Follow TV Tropes


WMG / The Mary Tyler Moore Show

Go To

In the future, Ted Baxter kills himself
In a reunion movie that takes place 10 years after the original show’s demise, Ted’s absence (due to Ted Knight’s real life death due to cancer) is explained by Ted killing himself. It seemed WJM had been sold again around 1986, and with it a new team. Ted is still lead anchor for the station, still his bumbling self and the station still dead last in the ratings. The new station manager, who is a complete asshole and Dick, calls Ted in for a meeting and — after strapping him to a chair — goes on an extended “Reason You Suck speech,” basically calling him a liar and shyster who is a fraud and deserves nothing he’s gotten in life, shaking him to the inner core of his soul. He is then unceremoniously fired and humiliated on the air (ironically, with the manager “promising” viewers better service in the future) and has two large security guards beat Ted to a pulp before some final personal insults. That night, Ted gets very drunk, comes home disconsolate and screams at Georgette and their son before locking himself in the bathroom and downing all sorts of pills. (None of his colleagues are allowed to go to his funeral, much less mourn, and ways to penetrate him by telling him off are returned in kind.) The new station manager eventually gets his comeuppance when Mary confronts him and gives him a “Reason You Duck” speech of her own, and it eventually leads to his own downfall.
 Mary Richards is actually Laura Petrie,
who changed her name, after divorcing Rob, taking her son's first name "Richie" as her new fake last name. She did this because she wanted to start a career in the entertainment industry but her ex-husband was a famous television writer, and she was concerned that gossip about their messy divorce might hurt her career if people made the connection between them.
  • Maybe this is obvious and you're basing you're theory off it but that's supposedly why the network made Mary single instead of divorced. They were concerned that viewers would think that she divorced Rob Petrie.

Murray was meant to be gay
Murray seems mildly effeminate and throws out a lot of catty remarks. This would be a toned down version of gay stereotypes of the era. The writers thought of him as gay and Gavin MacLeod played him that way, but couldn't actually make him gay due to standards of the time. This is how he wound up having a wife and kids, as well as a couple of plots where Murray is tempted by other women- for plausible deniability.