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M*A*S*H

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M*A*S*H
M*A*S*H-Title.jpg
Premiere September 17, 1972
Finale February 28, 1983
Airs MeTV, syndication (check listings)
Creator Larry Gelbart (developer)
Network CBS
Style 30-minute comedic military drama
Company 20th Century Fox Television
Seasons 11
Episodes 251
Origin USA

M*A*S*H (1972–1983) is a series spun off from the hugely popular movie of the same name. The series revolves around MASH (or Mobile Army Surgical Hospital) 4077th in Korea during the Korean War. The show employs a unique use of the dramatic sitcom in order to drive the series with an anti-war message that is lightened by comedic performances.

Although the series was set during the Korean War, critics of the show see its anti-war message as taking jabs at the Vietnam War (which was, at the time of its premiere, still in progress) due to the attitudes of the cast members and the real-life stories from M*A*S*H surgeons adapted into the episodes. However, producers of the show have said repeatedly that the series isn't about just one war, but is about all wars.

Because of the unique style of the series, the tone changed wildly over the years. The first several seasons placed heavy emphasis on zanier, more slapstick elements but later focused heavily on serious controversy and character development. Both of these sides are prevalent throughout the series, but it is clear that the scales began to tip towards one side or the other. It has been said that Alan Alda's rising prominence in every aspect of the series led to the change in focus seen in the last several seasons and that was what caused the series to jump the shark, but that point is debatable.

The series was ended when the cast voted to let the tenth season be the last. But, when CBS and 20th Century Fox offered the cast and crew a shortened eleventh season, they jumped at the chance to end the series with a grand finale. This last season led to the final episode, Goodbye, Farewell and Amen, a two and a half hour special which was the single most watched episode in television history with nearly 106 million Americans (77% of total viewership that night) watching.

Following the finale, the series spawned three spin-offs: AfterMASH, Trapper John, M.D. and W*A*L*T*E*R (a pilot which wasn't picked up).

Contents

Cast

Actor Character Duration
Billed Cast
Alan Alda Capt. Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Wayne Rogers Capt. "Trapper John" McIntyre 1 2 3
Mike Farrell Capt. B.J. Hunnicut 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
McLean Stevenson Lt. Col. Henry Blake 1 2 3
Harry Morgan Col. Sherman T. Potter 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Loretta Swit Maj. Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Larry Linville Maj. Frank Burns 1 2 3 4 5
David Ogden Stiers Maj. Charles Emerson Winchester III 6 7 8 9 10 11
Gary Burghoff Cpl. Walter "Radar" O'Reilly 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Jamie Farr Cpl. Maxwell "Max" Q. Klinger 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
William Christopher Father Francis J. Mulcahy 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Season numbers in red indicate a recurring or guest role in that season.

Seasons

Season Premiere Finale #
CBS
Season One September 17, 1972 March 25, 1973 24
Season Two September 15, 1973 March 2, 1974 24
Season Three September 10, 1974 March 18, 1975 24
Season Four September 12, 1975 February 24, 1976 24
Season Five September 21, 1976 March 15, 1977 24
Season Six September 20, 1977 March 27, 1978 24
Season Seven September 18, 1978 March 12, 1979 25
Season Eight September 17, 1979 March 24, 1980 25
Season Nine November 17, 1980 May 4, 1981 20
Season Ten October 26, 1981 April 12, 1982 21
Season Eleven October 25, 1982 February 21, 1983 16

In-Depth

DVD Releases

Title Release Date #
Complete Series
Martinis and Medicine Complete Collection November 7, 2006 36 purchase
Season Sets
Season One January 8, 2002 3 purchase
Season Two July 23, 2002 3 purchase
Season Three February 18, 2003 3 purchase
Season Four July 15, 2003 3 purchase
Season Five December 9, 2003 3 purchase
Season Six June 8, 2004 3 purchase
Season Seven December 7, 2004 3 purchase
Season Eight May 24, 2005 3 purchase
Season Nine December 6, 2005 3 purchase
Season Ten May 23, 2006 3 purchase
Season Eleven November 7, 2006 3 purchase

External Sites