Lou Grant was one of the supporting cast of La chica de tele, the uncomfortable comedy (uncomfortable for the TVE censors) by Mary Tyler Moore, which was broadcast somewhat in the opposite direction at the tabletops of the First Chain, a schedule in theory conceived for housewives with ‘the collected house’. Tyler Moore, an independent girl on a television channel and who was not a talking head of those of the time, created an effervescent production company, MTM (the one with the kitten instead of the MGM lion) and from there I gave her the opportunity she deserved to Captain Grant, to Lou, who put Mrs. Pynchon’s newspaper on his back. Nancy Marchand was the conversion into fiction of Katharine Graham, the editor of The Washington Post who over the years would end up incarnating herself as Meryl Streep.
Lou Grant abandoned all the features of a sitcom to become a drama of professional intrigues with hints of urban comedy. A newspaper inside as would later happen with the Hill Street police station or the Los Angeles law firm, pinnacles of the prime time series of the 80s
. Lou Grant’s ‘intro’, one of the most intelligent in history of television is memorable, with that paper newspaper converted, as Billy Wilder wrote for Front Page, into a deposit of canary droppings, since it became a coil of felled trees. The cycle of life long before The Lion King.
Intro to the ‘Lou Grant’ series
In the wake of All the President’s Men, Lou Grant,Released in 1977, it was a precursor and had five seasons, until 1982 (114 installments), which in current times would be many more. Asner, an archetypal journalist with a vest and rolled-up sleeves and extra kilos for the office chair, won many detractors in the United States for supporting projects linked to the Salvadoran guerrillas and for his union activity. His firm democratic convictions were transferred to the concerns of Lou Grant in a few years when American society went to the psychoanalyst’s couchafter the defeat in Vietnam, the role of the superpower in an uncertain Cold War, and in changes in mentality that seemed revolutionary about women, abuses of all kinds, corruption, the environment, the security forces, the economics and the role of the media. In short, today’s issues but with the eyes of children who were born in the throes of World War II. To be born in a ‘sitcom’, Lou Grant gave a lot. But after five years, CBS shelved the series because of those lateral problems caused by Ed Asner’s union activity. And that there were no complaining social networks .
Its somewhat delayed broadcast, secretly (although there was only one channel and a half), on TVE’s UHF between 1980 and 1982, fascinated the young viewers of the early 1980s and that position on the grid, on Sunday afternoons, turned Lou Grant into a rite for insiders just beginning to wake up to journalism. There were vocations born earlier on television, with columnist Tom Bradford, father of the relatives of Con 8 basta, who lived very well writing little columns in the Sacramento Register, another Californian newspaper, although more small-town and conservative.
On the pioneering grid of Antena 3, in 1990,Lou Grant was broadcast at midnight along with a journalistic gathering to talk about the rigors of the profession. By then the appearance of the series was somewhat outdated and the table called by the veteran Luis Angel de la Viuda, founder of the private network that had yet to take off, did not attract either.
Edward Asner, who died this Sunday at the age of 91, applied intention to his work and Grant was his best example, but he also became an emblem as one of the villains of the miniseries Roots when the actors most loved by the audience were transformed into abusers to impact, even more, the message of this story about slavery. Asner won the Emmy as captain of the slave ship that carried Kunta Kinte. In those 70 years so innovative,Asner was also the father of the Jordaches in Rich Man, Poor Man, a somewhat heartless patriarch who was ultimately a victim of his time and context. The actor who gave life to Lou Grant also intervened in antagonistic roles to his real life in films like JFK and also gave his voice to the grumpy protagonist of Up. Again, with all the intention.
Asner was Lou Grant, the boss of Rossi, Billie and Animal, who in their own way, each one, invited more than one Spanish teenager to take an interest in investigating, telling stories and contributing to a more plural and critical society. Healthy ambitions in a less polluted analog world.