"The Lars Affair" was the fourth season opener of The Mary Tyler Moore Show and is noted for Cloris Leachman's performance (she won an Emmy that year) and for introducing Betty White as Sue Ann Nivens- the Happy Homemaker at WJM. Airing on September 15, 1973, the episode, about Sue Ann Nivens' affair with Phyllis' (Cloris Leachman) husband, has since become a TV classic.
In reviewing this episode Variety lauded Cloris Leachman's performance and also noted that Betty White satirized the TV homemaker "to a tee" furthering that this "preem's inventiveness indicates that the series is off and running for another successful year."
In ranking the top 100 sitcom episodes of all-time, TV Land To Go: The Big Book of TV Lists, TV Lore, and TV Bests by Tom Hill (published in 2001) ranked the episode #22; in 1997, TV Guide in its ranking of the Greatest TV episodes of all-time, placed it at #27.
Written by: Ed. Weinberger
Directed by: Jay Sandrich