M*A*S*H- a season by season discussion!

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by ohnothimagen, Dec 1, 2017.

  1. HGN2001

    HGN2001 Mystery Picture Member

    I was around and remember that famous lineup, and it was amazing. The evening started off with the groundbreaking ALL IN THE FAMILY. That show has its fans today - I was a fan then, but I've mostly outgrown that one. It was meant to be topical, shocking, and motivatingly irritating - and it was. It was also laugh-out-loud funny.

    Following it, came the star of our thread, M*A*S*H which kept the laugh-riot going.

    MARY TYLER MOORE became sort of the grounded-in-reality anchor of the night. After a shaky start, the show became more endearing - and funnier, once you warmed to the characters. THE BOB NEWHART SHOW was of the same ilk - and same studio as MARY, and took time to warm to, but both shows gave great rewards once you did.

    And then there's CAROL BURNETT and her silly skits that kept the laughter going. Quite a night. Quite an experience to live through, and I fear we'll never see its like again.
     
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  2. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    Okay then. All I can say is that your taste in comedy is much different than mine. Bob Newhart in particular I'd rank as one of the top ten sitcoms ever.
     
  3. I experienced this as a kid who had an uncle that was a big fan of this lineup -and he would let a 10 year old like me watch it with him. I enjoyed each of these shows.
     
  4. Kevin In Choconut Center

    Kevin In Choconut Center Offensive Coordinator

    Location:
    Binghamton, NY
    I too got to see that great CBS Saturday night lineup because Saturdays were the one day I was allowed to stay up late. Great shows, and great memories of watching them
    with my parents. I agree that we shall most never likely see a lineup that good any night, on any network, ever again.
     
  5. HGN2001

    HGN2001 Mystery Picture Member

    Actually, other than ALL IN THE FAMILY, I believe that MeTV has the rights to all of these shows, and could almost recreate a prime time night.
     
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  6. Jay_Z

    Jay_Z Forum Resident

    Yes, although when Rhoda and Phyllis left, their effective replacements, Sue Ann Nivens and Georgette, were far less serious characters.

    Moving on...

    M*A*S*H In Real Time - The Original Airings of M*A*S*H, 1972-83.

    Season 5.


    It took 4 tries, but for once CBS actually left M*A*S*H in the same spot to start a season as it had ended the season prior. From this point forward M*A*S*H became much more of a bulwark or evergreen show for the network. It was just as well for CBS, since they had tons of turmoil that can be explained in two words:

    Charlie's Angels.

    There's just no other way to describe the difference between the late 1970s culture and the earlier period. A cheesecake show with three chicks, one of whom had a swimsuit poster that sold a billion. Also selling a billion in the late 1970s were copies of Rumours, Star Wars movie tickets, and a billion other things. It was the era of the mega seller. Ironically, in the end this helped the M*A*S*H finale reach its rating heights as the societal hype machine was still in effect.

    ABC would be the number one network for the next three years. CBS was scrambling. 1975-76 had a powerhouse Monday night with Rhoda, Phyllis, All In The Family, and Maude all making the Top 10. All In The Family was moved to Wednesdays and replaced by All's Fair, starring Richard Crenna and Bernadette Peters. Another Norman Lear show. All's Fair was not a hit. In fact, Lear (who'd split with producing partner Bud Yorkin in 1975) would never have another hit. All of the Monday night shows fell out of the top 30.

    Wednesdays were doing okay for CBS, but the once impregnable Saturday night sitcom stronghold was no more. Mary Tyler Moore - out of the top 30. Bob Newhart - out. Carol Burnett - out. An extensive midseason shift brought All In The Family (which itself fell from #1 to #12) and modest rookie success Alice (#30) to Saturdays. It didn't help. No one else was doing much on Saturdays either, but an era was over. In another year MTM, Newhart, and Burnett would all be off the air.

    M*A*S*H was above all this though. #4 rating for the year. That did not win the night. Happy Days at 8:00 and Laverne And Shirley at 8:30 were the #1 and #2 for the year. M*A*S*H and One Day At A Time (#8) beat pretty good competition from ABC in Rich Man Poor Man Book 2 (#21.) In the spring that was replaced by the new Eight Is Enough (#23.)

