Mary (1985 TV series)
|Created by||David Isaacs
|Written by||David Isaacs
|Directed by||Peter Baldwin
|Starring||Mary Tyler Moore
|Theme music composer||Dan Foliart
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||13|
|Executive producer(s)||David Isaacs
|Camera setup||Multi-camera setup|
|Running time||22 min|
|Production company(s)||MTM Enterprises|
|Original run||December 11, 1985– April 8, 1986|
Mary is an American sitcom that aired on CBS during the 1985-86 television season. The series stars Mary Tyler Moore in her return to series television after an absence of over six years, during which time she appeared on Broadway in Whose Life Is It Anyway? and in the dramatic film Ordinary People. After The Mary Tyler Moore Show, her subsequent ventures into series television, the variety show Mary and The Mary Tyler Moore Hour had been short-running ratings disasters, and Moore decided to return to the sitcom format which had brought her the greatest television success.
In Mary, Moore plays Mary Brenner, a 40-ish divorcée working at a second rate tabloid, the Chicago Eagle. She had formerly been a high-profile writer at a fashion magazine which had recently gone out of business and was now reduced to writing a consumer-assistance column, "Helpline", helping to expose substandard business practices and products and the often uncaring reaction of government to these problems. Her boss, Managing Editor Frank DeMarco (James Farentino), concentrated on sensationalism as he was convinced as that was what really sold papers. He was also quite a ladies' man, and was attracted to Mary, as she was to him, but she found dealing with that situation to be quite awkward.
Also working at the Eagle were the cynical, chain-smoking columnist Jo Tucker (Katey Sagal), the condescending theater critic Ed LaSalle (John Astin), and Tully (David Byrd), a copy editor who could scarcely function because he was going blind but knew he wasn't going away; his job had strong protection from the union. Neighbors included Susan Wilcox (Carlene Watkins), Mary's good friend, whose fiancé Lester Mintz (James Tolkan) seemed to be somehow "connected".
Throughout its run, Mary was paired with the sitcom Foley Square starring Margaret Colin, which also premiered on December 11, 1985, and aired at 8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays immediately after Mary at 8:00 p.m. Neither show ever really found much of an audience, and after Mary's tenth episode aired on February 19, 1986, Mary went into hiatus, as did Foley Square after its eleventh episode was broadcast on February 26, 1986. Still paired, the two shows moved to Tuesdays and a later time slot in the hope of boosting their ratings. Broadcasts of both shows at the new day and time resumed on March 25, 1986, with Mary at 9:00 p.m. and Foley Square at 9:30 p.m. On Mary, Susan and Lester were written out and Mary's personal life was generally downplayed in favor of her business one. There were some favorable reviews, although some critics pronounced it as more or less a clone of her previous sitcom The Mary Tyler Moore Show. With the two shows still suffering from poor ratings in their new time slots, CBS broadcast only three more episodes of each before cancelling both of them after the thirteenth episode of Mary and fourteenth episode of Foley Square aired on April 8, 1986.
- Mary Tyler Moore as Mary Brenner
- John Astin as Ed LaSalle
- David Byrd as Vincent Tully
- James Farentino as Frank DeMarco
- Derek McGrath as Ronnie Dicker
- Katey Sagal as Jo Tucker
- James Tolkan as Lester Mintz
- Carlene Watkins as Susan Wilcox
|Episode #||Episode title||Original airdate|
|01||"From Pillar to Post"||December 11, 1985|
|02||"Make My Day"||December 18, 1985|
|03||"Chicago Hi-Lo"||December 25, 1985|
|04||"Everyone's a Critic"||January 1, 1986|
|05||"The Death Threat"||January 8, 1986|
|06||"Forest for the Trees"||January 15, 1986|
|07||"Same Old Song"||January 22, 1986|
|08||"Beans"||January 29, 1986|
|09||"Table for Two"||February 12, 1986|
|10||"Mr. Lucky"||February 19, 1986|
|11||"And the Winner Is..."||March 25, 1986|
|12||"Little Jo"||April 1, 1986|
|13||"Steppin' Out with Mary Brenner"||April 8, 1986|
- Brooks, Tim; Marsh, Earle F. (2007-10-17). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present (9 ed.). Ballantine Books. pp. 861–862. ISBN 0-345-49773-2.
- McNeil, Alex, Total Television: The Comprehensive Guide to Programming From 1948 to the Present, New York: Penguin Books, 1996, p. 293.
- Brooks, Tim, and Earle Marsh, The Complete Directory to Prime-Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present, Sixth Edition, New York: Ballantine Books, 1995, ISBN 0-345-39736-3, p. 364.