Lou Grant was a spinoff from "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and premiered on CBS in September 1977. The series was a radical departure from its predecessor as it was a drama. It was the first successful one-hour show from MTM Enterprises. As the series began, Lou Grant had just been fired from his job at WJM-TV, and had moved to Los Angeles to work for a newspaper.
When a member of the staff passes away, Lou does everything he can to comfort the widow which causes her to depend more on him and fall in love with him. After a small earthquake hits, Rossi interviews a scientist who claims that his insects are predicting a more serious one in the upcoming days.
Surprised by the paper's lack of coverage on the shooting of a Hispanic woman by a gang, Lou allows Billie to go into the Hispanic community to write a story. While in the community, she meets the victim's son who is fueled with anger and seems headed down the wrong path.
After Lou tells him that his stories are missing first-hand experience, Rossi checks into a mental institution as a patient under a made-up name to investigate reports of abuse. Lou clashes with a lawyer at the paper because he feels that censorship and fear of possible lawsuits are limiting what the paper can publish.
Billie uses a battered woman as a source for a story on spousal abuse but has trouble following through with it when the women's husband finds out. She later finds out that a co-worker has a problem with spousal abuse.
Staff members become nervous when a multi-millionaire with a penchant for ruining the credibility of newspapers makes an attempt to take over the Tribune.
Lou gets homesick with Christmas approaching. Billie does a story on a family that is homeless for the holidays and public donations begin to pour in. After Rossi improperly uses a quote, Lou punishes him by assigning him to a boring story that turns out to be a juicy story.
When a man saves the governor's life and then flees the scene, the paper launches a campaign to find his identity. When they find him and write a story revealing that he has a criminal record, he blames the paper for hurting his business and ruining his engagement. Billie is upset at the lack of support for a halfway house that is on the verge of closing due to lack of funding.Watch Now:Amazon
The paper does a story on a senior citizen whose apartment, decorated with art that reflects his life's work, is in danger of being torn down.
Charlie is devastated when his son joins a cult.
When Mrs. Pynchon plays host to the wife of the leader of a controversial Latin American country known for its torturing practices, Charlie Hume is anything but inviting to her.
Lou visits his home town while on vacation and meets his old boss who now runs the town's newspaper. While there, an outbreak of an unknown cattle disease gets Lou's attention when it's suggested the disease could be transmitted to humans.
Lou clashes with the new media consultant who believes that the paper should do more trashy stories to cater to the younger crowds. One of those stories has Billie and Rossi investigating the "singles" scene by going out on dates through a computer service. While Rossi has trouble finding time with his date, Billie has trouble getting rid of her date.
Rossi uncovers conflicts of interest on the staff, including Lou, and writes a story that sets off fireworks in the city room. Mrs. Pynchon tells Rossi to keep an eye out for mistakes in the Tribune but doesn't realize just how far he'll go until he takes on a campaign by her pet charity.Watch Now:Amazon
Animal's erratic behavior touches off a Tribune inquiry into the plight of the all-but-forgotten Vietnam veteran who is treated much differently from servicemen in other wars. Lou, in trying to help Animal and the likeable Sutton, discovers that years after Vietnam, too many veterans are still unemployed or otherwise under strain from their experience.Watch Now:Amazon
Looking for a place to invest a $5,000 windfall, Lou gets a shocking look at white collar crime when he uncovers a clever financial scheme run by a sharp con man. He learns there are shady characters only too willing to put his money in their pockets, but has trouble convincing at least one victim ? Charlie Hume ? of what's going on.
The city is thrown into panic when the Tribune's star columnist writes a column that Lou fears could incite a serial killer to strike again. The reporter who covered the so-called "Samaritan" slayings years before is assigned to draw up a profile that might lead to the madman, and the staff fans out to follow his clues.
A mother, obsessed with tracking the hit-and-run driver who killed her son, arouses Rossi's fighting instincts and leads to a human interest story with an unexpected payoff. Meanwhile, after Lou and Mrs. Pynchon have separate encounters with hostile citizens, Billie is assigned to find out if there's a story in the use of cars as weapons.
A helpless old lady in a wheelchair is dumped in a county office because of a bureaucratic wrangle, and this sets the staff onto a searing Tribune expose of shoddy nursing home practices. Billie gets a job at a nursing home for a shocking insider's report on care for the elderly, while Lou learns from a retired hat maker that, in too many cases, this country's old people are regarded as non-persons.Watch Now:Amazon
The city room hears that a radical group plans to kidnap a VIP at a publishers' convention attended by Lou and other Tribune executives. Lou, a reluctant delegate at the convention, fends off the aggressive job-hunting tactics of flamboyant newsman Jack Riley as Rossi and Billie try to get a lead on the kidnapping report.
In a news-packed day, Lou feels the pressure as he sets up coverage of a tunnel cave-in and a human fly climbing a skyscraper, knowing that a resentful Donovan has been offered a better paying job. The hard pressed Lou also has to answer questions of a Swedish tour group, cope with a familiar kook (Mr. Dreyfus) who brings news of outer space, and find an assignment for a youthful city room intern.