Mary Tyler Moore (1970–1977): Season 7, Episode 4 - Mary Tyler Moore - full transcript

After seeing her do some commentary at a local swim meet, Mary thinks it would be a great idea to hire former Olympic swimmer Barbara Jean Smathers as a sportscaster. Lou, Murray and Ted all think it's a lousy idea, for exactly the same reason Mary thinks it's a great idea: Barbara Jean is a woman. Mary wants to break the gender stereotype (even though she won't admit that's the reason she wants to hire Barbara Jean), but Lou hates the cutesy "we're breaking the gender stereotype" angle. Regardless, Lou later reminds Mary is that she is the producer and it is her job to hire and fire. So Mary goes ahead and hires "B.J." after interviewing her. But Mary becomes a little concerned when B.J. states that she's never heard of Fran Tarkenton. Mary's concerns are compounded after watching B.J.'s first sportscast, which is very narrow in focus to only items related to aquatics. Mary wants to deal with B.J. before speaking to Lou, who didn't watch the sportscast. She just hopes she gets a chance to speak to him before he hears about it from someone else, which may be a problem as she has forgotten that she has invited both B.J. and Lou to her place for dinner for a debrief.

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Hey, Murray, do me a favor.

Help me pick out
a name for my kid.

- Ted, you mean
you haven't named her yet?
- What's the rush?

Well, she's more
than a month old.

Besides, I thought you
had chosen Mary Lou.

Well, Mary Lou's a nice
name, but so are a lot of others.

You know, I hate to
commit myself. Ted...

Ted, I'm your friend.
I'll commit you.

I mean, why does she
need a name right away?

She won't come if we call
her. She can't even walk.

Can't do anything.
Well, hardly anything.

Good morning! Oh,
good morning, Mary.

Hey, guys, I think I
may just have had...

what could be a
truly great idea.

What do you think of
Barbara Jean Smathers?

No, the last name
has to be Baxter.

Barbara Jean Smathers. Oh,
yeah, the Olympic swimmer.

Aha. The ex-swimmer. She's
now doing local broadcasting,

and I saw a tape of her
commenting on a swimming race.

And, Murray, she was
knowledgeable, poised,

and I suddenly thought to myself,
wouldn't she be fantastic on the news?

Hey. Hold on.

We don't need anybody else
on the news. We've got me.

I'm all you could ask
for in a newscaster.

And less.

No, Ted, I meant just to
do the sports. That's all.

Murray, she's attractive.
She knows about sports.

She's got a great on-camera
personality. What do you think?

Well, I hate to
agree with Ted, Mar,

but I am not too thrilled by the
idea of having my copy mangled...

by some dummy in a tank suit.

Hey, wait a minute. What
makes you think she's a dummy?

Oh, come on,
Mary. Let's face it.

Someone who has spent half her
life in water is bound to be a little...


People don't like to watch wrinkled news.
Sorry, Mary, the subject is "close-o."

The subject is not closed.

Murray, I expect this from Ted,
but why are you being so negative?

I just don't think
we gain anything...

by sticking some pretty
little ninny on the news.

Pretty little ninny?

Murray, she happens
to be a college graduate.

She's bright,
she's articulate...

She's a woman.

That's why you're both against
the idea. Oh, hey, Mar, no.


Well, I'm the producer of the
news, and I think it's a good idea.

So that's that. And now
the subject is "close-o."

You notice you don't see her rushing
in there to suggest her idea to Lou.

Oh, sure, sure,
she's brave with us,

but telling Lou is
a different matter.

Somehow or other, I don't
hear the little patter of her feet...

as she scampers in here to
lay her wonderful idea on Lou.

Who is it? It's me, Mary.

Buzz off, Ted.

Mr. Grant, it's me, Mary.

That's very good, Ted,
but buzz off anyway.

Don't play silly games outside
my door this early in the morning.

- I'm sorry.
- Now, what is it?

Mr. Grant, if I ask
you something,

would you at least think about
it for a while before answering?

Sure. Anything else?

Yes. There really is something
I wanna discuss with you.

Why don't you come to
my place for dinner tonight?

Tonight? Yeah.

Fine. What do you
want to discuss?

All right, just so you
can give it some thought.

I was thinking, wouldn't
it be a sensational idea...

to hire someone like Barbara
Jean Smathers to do the sports...

on our news. Forget it.

