*Marathon, season 2, episode of 21 of Lou Grant, premiered on CBS March 19, 1979, at 10:00, opposite How the West Was Won and a TV-movie called Fast Friends. Synopsis of the latter from IMDB: A young divorced woman struggles to raise her young son and to succeed at her new job on the staff of a TV talk show, where she becomes close to the show's head writer.
Carrie Snodgress, Edie Adams, BOTNS alum Jed Allan...David Letterman? Hey, I want to see this movie!
*Lou Grant aired 5 seasons and 114 episodes, all on CBS, Tuesdays at 10 the first season and Mondays at 10 the remainder of the run.
*The Los Angeles Times' Dorothy Chandler was indeed an inspiration for Nancy Marchand's Margaret Pynchon, in addition to The Washington Post's Katharine Graham.
*You can decide for yourself, but Ed Asner still says Lou was canned for political reasons. He talks about it in this article from two weeks ago. In a May 1982 New York Times article, we read:
A spokesman for CBS said ''Lou Grant'' would be canceled ''reluctantly'' because of a ''sharp decline in audience response.'' In each of the three seasons preceding 1981-82, he said, the show averaged a 32 share and a 19.6 rating. This season, the share dropped to 27 and the rating to 16.6. ''Lou Grant'' and ''WKRP in Cincinnati'' have consistently received high critical acclaim.
In September, when the final episode aired, Times critic John O'Connor added some perspective:
The overriding viewpoint could probably be described as liberal. And in his private life, Mr. Asner was prominently associated with liberal causes. Some critics speculate that these political aspects hastened the demise of the series. CBS insists that sagging ratings were the culprits (although reruns of the show have been placing in the top 10 over the summer). There is undoubtedly a bit of truth in both theories. Meanwhile, however, television has lost one of its worthier efforts. That is the unsettling bottom line.'
*Click here for the 1982 SNL sketch starring "Lou Grant" as he does the weather after being fired from CBS!
*The "real-life" Art Donovan was a Baltimore Colts Hall of Fame defensive tackle and frequent guest on Late Night with David Letterman. He made an infamous appearance on the 1994 WWF King of the Ring pay per view as a color commentator.
*Marvel Comics published The Human Fly from 1977-1979. The character was based on real-life daredevil Rick Rojatt. Check out this week's YouTube playlist for more on Rojatt!
*Emilio Delgado is best known as Luis on Sesame Street, but he appears in 19 Lou episodes as Ruben Castillo.
*Gordon Jump is in 6 episodes as National Editor at the Los Angeles Tribune.
*Included among Asner's record 7 Prime Time Emmys is the distinction of being the first to win a major comedic and dramatic acting award for the same role. Uzo Aduba matched that feat for Orange Is the New Black--sort of. She achieved the double because the series was submitted as a drama instead of a comedy after its first season. Asner won different awards for the same character in two completely different programs.