Mary Tyler Moore (1970–1977): Season 5, Episode 5 - The Outsider - full transcript

Lou calls Mary, Murray and Ted in for an early morning emergency meeting. Their already low ratings are slipping even further, and he has to do something about the problem. He has decided to hire a consultant with the job title program coordinator, whose responsibility it will be to find where the problem or problems lie. He hires a young whippersnapper named Bob Larson, who is only two years out of journalism school. Mary, Murray and Ted are somewhat concerned about the authority Bob will have. Ted is even more concerned that Bob will have the authority to fire. After two weeks of Bob being on the job, morale has never been lower at the station especially as most staff don't believe that Bob's numerous suggested changes have made the show better but worse. But a one point increase in ratings over Bob's tenure cannot be ignored. As the staff becomes buoyed by this revelation, Bob drops a bombshell of news on them, which makes them reevaluate their priorities as a news organization.

Are you wondering how healthy the food you are eating is? Check it -
♪ Who can turn the
world on with her smile ♪

♪ Who can take a nothing day ♪

♪ And suddenly make
it all seem worthwhile ♪

♪ Well, it's you, girl
and you should know it ♪

♪ With each glance and every
little movement you show it ♪

♪ Love is all around
No need to waste it ♪

♪ You can have the town
Why don't you take it ♪

♪ You're gonna
make it after all ♪

♪ You're gonna
make it after all ♪♪

Good morning, Murray.

What's good about having to
come to work at 8:00 in the morning?

I didn't even have
time for coffee.

Well, no, you shouldn't do
that. You know what they say:

Breakfast is the most
important meal of the day.

Yeah, 'cause if you're not home by
then, your wife gets very suspicious.


What do you want?
It's 8:00 in the morning.

Boy, Lou's got some nerve
calling a meeting this early.

What's it all about?
We don't know.

Didn't have time to
read the newspaper.

- How am I supposed to know
what's going on in the world?
- It's all right, Ted.

Mary Worth has decided
to adopt the baby herself.

Will you look at this? I was
so sleepy getting dressed,

I put on one brown
sock and one blue sock.

I wouldn't worry about
it, Ted. You probably

have another pair
just like them at home.

Oh! Well, what do you
want? It's 8:00 in the morning.

Hey, that's funny!

Good morning. Okay,
meeting. Everyone in my office.

Say, Lou, wait a second.

Look, I, uh... Look at this. I got
one brown sock, one blue sock.

But I'm not worried. You know why I'm
not worried? Ask me why I'm not worried.

Why aren't you worried?

Because each of these
socks is from a pair of socks,

and I've got one like
each of them back home.

It's Mary's joke.

All right, everybody listen. What
I have to say is pretty important.

Lou... I'd rather say it
first. Then if you have any...

Lou? Then if you have any
questions, we can... What is it, Ted?

Well, these
doughnuts you brought,

there are four plain
and only two jelly.

- Who wants the jelly?
- Ted, it doesn't matter.

Okay, okay. We'll
do it this way.

The producer gets plain.


The producer gets
jelly. We'll go by rank.

Settle that later,
Ted. Settle it later.

This is important. All right.
For the past three years,

our ratings have been week in
and week out absolutely terrible.

But lately, they've
started to slip.

What are you implying,
Lou? That I'm going downhill?

That I'm getting slipshod?
That I'm losing my touch?

If that's what you mean, why
don't you come right out and say it?

You've gone downhill, you've gotten
slipshod, and you've lost the touch.


Come on, Lou. Be serious.

Mr. Grant, don't you think
there's a little too much emphasis...

placed on ratings anyway?

Who cares if our ratings
go down a few points?

Right, as long as the
people keep watching.

The sponsor cares.
To a station our size,

a single rating point could mean as
much as $125,000 in added revenue.

Whew! Wow. $125,000.

So naturally, we've gotta do
something to improve our rating.

I'll say. A quarter of a
million bucks? Hmm.


I think we need
some fresh ideas.

So, starting today, I'm
bringing in a consultant.

His title will be
Program Coordinator,

and it'll be his job to see if he can
find out what our problems are...

and solve them.

I expect that you'll give him your
full cooperation. Any questions?

Uh, Lou? Ted?

