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WJM Tries Harder 

Mary starts dating the anchorman from Minneapolis's top-rated news station and suddenly finds herself to be frustrated with her own humble, ratings-dwelling WJM.


Jay Sandrich


James L. Brooks (created by), Allan Burns (created by) | 1 more credit »


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Episode cast overview:
Mary Tyler Moore ... Mary Richards
Edward Asner ... Lou Grant
Valerie Harper ... Rhoda Morgenstern
Gavin MacLeod ... Murray Slaughter
Ted Knight ... Ted Baxter
Anthony Eisley ... Ross Nelson
Ned Wertimer ... Bill Brown
Regis Cordic ... Marc Williams (as Regis J. Cordic)
J. Benjamin Chulay ... Pete (as Benjamin Chulay)
Christopher S. Nelson Christopher S. Nelson ... Copy Boy (as Christopher Stafford Nelson)


Mary has just started dating Ross Nelson, the successful anchor of Channel 8 news, the number one news program in Minneapolis. They met at an awards dinner. Mary is happy about dating Ross until she visits the Channel 8 newsroom, which has ten times the staff, ten times the equipment, and as a result has ten times the sophistication as WJM. That visit shows Mary that WJM is the little station that couldn't. So, for the first time in her life, Mary feels embarrassed by her job when Ross later comes to visit her at WJM. As a result, Lou, in speaking to the station management, receives a modest increase in budget to compete better with their competitors, namely Channel 8. They collectively hope that with or without that increased budget that they can scoop Channel 8 just once in their lives. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis










Release Date:

5 January 1974 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

MTM Enterprises See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The title is from the classic Avis Rent-A Car slogan "We Try Harder" which is one of the ten most famous advertising campaigns of all time which was launched in the early 60's to make a virtue of Avis' number 2 position behind Hertz Rent-a-car. "We Try Harder" lapel button were very popular in the 1960s and 1970s. See more »


When Lou holds a meeting in his office seeking suggestions on how to spend a $250 dollar a month budget increase, Murray suggests buying an electric typewriter for his use. However, electric typewriters are frequently seen on the desks behind him, in use by others in the office. If Murray is the principal news writer, he should have first claim on one of those. See more »


References Sesame Street (1969) See more »


Love Is All Around
Written and performed by Sonny Curtis
See more »

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User Reviews

We're Small; But We're Tough
16 February 2017 | by HitchcocSee all my reviews

Mary starts going out with a guy from another TV station, the biggest in town (probably patterned after WCCO). When she visits that station, she begins to be ashamed of WJM. Lou tries to cheer her up, but it is no use. Ted once again does everything to make a mockery of the little station. The guy she goes with says they have no monitor on her station because when Ted does the news, everyone gathers around the monitor laughing, and no one gets anything done But it's the small things that count and there are ways of being the best you can be. There is a brainstorming session in Lou's office where Ted barges in. It's pretty funny.

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