Debuting on Sept. 16, 1972 and completing its run on Aug. 26, 1978, The Bob Newhart Show was part of CBS' highly rated Saturday night of comedy. The show was produced by the same creative team as The Mary Tyler Moore Show.
There are some obvious similarities between the two series. Both Bob Newhart and MTMS focus on the main characters' office and home lives; both employ an eccentric supporting cast to offset the temperance of the main characters. They're also the epitome of life in the 1970s, though Mary Tyler Moore expresses it more through its It Girl wardrobe, while the set design on BNS is undeniably groovy.
Bob Newhart plays Bob Hartley, a psychologist living in Chicago with his wife Emily, a schoolteacher. Regulars include neighbor Howard Borden, a divorced airplane navigator; Jerry Robinson, the orthodontist who shares Bob's office; and Carol Kester (later married to Larry Bondurant), the receptionist.
BNS was the forerunner to two other Newhart-centric sitcoms, Newhart (1982) and Bob (1992). All three are vehicles for their lead's buttoned-down comic persona. Surrounded by neurotics, depressives and other mentally unstable people at his psychology practice, Bob has plenty of opportunity to underreact.