The next time you have a
meeting, could you order all jellies?

That's all.

Uh, Mary, would you
stay for a second?


Um, you're probably wondering what with
bringing in this program coordinator...

what the chain of command
will be around here.

Well, yeah, Mr. Grant. It's only
human for me to wonder, you know,

what his authority will
be in relation to my,

you know, authority.

Will I be giving orders to him,
or will he be giving orders to me?

That's what I wanted
to talk to you about.

There aren't gonna be
any orders around here.

He's only here to make suggestions,
and he's gonna make 'em to everybody.

He's gonna make 'em to Murray.
He's gonna make 'em to you.

- He's even gonna
make 'em to me.
- Okay. I see.

The only difference is,
I don't have to take 'em.

Now I'll tell you why I
asked you to come here.

I've been thinking about this
new guy that Lou's gonna bring in.

I just don't like the
idea of a total stranger...

coming in here and telling
me I'm doing a lousy job.

Yeah. You got plenty of
friends who could tell you that.

Ted... Oh, hi.

Hi, Georgette. Hi.

I bought you a new
pair of blue socks.

I couldn't find any
store that sells just one.

Uh, sit down, Georgette.
We're having a meeting here.

There's a crisis in the newsroom.
That's why Mary and Murray are here.

Isn't it funny how in a crisis,
everybody turns to you?

Whenever something goes wrong, people
head straight for this dressing room.

Ted, there's no crisis. This program
coordinator's just coming here to help us.

I don't know, Mar.
Ted could be right.

I've heard about these guys. They try
to make a big splash by firing people.

Fire someone?

Uh, you mean a little
person, don't you?

Secretary, something like that?
He wouldn't fire a star, would he?

Ted, it's not
gonna come to that.

Well, in case it does, let's just
make up our minds about one thing:

We stick together.

If he tries to fire
you, I'll quit. Okay.

- If he fires you, I'll quit.
- And if he tries to fire me...

Come on, guys. If he fires me...

I'll give you a reference.

Ted, he's not coming
here to fire anyone.

He's coming here to help us raise
the ratings, and that's a tough job.

So I think the least we can do
is be nice to him and cooperate.

Well, all right. I'll be nice
to him, and I'll cooperate.

But I'll tell you one
thing. I'm not afraid of him,

and I'm not gonna kowtow to him in no
way, shape or form, even if he can fire me.

[Knocking] Come in.

So, here you all are.

Everybody, I want you to meet our
new program coordinator Bob Larson.

- Bob, this is Ted Baxter.
- Hi.

Murray Slaughter. Mary Richards.

Hello. And this is Georgette
Franklin, Ted's girlfriend.

But if you wanna take her
out sometime, it's okay with me.

Oh, no. Not another
memo from Bob.

This must be the
10th one this week.

I've had 10 today.
What's the latest?

He wants me to order
more memo pads.

Mary, I am getting
fed up with someone...

two years out of journalism school
telling me how to improve my copy.

"Keep sentences short and
snappy." "No more humorous fillers."

We drop humorous fillers the day I find a
wedding between two 80-year-old nudists.

- Murray, how long can it last?
- I give it till
the first frost.

Oh, you mean him.

Well, as far as I'm concerned,
it's gone on too long already.

Oh, Mary? I've just been looking
over your rundown for tonight,

and I think we should lose the
story about student riots in India.

Lose it? But, Bob,
that's our opening story.

No, I want you to open with this film of
an actual purse-snatching on 4th Street.

You think a purse-snatching
is more important than a riot?

If it happens in St. Paul, yes.

You see, our audience doesn't care
about a bunch of students rioting in India.

But there are two
million of them.

And that's just the
sophomore class.

Mary, I know it isn't easy
for you to accept criticism...

from someone who's probably
10 years younger than you,

but what I'm doing...
What I'm doing...

is based on pretty
solid research.

Well, Bob, in the...
In the first place...


Not that it's important, but, uh, I doubt
that you're 10 years younger than I am.

I'm 24.

And in the second
place, what research?

Viewer research. You
see, we've found that...

people who watch local
shows want local news.

Trust me. Lead with
the purse-snatching.


[Door Closes] Boy, am I steamed!

Did you see this
memo that I got?

"Ted, don't take so many long
pauses between news items."

