New from Simon & Schuster

A Sudden Light by Garth Stein
The King's Curse by Philippa Gregory
Rebel Yell by S. C. Gwynne
Angels Walking by Karen Kingsbury
The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace by Jeff Hobbs
You Can't Make This Stuff Up by Theresa Caputo
Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted

Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted

And all the Brilliant Minds Who Made The Mary Tyler Moore Show a Classic

  • reading group guide
When writer-producers James L. Brooks and Allan Burns dreamed up an edgy show about a divorced woman with a career, the CBS executives they pitched replied: “American audiences won’t tolerate divorce in a series’ lead any more than they will tolerate Jews, people with mustaches, and people who live in New York.”

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.
Choose a format:
  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 336 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451659207 | 
  • May 2013
List Price $26.00
This title is temporarily out of stock, please check back soon.

Video

Mary Tyler Moore Show: Three Things You Didn't Know

The story of the making of a classic and groundbreaking TV show, as experienced by its producers, writers, and cast.

Read an Excerpt

Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted one one one one one the comeback
(1961–70)

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

This reading group guide for Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted includes discussion questions and a Q&A with author Jennifer Keishin Armstrong. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.

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

Articles About This Book

Mtmrhoda_300

Posted on Tips on Life & Love

Posted by Jennifer Keishin Armstrong

When you look back at TV's first truly independent single girls in the city, The Mary Tyler Moore Show's Mary Richards and Rhoda Morgenstern, one thing is clear: These ‘70s ladies took far less crap than the Hannahs and Mindys and Jesses of our...

About the Author

Jennifer Keishin Armstrong
A. Jesse Jiryu Davis

Jennifer Keishin Armstrong

Jennifer Keishin Armstrong is a senior writer for Entertainment Weekly and the author of Why? Because We Still Like You, a history of the original Mickey Mouse Club. She has provided pop culture commentary for CNN, VH1, Fox News Channel, and ABC, and her writing has been featured in Salon, MTV.com, Glamour, Budget Travel, and the Chicago Sun-Times. She also cofounded and continues to run SirensMag.com, an alternative online women’s magazine.

BECOME A FAN

Explore

CONNECT WITH US

Get a FREE eBook
when you join our mailing list!