Lou Grant

CBS (ended 1982)
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  • show Description
  • Lou Grant was a spinoff from "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and premiered on CBS in September 1977. The series was a radical departure from its predecessor as it was a drama. It was the first successful one-hour show from MTM Enterprises. As the series began, Lou Grant had just been fired from his job at WJM-TV, and had moved to Los Angeles to work for a newspaper.

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  • Episode Guide
  • S 5 : Ep 24


    Aired 9/13/82

  • S 5 : Ep 23


    Aired 8/30/82

  • S 5 : Ep 22


    Aired 5/24/82

  • S 5 : Ep 21


    Aired 5/17/82

  • S 5 : Ep 20


    Aired 5/3/82

  • Cast & Crew
  • Edward Asner

    Lou Grant

  • Jack Bannon

    Art Donovan

  • Robert Walden

    Joe Rossi

  • Nancy Marchand

    Margaret Pynchon

  • Linda Kelsey

    Billie Newman

  • Top Contributor
  • francklloyd

    User Score: 1751


  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (298)

    • Charlie: Lou, it's incredible! How can a guy look the same as he did twenty years ago?
      Lou: I don't.
      Charlie: You sure don't. What happened?

    • Rossi: Paydirt!
      Lou: I assume that's your cute way of saying you've got a lead?

    • Lou: Take a week off. Relax. Go fishing.
      Driscoll: I don't fish.
      Lou: I didn't say you had to catch anything.

    • Lou: (on their way to see Mrs. Pynchon) What did you tell her about me?
      Charlie: Nothing. And don't mention that you worked in television. She hates television.
      Lou: Then what do I tell her I was doing the last ten years?
      Charlie: Tell her you were in jail.

    • Lou: Getting back on a newspaper is like being with a woman who doesn't shave her legs. Reality. Maybe you don't like it, but it's real.

    • S.W.A.T. officer: (to Art Donovan while trying to think of a plan to infiltrate the newsroom being commanded by the gunman Martin) I've GOT to get in there and get a close look!"
      Donovan: "Your uniform is going to spook the kid."S.W.A.T. officer: "Yeah, I know… change clothes with me!Donovan: "That won't work! This suit will never FIT you! It's WAY too small in the shoulders."
      S.W.A.T. officer: We've got a crazed GUNMAN in there, not a fashion editor!Donovan: "What if you get a BULLET HOLE in it???
      S.W.A.T. officer: They do great re-weaving today!

    • Martin: (with his gun on Rossi) "Alright - where's your office?"
      Rossi: "It's that desk over there."
      Martin: "That's it? Just a DESK? I thought you were an important guy!"
      Rossi: "Well, it's one of the newer desks…"

    • Martin: (Holding a gun to Rossi's head as they walk into the newsroom) If anybody moves, I'm gonna blow his head off!
      Rossi: Take it easy. I don't have a whole lot of friends in this room.

    Show More Quotes

    Notes (63)

    • Peter Hobbs returns later in the series, notably in season 4's 'Depression' which once again pits him against Rossi.

    • One of several episodes released in 1992 from MTM Home Video.

    • Notice the background actor: male, about 6'2", red hair, and lime-green shirt who gets into too many scenes unchecked. It's the director's job to make sure all scenes have continuity, hence the use of background actors to be in specific places during each take of a scene. However, sometimes an actor hungry for screen-time will sneak into as many scenes as he/she can, which spoils continuity.

      Such is the case with Mr. Redhead here... during the very first sequence, we first see him walking away from the camera behind Lou and Irene Mott after they bump into each other after Lou gets off the bus. Then he's seen again coming from the side street a block up walking behind Lou where Lou is standing right after he blows his first chance to talk to Irene. Lou starts walking, then the actor pops back into the scene AGAIN and starts following Lou. But that's not the end of his screentime... not by a longshot. After Lou bolts out of the cafe trying to find Irene, he looks to the right - there's Mr. Redhead/Greenshirt walking away from the camera under the Diamond Buyers sign... no Irene, so Lou looks to the left - there's Redhead/Greenshirt again walking TOWARD the camera! What a tour de force! Oh but wait! Just one more: as Lou stands there in a close-up shot dejected over losing Irene in the crowd, Redhead/Greenshirt pops in AGAIN right behind Lou at the last second! AGAIN coming from the opposite direction! Then we fast-forward to the Tribune offices where Lou and Irene arrive at work. And who do we see walk right in front of the entrance? Yep. Hilarious.