Who does he think he is
telling me how to do the news?

You don't think my pauses
are too long, do you?

Of course not, Ted. I think your
pauses are the best part of the show.

Thanks, Murr. Uh-oh.

You're getting them too, eh?

"What this show needs is
more film and less Ted Baxter."

This guy's gone too far, Mary.
You've gotta talk to Lou about him.

Ted, look, he's making some changes
in the show that some of us don't like.

But who's to say he's not right? I
mean, he's only been here two weeks.

- It's too soon to tell.
- Well, I can tell.

"More film and less Ted Baxter"?
If you're not gonna talk to Lou, I am!

[Door Opens] Terrific
idea, Bob. Terrific.

Yeah, Bob. You're
doin' a great job.

Uh, let's see.
Where did I put that?

I was in the...

In here. Mary, one other thing.

Those little poems the weatherman's
been doing at the end of the forecast?

Let's lose them. Oh, Bob?

Those little poems are
his favorite part of the show.

He spends all day
writing those poems.

He spends all day writing...

"Cover up. Put on galoshes. The
storm tomorrow will make you nauseous"?

All right, maybe that's not
one of his better efforts, but...

Gee, I hate to
hurt his feelings.

I can't worry
about hurt feelings.

I'm here to get the ratings
up, not to make friends.

This isn't a popularity
contest, Mary.

Aw, Murray, how am I gonna tell a guy I
have to cut his favorite part of the show?

How about, "Though your poems
to some may bring enjoyment,

write one more, and
you're on unemployment."

All right, people.

The day when the news department can ride
roughshod over the other shows is passed.

Sue Ann... Don't
interrupt, dear.

That program coordinator of yours has
been doing promos for your news on my show.

Your audio, Mary, over my video.

Picture this if you will, Mary. A tight
close-up on my bordelaise sauce,

simmering and succulent,

while a voice says, "Sewer
explodes. Details at 6:00."

Now, that just isn't fair, Mary.

Why should you be using
my show to help your show?

Well, Bob says that the
ratings of a news show...

directly affect the ratings
of other shows around it.

Let me understand
this. You mean...

I could work my
fingers to the bone...

creating a salad nicoise
that is a rhapsody.

But if Murray...

No offense, dear. This
is purely hypothetical.

If Murray writes a lousy
headline, I go down the toilet?

Yeah, that's
about the size of it.

Well, Mary, there's
just one little problem.

I've been watching
your show, and what that

so-called expert is
doing isn't helping one bit.

In fact, quite the opposite.

You know, I agree with her, Mar.

I think these changes
are hurting the show.

Look, maybe you should
go in and talk to Lou.

Look, I don't like some of his
ideas any more than you do.

But, you know, he might
be just what we need.

He's bright, he's
knowledgeable, he's hard-working.

- He's 24.
- I'm gonna go talk
to Mr. Grant.

Mr. Grant, uh, do
you have a minute?

- Shoot.
- [Sighs]

Well, it's about Bob
Larson. I mean, I just...

I don't think it's working out.
Everyone out there is really unhappy.

I mean, morale has
never been lower.

And in my opinion, it's all
beginning to affect the show.

Mary, how would
you feel if I told you...

that our ratings for
the past two weeks...

had gone up an entire point?

Our ratings went
up an entire point?

I didn't say that, Mary.

I said, how would you feel if I told
you they'd gone up an entire point?

Well, I guess I'd
feel a little foolish.

Just a little foolish?

Did the ratings really go up?

I didn't say that, Mary.

I said if they went
up an entire point.

Well, I guess I'd
feel very foolish.

Hmm. I see. Very foolish.

That's how you'd feel if I told you
the ratings had gone up a point?

- They went up, didn't they?
- I didn't say that.

I just said, how would you feel
if I told you they had gone up?

All right, Mr. Grant. I
would feel extremely foolish.

I would feel foolish. Um...

I would feel dumb,
ridiculous, and yes, silly.

Hmm. The ratings
went up a point, Mary.


Newsroom. Well,
thank you very much.

It's always very nice to
hear that from our viewers.

Good-bye. That's
better. Short and snappy.

You know something, Murray? I still
might not agree with some of Bob's ideas,

but, boy, it sure feels
good to be a winner.

