This year has been hard on the legacy of ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show’, with the loss of three cast members – Cloris Leachman in January, Gavin MacLeod in May, and Ed Asner in August. Basically, it was one for every season so far – Winter, Spring, and Summer - and we still have Autumn to go. (NOT naming names!)
Ms. Leachman made it into the Hall this year for playing Phyllis, and MacLeod joined for playing Captain Stuebing from ‘The Love Boat’. (Just as Murray Slaughter never won a Teddy Award, MacLeod’s portrayal of Murray falls short of qualifying for TVXOHOF membership.) And for playing Lou Grant, Ed Asner has been in the Hall since March of 2007. (Also in the Hall already are Rhoda Morgenstern Girard, Ted Baxter, Georgette Franklin Baxter, and of course, Mary Richards.)
But they weren’t the only people connected to the series who passed away this year. One of the two men who created the series, Allan Burns, also died in January.
In September, the TVXOHOF always inducts somebody from behind the scenes who has been responsible for expanding the TV Universe. Mr. Burns was always in the running and came close last year as the Hall completed its inductions of ‘The Munsters’ cast because his role as one of the co-creators he helped to foment the show’s spread into other dimensions with new concept variants. And with Burns having created that show as well…. But we went with Lorne Michaels for his contributions to Skitlandia. So this year is more meaningful….
Allan Pennington Burns (May 18, 1935 – January 30, 2021) was an American screenwriter and television producer. He was best known for creating and writing for the television sitcom ‘The Munsters’ as well as ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show’ and ‘Rhoda’, both of which he created and wrote for alongside James L. Brooks.
Burns began a partnership with James L. Brooks in 1969 after being impressed with the television pilot for Brooks's show ‘Room 22’. Burns joined the ‘Room 222’ writing staff and later produced the series.
These are the TV series connected to ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show’ which made Allan Burns eligible for the award.
(created by - 114 episodes, 1977 - 1982)
(written by - 1 episode, 1980)
(created by - 109 episodes, 1974 - 1978)
(written by - 1 episode, 1974)
The Mary Tyler Moore Show
(created by - 168 episodes, 1970 - 1977)
(written by - 8 episodes, 1970 - 1977)
(based on a character created by - 48 episodes)
(executive producer - 22 episodes)
The Mary Tyler Moore Show
(executive producer - 162 episodes, 1970 - 1977)
(producer - 6 episodes, 1970)
(executive producer - 72 episodes)
And he also expanded the MTM empire into the Tooniverse:
Carlton Your Doorman
(1980 TV Movie)
(created the character)
If it weren’t for him and Brooks, Skitlandia wouldn’t have had their own versions of WJM-TV in that dimension.
Here’s a salute to you, Allan Burns, as you enter the Television Crossover Hall of Fame....