Things are changing at WJM. Management changes threaten jobs, a favorite celebrity is killed, and people are falling in love, and Mary Richards (Mary Tyler Moore) is rolling with the punches. Moving out of her old apartment, Mary finds herself living in a new apartment complex with new neighbors, hosting the wedding of Ted (Ted Baxter) and Georgette (Georgia Engels) wedding, and heading to Washington, D.C. for a seminar with Lou Grant (Ed Asner). She’s going to make it after all!
The Mary Tyler Moore Show—Season 6 aired from September 13, 1975 to March 6, 1976. The show continued to receive positive ratings and racked up awards. Ed Asner won a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor—Comedy (which he shared from Tim Conway for The Carol Burnett Show) with nominations for Ted Knight (Best Supporting Actor—Comedy) and Mary Tyler Moore (Best Supporting Actress—Comedy). It also received Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Continuing Performance by a Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for Ted Knight, Outstanding Continuing Performance by a Supporting Actress for Betty White, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for Mary Tyler More, Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series (“Chuckles Bites the Dust”) and nominations for Film Editing (“Chuckles Bites the Dust”), Ed Asner, Georgia Engel, Directing (“Chuckles Bites the Dust”), and Outstanding Single Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Comedy or Drama by Eileen Heckart (“Mary’s Aunt”).
The Mary Tyler Moore Show was in a bit of a strange place at this point in time. Both Rhoda and Phyllis had shows of their own (Rhoda makes a cameo in “Mary Richards Falls in Love” and Phyllis “writes” Mary in one episode). This pretty much eliminates the home life aspect of Mary Richards and firmly cements her WJM friends as her only friends…both at home and work (plus boosting Georgette’s involvement). This season does attempt to get Mary a steady boyfriend (who disappears after valiantly fighting for her) and establish new neighbors in Mary Kay Place and Penny Marshall, but it doesn’t really take. It has some fun appearances by Eileen Heckart, John Ritter, Dabney Coleman, Jeff Conway, Robbie Rist (aka Cousin Oliver of The Brady Bunch) as Ted and Georgette’s adopted son, and a special appearance by First Lady Betty Ford.
The standout episode this season and many consider of the whole series is the now famous “Chuckles Bites the Dust” (which aired October 25, 1975)…This singlehandedly makes this season worth checking out. The episode is fun and pitch perfect in its writing. TV Guide gave the episode the #1 spot on its “100 Greatest Episodes of All Time” list in 1997.
The Mary Tyler Moore Show has held up well over the years. If you’ve never gotten the chance to watch it, it is worth seeking out. Some of the jokes are dated, but others are still topical. They do an expose on how easy it is to purchase guns and a documentary on a family with twenty children…sounds like TV today. Check out The Mary Tyler Moore Show—Season 6 for a classic sitcom with some great episodes.
The Mary Tyler Moore Show—Season 6 Complete Episode Guide:
6.1 Edie Gets Married Airdate: 09/13/75
Lou’s ex-wife Edie (Priscilla Morrill) has a big announcement for Lou (Ed Asner). Edie’s found a new man and is getting married, and Lou learns he’s been invited to the wedding.
6.2 Mary Moves Out Airdate: 09/27/75
Mary (Mary Tyler Moore) worries that her life is in a rut. With fears that everyone is moving on around her, Mary seeks out a new apartment.
6.3 Mary’s Father Airdate: 09/27/75
Mary works with Father Terrance Brian (Ed Flanders) on a documentary for WJM but finds herself wondering what to do when Terry decides to leave the priesthood.
6.4 Murray in Love Airdate: 10/04/75
Murray (Gavin MacLeod) realizes he has a problem…he’s decided he’s in love with Mary. Mary deals with her new neighbors Paula (Penny Marshall) and Sally Jo (Mary Kay Place) who want to just hang out.
6.5 Ted’s Moment of Glory Airdate: 10/11/75
Ted (Ted Knight) gets a big break at an audition for a quiz show called 50,000 Dollar Steeplechase. When Ted gets the job, it looks like he could be leaving WJM forever.
6.6 Mary’s Aunt Airdate: 10/18/75
Mary’s famed journalist aunt Flo Meredith (Eileen Heckart) comes to Minneapolis to cover a trial. When Lou and Flo butt heads, Mary finds herself caught in the middle.
6.7 Chuckles Bites the Dust Airdate: 10/25/75
A little song…a little dance…a little seltzer down your pants… When Chuckles the Clown dresses as a peanut and is killed by a rogue elephant, Mary finds the newsroom can’t quit laughing about it…unfortunately laughter often comes at the worst time.