    CBS had trouble with finding an effective lead-in to M*A*S*H, with the Garry Marshall one-two punch. Tony Orlando And Dawn? It's a couple of years past peak cheesy novelty song time. This was replaced by Who's Who, a news magazine about famous people. Featured Dan Rather and Charles Kuralt. In the summer they re-ran The Family Holvak, a failed Waltons knockoff. Maybe it didn't matter, as plenty of people learned to change the channel from ABC to CBS at 9:00.

    Again the premiere was one hour (Bug Out.) Everything was pre-empted for the presidential elections on November 2. The dead week featured a re-run of Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind (although One Day At A Time did a New Year's themed new episode.)

    Re-runs were pre-empted by the NBA playoffs May 31st, and by the movies Logan's Run and Night Of The Champions in early September. That left 23 weeks, enough time to re-run everything once. Of course that didn't happen! Two Season 4 shows were re-run, and neither was Novocaine Mutiny. They were The Interview (nice), and Hawkeye (God no.) Hawkeye was re-run very late in the 1975 summer, after some episodes had already been repeated. Wonder if somebody complained! Not making the re-run cut were Hepatitis and Movie Tonight (really?)
     
  7. ohnothimagen

    ohnothimagen I don't suffer fools or trolls gladly... Thread Starter

    My comedic tastes run more towards satire and dark humour, which makes M*A*S*H a natural for me. I do remember my folks not liking Newhart or Carol Burnett at all. As for myself I don't remember any of those shows, though I do remember seeing a photo in one of my mum's old photo albums of yers truly when I was about one and a half or so standing there staring at the TV -Rob Reiner on All In The Family- with rapt attention:laugh:
    Yeah, I'm with you there, Jay...these TV schedule posts yer doing are fascinating. I won't be moving on to season 10 until yer done- it's much more interesting!
     
  8. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    The humor on Newhart was occasionally a bit satirical but it generally wasn't dark. For the most part, the laughs came from seeing a fairly stable, bland guy encountering people and situations that were bizarre, albeit in a reality-based way. At least your opinion of it is based only on vague memories rather than recent viewing of the show. Perhaps there's hope for you after all.
     
  9. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    This is fascinating, because I have no recollection of MASH moving to Friday. I could have sworn I recalled watching the season four premiere on a Tuesday and discussing it with friends the next day in school. Clearly I am mistaken.

    It's really interesting to recall how much jockeying around with the schedule they used to do back in the 70s. I'd forgotten how much they used to do that, particularly their attempts to move hit shows to new nights as tentpoles to build around. That practice really seemed to die out in the 80s and 90s. It's pretty amazing that big hit shows like MASH and All in the Family each had like a half dozen timeslots during their runs.
     
  10. ohnothimagen

    ohnothimagen I don't suffer fools or trolls gladly... Thread Starter

    That's what I keep telling myself:laugh:
     
  11. dirwuf

    dirwuf Raccoon of the Year

    Location:
    Fairfield, CT
    This thread seems to have taken a detour....
     
  12. ohnothimagen

    ohnothimagen I don't suffer fools or trolls gladly... Thread Starter

    This thread has sorta been a bit of long and winding road from the get go, more of a "M*A*S*H General Discussion" thread framed as a a season-by-season discussion, but what the hell...:laugh:
     
  13. RayS

    RayS Paying attention like a rattlesnake does

    Take your time, I'm up to season 7. I might actually catch up!

    I watch one episode, I watch it very well, and then I move on.
     
  14. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    Yeah, I myself don't have time to go back and watch episodes right now, so my participation has been mostly in the "general discussion" mode because I'm relying on memories of the last time I watched these, which for the most part is either original broadcast or reruns in the 80s or 90s (I think I've only watched about five MASH episodes this century). So the tangential nature of the thread works fine for me.
     
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  15. HGN2001

    HGN2001 Mystery Picture Member

    It's been a nice detour through the network scheduling. I remember most of this, but am surprised occasionally by the bringing up of some long, lost, and forgotten programs that inhabited the schedules.
     
  16. ohnothimagen

    ohnothimagen I don't suffer fools or trolls gladly... Thread Starter

    I've watched a few episodes for the purposes of this discussion- mainly eps that are getting mention in the thread. We'll get there eventually, but having finished off season 11 last week, some of those final season episodes were pretty good- better than I remembered.
     
