New management has pink-slipped the entire WJM-TV news team–with the exception of dim-witted, pompous anchorman Ted Baxter. Shocked and dazed, Mary, Lou, Murray, Ted, Georgette and Sue Ann gather in the newsroom for a last goodbye. The parting hugs get bigger, and they become locked in a group hug. Loath to turn loose, the crew clings tighter, finally shuffling en masse out the swinging doors. The camera lingers on the empty set. Mary returns, takes a last tearful look around, smiles bravely and, ever conscientious, turns off the lights on her way to a new life. After all, she’s gonna make it.
Arguably the best series in a golden age of TV comedy, The Mary Tyler Moore Show never played down to its audience by ridiculing or demeaning the characters. Instead, the show’s literate and realistic writing turned Mary Richards into the ideal single career woman. Enterprising and ambitious, sensible and vulnerable, devoted to her friends and principles, Mary symbolized the independent woman of the ’70s. Before packing it in, she provided thousands of women (Oprah Winfrey and Rosie O’Donnell, to name two) with a voice and a hope for the future.
The Last Word: “Love is all around, no need to waste it/You can never tell, why don’t you take it?/You’re gonna make it after all”
Original Airdate: September 3, 1977 on CBS