After landing the city editor job at the Los Angeles Tribune, Lou Grant's first major story is a sex scandal concerning the LAPD and underage girls. However, in order to get it published he must deal...
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After everyone on the "Mary Tyler Moore Show" got fired, Lou Grant went to Los Angeles and became city editor of the L.A. Tribune, owned by Mrs. Pynchon, with whom Lou often has loud but sympathetic arguments. Lots of social causes and interpersonal relationships. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
During the primetime run of the show (1977-1982), Edward Asner became increasingly vocal on behalf of various liberal political causes. Although the series had slipped in ratings by 1982, many critics speculated that the actor's politics played a major role in the show's cancellation. See more »
[to a man in a crowded elevator who is smoking a cigar]
Would you please put that thing out?
Man in elevator:
Whaddya own the elevator or something?
The elevator, the building, the block!
Man in elevator:
Oh, well then you must own this, too.
[hands her the burning cigar and steps off the elevator]
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Another great MTM studio production from the 70's taking the major risk of re-setting a familiar comedic character - the boozy, boorish TV editor Lou Grant as the central character in a 50 minute topical drama satin a major city news-room.
Like its MTM comedy predecessors, likewise invariably named after one character "Lou Grant" of course isn't just about Lou, it's more about the interplay with an ensemble of strong, supporting characters. Better yet, the plot-lines were literate and credible slices of real life, often centring on corruption in high places, with the keg-work being done by the two bright young reporters Joe Rossi (played by Robert Walden) and Billie, played by Linda Kelsey. Also in support are beatnik photographer Animal, presumably named after one of the Muppets, the style-conscious sub-editor Art Donovan and at the top end if the paper, its matriarch publisher Mrs Pynchon and her right hand man, Charlie Hulme. Edward Asner in the title role did a fine job re-inventing himself as the pugnacious but principled title character. The whole programme could have failed if his character had failed its transition but this was never in doubt right from the first episode I've recently re- watched.
The plots invariably involved some sort of moral dilemma for one of the characters, not unnaturally given the post-Watergate interest in newspapers and their role in exposing dirty deeds done in high places. Critics might argue against the show's occasional bleeding-heart liberalism, but I remember it just as high quality US drama and staying well after 11 o'clock to watch it in the days before video recorders.
In its wake came other MTM hit series like "Hill Street Blues" and "St Elsewhere" but I think I enjoyed this series even better than those. Bad fashion sense aside and even conceding the much lesser role that newspapers play in news dissemination today, I don't think this show has aged much at all, a testimony to good writing and good acting all round.
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