Happy 50th anniversary, M*A*S*H!
Set at a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital near the front lines of the Korean War, and airing its first few seasons while the Vietnam War was ongoing, M*A*S*H premiered on CBS September 17, 1972. The adaptation of the novel and film of the same name transcended its source materials to become one of the most beloved dramedies ever, with characters who became like family to viewers, and storylines that managed to find humanity and humor even in the midst of violence and tragedy.
After 11 years — more than three times as long as the conflict that provided its backdrop — M*A*S*H said “goodbye, farewell and amen” on February 28, 1983, with a movie-length finale that was seen by over 100 million tearful viewers and remains the most-watched episode of a U.S. scripted series ever.
To celebrate a half-century of M*A*S*H, a few networks are offering some specials and episode marathons during the week leading up to the actual anniversary next Saturday, September 17:
“M*A*S*H”: When Television Changed Forever
This hourlong special from Reelz features new exclusive interviews with cast members Jamie Farr (Cpl. Max Klinger), Mike Farrell (Capt. B.J. Hunnicutt), and Jeff Maxwell (Pvt. Igor Straminsky), as well as with producers and writers, to explore not only M*A*S*H’s popularity and creative firsts, but also how cast and crew battled with network executives to keep the show alive after a lukewarm reaction to its first season almost led to its cancellation. The actors also recall their first days on set and their favorite episodes, and offer thoughts on what made the series a hit and why it endures today. Tuesday, September 13, 9/8c, Reelz
A “M*A*S*H” 50th Anniversary Celebration
Leading up to the 50th anniversary, TV Land devotes two hours each morning to a block of memorable M*A*S*H episodes. See the TV Land schedule. Monday, September 12 through Friday, September 16, starting at 9a/8c, TV Lan
Back-to-back episodes of M*A*S*H air regularly on MeTV weeknights and Sunday evenings, but in a special event ahead of the series’ 50th anniversary, the weeknight episodes will be hand-picked by costar Jamie Farr (aka Cpl. Max Klinger) from among his favorites. See the MeTV schedule. Monday, September 12-Friday, September 16, starting at 7/6c, MeTV
For more celebration of 50 years of M*A*S*H, check out this special edition of Puzzler, TV Guide Magazine’s fun trivia and puzzle magazine. The publication is packed with photos, word searches, scrambles and more games related to the classic show.