Nearly four decades after they first sparred as Lou Grant and Sue Ann Nivens on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Ed Asner and Betty White reunite on the March 14 episode of TV Land's Hot in Cleveland. At Betty's recent 90th birthday bash, Ed, now 82, told me, "I play a man who spurned her." But unlike their flirtatious scenes back in the '70s, their Cleveland characters' ugly history was all business-related. Ed plays Jameson, "a country-club type who thought Elka [Betty's character] beneath me, so [years ago] I had her fired."
It all hits the fan when Melanie, Joy and Victoria try to join the prestigious club and discover Elka's history with the club's president. "She's out to gain vengeance, and so am I," says Ed. "We reach a Mexican standoff." (Look for another MTM reunion March 28 when Georgia Engel guests as Elka's pal, Mamie.)
So how does Ed feel about playing nasty with America's treasured Golden Girl? "With all this adulation that's being heaped on Betty now, I think it would be good for her to get fired," he cracks. "I think we ought to work toward making that happen." Facebook campaign anyone?