‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show’: Did Program Change Theme Song After Season 1?

by Joe Rutland
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Fans of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” are familiar with the opening where Mary throws her cap in the air. Did you know the theme song changed?

Well, let’s put it this way. The song itself didn’t change musically. It’s called “Love Is All Around” and Sonny Curtis sings the lyrics. See where this going? No?

OK, so in the show’s first season on CBS, Curtis sings, “How will you make it on your own?” and ends with “You just might make it after all.”

For the second season, though, slight changes are made. But when you read them, then you’ll probably say to yourself, “Yeah, I sing it that way all the time.” Because the second-season changes stayed put through its seventh and final season on CBS.

Curtis tweaked the first line to say, “Who can turn the world on with her smile?” He ends the updated version with the line, “You’re gonna make it after all.”

In addition, each season had a different instrumental version of “Love Is All Around” play as the credits rolled leading up to the M-T-M kitten’s “meow” at the end.

Ted Knight Was Driven to Tears, Nearly Quit Show

While we’re talking about “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” there’s no doubt that one of television’s most iconic characters is on that show. Ted Baxter, the dim-witted and ego-filled news anchor played by actor Ted Knight, proved to be too much for Knight to play.

Knight was nothing like his on-screen character at all. He actually looked to leave the show after its third season.

According to an article on CheatSheet.com, Knight had his struggles while on the show.

Knight excelled at his role, winning two Emmy Awards for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.

Knight Went To ‘Mary Tyler Moore Show’ Producer Burns

But Knight didn’t want to be typecast as Baxter for fears that his career would suffer. Knight was so concerned that, according to Moore, the actor went to producer Allan Burns.

“(Ted) entered, as Allan remembers it, with an expression of pain on his face,” Mary Tyler Moore wrote in her memoir, “After All.” “He stood there wordlessly, extended both arms in a helpless gesture… slowly shook his head from side to side, unable to speak.

“Ted flung his arms around Allan’s neck and sobbed, ‘I can’t do it anymore,'” Moore wrote. “‘I can’t play Ted Baxter. Everybody thinks I’m stupid and I’m not. I’m an intelligent, well-read man, and everyone treats me like I’m a schmuck.'”

Fortunately for Knight, and sitcom fans, Burns was able to ease the actor’s concerns. Knight stayed through the show’s final episode, leaving an indelible mark for his acting and comedic timing.

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