LOU GRANT: SCANDAL (TV)

Summary

One in this series of dramas about a Los Angeles newspaper, its staff, and city editor Lou Grant.

In a parking garage, Rossi meets with Larry, a political staffer, in secret, and he relates that there is a planned demonstration against his boss Archer Corwin’s flood control project. Corwin is the Los Angeles County supervisor of and is running for re-election, although Larry is not able to tell Rossi much more about it. His proposed flood control system would require a (park?) to be bulldozed, causing a great deal of controversy Charlie introduces the new city editor, Liz Harrison, transferring from a paper in Sacramento. She is received warmly, and Charlie recommends that Liz be put on the story about Corwin instead of Rossi. Rossi and Animal cover the demonstration against Corwin, and Rossi tells him that despite the opposition of many city officials, Corwin’s re-election campaign and flood control proposal will likely pass due to the enormous political influence he wields. Corwin himself visits the protest and speaks out to defend his position, claiming that his proposal is ultimately good for the people of Los Angeles. Rossi tries to interview Corwin, pointing out that he is claiming that there is a flood risk in the area when city engineers say otherwise. Corwin evades Rossi’s questions and abruptly leaves.

At an editors’ meeting, Charlie again suggests replacing Rossi with Liz on the story about Corwin’s campaign. This time Lou relents, and Rossi takes the news hard, threatening to quit. Lou tries to talk him out of it, claiming that the animosity which has built up between him and Corwin would make pursuing the story quite difficult. He manages to convince Rossi to stay by shifting him to an assignment about an investigation into sub-standard conditions at local nursing homes, resulting in a string of deaths and other incidents. Rossi takes to this assignment, posing over the phone as a man looking to find nursing care for his aged mother. Meanwhile, Liz gets a lead on Corwin, claiming that he changed his mind about the flood control project after fully reviewing a report by the city engineer. Lou asks Rossi to put Liz in contact with Larry, but Rossi refuses, feeling upstaged by her success. However, Lou gets him to change his mind; Liz declines, feeling that she should obtain her own sources.

Rossi meets with Larry again and he relates a rumor that the real reason for Corwin’s change of heart is that he had business connections with the contractors who would be carrying out the excavation, and that he wanted to keep this information private until after his re-election. In the wake of this, Corwin fires several of his staff members, and Liz discovers that Larry will be among the figures promoted to replace their positions. Rossi contests this finding based on comments Larry made to him, but Lou does not listen to him even after he reveals the name of his source. Later, Rossi meets with another source, Jack Efros, as part of his investigation into the nursing home story. They spot Liz having a drink with Billie, and Jack comments that Liz already knows Corwin from her time in Sacramento, as she covered his campaign when he was a California state senator. He also comments that he saw Liz and Corwin having dinner together on several occasions. Rossi becomes suspicious of Liz, believing that she may be exploiting her previous relationship in order to extract information. Billie, however, believes that Rossi is jealous of Liz’s success. They get into an argument about Rossi’s apparent display of sexism. Rossi visits a nursing home which was recently shut down for treating its residents in an inhumane fashion, resulting in at least one death.

Liz continues to cover the re-election, organizing an interview with Corwin’s opponent Gordon Thomas. Lacking a car of her own, Lou offers to drive her home and she accepts. Unbeknownst to him, Corwin is inside waiting for her; it appears that Rossi’s suspicions are correct. After some research, Rossi discovers that Corwin may be profiting off of some of the substandard nursing homes he has been investigating. Lou asks Rossi to continue his research in order to ascertain Corwin’s precise role, and also asks him to collaborate with Liz, although neither of them gives the other one any information, visibly irritated with each other. Rossi attempts to get more information from Larry, but his new position makes it impossible to schedule another meeting. Liz reports to Lou that Corwin is opening an official investigation into the nursing home operation scandal, contrary to his previous position on governmental investigations. This ruins Rossi’s report, as he needs more time to get further information. Liz also informs Lou that Corwin will be visiting the paper’s offices in person to speak to him and Charlie. Rossi voices his suspicions to Lou that Liz is surreptitiously aiding Corwin, allowing him to countermand their investigations before they can come to fruition. Lou believes that this accusation is preposterous, pointing out that there are numerous other means by which Corwin could use to accomplish the same goal.

