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10 minutes ago, jakeem said:

Apparently, the only thing that could stop "Lou Grant" was Asner's political activism. He  was president of the Screen Actors Guild from 1981 to 1985. The show was canceled in 1982 after its fifth season. CBS contended that the show's ratings had declined. But some observers cited Asner's vocal opposition to the Reagan administration's controversial stance on El Salvador as a major reason for the show's demise. 

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Yeah, Lou Grant should have run anywhere from 7 to 10 seasons. It was far from done, from a writing and performance standpoint. The word is that CBS chairman Bill Paley got a call from Reagan asking that it be taken off the air. Paley was a Republican and he obliged.

Also the show's main sponsor, Kimberly-Clark, was pressured to withdraw its support of the series.

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To me, Ed Asner had a Spencer Tracy quality. To wit, IMO, he was his generation's "Spencer Tracy."

I wasn't a regular viewer of The Mary Tyler Moore Show. The one episode -- or more accurately, one moment in an episode -- that remains clogged in my memory banks was ursine Lou Grant (Asner) barking at Mary Richards (Moore),

"You know what? You've got spunk! . . . I HATE spunk!"

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15 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

Yeah, Lou Grant should have run anywhere from 7 to 10 seasons. It was far from done, from a writing and performance standpoint. The word is that CBS chairman Bill Paley got a call from Reagan asking that it be taken off the air. Paley was a Republican and he obliged.

Also the show's main sponsor, Kimberly-Clark, was pressured to withdraw its support of the series.

Although, by that point, the series, and Asner's oh-just-shaddup-and-run-already ambitions, were becoming a little insufferable even for mainstream viewers.

Gotta admit, ending your series with nuclear war is ONE way to do a finale-episode, but Mel Gibson only wishes he had that kind of a narcissistic martyr-complex.

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26 minutes ago, EricJ said:

Although, by that point, the series, and Asner's oh-just-shaddup-and-run-already ambitions, were becoming a little insufferable even for mainstream viewers.

Gotta admit, ending your series with nuclear war is ONE way to do a finale-episode, but Mel Gibson only wishes he had that kind of a narcissistic martyr-complex.

If you mean mainstream Conservative viewers became annoyed with Ed's politics, yeah probably. But a lot of viewers were liberals like he was and they supported his opinions 100%.

***

One thing we should say is that this resulted in Ed being "blacklisted" at CBS. A decade later, he was hired by Harry and Linda Bloodworth-Thomason to play Markie Post's dad on their hit sitcom Hearts Afire. The only way they could get approval for that casting was if Ed was billed in the end credits. He could not be billed in the opening credits as a regular cast member and half the first season's episodes featured Ed as a visible member of the supporting cast.

They dropped him after the first season without really explaining where the character went. Though he does make one later appearance when Markie's character is having a baby. But then he disappears again.

Screen Shot 2021-08-29 at 1.22.03 PM

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1 hour ago, Eucalpytus P. Millstone said:

To me, Ed Asner had a Spencer Tracy quality. To wit, IMO, he was his generation's "Spencer Tracy."

 

I occasionally thought that Spencer Tracy, around the time he made Father of the Bride, would have been a great Lou Grant. So I understand the Asner-Tracy comparison. Both could be cantankerous, a times,  but exuded a fatherly wisdom in their screen personas. You felt that beneath the crumpled exterior they cared and would be protective of some others, in particular, a Mary Richards-like daughter figure. They were comforting figures, not only for Mary, but members of the audience.

Many people, I'm sure, would like to have a Lou Grant-type person in his or her life.

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50 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

If you mean mainstream Conservative viewers became annoyed with Ed's politics, yeah probably. But a lot of viewers were liberals like he was and they supported his opinions 100%.

***

One thing we should say is that this resulted in Ed being "blacklisted" at CBS. A decade later, he was hired by Harry and Linda Bloodworth-Thomason to play Markie Post's dad on their hit sitcom Hearts Afire. The only way they could get approval for that casting was if Ed was billed in the end credits. He could not be billed in the opening credits as a regular cast member and half the first season's episodes featured Ed as a visible member of the supporting cast.

They dropped him after the first season without really explaining where the character went. Though he does make one later appearance when Markie's character is having a baby. But then he disappears again.

