On This Day: ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show’ Debuts in 1970 on CBS

by Keeli Parkey

It was on this day (Sept. 19) in 1970 that the fictional character Mary Richards began to “turn the world on with her smile” in “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.”

The iconic sitcom made its debut on CBS on Sept. 19, 1970. It would go on to have one of the most respected runs in television history and lead to several spinoff series. It followed Mary Richards as she created a new life for herself in Minneapolis, Minnesota. There, she met new friends and took a job as a producer at the WJM television station.

According to IMDb, the series aired from 1970 until 1977. It gave fans 168 episodes of laughs, drama, memorable characters, and unforgettable moments.

For example, who can forget the hilarious “Chuckles the Clown” episode? Especially the moment when Mary can’t stop laughing at his funeral. The episode’s title was “Chuckles Bites the Dust.” It first aired on Oct. 25, 1975 and was part of the show’s sixth season.

On the 51st anniversary of the debut of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” it’s only fitting that we relive one of the funniest moments in the show’s history. You can check it out below.


The Ensemble Cast Shined in ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show’

Speaking of characters, of course, the legendary Mary Tyler Moore led the way as Mary Richards. Moore came to the show after a successful run on the beloved sitcom, “The Dick Van Dyke Show.”

Mary Tyler Moore was just one part of a beloved ensemble cast. Joining her in this famous ensemble were Ed Asner as Lou Grant, Valerie Harper as Rhoda Morgenstern, Cloris Leachman as Phyllis Lindstrom, Betty White as Sue Ann Nivens, Gavin MacLeod as Murray Slaughter, Ted Knight as Ted Baxter, and Georgia Engel as Georgette Franklin.

Asner passed away in late August 2021. With his death, the only living member of the show’s main cast is Betty White. She is now 99 years old.

“The Mary Tyler Moore Show” was created by James L. Brooks and Allan Burns. Brooks has a Hollywood career that is truly impressive. In addition to his work on this sitcom, he also worked on the sitcom’s spinoffs – “Rhoda,” “Phyllis,” and “Lou Grant.” Brooks also helped create “The Simpsons.” He is now 81 years old. He also directed the films “Terms of Endearment,” “Broadcast News,” and “As Good As It Gets.”

Burns came to the sitcom after writing on such famous shows as “My Mother the Car,” “Get Smart,” and “Love American Style.” Like Brooks, he also worked on the sitcom’s spinoff shows. Burns passed away in January 2021. He was 85 years old at the time of his death.

“The Mary Tyler Moore Show” won an impressive 29 Primetime Emmy Awards during its run, including the prize for Outstanding Comedy Series.

You can watch the opening credits for “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” below. Don’t forget, “Love is all around.”