You can say that again.

Yesterday, I opened a charge
account, and for the first time...

when the girl asked me
where I worked, I didn't mumble.

I know what you mean, Mar.
For the past two mornings,

I've been leaving
the house humming.

Marie thinks I'm fooling around.

Have you guys seen this review?

"A new Ted Baxter, more
restrained and likable.

Anchors with a
well-paced delivery."

Hey, that's quite an
improvement. I'll say.

This guy used to
be a rotten critic.

You know, I have
to hand it to Bob.

He knows what he's doing.
He's really helped us a lot.

He really has, and he's
worked awfully hard too.

I wish we could come up with
some really nice way to say thank you.

Wait a minute.
I think I've got it.

How about, "Thank you"?

Ted, that's not
what I had in mind.

I mean, let's face it.
Ever since Bob got here,

the atmosphere has been
less than friendly, right?

- Mm-hmm.
- And maybe that's
our fault too.

Maybe if we'd been a little warmer
to him, he'd be a little warmer to us.

Why don't we all
take him out to dinner?

- Or I could have a party
for him at my place.
- A party?

Yeah, you know, make
him feel like one of the family.

We do it all the time. Remember we gave
that picnic for the all-night mop lady?

[Chuckling] And
remember two years ago,

you collected a dollar from
everyone for the mail boy's birthday?

Which reminds me, Ted...
You'll get it. You'll get it.

Oh! Mr. Grant, I was thinking of having
a party for Bob Larson at my place.

You know, a sort of combined
"congratulations" and "welcome" party.

Sort of make him feel like one
of the team. What do you think?

Well, in the war, we
found that a unit...

who had been through
battle felt closer.

There's something about shared
suffering that brings men together.

Yeah. Yeah.

I think one of your
parties might do it, Mary.

[Chattering] More
champagne, Bob?

Well, just a little. I can only
stay another five minutes.

I have to meet
someone at the airport.

Here's to Bob. Heck of a job.

See? Even my toasts are
short and snappy. Larson?

I like the cut of your jib.

If you only knew how long I've been trying
to ask them to use more film and less me.

You having a nice time,
Mr. Grant? It's a great party, Mary.

The champagne, the hors
d'oeuvres, the buffet... just great.

Oh, yeah, it was really a
terrific idea. Well, thank you.

Hey, how much am I
paying you? 225 a week.

That's all? That's it.

Well, Mary, you know
something? What?

I think it's great that you can throw
a party like this on that kind of salary.

Thank you.

Mary, this is a marvelous party,

and the cheese
puffs are delicious.

But, Sue Ann, you
made the cheese puffs.

Oh, did I?

My memory must be beclouded by
this mediocre, little off-year champagne.

I was just telling this
wonderful man here...

that if he ever feels he
isn't being treated right,

there'll always be a
place for him on my show.

And it's a much
nicer place to work.

After all, what is the news but
violence and scandal, depravity, lust.

Right. Sue Ann can
give you all that and more.

Anybody like an hors d'oeuvre?

I wouldn't recommend
the cheese puffs.

People keep tasting them and
then putting them in the ashtrays.

Um, everybody...

Everyone, listen.
Bob has to leave,

so I thought now would be a
good time to propose a toast.

So, Bob, come on up here.

To, uh, a young man who has
done such a great job for us...

in the short time
that he's been with us,

and who I'm just sure
in the next few months...

is gonna keep doing a great
job until WJM is number one.

[Chattering, Cheering]

[Ted] Speech! Speech!

Thank you very much. I
have a real lump in my throat.

That's probably
the cheese puffs.

I can't tell you how great these
last three weeks have been.

- I think we've all done
a heck of a job.
- [Affirming Shouts]

But I-I have
something I wanna say.

I was gonna tell Lou
tomorrow, but... [Lou] What?

You're firing me?

No, but I think in view of what's been
said here tonight that I should say it now.

Uh, this will be my last week
here. I've decided to leave WJM.

But I want you to know it's
been terrific working with you.

Really. Uh... Well, I gotta run.

I'll talk to you tomorrow,
Lou. Great party, Mary.

Thanks again.

- Leaving?
- I don't understand.

Don't worry! Don't worry. He's
not leaving. Take my word for it.

