Lou Grant

Season 1 Episode 4


Aired Monday 10:00 PM Oct 11, 1977 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
6 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary


Lou and the editor of the women's section of the paper engage in a turf war by proxy as their respective reporters, Joe Rossi and Billie Newman, clash over whether the death of a prominent New Mexico playwright is murder or suicide. At the end, Billie is offered a chance to move up from the "Today" section to the "City" staff.


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  • Generally a strong story, good examples of competing agendas and personalities within the context of the series.

    An apparent murder in Arizona interests the paper after "Lifestyles" section reporter Billie Newman phones in the information while covering an arts festival.

    This is one of the better episodes as far as relationships, some things don't work as well as they could but it's still pretty good overall. While I enjoy Lou and the head of the lifestlyes division of the newspaper clashing violently (the contrasts are well-drawn), I have a hard time believing the time invested in showing Lou chasing her before he knows her true identity. It meshes poorly with Lou as shown in "The Mary Tyler Moore Show". A fan of the show might wonder where Carla went (she has simply vanished), but will quickly forget it when Linda Kelsey shows up. There is a good sense of antagonism between her and Rossi that is portrayed nicely right from this first episode.

    Despite the fact that the news industry in the late 70s/early 80s had lots of interesting issues on its own, this episode follows the usual "Lou Grant" formula of involving the reporters in the story - too bad as the normal conflicts of interest could stand on their own without Newman and Rossi "solving" the mystery of the dead author here. But the acting is strong overall, it's good to actually see a workplace where a city editor can be so politically incorrect as to constantly refer to the "women's section" and still be a part of a process of getting the job done.moreless
Claudette Nevins

Claudette Nevins

Irene Mott

Guest Star

Geoffrey Lewis

Geoffrey Lewis


Guest Star

David Starwalt

David Starwalt


Guest Star

Gordon Jump

Gordon Jump

National Editor

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (3)

  • NOTES (1)

    • 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.