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Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted: And All the Brilliant Minds Who Made The Mary Tyler Moore Show a Classic
     

Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted: And All the Brilliant Minds Who Made The Mary Tyler Moore Show a Classic

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by Jennifer Keishin Armstrong
 

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"Jennifer Keishin Armstrong's deft weave of social history and sharp entertainment reporting explains how [The Mary Tyler Moore Show] made the world safe for Lena Dunham" (Peter Biskind, author of Easy Riders, Raging Bulls)—the making of a classic and groundbreaking TV show, as experienced by its producers, writers, and cast.

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Overview

"Jennifer Keishin Armstrong's deft weave of social history and sharp entertainment reporting explains how [The Mary Tyler Moore Show] made the world safe for Lena Dunham" (Peter Biskind, author of Easy Riders, Raging Bulls)—the making of a classic and groundbreaking TV show, as experienced by its producers, writers, and cast.

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.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In this delicious history of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, former Entertainment Weekly writer Armstrong seems to have had the cooperation of just about everyone involved in the show's making, and the results are riveting." ---Kirkus Starred Review
TheAtlantic.com
"A rich chronicle of women making history."
New York Daily News
“A delightfully thorough history of the show, evoking in detail the making of a piece of pop-culture history and telling sweet tales about the colorful cast. But what really jumps from the page is the story of the women in the writers’ room.”
Shelf Awareness for Readers
“A superb, highly entertaining history of one of television's most beloved sitcoms… A terrific pop culture history--well-written, lovingly researched and chock full of great stories from the Mary Tyler Moore Show set.”
Bust
“Compelling and highly readable, this book is as informative as it is charming…As enjoyable as reruns of the classic show.”
Washington Post
"Armstrong takes us back to a golden age of comedy."
Richmond Times-Dispatch
"Poor dead Chuckles the Clown might be squirting seltzer water down the angels’ robes, but as long as intelligent comedy has a role in our lives, the chuckles and change that “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” wrought will never die. And Armstrong, in this smart and charming history, shows us why."
Portland Oregonian
“Goes behind the scenes to reveal the often-bumpy creation of the show whose influence appears in contemporary TV comedies almost every night of the week. In telling the tale, Armstrong, a former Entertainment Weekly reporter, offers a breezy tour of the way things used to be in television.”
The Hairpin
"A perfect microhistory of television and feminism and writing and money and pressure and the joy of creativity and those capri pants she wore."
Carol Burnett
"This is a wonderful book. It takes us backstage with a keen insight on the writing, directing and casting of one of the best television shows, ever. I didn't want it to end, any more than I wanted The Mary Tyler Moore Show to end."
Peter Biskind
"I tried to skim this book, but failed miserably, finding I couldn't put it down. In case you're wondering how we got from I Love Lucy to Girls, the answer is: "The Mary Tyler Moore Show, stupid!" Jennifer Keishin Armstrong's deft weave of social history and sharp entertainment reporting explains how this revolutionary show made the world safe for Lena Dunham."
Gail Parent
Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted hurt my face. Jennifer Armstrong brought back memories and laughs from one of the best eras in television. She made me stay up all night and by the morning my face hurt from smiling. I forgive her because I enjoyed the book so much.
Gavin Edwards
"Pop-culture gold: a can't-put-it-down history of The Mary Tyler Moore Show and the misfit genius women (and men) who made it. Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted is essential reading if you love The Mary Tyler Moore Show, or TV comedy wizards, or things that are awesome."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781451659238
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Publication date:
05/07/2013
Sold by:
SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
38,175
File size:
38 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Jennifer Keishin Armstrong is the author of Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted, a history of The Mary Tyler Moore Show. She writes about pop culture for several publications, including The New York Times Book Review, Fast Company, New York‘s Vulture, BBC Culture, Entertainment Weekly, and others. She grew up in Homer Glen, Illinois, and now lives in New York City. Visit her online at JenniferKArmstrong.com.

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Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted: And all the Brilliant Minds Who Made The Mary Tyler Moore Show a Classic 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Avid-pageturner More than 1 year ago
If you're a fan of THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW or even just interested in how a TV show is created, nurtured and maintained, they you will love this book. Far from an instant classic sitcom, THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW surmounted numerable hurdles (apathetic TV executives, dismissive early reviews, a shaky pilot shooting that had to be redone, lackluster initial ratings) before it became the classic we appreciate today. This is filled with the kind of fascinating behind-the-scenes stories that you usually find in books by Peter Biskind (EASY RIDERS, RAGING BULLS and DOWN AND DIRTY PICTURES among others). Jennifer Keishin Armstrong starts with the show's two head producers James L. Books and Alan Burns and their determination to create a comedy that was smart and hip and about a 30 year old woman who was (gasp!) not married and never had been. Early on they decide that a show about a woman needs female writers and so they began seeking and nurturing female writers to the show. Over the course of the book, we follow the lives of the producers, the writers and the cast as they work to create magic. This is a wonderful book; a fast read and obviously an affectionate tribute to the TV show.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book. It has excellent details regarding the cast, crew, and the whole process of the show itself.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago