The Mary Tyler Moore Show – which ran from 1970 to 1977 – was the first American sitcom to feature a successful, single woman as the star character. The media slammed the show to begin with, branding the character of Mary Richards as a mere “spinster.” However, this view quickly changed as the controversial show gained popularity, and it went on to achieve icon status. Still, there are plenty of things you probably didn’t know about the modern classic – and here’s 20 of them.
20. Mary Richards was originally going to be a divorcée
Mary Richards was initially intended to be depicted as a recently divorced 30-year-old, hunting for a job after being dumped by her husband. However, the producers were cautioned by CBS network researchers that mainstream audiences would never welcome a divorced woman on their TV screens. And as they were fearful that this would cause the premature death of the show, the character’s backstory was duly rewritten.
19. Ted Knight had money problems when cast as Ted Baxter
Blond Ted Knight was not the actor that the creators of the show initially had in mind for incompetent newscaster Ted Baxter. Still, after producers spotted him performing in a small-town version of a Broadway comedy, they decided he was hilarious and invited him to audition. And after digging into his rent money, Knight bought a second-hand anchorman-style suit and wowed the team.