Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted by Jennifer Keishin Armstrong
And all the Brilliant Minds Who Made The Mary Tyler Moore Show a Classic

76%

5 Critic Reviews

...lively, ingenuous book about the trailblazers of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show"—which chronicled the kooky, sexy experience of women in the workplace...
-WSJ online

Synopsis

"Jennifer Keishin Armstrong's deft weave of social history and sharp entertainment reporting explains how [The Mary Tyler Moore Show] made the world safe for Lena Dunham" (Peter Biskind, author of Easy Riders, Raging Bulls)—the making of a classic and groundbreaking TV show, as experienced by its producers, writers, and cast.

When writer-producers James L. Brooks and Allan Burns dreamed up an edgy show about a divorced woman with a career, the CBS executives they pitched replied: “American audiences won’t tolerate divorce in a series’ lead any more than they will tolerate Jews, people with mustaches, and people who live in New York.”

Forty years later, The Mary Tyler Moore Show is one of the most beloved and recognizable television shows of all time. It was an inspiration to a generation of women who wanted to have it all in an era when everything seemed possible.

Jennifer Keishin Armstrong’s Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted tells the stories behind the making of this popular classic, introducing the groundbreaking female writers who lent real-life stories to their TV scripts; the men who created the indelible characters; the lone woman network executive who cast the legendary ensemble—and advocated for this provocative show—and the colorful cast of actors who made it all work. James L. Brooks, Grant Tinker, Allan Burns, Valerie Harper, Cloris Leachman, Betty White, Gavin MacLeod, Ed Asner, Ted Knight, Georgia Engel—they all came together to make a show that changed women’s lives and television itself. Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted is the tale of how they did it.
 

About Jennifer Keishin Armstrong

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Jennifer Keishin Armstrong is a senior writer for Entertainment Weekly and the author of Why? Because We Still Like You, a history of the original Mickey Mouse Club. She has provided pop culture commentary for CNN, VH1, Fox News Channel, and ABC, and her writing has been featured in Salon, MTV.com, Glamour, Budget Travel, and the Chicago Sun-Times. She also cofounded and continues to run SirensMag.com, an alternative online women’s magazine.
 
Published May 7, 2013 by Simon & Schuster. 337 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted
All: 5 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 2

NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Caryn James on May 31 2013

...it’s hard to get past writing that describes Wilson, the one black man in his Air Force barracks, as “a peppercorn in a pot of mashed potatoes.”

Read Full Review of Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Te... | See more reviews from NY Times

WSJ online

Good
Reviewed by VIRGINIA HEFFERNAN on May 10 2013

...lively, ingenuous book about the trailblazers of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show"—which chronicled the kooky, sexy experience of women in the workplace...

Read Full Review of Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Te... | See more reviews from WSJ online

Kirkus

Excellent
on Mar 17 2013

For any fan of the show or TV history in general, this book is pure pleasure.

Read Full Review of Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Te... | See more reviews from Kirkus

NY Journal of Books

Above average
Reviewed by Vinton Rafe McCabe on May 07 2013

In the end, Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted is not the book the reader expected it to be, that the title promises it to be. Nor is it the book that it could have been...

Read Full Review of Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Te... | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

AV Club

Good
Reviewed by Todd VanDerWerff on Jun 03 2013

...it proves an engaging, highly entertaining read of a show that set out to simply be very good and ended up rewriting TV history.

Read Full Review of Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Te... | See more reviews from AV Club

Reader Rating for Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted
79%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 150 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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