Shout! Factory releasing first season of "Lou Grant"

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by steelydanguy, Feb 8, 2016.

  1. steelydanguy

    steelydanguy Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Arlington, VA, USA
    A few days ago, announced that Shout! Factory will be releasing the first season of the critically acclaimed late 1970s/early 1980s CBS drama "Lou Grant" on DVD on May 3.

    This is great news in my opinion. I can only hope that all five seasons of "Lou Grant" will eventually see release.

    I'm a big fan of the shows that MTM Enterprises created in the 1970s and 1980s -- among them "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," "The Bob Newhart Show," WKRP in Cincinnati," "The White Shadow," "Hill Street Blues" and "St. Elsewhere," in addition to 'Lou Grant." These series were marked by high-quality writing and often deftly mixed drama and comedy.

    I watched "Lou Grant" reruns on A&E back in the 1990s when I was in high school. Part of the reason I became hooked on the show is that I was contemplating becoming a journalist -- a career path that I indeed did follow. But one need not be a journalist to appreciate the quality of this series, which never shied away from tackling complex issues. I rewatched the first three seasons on Hulu last year (those are all that's available), and, sure, the series is dated in some ways, but I thought it held up surprisingly well. Many of the topics addressed still apply today, and the show nicely mixes drama and the sarcastic humor of a newsroom. "Lou Grant" might be the best TV newspaper drama ever; it's certainly one of the best.

    Here are the first two paragraphs of the news release on This is a pretty good description of the show for those who aren't familiar with it:

    "Following the end of The Mary Tyler Moore Show in March of 1977, the folks at CBS didn't waste any time spinning off one of the show's most popular characters into his own program. Lou Grant debuted in September 1977, and ran for 5 seasons. Ed Asner moved from Minneapolis (where the previous sitcom was set) to Los Angeles, where he becomes City Editor for a fictitious newspaper called The Los Angeles Tribune. What was striking that the new show was a drama, and Asner played the same character transitioning from a comedy show to a serious one.

    "The paper was owned by a character played by Nancy Marchand (who later played mother "Livia" on The Sopranos). But Lou directly reported to his old friend who gave him his new job, Charlie Hume, played by Mason Adams (best otherwise remembered as the U.S. president in Omen III: The Final Conflict). One of the reporters who worked for Lou, Joe Rossi, was played by Robert Walden (who went on to lead in Showtime's 1984 series Brothers). Walden and Adams were nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award three times for their roles on this show. Marchand was nominated five times, once for each season, winning it four of those times. Also nominated in all five seasons was Linda Kelsey, who played reporter "Billie Newman." Asner himself was nominated in all five seasons, and won two Emmy Awards for this show . . . adding to the three he received for the same role on The Mary Tyler Moore Show."
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2016
    Cerebus likes this.
  2. boyjohn

    boyjohn Forum Resident

    I posted about this a few days ago, and no responses. Hopefully we will get seasons 4 and 5, which i don't believe have been seen uncut since the original airings.
    steelydanguy likes this.
  3. steelydanguy

    steelydanguy Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Arlington, VA, USA
    My apologies for not seeing your original post. Yes, I am also hoping that Shout! Factory can release all seasons of this show. I haven't seen those fourth and fifth seasons in a long time. This is one of my favorite shows of all time.

  4. jjh1959

    jjh1959 Forum Resident

    St. Charles, MO
    What is frustrating and hard to understand is why just the first season? Anyone interested in this wants the whole series. Especially since it's Shout! factory, which despite whatever justifiable criticisms it has thrown its way, seems to put out complete collections.....most notably for shows that had a previous season or two issued by some other company who stopped.
  5. smilin ed

    smilin ed Forum Resident

    Great news!
  6. boyjohn

    boyjohn Forum Resident

    Yes, mine too. Although it is a little dated as far as production techniques, etc. This show probably influenced me more than any other show as far as the way I look at life and other people. It taught me to look at things from different angles, and to try to see things from others perspective. And that things aren't always black or white.
  7. cathandler

    cathandler Forum Resident

    Like seemingly all MTM productions, I assume there will be lots of grain.
  8. Anthology123

    Anthology123 Forum Resident

    I can't wait for this DVD set, too. The first three seasons were also available as Amazon downloads, but not anymore.
  9. tomhayes

    tomhayes Forum Resident

    San Diego, Ca
    Aren't these seasons available on
  10. daca

    daca Forum Resident

    Pittsburgh, PA
    @ShoutFactory... No one wants to buy season by season any more, they want the Complete Series !!!

