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10. 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show' (CBS)
Aired: March 19, 1977
Why It Works: Though this sweetly funny finale aired more than thirty years ago, it seems particularly appropriate today in the age of massive layoffs. Of course, it made sense for a workplace comedy about a TV station to end by sending most of the staff (with the notable exception of dim-but-lovable newscaster Ted) packing, and when the characters came together in a group hug (then a group shuffle to grab a box of Kleenex) it epitomized what made the show work for seven seasons -- a mix of gentle humor with real emotion that went far deeper than a little knit hat being joyfully tossed into the air. Today's audiences may not realize how revolutionary it was for a show to follow a single working woman who wasn't fixated on chasing a wedding ring, which is a testament to Moore's intensely likable personality. When Moore turned off the lights on the newsroom (and the show), it wasn't just the end of a TV show, but an era.
- Liane Bonin Starr