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MARY TYLER MOORE TO STAR IN NEW TV SERIES

When the head of a major TV production company wants to star in a TV series, CBS listens.

Especially when the executive is Mary Tyler Moore, star of the seminal ‘70s sitcom that bore her name and gave birth to the prestigious MTM Enterprises.

Moore will be returning to the airwaves in the tentatively titled show “Mary,” which begins shooting in September and will air for at least 13 episodes begining in December. She will star as a former glamour magazine writer who pens the “helpline” column at a second-rate Chicago newspaper.

In classic sitcom style, the job will bring her in touch “with a wide range of people and problems,” Ken Levine, co-producer with David Isaacs, said at a press conference Friday.

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Moore told the gathering that she is returning to a series because she wants “to work more regularly” and film roles “are not that plentiful.”

That’s a common complaint among middle-aged actresses--Moore is 47--but Moore has both the means and track record to do something about it. Her relationship with CBS dates back to 1959 and a small role in “Richard Diamond, Private Detective,” followed by “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” 1961-66, and “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” 1970-77.

Though her two previous comeback attempts--the variety show “Mary” in 1978 and “The Mary Tyler Moore Hour” variety-comedy in 1979--were failures, Moore said Friday she had learned a lesson: “Don’t sing and dance.”


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