I LOVE LUCY
DICK VAN DYKE
MARY TYLER MOORE
ALL IN THE FAMILY
The Classic Sitcoms Guide to...
The Mary Tyler Moore Show
Season Three: 1972-73
1972-73: THE THIRD SEASON
Year-End Rating: 23.6 (7th place)
The characters are by now so familiar that the writers are able to
base many episodes on previously unknown facets of their personalities--Murray's
occasional feelings of inadequacy; Rhoda's newly blossomed beauty; and,
of course, Mary's slowly maturing relationships with the men in her
life. Even Ted Baxter is taken more seriously when he gets involved
with Georgette, played by Georgia Engel, who would join the regular
cast during the third season.
Ed. Weinberger signs on to produce in a season that features scripts
from the widest variety of writers yet, including primary contributions
from Weinberger, Dick Clair and Jenna McMahon, Martin Cohan, as well
as the occasional gem from regulars Steve Pritzker and Treva Silverman,
who also serves as story editor.
Lou cringes when Mary is assigned to develop a new happy-talk format
for The Six O'Clock News.
Mary dates a muckraking columnist who happens to be doing a story on
Director Jerry Belson was one of the staff writers of The Dick
Van Dyke Show and a co-creator, with Garry Marshall, of TV's Odd
Confusion ensues when Lou is promoted to program director and Murray
is put in charge of the newsroom.
Rhoda's parents come for a visit and end up tackling their marital
Harold Gould and Nancy Walker continued to play Rhoda's parents on
Valerie Harper's spinoff series, Rhoda, in 1974.
Mary arranges a friendly poker game for the newsroom staff, only to
discover that Murray has a compulsive gambling streak.
Rhoda, still lacking confidence in her looks even after she's lost
twenty pounds, is chosen to compete in a store-sponsored beauty contest.
Treva Silverman confronts Rhoda's metamorphosis from a pudgy duckling
to an attractive single woman with a script that is so sensitive to
the character's emotional plight that it is both funny and surprisingly
touching at the same time.
Mary is apprehensive when her parents move to Minneapolis to be near
Nanette Fabray and Bill Quinn were brought in as semi-regulars to
play Mary's parents, but judging by how few episodes the writers were
able to work them into, it must have been clear early on that they had
no real need for the characters. They were never seen after the third
Mary tries to help a frustrated comedian who has higher aspirations
than writing material for Chuckles the Clown.
Van Dyke appeared with Mary Tyler Moore a decade earlier as an occasional
guest star on his brother's series The Dick Van Dyke Show.
Ted becomes a pitchman on local TV commercials, to the chagrin of Lou
and the rest of the newsroom staff.
Mary is faced with an awkward situation when two married friends split
up and she finds out that the husband is interested in her.
When Mary's father retires, she decides he should form a new friendship--with
Mary unwittingly gets involved in an odd triangle with Phyllis's daughter,
An early Mary script by Ed. Weinberger, who--with partner Stan
Daniels--would write and produce many of the finest episodes of the
series. Weinberger joined MTM after writing and producing Bill Cosby's
first NBC sitcom, the soft-spoken and intelligent Bill Cosby Show.
In 1978, Weinberger and Daniels would team up with Jim Brooks and Dave
Davis to create Taxi for ABC.
Lou undergoes minor surgery and reluctantly leaves the newsroom in
Mary's tentative care.
to New York
Rhoda decides to move back to New York City but has second thoughts
when all her friends arrive for a farewell party.
This episode introduces the character of Georgette Franklin, played
by Georgia Engel. Though Rhoda's exit from the show wouldn't occur for
another two seasons, the producers were obviously aware that they'd
have to build a second generation of supporting players if they were
to keep the series strong over the long haul. The introduction of Georgette
as a love interest for Ted Baxter indicated yet another radical shift:
The show's creators were finally going to build Ted into something more
than pure comic relief.
Mary attends the engagement party of an old boyfriend and ends up on
the receiving end of his awkward proposal.
Lou goes enters into an ill-fated partnership with Ted to buy a bar.
Phyllis is surprised when her visiting brother seems more interested
in Rhoda than Mary, though it never occurs to her that he's gay.
Gay-rights groups applauded the show for presenting a nonstereotypical
gay characterization, but producer James Brooks confesses that it was
largely unintentional, since Phyllis's brother wasn't even gay in the
original script! The twist was added at a last-minute rewrite session
after a previous ending fell flat during rehearsal.
Ted and Georgette's blossoming romance gets off to a rocky start when
Georgette starts to think that Ted is taking advantage of her.
Rhoda fixes Mary up with a zany obsessive who insists on marrying her.
"I Love You"?
Lou panics when the attractive new station manager appears to have
designs on him.
Murray becomes depressed when he begins to fear that he hasn't accomplished
anything important in his life.
An old boyfriend of Mary's pays a visit, but she's afraid to rekindle
the flame of a painful romance.
Joseph Campanella plays the ingratiating former lover, a role that
he was to repeat in the semi-regular part of Ann Romano's former husband
on Norman Lear's long-running sitcom One Day at a Time.
Mary is nominated for a Teddy Award, but her personal life seems jinxed
when everything she does turns out wrong.
Rhoda decides to open a plant store--with Mary's savings as seed money.