- Why?
- Because I know exactly why
you're suggesting it, Mary.

You think it would be cute to
have a woman do the sports.

I don't think
anything of the kind.

Yeah, the big thing these days
is for women to get into fields...

that used to be just
for the guys, right?

Well, maybe so, but not in my
case... So you said to yourself,

"Hey. Wouldn't it
be cute and clever...

"and different...

"to have sports done by a woman,

since sports are
usually done by a guy?"

Well, Mary, there's a good
reason why guys do sports.

There is no reason why
a woman can't do sports.

How many passes did Fran
Tarkenton complete last season?

Mr. Grant, I don't happen
to follow football, so...

Mm-hmm. Come on. Take a wild
guess. How many passes did he complete?


All right, Mr. Grant, I don't
happen to follow sports,

but Barbara Jean
Smathers is a swimmer.

That's not sports.
Football is sports.

This is a football town.

Tarkenton and the Vikings...
That's what people care about.

Plus baseball,
basketball, hockey...

Sports is sports.
Are sports rather.

And Barbara Jean
Smathers can do them...

Do it... just as... them...
as well as anyone.

Not on my newscast, she can't.

Well, that's just narrow
minded and stubborn.

That's better than trying to
be cute and clever and with it.

I can't believe you're accusing
me of something that dumb.

I can't believe you wanna do it.

Mr. Grant, the idea of hiring Barbara
Jean Smathers to do sports is not dumb.

What's dumb is
rejecting the idea...

because of some
stupid prejudice.

That is dumb.

I don't believe we have
anything further to discuss.

Thank you for your
time. Don't mention it.


Hello. You didn't say
what time. Is this okay?

Okay for what? Dinner. You did
invite me for dinner, didn't you?

Well, yes, Mr. Grant, but I can't
imagine, after that scene in your office,

that you would
think it's still on.

You never said it wasn't.

Do you mean to tell me
you expect us to sit down...

and eat dinner tonight
after that fight we had?

Mary, during World War II, everyone
was fighting, but we all kept eating.

Yeah. Yeah, but you never sat
down to eat with the Germans.

They never invited
me, and you did.

What's for chow?
Chow is over, Mr. Grant.

Yeah? Oh, uh, maybe
for you, but not for me.

Mary, you invited me to dinner.

You have a sacred obligation.

You owe me food. Now,
what are we having?

It just so happens,
Mr. Grant, I have nothing left.

I had one piece of
liver. I cooked it. I ate it.

Liver? Oh.

Well, maybe you can
make me something else.

How about an omelet? No eggs.

Well, there's gotta be something
in here you can whip up.

There's nothin' in here. That's
just what I told you, Mr. Grant.

I was very busy. I was
gonna do my shopping tonight.

Well, there's gotta be
something around... Aha!

Peanut butter.

Where do you keep
the bread? No bread.

Saltines. No saltines.

No saltines, and you
call yourself a woman?

You knew I was coming
over here, didn't you?

And you hid everything.
Oh, Mr. Grant, will you stop it?

You know perfectly
well, after that argument

we had over Barbara
Jean Smathers...

Barbara Jean Smathers.
There is no way...

Barbara Jean Smathers.

Oh, the swimmer.

The ex-swimmer who I think would
make a sensational sportscaster.

Well, if you feel that way, why don't
you hire her? You got any Jell-O?

You're saying
that I can hire her?

Well, you are the
producer, Mary.

Hey, any flavor. You
don't even have to cook it.

You're... You're gonna
let me make this decision?

Well, sure. That's part of
a producer's job, Mary...

You know, hiring and firing.

If you feel this girl is good, why
don't you hire her? Why ask me?

You know, I can
still smell that liver.

Wait. Was it all crusty,
with flour and bacon?

Uh, yeah. Little crusty,
little flour, little bacon...

Oh, wow! Mr. Grant,
let me get this straight.

You're saying that you'll let me interview
her and then use my own judgment?

Sure. Did you add
just a touch of wine?

Yeah, just a little
touch of wine. Ooh.

Mr. Grant, thank you so much.
You're not gonna regret this.

I'm gonna call Barbara Jean
and arrange an interview.

You won't be sorry.
Thanks so much.

- Hey, wait a minute. How about dinner?
- No, thanks. I already ate.

What time is Barbara Jean due?
Any minute, as a matter of fact.

