paperback coverMary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted tells the story behind the making of TV classic The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Published by Simon & Schuster, it offers readers a glimpse inside the lives of the groundbreaking female TV writers who lent their real lives to scripts, the men who created the indelible characters, the lone woman in the network executive ranks who cast the legendary ensemble, and the colorful cast of actors who made it all work. James L. Brooks, Grant Tinker, Allan Burns, Valerie Harper, Cloris Leachman, Betty White, Gavin MacLeod, Ed Asner, and Ted Knight all came together to make a show that changed women’s lives, and television. Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted shows how.

“The quintessential book on one of the greatest sitcoms to hit the airwaves.” –AP

“Warm and funny and rife with juicy details.” –The Boston Globe

“Compelling and highly readable, this book is as informative as it is charming.” –Bust

“Delicious… For any fan of the show or TV history in general, this book is pure pleasure.” –Kirkus (starred review) 

“Energetic … fascinating … shrewd … thoughtful.” –New York Times Book Review

“Fast-paced and charming…Armstrong’s absorbing cultural history offers the first in-depth look at a series that changed television.” –Publishers Weekly

“This is a wonderful book.  It takes us backstage with a keen insight on the writing, directing and casting of one of the best television shows, ever. I didn’t want it to end, any more than I wanted The Mary Tyler Moore Show to end.” –Carol Burnett, author of Carrie and Me

“I tried to skim this book, but failed miserably, finding I couldn’t put it down. In case you’re wondering how we got from I Love Lucy to Girls, the answer is: ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show,stupid!’  Jennifer Keishin Armstrong’s deft weave of social history and sharp entertainment reporting explains how this revolutionary show made the world safe for Lena Dunham.” –Peter Biskind, author of Easy Riders, Raging Bulls

“Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted hurt my face. Jennifer Armstrong brought back memories and laughs from one of the best eras in television. She made me stay up all night and by the morning my face hurt from smiling. I forgive her because I enjoyed the book so much.” –Gail Parent, author of Sheila Levine Is Dead and Living in New York

“Pop-culture gold: a can’t-put-it-down history of The Mary Tyler Moore Show and the misfit genius women (and men) who made it. Mary & Lou & Ted & Rhoda is essential reading if you love The Mary Tyler Moore Show, or TV comedy wizards, or things that are awesome.”—Gavin Edwards, contributing editor at Rolling Stone and author of ‘Scuse Me While I Kiss This Guy

Order at: AmazonIndieBound, iTunes, Barnes & Noble



  1. Hi! Can’t wait to read this. One note: in the colorful cast of actors who made it all work, there’s no mention of Mary Tyler Moore. She was there, wasn’t she? Just, um, saying.

  2. I cannot wait to read this book!!! I am HUGE MTM fan…with so many fav episodes: The Dinner Party when Lou takes more than his share of the Veal Prince Orloff…The Six-and-a-Half-Year Itch – when Lou catches son-in-law on a date and SIL calls him, “my wonderful guy!” And natch, Chuckles the Clown! I use lines in conversation all the time. In fact, the characters in my novel THIS MOMENT, even connect over a MTM episode. I happen to love that scene in my novel…Jennifer, you can check out THIS MOMENT at

    MTM is part of the fabric of our lives…thanks for writing this book!

  3. Revisited your book after the passing of MTM. There is a major error in your research. You talk about the episode with the Betty Ford cameo as being one of the last episodes of the seventh final season. This is incorrect. The Betty Ford cameo occurs in Episode # 17 of the sixth season.

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