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Re: TV NOTW 8/19/2015: LOU GRANT "Suspect" (first aired 5/17/1982)
Posted by Wisconsin Mark on 8/18/2015, 1:01 pm, in reply to "TV NOTW 8/19/2015: LOU GRANT "Suspect" (first aired 5/17/1982)"
One of the most interesting aspects of Lou Grant is that we very seldom get to see a television character through two lenses - a comedic and a dramatic - the way we do when the Lou Grant character migrates from The Mary Tyler Moore Show. It is telling that none of the series regulars from MTMS ever "crossed over" to Lou Grant for guest appearances, as it might have been jarring (although nowadays producers would insist on it, because it would spike the ratings). The only MTMS character to guest on Lou Grant was Mary's "Aunt" Flo, a globe-trotting journalist played by Eileen Heckart. She appeared in three MTMS episodes in Seasons 6 and 7, and one Lou Grant episode in Season 4.
Another example of the "double lens" effect occurred on the Season 3 finale of St. Elsewhere, when three of the St. Eligius doctors (Westphall, Auschlander, and Craig, the elders) visit the Cheers bar and interact with Cliff Clavin, Norm Peterson, and Carla Tortelli, who are decidedly not funny in the dramatic context (as they would not be in real life, either) - they all come off as jerks. (St. Elsewhere probably had more interconnectivity with other shows than any series in television history.)