Friday, October 19, 2018

Show Notes: Episode 5-1: MASH

*Tuttle, from season 1 of MASH, premiered January 14, 1973 at 8:00 on CBS. It's written by Bruce Shelley and Dave Ketchum, directed by William Wiard, and produced by Jonathan Tuttle (sorry couldn't resist).

*The series aired from 1972 to 1983--11 seasons and 256 episodes. Harry Morgan and Mike Farrell joined in season 4 (essentially replacing MacLean Stevenson and Wayne Rogers), David Ogden Stiers (for Larry Linville) in season 6. We will surely talk about them when we cover the "later years" of the series!

Larry Gelbart left the series after season 4, and co-executive producer Gene Reynolds left after season 5.

*The finale drew a record 125 million + viewers on February 28, 1983.

*Ratings-wise, MASH never ended a season as the top-ranked show on TV. Its final season was its highest-ranked at number 3. It was always a top 10 show, though with the exception of its debut campaign (#46) and fourth season (when it moved from Tuesday to Friday and then back midseason, finishing 15 overall).

*We recommend this excellent piece for a great look at the series' syndication history: Before it even entered off-network syndication, CBS was airing reruns some late nights AND every weekday at 3:30.   So even in 1978, the show was on all the time!

*Robert Altman's 1970 feature film was nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award and was #54 on the initial AFI 100 list in 1998.

*Author Richard Hooker created the original MASH novels.

*Click here for the definitive guide to the 8 action figures (including Klinger in drag), 3 vehicles, and headquarters set released by Tristar in 1982.

*Anachronism alert: Captain Savage is indeed a real comic book title, but it is a 1968 Marvel comic. The titular character is a Navy captain who was spun off from Sgt. Fury.

*James B. Sikking, who has a short appearance in Tuttle, would later gain greatest fame as Howard Hunter on Hill Street Blues.

*Perhaps the other big American pop culture work dealing with the Korean War is The Manchurian Candidate (novel 1959, movie in 1962).

*Trapper John M.D.  aired 7 seasons and 151 episodes on CBS. According to an article on Digital Spy:
Seeking royalties, M*A*S*H's producers (who were independent of CBS) took Fox to court, claiming the series was a spin-off of their show, but Fox insisted that it was a spin-off from the *movie*.
The court decided in Fox's favour and Trapper John MD went on to last seven seasons (that's five seasons more than M*A*S*H's "official" spin-off, the critically reviled AfterMASH).
*The P.A. announcers were actors Todd Susman and Sal Viscuso.
*Ill-fated spinoff W*A*L*T*E*R got a pilot (directed by Bill Bixby), but only aired once--July 17, 1984--and even then it was pre-empted on the West Coast for the Democratic National Convention.

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