Corwin arrives and claims that his concern about the nursing homes originates from his own childhood recollections of having to place his aged grandfather in one. He states that he hopes to use the paper as a means of spreading his message about the situation. That night Lou drives Liz home again and she admits to him that she is “uncomfortable” with her assignment, feeling bad that her presence took Rossi off the investigation. She remarks that she feels intense hostility from Rossi, but Lou assures her not to worry and that he will support her. Meanwhile, Rossi secretly follows Corwin and his staffers as they come out of a nursing home, watching as he travels to Liz’s apartment. Animal reads Liz’s comparison piece on Corwin and Thomas, and remarks that Liz seems to have gone out of her way to “skewer” Thomas. Rumors among other media sources claim that the paper is putting out biased coverage, and some believe that Liz should be taken off the story in order to quell them. Rossi reveals that he was following Corwin, although Billie believes that he was spying on Liz and is outraged at him. However, he manages to convince her to go forward about his findings to Lou and Charlie. They do so, although Lou and Charlie are still confident in Liz’s abilities as a reporter and refuse to take her off the story. Lou upbraids Rossi for his apparent efforts to discredit Liz, but in private he and Charlie resolve to find out the truth themselves.

Rossi visits Larry about Corwin’s financial involvement in the substandard nursing homes. Larry downplays the significance of Rossi’s findings about Corwin’s investments, but confidentially he admits that the incident could be devastating for Corwin’s campaign and he will need to “sacrifice” yet more staffers to cover it up. That night, Lou once again drives Liz home and during the trip he asks her quite bluntly about her relationship with Corwin. She is offended by his questions but hesitantly admits that she is having an affair with him. She explains that she fell in love with him and did not consider the inherent conflict of interest that covering his campaign entailed. Lou and Charlie come forward with this information to Mrs. Pynchon and discuss what to do about the situation. Corwin announces at a press conference that he has discovered that one of Larry’s relatives has a financial stake in the substandard nursing homes, and claims that Larry has voluntarily resigned. Lou meets with Liz in private and informs her that she is being dismissed from the paper, much to their mutual disappointment. She protests that it was not her intention to fall in love with Corwin, although Lou counters that she could have informed the paper earlier in order to save them some trouble. As she packs up her desk, Rossi speaks to her about her continued support of Corwin, and genuinely wishes her good luck. She tells Billie that she intends to keep writing, albeit not in a journalistic capacity. Commercials deleted.

Details

  • NETWORK: CBS
  • DATE: February 13, 1978 10:00 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 0:49:53
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: B:66296
  • GENRE: Drama
  • SUBJECT HEADING: Drama
  • SERIES RUN: CBS - TV series, 1977-1982
  • COMMERCIALS:

CREDITS

    • Gene Reynolds … Executive Producer, Created by
    • Allan Young … Executive Producer, Created by
    • James L. Brooks … Executive Producer, Created by
    • Roger Young … Associate Producer
    • Mel Damski … Director
    • Leon Tokatyan … Developed by
    • Seth Freeman … Writer
    • Patrick Williams … Music by
    • Edward Asner … Cast, Lou Grant
    • Robert Walden … Cast, Joe Rossi
    • Linda Kelsey … Cast, Billie Newman
    • Mason Adams … Cast, Charlie Hume
    • Jack Bannon … Cast, Art Donovan
    • Daryl Anderson … Cast, Dennis "Animal" Price
    • Nancy Marchand … Cast, Mrs. Pynchon
    • Gail Strickland … Cast, Liz Harrison
    • James Olson … Cast, Corwin
    • Brian Farrell … Cast, Larry Kean
    • Paul Jenkins … Cast, Jack Efros
    • Betty McGuire … Cast, Stevens
    • Bobs Watson … Cast, Lind
    • Sidney Clute … Cast, National Editor
    • Michael Irving … Cast, Jayson
    • Laurence Haddon … Cast, Foreign Editor
    • Allen Williams … Cast, Financial Editor
    • Vivian Brown … Cast, Vivian
    • Robert G. Bell … Cast, Reporter
    • Virginia Bingham … Cast, Marsha