- What's she comin'
up here for?
- For an interview.

I've been looking at a lot of
videotapes of other shows she's done,

and I'm very impressed.

I just wanna talk to her personally
before I make up my mind.

Maybe I ought to check her out.

I don't think so, Ted.

Oh, ho. Oh, I see.
No guys allowed, eh?

- Just Mary and the wetback.
- Ted.

Okay, Mary, I'll help get you in
the mood. Ted, she could come...

Everybody out of the pool.


Ted, I'm gonna buy you a cup of coffee,
even though it might keep you awake.

Hi. I'm Barbara Jean
Smathers. Who's Mary Richards?

I am.

I'm Mary. Hello,
Barbara Jean. Hi.

It's nice to see you. This
is Murray Slaughter. Hi.

Ted Baxter. Hi,
fellas. Just call me B.J.

So you're the swimmer, eh?

I bet you're a pretty
good floater too.

I'm an ex-swimmer, Mr. Baxter.

But I wanna be a newscaster now,

because I think
it's the highest...

and most noble profession
that anyone can aspire to.

But the real reason
I want this job...

is for the chance to work with one of
the legendary giants in the business.

Oh. I think you can
teach me so much.

Young lady, I think you and I are
gonna get along... Get this, Murray.

Ted, you're not gonna
say "swimmingly," are you?

That was my word.

You always take my word.
You always steal my thunder.

Would you like some coffee?
Sure, thanks. Black, please.

You, uh, handled that very well.

Do you think he's the only
Ted Baxter in the world?

Oh, I'd like to think so, yes.

Thanks. I've done a little
broadcasting already, Mary,

and I know the kind of attitude I
can expect from the men on the staff.

Well, that's good, 'cause I
think you're not gonna find...

it's any different at this
station. Oh, I don't know.

They've got a woman producer.

Besides, I understand
how men feel.

Sports has been a man's private
domain for a long, long time.

A place to get away from
women. I'm kind of a threat.

Gee, I never thought of it
that way. But on the other hand,

women have a long tradition
of participating in sports.

Take the year 1931.

Did you know that most of the
swimming medals that year went to...

- Eleanor Holm.
- Ah! Mr. Grant...

I'd like you to meet B.J.
Smathers. This is Lou Grant.

Hi, Lou.

I am impressed. Do you
follow women's swimming?

I know a little bit about
it. I keep informed.

Well, you were very
close, but wrong.

Well, Eleanor Holm won several that year,
but Helene Madison... she won the most.

Yeah, yeah. That's right.
I was just testing you.

Mr. Grant, I want to hire B.J.

Well, you're the producer,
Mary. It's your decision.

Welcome to WJM. I
hope you like working here.

And I got a tip for
you... The first tip.

There's a guy I know just
called and said there's a rumor...

that they're gonna trade
Fran Tarkenton. Wow!

Thanks, Lou. You
know, in my last station,

the men wouldn't have
given me the time of day.

Well, I think you'll find we're a
little different than your last station.

Good luck. Thanks.

You know something?
He is terrific.

Yeah, he is terrific.

And so are you. You're
gonna be a great sportscaster.

Thank you. Uh, Mary?

Mmm? By the way.
This Fran Tarkenton...

Who is she?

Right after this word
from our sponsor,

with WJM's new sports
lady, B.J. Smathers.

Oh, Murr, I just hope I
haven't made a mistake.

Oh, relax, Mary. So the girl
doesn't follow the Vikings. So what?

But, Murr, can someone
cover sports without

understanding the
complexities of football?

Well, why not? Ted covers weather without
understanding the complexities of slush.

Night. Mr. Grant,
you're not leaving?

Yeah, I thought I'd stroll down
to the bar. But what about B.J.?

Mary, relax.

Whoever does the sports
tonight has got it made.

In addition to the
rumor about Tarkenton,

there was a killer hockey game,

a double-overtime basketball
game and a baseball trade.

You couldn't have picked a
better night. I know, but still...

And If I stick around,
it'll just make you

more nervous, and
neither of us wants that.

Uh, no, no, no. So I'll
tell you what we'll do.

We'll meet for dinner after the
show, and you tell me how it went.

Okay. All right. But listen, you come
to my place. I still owe you a dinner.

Yeah. Yeah, you do.

Okay, but no
liver. I hate liver.

Here goes. Ah.

