Home Television Drama Lou Grant

Lou Grant

1 9 7 7 – 1 9 8 2 (USA)
110 x 60 minute episodes

Lou Grant drew on the comedy character of the executive producer of TV news in the long-running Mary Tyler Moore Show but transformed that comic persona into a serious, reflective, committed newsman at a major metropolitan newspaper.

On the final episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show (which aired in September 1977) the entire news staff at WJM-TV, Minneapolis, Minnesota, were fired. Lou Grant, who was 50 years old at the time, moved to Los Angeles where he got a job as the city editor on the Los Angeles Tribune.

The series sought weekly to explore a knotty issue facing media people in contemporary society, focusing on how investigating and reporting those issues impact on the layers of personalities populating a newspaper company.

Topics treated dramatically included gun control, invasion of privacy, confidential sources, child abuse and Vietnamese refugees. Mingled with each episode’s issue was an interplay of personalities, often light-hearted, among featured characters.

lougrant7Also featured in the series were the autocratic owner of the newspaper, Margaret Pynchon, played by Nancy Marchand (who later became better known as Livia Soprano in the popular Sopranos series), Lou’s boss, managing editor Charlie Hume (Mason Adams), hotshot investigative reporter Joe Rossi (Robert Walden), ambitious young reporter Carla Madigan (Rebecca Balding) – who was replaced by reporter Billie Newman McCovey (Linda Kelsey), Art Donovan, Lou’s assistant city editor (Jack Benson); and Dennis ‘Animal’ Price, an unconventional news photographer, played by Daryl Anderson.

Lou Grant was first scheduled on Tuesday evenings at 10:00 PM, in the second and following seasons it was aired on Mondays at that time.

The series received critical acclaim, receiving a Peabody award in 1978, Emmy awards in 1979 and 1980 for outstanding drama series, plus other Emmy’s for writing and acting during its five years on the air.

Lou Grant is significant in the history of MTM Productions as the bridge programme between comedies such as The Mary Tyler Moore Show and later, more complex dramas such as Hill Street Blues.

Few independent production companies have had such visible success in crossing lines among television genres.

Lou Grant 
Edward Asner
Charlie Hume 

Mason Adams
Joe Rossi 

Robert Walden
Billie Newman McCovey 

Linda Kelsey
Margaret Pynchon 

Nancy Marchand
Art Donovan 

Jack Bannon
Dennis “Animal” Price 

Daryl Anderson
National Editor (1) 

Sidney Clute
National Editor (2) 

Emilio Delgado
Foreign Editor 

Laurence Haddon
Financial Editor 

Gary Pagett
Adam Wilson 

Allen Williams
Photo Editor 

Billy Beck
Carla Mardigian 

Rebecca Balding
Ted McCovey 

Cliff Potts

Barbara Jane Edelman

Lance Guest