  17. Jay_Z

    Jay_Z Forum Resident

    M*A*S*H In Real Time - The Original Airings of M*A*S*H, 1972-83.

    Season 6.


    In 1977 CBS and ABC had the battle of Tuesday night. ABC was presumptively tired of viewers switching the channel after their top two shows. CBS wanted a better lead-in for their top returning show.

    As a lead-in, CBS came up with The Fitzpatricks. A blue-collar Michigan family show. No widower this time. Bert Kramer played the father, Mariclare Costello the mother. Mariclare was the real life wife of Allan Arbus. Four kids on the show; Helen Hunt played a love interest. It was cancelled.

    ABC came up with a mid-season replacement from their Thursday night comedy block. That show was Three's Company. It went to #3. ABC now had the three biggest hits in TV, all right in a row. Only problem was that the Thursday night replacement, Carter Country, did not work out. The next year, ABC came up with Mork And Mindy. ABC was a hot network. They also took over Saturday Night with The Love Boat and Fantasy Island this same year.

    Our own Larry Gelbart was actually involved with Three's Company. That show took a long time to develop; three pilots were made. Larry produced the second pilot. John Ritter was involved, but the two girls were different. Larry did not care for the concept, thought it too simple, but produced it as a favor to Fred Silverman. CBS was interested, but ABC made a concrete offer, and the show went there for further tooling.

    M*A*S*H had a #8 rating for this season. Very good considering the competition. Yet it still lost its slot. One Day At A Time (#10) still followed and won its slot. At 10:00 was a new show, another MTM spinoff. Lou Grant.

    M*A*S*H was hanging in there, but the battle was really not worth it. Made no sense to lose a slot with one of your best shows when there were other holes to fill. The 1/24/1978 airing of Your Hit Parade would be M*A*S*H's last on Tuesday night.

    The next week, M*A*S*H, One Day At A Time, and Lou Grant all made their first appearances on... Monday night.
    This stronghold of two years ago was a shambles. Young Dan'l Boone, The Betty White Show (she plays an Angie Dickinson type actress in a cop show directed by her ex husband) and Rafferty (Patrick MacGoohan as a doctor) all had been cancelled. That left an aging Maude, which was shunted off to Saturday nights to run out the year.

    Good Times was brought over from Wednesdays to fill the 8:00 slot. At 8:30 was a new show, Baby I'm Back. Demond Wilson played a guy who ran out on his family for so long that his wife had him declared legally dead. Then he decided to come back. Sounds like a swell guy! It lasted 13 episodes.

    Back on Tuesday, at 9:00 M*A*S*H was replaced with the beginning of the CBS Tuesday Night Movie. CBS would run a movie in this slot for about a decade. At 8:00 CBS ran Celebrity Battle Of The Sexes and Shields And Yarnell. The first needs little explanation. Shields and Yarnell were mimes, for those that don't remember. Tuesdays at 8:00 would be a disaster of a time slot for CBS until Rescue 911 came along in the 1990s.

    Both CBS and ABC made the right moves. ABC had the firepower to challenge CBS' best. CBS needed to shore up their remaining good shows until they figured out something new. They figured out 60 Minutes was winning its time slot. They had the more attractive football package. They made a night out of it. Like the Dallas Cowboys? Well, Pat Summerall is going to be sure to tell you to stay tuned for 60 Minutes, except on the West Coast. Followed by whatever middlebrow fare CBS had for the night. Right now it was a sitcom block anchored by All In The Family. They would run that until Murder, She Wrote came around.

    There were no pre-emptions this season. The usual dead week re-run of The Winchester Tapes. One Day At A Time again aired a new episode in that week, Ann's Crisis, an infamous episode where Bonnie Franklin talks into a mirror for about 10 minutes. At least that show knew how to burn off a turkey!

    There were two summer pre-emptions for the National Collegiate Cheerleading Championships (Yea!) and the Miss Universe Pageant. That left 25 weeks. For re-runs, Fade Out, Fade In was split in two. The prior hour long shows had been aired intact on the same night in re-runs. So there were 25 shows for 25 weeks. Of course, a couple were repeated and skipped as usual. The Winchester Tapes was run again in the summer. Major Topper and The Light That Failed were run twice. What's Up Doc? and Last Laugh were not re-run. What's Up Doc? I could do without. I liked Last Laugh, but no Winchester I suppose.
     
