The fourth-season finale of TVLand’s “Hot in Cleveland” is the one fans have been waiting for — because it actually is honoring the cast of a different series, the legendary “Mary Tyler Moore Show.”
During Wednesday's finale, regular cast member Betty White will get a chance to act alongside former "MTM" cast mates Mary Tyler Moore (who has appeared on "Cleveland" before) and Valerie Harper (who originated the role of Rhoda Morgenstern on the series) along with Cloris Leachman.
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And during the filming of those scenes, “Cleveland” star Valerie Bertinelli told TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie Wednesday that the “MTM” ladies had everyone “absolutely” in awe. “No one went back to their dressing rooms when they weren't in a scene (on that day),” she said. “We all stayed in the audience and we were all watching, and we all had our little camera phones out, filming everything. It was pretty spectacular.”
The chemistry between all of the former cast mates had not diminished a bit, she added. “I don’t know how long it had been, like 30 years, since they’d all worked together, but it was like no time went by whatsoever.... It was just a dream to watch.”
Harper filmed those scenes earlier this year, just after announcing on TODAY that she was battling terminal cancer; the actress again appeared on TODAY last week in exclusive clips from an upcoming NBC documentary to say her illness appeared to have gone into remission. She’s doing so well that — as was announced Wednesday — she’ll be joining the cast of “Dancing with the Stars” next season.
“Valerie’s always had this amazing attitude about living every day as it comes,” said Bertinelli. “She’s living proof that, that when you put joy and when you choose happy into your life … it doesn't matter what’s ahead. Just live right now. She’s amazing.”
“Hot in Cleveland” will air on TV Land tonight, Sept. 4, at 10 p.m.
“Valerie’s Story: A Meredith Vieira Special,” in which Harper discusses her illness, premieres on NBC Thursday, Sept. 19 at 10 p.m.