There was a time where people had a reason to stay home on a Saturday night, and in that time (1970 to 1977), CBS had a prime time lineup starting with All in the Family, M*A*S*H, MTM, and the original Bob Newhart Show. Created by "Your Show of Shows" veterans like Norman Lear, Larry Gelbart, James L. Brooks (pre-Taxi), and Grant Tinker respectively.
I will speak here about the Mary Tyler Moore show. A perfect oasis of great writing (Who uses words like "rotten" now?), and great acting, and a perfect ensemble, not to be matched until Brooks' "Taxi", and "The Simpsons" after that. James L. Brooks has always excelled in comedy based on real character, and how said characters interact. Who can forget the unbreakable group hug in Mary's final show? At this writing, only the first four seasons of MTM are available on DVD. The clarity of the video makes the show look more handsome than ever. The acting, particularly that of Edward Asner and Ted Knight, is top-notch. In the third and fourth season, we meet new characters like Sue Ann Nivens (Betty White), and Georgette Franklin (Georgia Engel) Seeing these two in their prime defies describing how sweet that is. The only reason I didn't give five stars to seasons 3 and 4, was the lack of special features; commentaries, interviews and the like. We need the input of directors like Jay Sandrich, and writers like David Lloyd, who wrote the sixth season classic, "Chuckles Bites The Dust". Until the sixth season is released, the best available episode is season 3's "It's Not Whether You Win or Lose", where the WJM crew are snowed in, and a poker game happens where Murray loses much money (we learn that Murray is a compulsive gambler in this episode), and to get it back, he wagers Ted double or nothing that he will not pronoune the name, Ideko Kawasaki properly. This is what good, laugh out loud, character comedy is all about. Oh, and don't forget to check out season 4's "Better late (that's a pun) Than Never", where Mary and Rhoda are up late doing obituaries, and they got both funny and creative on one obituary that had to be used before it could be changed. The Mary Tyler Moore Show is a program that every serious student of comedy needs to study, and eventually own. ILFT having all 7 seasons.
You will, too. Meow.