  18. dirwuf

    dirwuf Raccoon of the Year

    Location:
    Fairfield, CT
    I was going to ask how they would have handled the rapid aging of the actor plying Ho-Jon had the character remained on the series, but was shocked to learn that Patrick Adiarte was 30 when the series premiered...
     
  19. Rob P S

    Rob P S Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    The original midseason plan had the highly-touted David Groh-Joan Hackett sitcom Another Day scheduled for Mondays at 9, but something went wrong with that show and it was burned off over four Saturdays in April, dumped between Jeffersons reruns, The Ted Knight Show and the last weeks of Maude. CBS then gave up on its Saturday comedy block.
     
  20. RayS

    RayS Paying attention like a rattlesnake does

    Can anyone shed light on the time frame for the pre-syndication afternoon reruns on CBS? Am I correct in remembering them at 3:30 before "Match Game" at 4? Am I also correct in remembering that they replaced "All in the Family"? My memory tells me that "MASH" and "All in the Family" hit syndication on the same day - they ran at 7/7:30 on WNEW in New York (with MASH getting a second outing at 11 PM). True?
     
  21. dirwuf

    dirwuf Raccoon of the Year

    Location:
    Fairfield, CT
    Yes, the first part at least is correct, it replaced "All in the Family" reruns on CBS in September 1978....
     
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  22. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    That sounds about right, since I remember MASH reruns being on at 2:30 pm in the Central time zone circa 1978 (since I recall that I could only watch them if I happened to be home sick from school).

    And it looks like wikipedia is actually useful in this case... it confirms you recollection.
     
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  23. ohnothimagen

    ohnothimagen I don't suffer fools or trolls gladly... Thread Starter

    Indeed, "Last Laugh" could almost be a season 5 episode.
     
  24. Jay_Z

    Jay_Z Forum Resident

    M*A*S*H In Real Time - The Original Airings of M*A*S*H, 1972-83.

    Season 7.


    I thought this was going to get easier. M*A*S*H was coming back to Mondays at 9:00. Simple, right? Sort of. At this point the CBS schedule was increasingly chaotic. M*A*S*H couldn't help but get caught up in things.

    Over the summer Baby I'm Back had been shunted off to what was now a sitcom graveyard on Saturday nights. Bob Newhart was playing out the string with their greatest hits I guess, re-running shows from all of their seasons. In its place The Jeffersons came from Saturday and aired at 8:00, with Good Times moved back to 8:30. After establishing this schedule all summer, you'd think CBS would have stuck with it in the fall. Didn't happen, of course.

    Apparently Good Times was on the fence as to whether it would be brought back, along with Baby I'm Back. Norman Lear wanted a sixth year for Good Times. He asked CBS to bring Good Times back, and cancel Baby I'm Back, if he developed another new show for CBS. CBS said yes. The show Lear came up with was... In The Beginning, starring our own Maclean Stevenson!

    Good Times went off to Saturday night in place of Baby I'm Back. The Jeffersons went to Wednesdays to lead into In The Beginning. M*A*S*H would get two new shows in the 8:00 Monday night hour. The 8:00 show was a new MTM ensemble sitcom... WKRP In Cincinnati. We know that show. The 8:30 show was People. Based on the magazine. Phyllis George giving softball interviews to celebrities. This programming niche would be better served by PM Magazine and Entertainment Tonight.

    On October 9th M*A*S*H started at 8:30, pre-empting People, to air the clip show Our Finest Hour. Usually when shows do clip shows, it's to save money. But M*A*S*H produced 25 other episodes this season. Our Finest Hour was basically an extra episode. So don't complain too much about it!

    After November 6th, WKRP and People were taken off the air. The next week M*A*S*H (Baby It's Cold Outside) and One Day At A Time were pushed up an hour so CBS could air part 2 of a miniseries, The Word, starring David Janssen (new biblical texts are discovered; intrigue ensues.) No doubt motivated by November sweeps. The next week M*A*S*H was back at 9:00, with the 8:00 hour filled by a special, Bobby Vinton's Rock And Rollers.

    On November 27th, a new show debuted at 8:00. The White Shadow. Ken Howard as a high school basketball coach in the inner city. CBS would stick with this lineup through the holidays. A re-run of Lil aired on Christmas Day for M*A*S*H.

