MARY HARTMAN, MARY HARTMAN
Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman!..that's how each episode of this satire started. The show was the brainchild of Norman Lear (Famous for All in the Family, Maude, and others), and was so controversial that none of the three major networks would air it. It was sold into five-day-a-week first-run syndication. Every weekday, you could catch an episode that featured the trials and tribulations of Fernwood, Ohio.
It was a satire of soaps, spoofing many parts of the genre. Mary Hartman, the main character, was a middle-class suburban housewife in the town of Fernwood, Ohio. Mary had many problems, one of them being the yellow buildup on her kitchen floor. Other problems she had included having a sullen pre-teen daughter, strange and bizarre parents, an outspoken sister, and a dim and sexually unsatisfying husband. Mary was surrounded by kidnappings, mass murders, car accidents, and much more. The series was loved by critics and audiences alike, and was cancelled only because the star Louise Lasser decided to leave.
The series had three spinoffs: Fernwood 2Night (1977), Forever Fernwood (1977-1978), and America 2Night (1978)