    • Producers decided that Rebecca Balding as reporter Carla Madigan was not carrying her weight on the show compared to Robert Walden. Leon Tokatyan, who developed the series and wrote the first episode, said "Walden chewed her up. She looked like she was going to break into tears any second." She was fired and the producers instead decided to promote the Billie Newman character, introduced in this episode, into a regular. They hired Linda Kelsey, who had originally been in consideration for the Carla Madigan role because of her work on M*A*S*H.

    • Nancy Marchand does not appear in this episode.

    • Nancy Marchand does not appear in this episode.

    • The scene where Billie and Rossi are giving Lou a good ribbing for being a "hardened criminal" with their lines:

      "Ya busted out of the joint, ah Duke?"

      "I knew there was no slammer that could hold you, chief!"

      was actually shot and used twice. At the very beginning for the episode preview the shot was a close-up on Rossi & Billie, then later during the scene at approx 11:00 a wide shot was used which included Lou's associate from the court.

    • The episode won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor for a Single Appearance in a Drama or Comedy Series - Barnard Hughes.

    Show More Notes

    Trivia (57)

    • Mrs. Pynchon faces retaliation by angry readers when she discontinues the Orphan Annie comic strip. The popular comic strip ended its nationally syndicated run in 2010, after 85 years in print.

    • In addition to occasional day-player Gordon Jump, this episode featured brief appearances by Tim Reid and Richard Sanders who also went on to star in 'WKRP In Cincinnati'.


    • Rossi checks into the institution as Carl Woodward. This pseudonym is a mixture of the names of the two reporters who broke the Watergate Scandal: Carl Berstein and Bob Woodward.

    • In the previous episodes the recurring character Allen Williams played was just known as Assistant Foreign Editor. In this episode he gets a name: Wilson

    • In this episode Wilson not only gets a first name (Adam), he also changes jobs. Once the Assitant Foreign Editor, he is now the Financial Editor.

    • We learn more about the background of a few characters. Art Donovan grew up in Hawaii, Billie spent her youth in Bismarck, North Dakota.

    • More information about the background of some characters: Rossi grew up in California without ever going to Disneyland and Animal studied painting in Paris.

    • Joanie Hume claims she can speak French, but she mispronounces the name of Albert Camus.

    Show More Trivia

    Allusions (19)

    • When Lou asks Rossi for his name, the young reporter jokingly replies: "Bella Abzug". Bella Abzug (1920-1998) was an American social activist, congresswoman and a leader of the Women's Movement.

    • The newspaper's name is completely fictitious. The Los Angeles Tribune is possibly an allusion to the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, two of the more famous big city papers in the U.S. These news organizations are still in operation as of 2010... though the business of gathering and reporting news has changed considerably due to internet technologies.

    • In this episode, Margaret Pynchon and Charlie Hume refer to General MacArthur and former US president Harry Truman. In 1951, President Truman "dismissed" (fired) General Douglas MacArthur from duty for making disparaging public remarks about the Truman administration during the US involvement in the Korean War after the US military had sustained a series of defeats in battle.

    • When Rossi and Billie are poking fun at Lou for be a "big-time criminal" after he's released from jail, Rossi says: 'Always knew there was no slammer that could hold you, chief!" in what appears to be an impersonation of actor Humphrey Bogart.

    • Mrs. Pynchon regrets that her sister never met Margaret Sanger before she had children, Mrs. Pynchon's odious nephews. Margaret Sanger (1879-1966) was an early birth control activist.

    • Lou jokes that Horace Greeley might attend the convention. Horace Greeley (1811-1872) was a pioneering newspaper editor and a presidential candidate in 1872.

    • The article about The Tribune in Pacific Magazine refers to incidents of several episodes, such as Hoax, Christmas &Hit.

    • Although no literal allusion is made, Rossi's relationship with Lana Barkley closely resembles that of Norma Desmond and Joe Gillis in Sunset Boulevard. One scene is practically a take-off on a scene in that movie. Rossi discovers that Lana's servant Sergei is a former lover; in Sunset Boulevard Gillis is amazed to find that butler Max (Erich Von Stroheim) is one of Norma's ex-lovers.

    Show More Allusions
  • Fan Reviews (3)
  • 'Lou Grant' - another example of what made TV great in the '70s.

    By Muki-D, Nov 03, 2014

  • Lou Grant (1977-1982) was a spinoff of the Mary Tyler Moore Show, centering on Lou Grant working as an editor for the LA Tribune. It's weird, I've been using tv.com for ages and never ever thought of becoming a member ...

    By MeandtheFarmer, Feb 28, 2007

  • Simply superb.

    By BigRedNev, Oct 15, 2005