Mary Tyler Moore - Season 4
The big news of The Mary Tyler Moore Show's fourth season is the introduction of a new regular: Betty White as Sue Ann Nivens, the host of WJM-TV's "Happy Homemaker" household-hints show. Outwardly sweet and Pollyanna-ish, Sue Ann is actually the most predatory female in all of Minneapolis, targeting Lars Lindstrom, the (never-seen) husband of supercilious Phyllis Lindstrom (Cloris Leachman) as her latest sexual conquest in the season's Emmy-winning opening episode, "The Lars Affair." It takes the eleventh-hour intervention of Mary Richards (Mary Tyler Moore), associate producer of WJM's "Six O'Clock News," to prevent Sue Ann from adding Lars to her male harem. Subsequent Season 4 episodes constitute some of The Mary Tyler Moore Show's best and most memorable efforts. These include another Emmy winner, "The Lou and Edie Story," in which Mary's boss, Lou Grant (Edward Asner), goes into a deep funk over the breakup of his marriage to wife Edie (Priscilla Morrill); "Lou's First Date," guest-starring veteran comic actress Florence Lake as the sweet octogenarian whom the newly single Lou escorts to an awards ceremony; "Father's Day," wherein pompous WJM anchorman Ted Baxter (Ted Knight) is reluctantly reunited with his long-absent dad, Robert (Liam Dunn); "The Dinner Party," the season's annual "Mary's terrible parties" episode, featuring a pre-Happy Days Henry Winkler as Mary's date, Steve Waldman; "I Gave at the Office," a tour de force for Gavin MacLeod as WJM newswriter Murray Slaughter, who frets and fumes when his daughter (Tammi Bula) takes a part-time job at the station; "Better Late...That's a Pun...Than Never," in which a red-faced Mary is suspended from her job after capriciously writing a humorous obituary for Minneapolis' oldest citizen -- who unexpectedly kicks the bucket; and the unforgettable, and imminently self-explanatory, "Ted Baxter Meets Walter Cronkite." In addition to the aforementioned Emmy awards for the episodes "The Lars Affair" and "The Lou and Edie Story," gold statuettes were doled out to series regulars Mary Tyler Moore and Cloris Leachman. The Mary Tyler Moore Show wrapped up its fourth season as America's ninth most popular network series.