Lou Grant

Season 1 Episode 1


Aired Monday 10:00 PM Sep 20, 1977 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (3)

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out of 10
14 votes
  • Interesting example of a new genre at the time - more characters and issue, less melodrama and music. This episode doesn't quite fill the shoes.

    Lou joins the paper and immediately has to make a judgement call about whether to run a sensitive story.

    I liked this series, but looking back at it, it straddles a line that many of the first "issues" dramas had to face - how much depth to put into the topics at hand. In this case, the plotline of whether to report or even investigate a police officer sex scandal is pretty broad in scope, with rather naive references to sources (the off-the-record hints to the newspaperman are pretty shallow, Rossi's first draft is laughably over-dramatic and inaccurate). As is typical, "Lou Grant" almost always falls into the trap of having reporters "solve" crimes or mysteries or become part of the stories themselves.

    What is good is that there is a lot of talent in this episode, Nancy Marchand has great lines (including facing death threats for no longer running "Little Orphan Annie" in the comics), Peter Hobbs is good as the police beat reporter, Gordon Jump steps in for a brief turn as the national news editor. And the main cast works pretty well. On the down side, Rebecca Balding as the female reporter (before Linda Kelsey) is very bland and it's pretty easy to see why she was replaced within weeks.

    This is an interesting episode, you don't really get to see how a newspaper runs but the dialog and intent is such as to give a glimpse into an approach that went further with programs like "Hill Street Blues".
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