Mary Tyler Moore (1970–1977)
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What's Wrong with Swimming? 

Mary's choice for the new sportscaster is a former swimmer who only reports on swimming events. Lou insists that she fire her.



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Episode cast overview:
Caren Kaye ...
Barbara Jean Smathers


After seeing her do some commentary at a local swim meet, Mary thinks it would be a great idea to hire former Olympic swimmer Barbara Jean Smathers as a sportscaster. Lou, Murray and Ted all think it's a lousy idea, for exactly the same reason Mary thinks it's a great idea: Barbara Jean is a woman. Mary wants to break the gender stereotype (even though she won't admit that's the reason she wants to hire Barbara Jean), but Lou hates the cutesy "we're breaking the gender stereotype" angle. Regardless, Lou later reminds Mary is that she is the producer and it is her job to hire and fire. So Mary goes ahead and hires "B.J." after interviewing her. But Mary becomes a little concerned when B.J. states that she's never heard of Fran Tarkenton. Mary's concerns are compounded after watching B.J.'s first sportscast, which is very narrow in focus to only items related to aquatics. Mary wants to deal with B.J. before speaking to Lou, who didn't watch the sportscast. She just hopes she gets a ... Written by Huggo

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Release Date:

16 October 1976 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


[Lou shows up at Mary's apartment for dinner, even though Mary is no longer expecting him]
Lou Grant: Hello. You didn't say what time. Is this OK?
Mary Richards: OK for what?
Lou Grant: Dinner. You did invite me to dinner, didn't you?
Mary Richards: Well, yes, Mr. Grant. But I can't imagine, after that scene in your office, that you would think it's still on.
Lou Grant: You never said it wasn't.
Mary Richards: You mean to tell me you expect us to sit down and eat dinner tonight after that fight we had?
Lou Grant: Mary, during World War II everyone was fighting, but we all kept ...
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User Reviews

Mary Has to Crack the Whip
2 March 2017 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Lou gives Mary permission to make her own decision when it comes to a new sports commentator. She hires a female Olympic swimmer. She has been in broadcasting for a while, but doing sports is new for her. Mary knows she is in trouble when the woman asks her about Fran Tarkenton (who is she?). Mary and Lou have gone around and around about women and sports, but Lou relents. So when this person completely blows it in her first outing and refuses to do things she's told, it gets really interesting. There is a standoff with Mary, being in an executive position, and the swimmer, who tries to intimidate her. The episode has some funny stuff, but it isn't one of the most impressive.

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