it all in an era when everything seemed possible.
Jennifer Keishin Armstrong’s Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted tells the stories behind the making of this popular classic, introducing the groundbreaking female writers who lent real-life stories to their TV scripts; the men who created the indelible characters; the lone woman network executive who cast the legendary ensemble—and advocated for this provocative show—and the colorful cast of actors who made it all work. James L. Brooks, Grant Tinker, Allan Burns, Valerie Harper, Cloris Leachman, Betty White, Gavin MacLeod, Ed Asner, Ted Knight, Georgia Engel—they all came together to make a show that changed women’s lives and television itself. Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted is the tale of how they did it.
Mary Tyler Moore Show: Three Things You Didn't Know
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Read an Excerpt
There is a certain trajectory your life takes when you create a classic book or movie, song or television show. It’s a path followed by all those who accomplish this rare feat, and yet they never know they’re on it at the time. And thus they never know if the vision they’re fighting for is valid, much less great. They don’t know of the accolades, or the difficulties,... see more
Reading Group Guide
Topics & Questions for Discussion
1.How does this book fit into the history of the 1970s overall?
2.How does it fit into the history of Hollywood?
3.What do you think it says about women on television?
4.Who was your favorite “character”?
5.What surprised you the most?
6.How has reading this book changed the way you think of The Mary Tyler Moore Show?
7.Mary Richards: Feminist or not?
8.Which episodes did it make you want to watch (again, or for the first time)?
9.Discuss women’s role in the workplace and in Hollywood during the 1970s. How has life changed for women since the beginning of The Mary Tyler Moore Show? How has it stayed the same?
10.How do you think Treva Silverman felt back when she was the only woman in the comedy writers’ rooms where she worked?
11.Do you think the female writers in the book would ever have made it in the TV business without James L. Brooks and Allan Burns?
12.Do you think Mary Tyler Mo see more