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Talk:The Mary Tyler Moore Show

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I thought the onscreen title of this series was "The Mary Tyler Moore Show". I'd like to move this there, but I wanted to ask first, since I thought it might mess up other stuff like Mary's own page. Thanks! -- Ken (talk) 23:51, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

You brought this up just as I was finishing a long response, Ken, which means I can delete my first sentence. :) I know Scott titled it because there is no onscreen title (at least not in the early seasons), just the text "Mary Tyler Moore." That text as such is just a prolonged flash of the star's name which functions as her credit *and* as a means of identifying the show (it's the only appearance of her name during that sequence). Howeber, there's a wealth of evidence suggesting this was just what they used for the opening, *not* the intended name of the program. TV Guide listings, advance promotion, and interviews with cast and crew (who wrote the title as such) at the time referred to it as The Mary Tyler Moore Show (a bunch can be found here). Tickets for audience members called it The Mary Tyler Moore Show. MTM Enterprises documents, press releases, and video titles called it The Mary Tyler Moore Show TVLand labeled it The Mary Tyler Moore Show, as do the Museum of Broadcast Communications, all reference books on primetime TV, Bob Newhart in his memoirs, every in print biography of Moore and the 1989 "Making Of" book, etc. Somewhere, though I can't get at them now, there's print ads put out by MTM and/or CBS using The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Finally, and I think this is the best source of all, also on the MTM site, at the bottom of this page, is an autographed copy of the script for the final episode, with The Mary Tyler Moore Show bloldly amblazoned (as was apparently done with all scripts and other show documents). So in general, I can't help but conclude that the actual show title as recognized by the production company and CBS and everyone else was The Mary Tyler Moore Show, but for whatever reason, the opening only included the star's name (perhaps to save space, a design issue, or because they knew this way people would be calling it The Mary Tyler Moore Show anyway and that's what it was called everywhere else, so why waste the letters?) In the face of all that, plus the lesser fact that it's the most common name and avoids the disambiguation issue, I think it's worth moving. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 00:06, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
Here's the official show tickets I mentioned, not so much because I think more proof is needed but because I like the caricature of Mary on it. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 00:25, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
Actually, I feel like I jumped the gun, because after I said what I said, I started thinking, "I wonder if YouTube has any clips?" and then I saw that there was no "The...Show" onscreen. So I guess I've been misremembering the opening song all of these years, plus the DVD boxes show the full title in that famous logo, so maybe that's why I thought I remembered it that way. So since we're kind of strict about being accurate about title cards, should we leave it, or move it? I'd like to move it, based on the evidence you've provided. -- Ken (talk) 01:21, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
I left a note for Scott, since I'm waiting for him to respond, but I think it should definitely be moved. For Muppet-specific discussions, such as A Walking Tour of Sesame Street or The Animal Show, we've discussed how to interpret on-screen titles, factoring in other evidence (TV Guide listings, promotions, etc.) and come to a consensus based on what's used most often and also what makes the most logical sense in cases like that (sometimes we use the literal title, other times we've made adjustments).In this case, the opening on-screen text is the sole anomoly and serves more as the star credit/logo than an actual literal title. Literally everything else uses The Mary Tyler Moore Show, from MTM documents (checking e-bay, a script for the pilot draft confirms it was The Mary Tyler Moore Show then) to the Emmy Awards and music registration for background scoring (everything except IMDb, who recently have shifted from being inaccurate and lazy to interpreting on-screen titles to an insane degree, as with Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, as Universal registered it, but according to the screen card which combines title *and* actor credits, its Bud Abbott Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein and so on). Best of all, in the 1991 reunion special, Mary herself calls it The Mary Tyler Moore Show and a closing credit disclaimer uses that title. So we're just waiting for Scott, really (and then if he's okay, we'll move it and fix the other links and so on). -- Andrew Leal (talk) 01:29, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
For the record, I still don't agree with our re-naming of The Animal Show, but I lost that vote. To me, a show's official name is what it says in the title card. Given the examples, "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" looks to be the promotional title used. But since we're not talking about a Muppet production, I don't feel a need to go deep into it and what we call our article doesn't really matter to me. —Scott (talk) 01:56, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
I don't know if this is good enough or not, but page 280 of the book TV Land to Go says: "By the way, it is Mary Tyler Moore, and not The Mary Tyler Moore Show. The producers and Mary herself made that a distinct choice. They felt the latter title would imply the show was all about Mary, while the former implied the ensemble show they were creating." --Minor muppetz 02:13, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, that's kind of what I thought, too, since the clip on YouTube just says "mary tyler moore", and then there's no other writing until the last frame with the "Created by James L. Brooks and Allan Burns". No other "starring" or other people even mentioned. Now that I think about it, I must have been thinking of "The Bob Newhart Show", which does say "starring", etc. -- Ken (talk) 02:24, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
That's a great quote Michael, thanks! I have the first season on DVD and that along with season two is on hulu.com -- all of which have the "Mary Tyler Moore" title card. And I know we don't rely on IMDb.com for casting information, but they list it as Mary Tyler Moore and cite "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" as the promotional title. —Scott (talk) 02:36, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