    On January 1st, 1979, a new episode of M*A*S*H (B J Papasan) was followed by a re-run of One Day At A Time. This would be the last week that One Day At A Time aired after M*A*S*H on Mondays. In a couple of weeks it would be placed with the Jeffersons on Wednesdays, where In The Beginning had been cancelled. Long term it would move to Sundays where CBS resurrected its two hour comedy block. The block had been reduced to one hour to accommodate Mary Tyler Moore's variety show Mary, which lasted all of three episodes.

    On January 8th, M*A*S*H (Inga) was pushed back a half hour so CBS could repeat the Peanuts special, It's Your First Kiss, Charlie Brown. After this week, The White Shadow was also on the move to Saturday night. An entirely new schedule would be built

    A Tim Conway special aired before M*A*S*H the following week. In the 9:30 slot, after M*A*S*H, was... WKRP. Back after a couple of months off the air. This is the first instance involving M*A*S*H where a show simply went off the air for a couple of months without be cancelled. A new thing in TV I guess. WKRP had 22 episodes in this season, so they'd be airing new ones into June.

    A George Burns special preceded M*A*S*H the following week. By that time, it was February and time for sweeps. CBS would be going all out. On January 29th, M*A*S*H (Hot Lips Is Back In Town) and WKRP were both pushed up an hour so CBS could air The Corn Is Green. Katherine Hepburn played a teacher in a Welsh mining town. This was a remake of a 1945 Bette Davis movie.

    CBS aired new episodes of All In The Family and Alice before M*A*S*H on Feburary 5th for one week only. The next week, M*A*S*H was pre-empted on Feburary 12th for the second half of The Gone With The Wind. Guess a TV broadcast of that movie still carried some juice back then. So no M*A*S*H that week? Guess again. M*A*S*H (Rally 'Round The Flagg, Boys) had a special Wednesday airing, backed by One Day At A Time, for the first and only time. That makes six days of the week on which original episodes aired. (By the way, iMDB claims a new episode of All In The Family aired Feburary 11th, which can't be true, since Gone With The Wind pre-empted it. When did it air?)

    Wonder Woman would be M*A*S*H's lead in on February 19th only. After that, two brand new shows. A two hour block of comedy! Billy was Steve Guttenberg as Walter Mitty. The 1980s would be great for Steve. This show not so much. The second show was Flatbush. Five young hoodlum types in Brooklyn. The San Pedro Beach Bums go east, I guess. Both of these were in place for three episodes and gone. Billy moved elsewhere for four more episodes, Flatbush gone forever. Complaints about ethnic stereotypes on the latter.

    By that time M*A*S*H had completed its run of original episodes. Returning as lead-in would be... The White Shadow. CBS should have left well enough alone!

    Re-runs were pre-empted on March 19th (new Peanuts special, You're The Greatest, Charlie Brown), again on April 9th (re-run of It's The Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown), April 30th for the Miss USA Beauty pageant, and on May 21st (second part of Blind Ambition, based on the John Dean book.) After that things settled down into the White Shadow-M*A*S*H-WKRP-Lou Grant line-up. Maybe not the same as the 2nd season classics, but this was a good lineup of shows that would all be brought back in the same slot for 1979-80. At least for the first episode!

    There was enough time to re-air each of the 25 original episodes, assuming Our Finest Hour was not re-run (it was not.) Of course that didn't happen. An Eye For A Tooth was run twice, and Preventative Medicine not run at all.
     
  25. Rob P S

    Rob P S Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I love how they threw the first-runs and reruns together back then - the M*A*S*H Christmas show aired on Dec. 18 and the One Day at a Time Christmas show aired on Dec. 25 after a M*A*S*H rerun. Then it reversed the next week. Was New Year's Day a throwaway night back then? One Day at a Time finally moved from behind M*A*S*H against Charlie's Angels and sank like a rock.

    Co-ed Fever was supposed to air Mondays at 8:30 but it only aired once after Rocky on Feb. 4 and was cancelled.

    The turkey-drop episode of WKRP aired after M*A*S*H on Oct. 30 and probably saved it from cancellation.

    CBS also began airing M*A*S*H reruns on weekday afternoons at 3:30 Eastern in September.
     
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