During the seven year stretch of the Mary Tyler Moore Show (September 19, 1970 – March 19, 1977), this American television sitcom pulled viewers by breaking down barriers week after week. From the very first moment this hilarious sitcom aired on on CBS, the public fell in love with the show's main character – an independent career woman who had never been married. Creators James L. Brooks and Allan Burns wanted to show a different portrayal of single women than what was currently being portrayed on national television.
The Mary Tyler Moore Show featured the joys and trials of Mary Richard, a thirty-something, single woman who moved to Minneapolis to start over, after breaking off an engagement with her boyfriend of two years. The show centers around television station WJM-TV and Mary's friends/coworkers: Her no-nonsense but lovable boss Lou Grant (Edward Asner); enduring, charitable news-writer Murray Slaughter (Gavin MacLeod); a simple-minded clown-like anchorman Ted Baxter (Ted Knight); her best friend, neighbor, and ex-New Yorker Rhoda Morgenstern (Valerie Harper); and their self-absorbed landlady, Phyllis Lindstorm (Cloris Leachman) and her sassy daughter Bess (Lisa Gerritsen).
For three years straight, 1975, 1976, and 1977, the show won Emmy Awards for Outstanding Comedy Series. Receiving high marks and critical acclaim, long after the final episode aired, the show continued to receive praise from critics. In fact, in 2003, USA Today named the show "one of the best shows ever to air on TV." TV Guide chose a Mary Tyler Moore Show episode as the best TV episode ever in 1997. And then, Entertainment Weekly named the opening show credits (Mary's infamous hat toss), as the second greatest moment in television history.