I disagree with TVLand in this case. If Mary Tyler Moore herself called it The Mary Tyler Moore Show, if it was used for *all* internal documents (not just promotion), and so on, I really want a source that Mary Tyler Moore wanted it that way. I wasn't going to upload the script and the special and the copyright info (you're the one who always mentions legal titles, Scott) but I can if it's needed. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 03:25, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
I love legal titles. Is there a definitive source for such a thing with TV shows? It's easier with songs because everyone has access to BMI and ASCAP. I'd love a website like that for TV shows. —Scott (talk) 03:41, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
Something from SAG or AMPTP or AFTRA, maybe? Or in this case we could ask Fox, who now owns the MTM library. -- Ken (talk) 03:45, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
Okay, I added the gallery. If it was used for internal scripts and other documents, we can't claim it was a promotional title (and as for IMDb, don't forget until recently they claimed The Itty Nitty Nitty Gritty etc.' and even Hey Stupid were genuinealternate titles for Sesame Street). Also, there's the Emmys, as seen here, and the legal music titles (not as firm as a registered title for the show itself, but such cues always reflect the title of the show at least in the ASCAP and BMI databases). I checked my copy of TV Land to Go. Michael's write, and it does surprise me, but author Tom Hill offers no source, the explanation doesn't make a whole lot of sense really (since either way, it's Mary's name in the title and it doesn't imply an ensemble in the way even "Mary Richards" or "Mary and Friends" or "WJM in Minneapolis" would). Maybe Mary Tyler Moore changed her mind after 1991 and revealed "the truth," but it could also just be a rumor (the book, which in general is a good read, includes definite falsehoods, incorrect credits, and so on). Checking the acknowledgements, the book was well researched as far as the tapes and show content went (and even then goofs slipped in, but that happens to everyone) but no interviews, instead relying on "classic TV experts" and so on. Even after the book was published, TVLand continued to run it as The Mary Tyler Moore Show. It's a good statement (Not even a quote, really, since Hill doesn't quote anyone word for word, just claims it was there intention) and the title card is unusual (once again, note that it also serves as Mary's star credit), but there's too much evidence the other way right now that can't be just dismissed as "promotional." And no offense to Tom Hill, but I tend to take the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (remember, the titles for shows and so on are submitted in full by *the producers* and/or cast and crew as they wish it to appear and know to be correct). Scott, if you have anything in your DVD set to back up Hill's unsourced claim, please mention it. But otherwise, it looks to me like it's everything else in the world vs. a brief opening title, Tom Hill, and IMDb. And if, as you said, you don't care about it, it's not our core focus, and everything except the three items mentioned use The Mary Tyler Moore Show, it makes sense to change it. Otherwise we're almost getting close to the "it's hip hop, not rap and we should never call it rap" issue. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 03:54, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
Excellent sources, Andrew. The copyright mark in the end credits screenshot sells it for me. I tried getting just such an image, but they didn't include that title in the season two shows. Looks like a move would be warranted. —Scott (talk) 04:12, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
Whew. I'm glad you said that. This was getting exhausting (not because it was a heated discussion, but all this research on an iffy connection). I was thinking I'd have to hunt out my 2002 Mary Tyler More Show reunion on TVLand and the promos Ijust remembered with Mary and other cast members saying "You're watching The Mary Tyler Moore Show on TV Land" and so on (which implies if hill's claim a year later is correct, Moore and the rest don't feel too strongly about it). So I'll go ahead and make the move and change the links.Or not, since you did the move. And I'm too tired anyway. I'm now eternally grateful to Valerie Harper and Cloris Leachman for starring in simply Rhoda and Phyllis respectively. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 04:18, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
You kidding? This is what I love about the wiki. Questionable pop culture items coming up that we discuss and dole out judegement on TongueScott (talk) 04:22, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
You love it because you're not carrying the load or taking 15 minutes and multiple error messages for a Hulu opening to load and one minute for GOogle and so on. I'm apparently being PINGd mercilessly. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 04:51, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
You forgot to thank Ed Asner for starring in Lou Grant. -- Ken (talk) 04:31, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
And I won't thank Ed because that's still two words. He does get points for having Mason "With a Name Like Smuckers" Adams on the show, and Emilio Delgado as a semi-regular. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 04:51, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
Andrew, that's not fair at all. You're not the only one doing serious research for the wiki. I don't appreciate the belittlement in others' contributions like that. We're a collaborative process here. You can just as easily let something go if you're not up to it. We're all doing really amazing work here that we should be proud of. —Scott (talk) 14:58, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
Err, what? Scott? I said I was tired and glad it was over. I wasn't belittling people's contributions, just saying I had to do a lot of work on a really bad connection (since it seemed like the burden of proof was placed on me in this specific discussion) which made even checking a brief opening impossible and that's why I was going to bed, and then you said "Are you kidding?" as if wondering how I could possibly be weary. I spent more than two hours on the wholething. I'm not belittling anyone, just saying I had a right to be very very drained and glad nothing else like this is of concern right now. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 22:07, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
My apologies, I clearly read that wrong. I really appreciate the screenshots. It's great when everyone works hard together to solve a mystery. —Scott (talk) 22:11, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

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