6.8 Mary’s Delinquent Airdate: 11/01/75
Mary decides to get a Little Sister in the Big Sister program and is assigned a delinquent named Francie (Mackenzie Phillips) while Sue Ann (Betty White) gets a Little Sister to look good. When the pool money goes missing, Francie is accused of stealing the cash. Mary finds herself in charge at WJM and accidentally buys a helicopter.
6.9 Ted’s Wedding Airdate: 11/08/75
Mary tries to get Ted to change his personality and invites Ted and Georgette (Georgia Engel) to lunch. When Georgette forces Ted to make a decision about marriage, they decide to get Reverend Chatfield (John Ritter) and go through with the wedding at Mary’s.
6.10 Lou Douses an Old Flame Airdate: 11/15/75
Ted pushes for a bachelor party for himself and forces Mary to give it to him. Lou is contacted by his old love Veronica Ludlow (Beverly Garland) and worries about seeing her since she broke his heart.
6.11 Mary Richards Falls in Love Airdate: 11/22/75
Mary’s got a new lover named Joe Warner (Ted Bessell) who likes public displays of affection. When Mary decides she’s in love, she calls Rhoda (Valerie Harper) for advice when Joe won’t say he loves her.
6.12 Ted’s Tax Refund Airdate: 11/29/75
Ted gets a big tax return and decides to share it. When Ted gets audited, Ted begs for help from Lou, Mary, and Murray which would mean lying.
6.13 The Happy Homemaker Takes Lou Home Airdate: 12/06/75
Sue Ann forces Mary to set her up on a date with Lou and takes Lou home to her place. Mary’s plans for Prince Charles fall through and Mary ends up with the drunken King of the Gypsies as the interview.
6.14 One Boyfriend Too Many Airdate: 12/13/75
Mary’s relationship with Joe comes into question when her former love Dan Whitfield (Michael Tolan) returns to Minneapolis.
6.15 What Do You Want to Do When You Produce? Airdate: 12/20/75
When Sue Ann’s producer quits, Murray gets his chance to produce…unfortunately Sue Ann has plans for her producer and Murray finds he’s more of a servant than a real producer.
6.16 Not with My Wife, I Don’t Airdate: 01/03/76
Ted and Georgette find they are having marriage problems. Georgette forces Ted to see a psychiatrist…but it might be the bills that officially cure him. Plus, Lou, Mary, and Murray work on a story about gun control.
6.17 The Seminar Airdate: 01/10/76
Mary and Lou head to Washington, D.C. for a seminar where Lou finds his past as a beat reporter might not get him far in Washington anymore while Mary sees a senator (Dabney Coleman)…Lou might have revenge however with a call from Betty Ford. Meanwhile back in Minneapolis, Lou is forced to leave Ted in charge of the newsroom.
6.18 Once I Had a Secret Love Airdate: 01/17/76
After a night on the town, Lou wakes up to find he’s slept with Sue Ann. When Lou makes Mary swear to secrecy, Lou tells Mary that they can no longer be friends when Mary tells Murray.
6.19 Menage-A-Lou Airdate: 01/24/76
Lou learns that his old girlfriend Charlene Maguire (Janis Paige) is back in town. When he tries to hook-up with her at a party, he finds she has a new boyfriend (Jeff Conaway). Lou decides to get revenge by scheduling a double date with Mary’s neighbor Paula.
6.20 Murray Takes a Stand Airdate: 01/31/76
Murray decides he’s had enough of Wessel making edits at the station and tells him off. When Murray gets fired, Mary and Lou must find a way to get Murray back.
6.21 Mary’s Aunt Returns Airdate: 02/07/76
Mary’s aunt Flo Meredith returns with plans for a documentary on a Minneapolis family of twenty and invites WJM to join the group. When the family decides to get a divorce, Lou and Flo disagree on how it should be portrayed, and Lou and Flo split into teams to pitch their version of documentary.
6.22 A Reliable Source Airdate: 02/21/76
Mary finds Senator Brian Nordquist (Edward Winter) took mob money for his education, but tries to convince Lou not to go with the story since she knows Brian. When Lou demands to go with the story, Mary threatens to quit.
6.23 Sue Ann Falls in Love Airdate: 02/28/76
When Sue Ann falls for a man named Doug (James Luisi), she thinks he finally found her match. Unfortunately, Doug also has eyes for Mary, and a trip to the Teddys might be awkward.
6.24 Ted and the Kid Airdate: 03/06/76
Ted and Georgette are trying to have a kid, but Ted learns that he will most likely never have children. When Georgette convinces him to adopt, Ted gets a son named David (Robbie Rist), but gets a surprising announcement from Georgette.