Screen Shot 2021-08-29 at 1.22.03 PM

I am pretty sure that WKRP in Cincinnati 's Howard Hessmann also made similar statements about El Salvador, and that show too was cancelled that year.... But Hessmann joined CBS's One Day at a Time immediately afterwards.....

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3 minutes ago, CinemaInternational said:

I am pretty sure that WKRP in Cincinnati 's Howard Hessmann also made similar statements about El Salvador, and that show too was cancelled that year.... But Hessmann joined CBS's One Day at a Time immediately afterwards.....

Was it ever documented anywhere that Howard Hesseman's statements caused WKRP in Cincinnati to get removed from the schedule? I am not disbelieving you, but I don't recall ever reading about it.

I would say WKRP was a casualty of having too many time slots, which made it hard for fans to keep track of when it aired. CBS execs moved it around the schedule a lot. It only had one highly rated season near the beginning when it followed M*A*S*H. I remember reading that producer Hugh Wilson and CBS had continuous battles over the content of the show and if it should be aimed at younger viewers.

In the case of Hesseman, he was merely one person in a large cast on a 22-minute sitcom. It was an ensemble show, with Gary Sandy, Gordon Jump and Loni Anderson getting the most "exposure" and screen time. 

On Lou Grant, Ed was playing the title character. He was driving the show. And he was also the president of the Screen Actors Guild at the time so he had considerable clout on and off camera.

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He was my favorite character on the MTM show, it seems every member of the cast (except for Ted Knight) lived to ripe old ages.

One thing I liked about the Lou Grant character was his blunt honesty. In the 5th season episode "Not A Christmas Story" Sue Ann wants to invite the crew to a Christmas themed dinner she made for her show. Mary and Murray give her excuses why they can't come. Lou says "I'm not doing anything tonight" Sue Ann ; "Then you'll come?" Lou : " No! I hate that sorta stuff!"

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just saw him couple nites ago in new episode of Netflix series "Grace & Frankie"  (Fonda, Tomlin, Sheen, Waterson)

he appeared in a motorized wheelchair, but it was cool to be seeing him working again.  :)

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5 hours ago, TopBilled said:

Yeah, Lou Grant should have run anywhere from 7 to 10 seasons. It was far from done, from a writing and performance standpoint. The word is that CBS chairman Bill Paley got a call from Reagan asking that it be taken off the air. Paley was a Republican and he obliged.

Also the show's main sponsor, Kimberly-Clark, was pressured to withdraw its support of the series.

Yep! I remember being JUST as ticked-off at the cancellation of the Lou Grant series (which was as one of the highest quality programs one could watch on network television at that time) as I had been about ten years earlier and after CBS cancelled The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, and pretty much for the same damn stupid reason.

(...yep TB, I agree...TOTALLY!!!)

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6 hours ago, lavenderblue19 said:

Ed Asner, wonderful solid actor. Always a quality performance. A few weeks ago, I watched an episode of Blue Bloods that he guest starred in. He gave a touching performance.

No one could have been a better Lou Grant. He  was  great in comedy or drama. So funny as Lou on the MTM show and great as Lou Grant in the tv drama he starred in. Besides his great acting ability,  he was known as a kind, generous, humanitarian.  

Thanks Ed Asner for the many hours of great entertainment, you were one of a kind.

RIP Ed Asner

I also watched that episode of Blue Bloods, lavender, and when it was first run  (I try never to miss a first run episode of that program) and yeah, I also thought Ed Asner's portrayal of Frank Reagan's first ever boss as the old movie theater owner was terrific. 

Asner was the true pro right to the very end, alright.

R.I.P.

(...btw, do you remember the movie trivia question that Asner asks Selleck in that episode?...and did you know the answer?...I did) 

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3 hours ago, Det Jim McLeod said:

it seems every member of the cast (except for Ted Knight) lived to ripe old ages.

How old did he live to be? When I was a teenager, I swear I thought Ted Knight was about 104.

I don't think it's been mentioned, so I will make note of Asner's chilling role as Guy Bannister in Oliver Stone's JFK. Worth seeing!

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11 minutes ago, sewhite2000 said:

How old did he live to be? When I was a teenager, I swear I thought Ted Knight was about 104.

I don't think it's been mentioned, so I will make note of Asner's chilling role as Guy Bannister in Oliver Stone's JFK. Worth seeing!

Knight was 62.  He died in 1986.

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Great actor, may he rest in piece. 😢

He will truly be missed.