He'll be back. What
makes you so sure?

I parked right behind
him in the driveway.

Why? Why does he wanna leave?

It's not that he didn't like the
work. He seemed to be happy.

Maybe he wanted more money.

If he wanted more money, all he had to do
was ask. Maybe he wanted more authority.

I gave him a free hand.
What more could he want?

I know what he wants.

- What?
- Wants some old chickie-poo.

What's that? You know, a
little of the old slap-and-tickle.

Don't you guys
understand English?

He wants a broad.

Ted! Come on!

Listen, a young, single guy
alone in an unfriendly city.

You saw the way his eyes lit up
when Mary kissed him at the party.

Oh. Reminds me, Lou.

You want that guy to stay,
Mary is the bait we're looking for.

That's the most
disgusting idea I ever heard.

Ted, are you seriously
suggesting we use Mary...

It's for the good of the show.
If I were a woman, I'd do it.

Ted, shut up.

All I'm saying is it
won't hurt to ask her.

Hi. [All] Hi.

- Did I interrupt something?
- [Men] No.

Won't hurt to ask her what?


We were just talking
about Bob Larson,

trying to figure out
how to change his mind.

And I had a great idea.

Mary doesn't wanna
hear it. Sure, she does.

Forgive me for
speaking frankly, Mary,

but we're all adults here, and
I'm not gonna mince any words.

Mary, I want you to make
nice-nice with Bob Larson.

- What?
- You know,
give yourself to him.

Are you out of your mind?

- Why not?
- Ted, that's enough.

Nobody's giving
themselves to anybody.

I don't know. Maybe we can
give Ted to the Salvation Army.

All right, all right. Forget it.

Women. Ask 'em for
one lousy little favor, and...

Morning. Hi, Bob.

So much for small talk.
Why are you quitting?

Well, I just figure
my work here is over.

What do you mean, over? We got the
ratings up one point. Let's keep going.

Let's get 'em higher. Well,
frankly, with the budget you have...

and the facilities and the
personnel, I don't think it's possible.

Are... Are you telling us
this is as good as we can get?

Well, I'm afraid so.

I mean, this is a nice,
friendly little station.

But I've done all I can
here, and I just feel...

I'm ready to move on to
bigger things, you know?

Well, best of luck to you all.

So, I guess that's that.

As good as we can get.
Nice, friendly little station.

Hold it. Wait a
second. All right.

Maybe this is as good as we get,

and, uh, maybe our
ratings won't get any higher,

and maybe the other
stations are better than we are,

and maybe Ted isn't the
best anchorman in town,

and maybe Murray
isn't the best news writer,

and maybe I'm not the
best producer... Lou?

Huh? You're coming to a
"but" pretty soon, aren't you?

I thought I was.

Now I can't remember it.

All right. You wanna
know what the "but" is?

I'll tell you what the "but" is.

The "but" is... And it's
a heck of a "but" too.

The "but" is, what's wrong with
being a nice, friendly little station?


A station where ratings aren't
the most important things.

A station where people
care about each other...

and respect each other's
feelings and really like each other.


Okay, look.
What if I told you...

that the station manager
just informed me...

that we got a letter
from Eric Sevareid...

saying that he was in
Minneapolis three weeks ago...

Now, that's before
Mr. Larson got here.

That he had seen our show and
thought it was the best-written,

best-announced and best-produced
show he had ever seen locally?

- Eric Sevareid?
- Sevareid.

And that was before
Larson got here. Right.

Murray, I'm gonna treat
you to a jelly doughnut.

The treat's on me, Ted.
Best news writer in town.

[Murray] The best
announcer! Newscaster.

The station manager got
a letter from Eric Sevareid?

I didn't say that.
I said, "What if."

I was just thinking
about Bob Larson.

I still wish when he threatened to
quit, you'd have given yourself to him.

You know why? Why?

'Cause if it had worked,
I'd have threatened to quit.

Ted... Ted, I'll tell you what.

If you quit, I'll
give myself to you.

Thanks, Murr.

Mary, you're gonna put those
poems on from the weatherman again?

I don't know. Is that
one? Let me see. Yeah.

"Today the sun
was warm and shiny.

But tonight, you're going
to freeze your heinie."

I don't think so, Murray.