8 TV Characters Who Would Have Been Fired In Real Life

7. Ted Baxter (Mary Tyler Moore)

Ted Baxter

Reason For Termination: Gross incompetence Was there ever a character on live-action television as universally reviled as blowhard news anchor Ted Baxter? There wasn't a single character on the Mary Tyler Moore Show who would take a bullet for that guy. (Most wouldn't even give him a quarter to make a phone call.)

Yes, Ted Baxter was intended as a commentary on the superficial personalities that tend to get involved with broadcast news, but the whole idea of letting him be a viciously incompetent jackass without ever getting his comeuppance really undermined whatever satire the creators were hoping to get out of him. Though he certainly looked the part of a classic newsman, and had the smooth baritone to match, Baxter was as inept as they come. (So much so that he was an inspiration behind Will Ferrell's anchorman, Ron Burgundy.)

And his glaring unprofessionalism was usually cited for why the TV station WJM was always in last place in the ratings. Somehow Ted Baxter wound up being the only one who wasn't fired by the show's end.


Jacob is a part-time contributor for WhatCulture, specializing in music, movies, and really, really dumb humor. You can follow him on Twitter @JakeTrowbridge.