Now I'd like to introduce a new
member of the WJM News staff.

Now, I know a lot of you
out there are going to ask,

"Why have they got some
dizzy chick doing the sports?"

Well, that's... That's
a fair question.

I... I'd like to take this
moment to answer that, if I may.

It's our business. If
you don't like it, lump it.

And now, Barbara Jean
Smathers with the sports.

Speed it up, will you? We're a
little behind. Sure. Thanks, Ted.

In the European
Championship in Helsinki today,

Sven Norberg became
the second man this year...

to win back-to-back titles in
the men's 200 and 400 meter...

freestyle swimming competition,

with times of one
minute and 51 seconds,

and three minutes
and 55 seconds.

Okay. She did that
very well. Yeah, she did.

But why did she use
that for her lead story?

- Uh, what about local sports?
- Ah. I'm glad you asked, Ted.

In St. Paul this week, the Association
of High School Swimming Coaches...

met to design a new
code for pool safety.

She's giving high
school swimming news?

Well, Murr, it's not
just high school.

I mean, pool safety
is important to us all.

Anything else, B.J.? Well, yes,
Ted. This diving item just came in.

- Diving item?
- Diving item?

Yes, from Fort
Lauderdale, Florida...

From Fort Lauderdale?

Where 11-year-old
Debbie Rothenberg...

is on her way to
winning the state

three-meter springboard
diving championship.

Oh, that's very interesting,
B.J. Now I have some items.

It's more than interesting,
Ted. It's inspiring.

Oh, I'm sure it is. Especially
for anyone who believes, as I do,

that the future of this country
depends on physically fit youngsters.

Well, that goes
double for me too.

We hear a lot about juvenile
delinquency. I'd like to say...

When I see someone
like this 11-year-old girl...

practicing day in and day out...

Time is almost up. with the
dedication it takes to become a diver...

Until tomorrow then. then I'm not
concerned about the future of this country.

Here's to you, little Debbie, and always
remember... This is Ted Baxter saying...

Keep your knees straight
and that back arching.

We're off the air.

Where did she get those items?

Not me. I gave her football,
basketball and hockey.

Well, Murray, I told her... I told her she
had one minute... exactly 60 seconds...

To report all the sports, and
then let Ted finish the show.

Oh, come on now, Mar, relax.

It's her first time. She
didn't know any better.

So what? It's no
big deal. Who cares?

I want that woman shot.

I'm the laughingstock of the
entire broadcasting industry.

What else is new? Look at that.

I didn't get a chance to do
"Lighter Side of the News"...

or the editorial or the
plea for world peace.

Mary, if a war breaks out
tomorrow, don't blame me.

- Ted, I'm really sorry.
- I want this thing settled
right here and now.

Mary, how'd I do? Did I
make you proud? Well, B.J...

- Right here and now, Mary.
- B.J., I'll tell you what.

Why don't you and I
meet later over dinner?

I want a chance to get
some notes together.

- Mary, I want this settled.
- All right, all right.

B.J., uh, you and I can meet
at my place in a half hour,

and we'll talk everything over
then, all right? Okay. See ya.

Sure, sure, sure. You chicks'll get
together and laugh the whole thing off.

Ted, we two chicks aren't
gonna laugh anything off.

In the first place, I
happen to agree with you.

In the second place, I'm very
upset about tonight's show.

And in the third place... In the third
place, you already invited Lou to dinner.

So how'd the
sportscast go tonight?

Well, I... Fine.

Do you really think so?

Oh, yes. Fine, fine, fine. Fine.

How's that drink,
Mr. Grant? Enough Scotch?

Oh, yeah. It's just right, Mary.

- Tell me about the show.
- How about some more water?

No... No, thank you.
It's fine, fine, fine.

So, how did you handle
the North Stars game?

Did you show that
film of the fight when...

when the goalie got
four teeth knocked out?

No, I didn't, Lou.

To tell you the truth, I think there's
enough violence on television,

and that's why I oppose
contact sports on principle.

You-You... You
oppose contact sports?

Mr. Grant, would
you like some dip?

By "contact sports,"
you mean boxing,

- football, hockey...
- Not just those.

Will you look at the
extent to which basketball

has become a
vicious physical battle?

B-Basketball is vicious?

Mr. Grant, you know those saltines
you like so much? I bought some.

Mary, sit.

