Lou Grant was a spinoff from The Mary Tyler Moore Show and premiered on CBS in September 1977. Unlike The Mary Tyler Moore Show, which was a 30-minute situation comedy, Lou Grant was a one-hour drama.
Lou Grant ran from 1977-1982 and consisted of 114 episodes. It is one of only three shows in the history of American television to have weekly finishes of first and dead last during its run, the others being Rhoda and Cheers.
The theme music for the series was composed by Patrick Williams
Lou Grant worked at the fictitious Los Angeles Tribune daily newspaper as its city editor, a job he took after the WJM television station fired him. (Though Mary Tyler Moore Show viewers were introduced to the character as a television news producer, the character noted many times that he'd begun his career as a print journalist.) The rest of the main cast included Robert Walden and Linda Kelsey, who played general-assignment reporters Joe Rossi and Billie Newman, respectively (Kelsey joined the show in the fourth episode, replacing Rebecca Balding, who had portrayed reporter Carla Mardigian during the show's first three episodes); Mason Adams, who played managing editor Charles Hume, an old friend of Lou's who had convinced him to move from Minneapolis to Los Angeles; Jack Bannon, who played assistant city editor Art Donovan; Daryl Anderson, who played photographer Dennis Price, usually referred to as "Animal"; and Nancy Marchand, who played the widowed, patrician publisher, Margaret Pynchon, a character loosely based on Dorothy Chandler of the Los Angeles Times. Recurring actors who played editors of various departments included Gordon Jump, who later starred on WKRP in Cincinnati and Emilio Delgado, who simultaneously played Luis Rodriguez on Sesame Street. Asner won two Emmys for his portrayal of Lou; Marchand won Emmy Awards for "Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series" four of the five years the series ran; Walden, Kelsey, and Adams all received multiple nominations for supporting Emmys.
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