Good ‘ol Mare. I had to poke around all the way up into the 1990s to find a TV movie where Mary Tyler Moore is menaced (apparently she was too good to do cheap actioners during her series’ heyday…): ABC’s Payback, from 1997, with Fredric Lehne, Adam Scott, and guess who? ‘Ol Lou Grant!
Next up on our hit list is Rhoda! Now, you can find Valerie Harper’s 1977 NBC made-for-TV movie, Night Terror, for sale on various public domain discs, but make sure you type in Night Drive, because somehow, somewhere, this spiffy, creepy little actioner was re-titled.
Available through Warner Brothers’ Archive Collection (a real rarity, considering how few MTVs from this era have made it onto disc), ABC’s 1973 telemovie, Dying Room Only, directed by Philip Leacock, written by the master, Richard Matheson, and starring Cloris Leachman, Ned Beatty, Ross Martin, and Dabney Coleman, is a model of efficient, effective suspense.
You like The Mary Tyler Moore Show, right? You think it’s funny, and smart, and warm-hearted—one of the best examples of the 1970s sitcom? Sure. You like the performers? You think they’re experts at getting laughs? Uh-huh. Okay…so let’s switch things up and put them in jeopardy.