The Internet at the Speed of Thought

How Mary Tyler Moore Changed Television, Feminism, and the World

at 12:40 pm | By

Thank you, Mary Tyler Moore. Rest in peace.

With the oversaturation of TV culture and the “new golden age” of television that most critics consider us to be in today, it’s easy to forget a couple of key things. The first is that TV as we have come to know it is a relatively new phenomenon. The second is that, although the semi-diverse representation we see on TV screens today is nowhere near perfect or equal, representation in television has come a long, long way in a relatively short period of time (for reference, ABC was founded in 1944, NBC in 1945).

Much like everything else in the early-to-mid-20th century, television was a boys’ club. Don’t get me wrong, it still is, but not to the same degree it was in, say… 1970, when the powerhouse that was Mary Tyler Moore got the greenlight on a female-driven, primetime sitcom. All hyperbole aside, Moore’s groundbreaking work on The Mary Tyler Moore Show changed the course of TV history and paved the way for the shifting media landscape that followed, especially regarding a woman’s role in Hollywood.

Mary Tyler Moore Leaving London 1969 Featured

Credit: Dove/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Don't know about Mary Tyler Moore's incredible legacy? Here's a TV history lesson.