Lou, I think athletics
in this country...

has got to take a whole
new turn, and that's why...

What sports did you
report on tonight?

Uh, the rumor about Tarkenton...

I didn't have time for that.

You didn't... You didn't have
time to report the Tarkenton story?

- What were you covering?
- The Rothenberg story.

Huh? Lou, there's an
11-year-old diver in Florida...

breaking every
record in the book.

Children's diving?

You left out Tarkenton
for children's diving?

Uh, I haven't had
a chance to dis...

You wanna cover sports in
Minnesota and not mention the Vikings?

You know what you are?
You're cuckoo! Mr. Grant.

In fact, you're more
than cuckoo. You're fired.

Mr. Grant! B.J., would you excuse
us for just a moment, please?

- And you're not fired.
- She's not fired?

No, she's not. She is my
responsibility, Mr. Grant.

B.J., if you don't mind,
would you please...

just lock yourself in the bathroom
until Mr. Grant calms down?

Calms down? Mary, what do
you mean by countermanding me?

A sportscaster who won't cover
the Vikings. You gotta fire her.

No, I don't, Mr. Grant. All right, I
admit, B.J. made a poor choice of items.

A poor choice? Children's
diving over Tarkenton?

I know, but my point is,

she showed great poise on
camera, delivered the news well.

She had personality.
She looked sensational.

She did everything else right.

I just need to
straighten her out.

Can't be done. Yes, it
can, Mr. Grant. Come on.

You trusted me so far. Will
you just leave the rest to me?

I know how to handle
people like B.J. You don't.

Okay. Okay.

It's your neck.

What do you want
me to do? Go home.

Without dinner? I
know, Mr. Grant. Please?

It would just make it
easier. If you don't mind?

No, I... I don't mind.

You know the nice thing
about eating at your place?

I never leave feeling bloated.


B.J., that, uh...
That was my fault.

I, uh... I should have talked about
your mistakes with you privately.

What mistakes?

Well, you know, what Mr. Grant
mentioned about leaving out all the...


Well, the basketball and
the hockey and so forth,

while devoting so much
time to, you know, swimming.

Mary, swimming is
completely nonviolent.

Yes, I know. I know that. But you see,
on the news... You don't understand.

Swimming is respected
all over the world.

Yes, of course, of
course. It truly is.

But you see,
Mr. Grant and I feel...

that there are a lot of people who are
interested in those other sports, you see.

Well, since we are the
producers of the news,

we have to decide
on the content,

so, B.J., I'm asking
you please just to try...

to make an attempt
to do it our way.

Well, you may be the
producers of this show,

but nobody can make me do
anything against my conscience.

This is a principle
with me, Mary.

I'm gonna do the sportscasts the
way that I think they should be done.

And if you don't like it, well,
you're just gonna have to fire me.

Well... B.J., hey.

B.J., hey, hey, hey, hey.

Come on.


Sit down.

- Yes, Mary?
- You're fired.

Come in.

Mr. Grant, I just want to say this
very quickly and get it over with.

I was wrong. I made a
mistake. I'm very sorry.

- Okay?
- Okay, Mary.

Is that it? You're... You're
not going to say anything?

No, I don't plan
to say anything.

That would demonstrate
a lack of class,

and I like to think I'm
capable of taking the high road.

Well, I really appreciate that.

Lou Grant isn't an "I
told you so" person.

I'm glad. Mmm.

It'd just be too easy
in a case like this.

You stuck your neck out too
far, and you flopped too badly.

Mr. Grant, is this
the high road?

No, this is the
preparation for it.

Now I'll take the high road.

I think you handled this whole
thing in a highly professional manner.

You do? Yes.

Moreover, I think you struck
a blow for women's equality,

and I'm proud of
you. Well, thank you.

In what way?

Well, you proved that a
woman deserves a chance...

to be just as lousy
in a job as a man.

Yeah, that's
right. I did do that.

And that another woman...

has the right to make
a rotten decision...

and to hire that
incompetent woman...

who does such a lousy job.

Right. And that,

having made that
dumb, stupid decision,

the second woman is still
capable of recognizing the fact...

that she's a dope...

and that the first woman... who did
such a lousy, rotten, stinking job...

Should be fired for
being such a total disaster.

I'm really proud of you, Mary.


Thank you.

Mr. Grant? Hmm?

What's the low road?