The Mary Tyler Moore Show was one of the most literate,
    realistic, and enduring situation comedies of the 1970s.
    Mary Richards was the idealized single career woman. She
    had come to Minneapolis after breaking up with a man she
    had been dating for four years. Ambitious, and looking for
    new friends, she moved into an older apartment building
    and went to work as an assistant producer of the local
    news show on television station WJM-TV. In her early 30s,
    Mary symbolized the independent woman of the 1970s. Mary's
    boss was WJM-TV News producer Lou Grant, an irascible,
    cantankerous, blustery man whose bark was much worse
    than his bite. Underneath that harsh exterior beat the heart of a pussycat.

    Murray Slaughter was the head newswriter at
    the station. Ted Baxter was the anchorman, not too bright,
    prone to put his foot in his mouth both on and off the
    air, and possessor of such a misplaced sense of his own
    wonderfulness that he was the butt of everyone's jokes.
    Mary's closest friend was one of her neighbors, Rhoda
    Morgenstern, a window dresser for a local department store
    who, like Mary, was still single though in her 30s. The
    other neighbor seen frequently in Mary's apartment Phyllis
    Lindstrom. Phyllis was the building's resident busybody,
    and though it took quite a while to find out, also its
    landlady. Phyllis was oblivious to everyone elses feelings
    and had an extremely flaky personality. Other regulars
    included: Bess, Phyllis' mature-beyond-her-years daughter;
    Sue Ann Nivens, "The Happy Homemaker" on WJM-TV;
    Gordy Howard, WJM-TV's weatherman; and Georgette
    Franklin, Ted Baxter's empty-headed girlfriend.