His "I HATE spunk!" line to Mary Richards (Mary Tyler Moore) on THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW is classic. But he turned in a lot of other fine work as well.

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3 hours ago, Det Jim McLeod said:

He was my favorite character on the MTM show, it seems every member of the cast (except for Ted Knight) lived to ripe old ages.

One thing I liked about the Lou Grant character was his blunt honesty. In the 5th season episode "Not A Christmas Story" Sue Ann wants to invite the crew to a Christmas themed dinner she made for her show. Mary and Murray give her excuses why they can't come. Lou says "I'm not doing anything tonight" Sue Ann ; "Then you'll come?" Lou : " No! I hate that sorta stuff!"

"Not A Christmas  Story" is one of my favorite episodes of THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW, one of my top five favorite episodes from probably my favorite TV series of all time.

Another favorite Lou Grant/Sue Ann Nivens moment from that episode:

LOU  I was mean, rude and rotten all night.

SUE ANN  Oh, Lou, don't apologize. You were just being yourself.

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They're almost all gone now but The Mary Tyler Moore Show was a model of what great writing and marvelously cast actors could produce in a situation comedy with more than a touch of class that could also be unexpectedly touching at times. Lou Grant, with his gruff exterior and innate honesty, was always a particularly special character in the show to me. Lou and Rhoda, smart azz, self zinging insecure (but beautiful) Rhoda, those were probably the two I loved the most.

Here they are, the key cast members together, with the love and warm sense of family they brought to the show. Fictional characters or not, their vivid, warm, funny, very human interpretations of their roles and interactions with one another, week after week, for seven years, has left its viewers with happy, affectionate memories. So that when another one of them leaves us, even though it may have been years since we last saw the show, we still feel the pain of having lost a dear friend. That we care so deeply about them says much about the appeal of this once in a lifetime cast.

So long, Ed Asner, and enjoy the cast reunion.

Hot in Cleveland' Reunites Women from 'Mary Tyler Moore Show' - WSJ

225 Cloris leachman Stock Photos | Free & Royalty-free Cloris leachman  Images | Depositphotos

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I didn’t know about Ed Asner’s death till this afternoon.  That’s too and so sad.  He was another really wonderful actor.  Wasn’t he and that photo.  Was that actually him on Family Ties?  The guy who worked at the store or whatever and in one episode?  Alex got a job and worked for him?  If I remember right?  We’ll all really miss him so much too.  Do you think he’ll get a memorial tribute here on TCM?  We all love you Ed and we’ll all really miss you so much.  RIP buddy.  Thank you.

 

Your friend and fan

David

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2 hours ago, HoldenIsHere said:

"Not A Christmas  Story" is one of my favorite episodes of THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW, one of my top five favorite episodes from probably my favorite TV series of all time.

Another favorite Lou Grant/Sue Ann Nivens moment from that episode:

LOU  I was mean, rude and rotten all night.

SUE ANN  Oh, Lou, don't apologize. You were just being yourself.

My favorite part of this entire episode is the "12 days of Christmas sing-a-long" with everyone mad (except Sue Ann and Georgette) at each other, and the hilarious hats that they wear.

MURRAY (Wearing an Italian gondolier hat) sings  "a partridge in a pear tree." 

TED (Wearing a Russian hat) sings "two turtle doves"

LOU (Wearing a Mexican sombrero) "sings" : THREE FRENCH HENS

MARY (wearing a German Kaiser helmet with the spike): "sings" four calling birds

SUE ANN (wearing a Dutch style hat) sings: "fiiiiiiveeeee goldennnn riiiiiiiings!" 

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10 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

I’m not saying this to derail the thread trust me, but I’m sure he was thrilled he at least lived to see a Democrat back in the White House.
 

(Ed was a hardcore Lib!)

(and bless him for it) 

He was Lou Grant.

 

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I loved that Lou Grant's office set had this framed photo:

00b17ae18fb7f08c3bf9faa5dd0789d7.jpg

You knew it was him, looks just like him.

When he was Lou Grant, I thought he was an old guy. Now that I'm old, I realize he was similar age as Mary Tyler Moore - just bald - making him appear older. Plus, he acted older.

I also really liked the clever opening credits of the Lou Grant Show: the process of writing, typesetting, printing of a newspaper....last seen lining the bottom of a birdcage.

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