For Subscribers Only… An Original Broadcast of LOTSA LUCK (and a Curious MTM Spec)!

Welcome to a new Wildcard Wednesday! To complement yesterday’s rerun post on the fourth season of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, this week I’m sharing something else from the 1973-’74 season. Not ready to either pick my favorites from the short-lived Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (ABC), every episode of which I’m happy to say is part of my collection, or to share the sole broadcast I have of CBS’ terrific and unfairly treated half-season gem Calucci’s Department (of which I’m hoping to some day find more), I’m turning my sights, temporarily, to a series that we’ve already discussed here — almost four years ago, in fact: Lotsa Luck.

An NBC attempt to capitalize upon the loud, blue-collar, videotaped appeal of CBS’ winning All In The Family, Lotsa Luck was also a British adaptation that claimed serious multi-cam roots: Carl Reiner as co-creator, along with showrunners and former Dick Van Dyke scribes, Bill Persky and Sam Denoff. Up against Gunsmoke, NBC’s wannabe All In The Family only ran for 22 episodes (of 23 produced) — longer, mind you, than the series with which it was paired, Diana, the peacock network’s wannabe Mary Tyler Moore — but the entire run is available on DVD… Thus, in 2014, I was able to discuss Lotsa Luck and pick my favorites. (See here.) Of those selected, the must watch outings are “Stanley And The Librarian,” “Mom’s Secret,” “The Family Plot,” and “The Bare Facts,” the last of which I am offering to subscribers…

Now, those with the DVD already have access to this episode. And I’m not one to really share material that’s commercially available in a legitimate format. However, what I can offer, to subscribed fans/scholars with no commercial interests of their own, is a copy of the offering as it was originally broadcast by NBC (and recorded by a viewer) on October 15, 1973. For television nerds like myself, this is a rare treat — not found elsewhere! If interested in seeing this, comment below. In the meantime, here’s a teaser…



Also, because I can’t think of any other time in the near future when I’ll get to share this, I’m also offering — for subscribers who comment below with interest — access to a noteworthy spec script for The Mary Tyler Moore Show. It’s worth mentioning for two reasons — the first being that it was written by a pair of PAs at MTM in 1974, Bob Newhart‘s Dawn Aldredge and Rhoda‘s Marion C. Freeman (both of The Love Boat, Flying High, Alice, Who’s The Boss?), and the second being that, while the teleplay went un-bought and the women were not staffed, the story was eventually utilized in some fashion for two separate Season Six outings: “The Happy Homemaker Takes Lou Home” and “Once I Had A Secret Love.”

Yes, written after the fourth season of the series — with knowledge of Rhoda’s departure and the upcoming elevated presence of Sue Ann Nivens — this speculative script contends with the first date between Lou Grant and the aforementioned Happy Homemaker, whose tryst with Lou becomes office gossip after he confides in Mary and she blabs to everyone. Of course, as you’ll notice, the show handled these developments (especially in one particularly terrific script by David Lloyd), far more masterfully, and Mary-centric, than with the rather ordinary, uninspired plotting evidenced here. However, these two MTM employees have a pretty solid understanding of the characters, and their fingers are on the pulse of where the show was indeed headed in its post-Rhoda era: the workplace… So, needless to say, this text belongs to its original authors and I only offer it now for curious fans and scholars whose obsession with this series is as pronounced as mine. For non-subscribers, here’s a taste.



Come back next week for another Wildcard Wednesday goodie! And tune in Tuesday for another vintage sitcom rerun!

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