    Someone on this forum has to work at or with the Shout Factory.
  11. HGN2001

    HGN2001 Mystery Picture Member

  12. boyjohn

    boyjohn Forum Resident

  13. boyjohn

    boyjohn Forum Resident

  14. I'd really love this on BD. You know hi def transfers were made for the show.
  15. boyjohn

    boyjohn Forum Resident

    Ya, Based on season 1 and 2, I don't think these are new transfers, although they aren't bad. The real test is if they do seasons 4 and 5, which I don't believe has been out anywhere uncut since the original CBS airings.
  16. albert_m

    albert_m Forum Resident

    Atl., Ga, USA
    BTW, the first couple seasons are on HULU. I just discovered that this weekend. I was pretty young when the show aired and didn't recall it much like sitcoms from that era, so I watched a few episodes. I like it, though the writing is a little forced I think, but certainly enjoyable.
  17. boyjohn

    boyjohn Forum Resident

    Ya, I think the first 3 seasons have been on Hulu forever, but I don't believe that seasons 4-5 have been seen in their full broadcast length since the original airings on CBS. Really looking forward to seeing seasons 4-5 (and it looks like Shout is going to go all the way, since season 4 has already been announced)
  18. HGN2001

    HGN2001 Mystery Picture Member

    When we watched the first three seasons on Hulu a couple of years ago, they didn't quite have *all* of the episodes. Some were among the missing. Also some of the episodes had not been remastered at all, looking like poor syndication prints.

    We've gotten the DVDs of Seasons One through Three and have only noticed two episodes that were a little unremastered (we're only a little way into S2), and the bulk of the remastered episodes look better than they did on Hulu, plus there are no commercials. I know you can pay Hulu to leave out the commercials, but still. I'm done with Hulu entirely now that they've nuked the free stuff.

    I'm really looking forward to the Season Four and Five episodes on DVD, as I haven't seen those since the CBS run. I've already got my pre-order in for S4.
  19. Benno123

    Benno123 Forum Resident

    As a major fan of The Mary Tyler Moore Show would you say that this series is essential like Rhoda to keep the story going or is it pretty much far removed from Minneapolis and Lou's back story as possible?
  20. HGN2001

    HGN2001 Mystery Picture Member

    While it uses some of Lou Grant's backstory, there aren't very many links to the sitcom past. The big exception is the appearance by Mary's Aunt Flo.

    The first episode has Lou arriving in L.A. from Minneapolis where he hooks up with a former newspaper crony of his, now Managing Editor of the Los Angeles Tribune. And he's ultimately made City Editor of the newspaper.

    Ed Asner's abilities to do both comedy and drama excel in the series. While there is no sitcom canned laughter, there are comedic moments throughout the series as Lou interacts with the people of the newsroom. A few episodes deal with his home life and his attempts to date, since he's divorced from Edie. I believe there's an episode dealing with his daughter, too.

    But mostly these are self-contained episodes dealing with the news-stories of the day. If you put yourself in a '70s/'80s frame of mind, the stories can be quite powerful, and since so much of technology has changed, it's somewhat interesting to see how reporters kept in touch - pay phones! - and how they wrote their stories - typewriters! (and later video terminals.

    So while you can instantly be comfortable with the character of Lou Grant, it's not at all like he's heading up a sitcom. There's humor to be sure, but the drama of the episodes usually rules the day.
    Benno123 likes this.
  21. Benno123

    Benno123 Forum Resident

    Cool deal, thanks!!! I may have to look at this at some point!
  22. applebonkerz

    applebonkerz Forum Resident

    What I particularly recall about watching this show on first airing is really enjoying "Animal". He hasn't even been mentioned as a character in any of these posts yet.
  23. HGN2001

    HGN2001 Mystery Picture Member

    "Animal" was a great character, always full of surprises. He was, on the surface, a dirtbag slob and dismissed as such, but would shock everyone with his knowledge of certain points of culture and his being able to bag the occasional babe. As the lead photographer character, he found his way into many stories.
    smilin ed and applebonkerz like this.
  24. albert_m

    albert_m Forum Resident

    Atl., Ga, USA
    Watching this now - I have a couple of thoughts. the show is good and there are timeless journalism questions and issues at play, that happen to be portrayed though TV of that era - so it does have that TV show kind of template, but it's enjoyable. My other thought is that TV could use something like this now.
    longdist01, GLENN and smilin ed like this.
  25. live evil

    live evil Forum Resident

    This and "Hill Street Blues" were my 2 favorite shows when I was in high school.

    I always found it interesting that the character "Lou Grant" transitioned from a comedy to a drama as a spinoff. I am not aware of any other instances of that happening.

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