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

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

  1. Jay_Z

    Jay_Z Forum Resident

    I don't think New Years could be a throwaway night, since Christmas Day was for a lot of shows. They might pre-empt, but they wouldn't do two straight weeks of re-runs.

    It's January 1st, so there were bowl games. NBC ran the Orange Bowl. ABC had a Rona Barrett New Year's special (replacing 20/20) and a movie, which was normal for ABC on a Monday night after NFL season was over.

    The WKRP telecast on 10/30/1978 is interesting. I would have mentioned it, but I am using Ultimate70s.com as my primary reference. That site lists One Day At A Time in its normal 9:30 slot, but it does not list any episode information, which is unusual. The 8:00 hour was pre-empted for It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and Puff The Magic Dragon. TV Tango, which is wildly inaccurate most of the time, lists WKRP in its normal 8:00 slot, Puff at 8:30, M*A*S*H at 9:00, and nothing at 9:30. Those Peanuts specials aired so often as we have seen, and it was always at 8:00. So I'm confident on the specials.

    Looking at the TV listings in the newspapers of the time, apparently there was a weekly listing for "late schedule changes" (something different than would have been in whatever your Sunday TV supplement was) and the change from One Day At A Time to WKRP is noted there. Obviously the WKRP producers lobbied hard, or someone in programming previewed that episode, because it really seems like a special case was made to get it on the air before the show's hiatus.
  2. Jay_Z

    Jay_Z Forum Resident

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

    Season 8.

    As mentioned, all of the Monday night shows, along with M*A*S*H, would come back to their same time slots, at least for the start of the year. But it was a very interesting year in the M*A*S*H universe for other reasons.

    CBS did not have very much luck with its new fall shows this season. The singular exception was a show airing Sundays at 10:00, where it replaced the second of Mary Tyler Moore's failed variety shows: Trapper John M.D.! The producers of this show (Don Brinkley and Frank Glicksman, who'd done the long-running Medical Center a few years earlier) were sued, unsuccessfully, by the producers of M*A*S*H for character infringement. The claim was made that Trapper John M.D. was based on the book and movie, and not the TV version of M*A*S*H. There was a nurse, Clara "Starch" Willoughby, who was supposed to have served with Trapper in Korea. Since the movie continuity is being followed, presumably she served with Trapper after Hawkeye was discharged. It would have been interesting if this show had recast some of the characters still on M*A*S*H like Hawkeye or Hotlips. Or a still living Henry Blake, since he only died in the TV show and not the others!

    CBS stuck with its Monday fall lineup for all of two weeks! On October 1st, WKRP was pre-empted for a MTM show called The Last Resort. The Last Resort, featuring college kids working in a hotel kitchen, had been airing (and bombing) on Wednesday nights with Struck By Lightning, where Jack Elam (without any monster makeup) played a modern day Frankenstein. The leads for The Last Resort were Stephanie Faracy (who's still active today) and Larry Breeding. After this show ended, Larry Breeding was cast in a sitcom called It's Not Easy with Gerald McRaney. A pilot was shot. At the time, Simon & Simon was on the cancellation block. When Simon & Simon was renewed, McRaney had to withdraw, and was replaced by Ken Howard. Sadly, before work on this show could continue, Larry Breeding was killed in an auto accident. Undaunted, the producers also recast his part with Bert Convy. It's Not Easy aired on ABC in 1983 for four episodes.

    The Last Resort airing was just a one shot deal. After also being pre-empted by the Country Music Awards the next week, WKRP was back in place. The Monday night lineup was sedate for almost three months, except for November 19th, when M*A*S*H (The Yalu Brick Road) was aired at 8:30 after A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, so CBS could air the movie The Turning Point.

    On December 17th The White Shadow (also an MTM production - the kitten, Mimsie, was seen bouncing a basketball instead of meowing on this show) was moved to Tuesdays to replace California Fever. California Fever starred Lorenzo Lamas as a bunch of parentless teens cavorted on the beaches and in the discos of SoCal. In its place at the 8:00 hour were... WKRP, moved from 9:30... and The Last Resort! New in the 9:30 slot was... House Calls, starring Wayne Rogers! House Calls was as appropriate a follow show as M*A*S*H would ever get. House Calls was produced by Sheldon Keller, who had written several episodes of M*A*S*H (Dear Dad, Again; For Want Of A Boot; Radar's Report; and The Chosen People.) He'd also co-written a movie with Larry Gelbart called Movie Movie, starring George C. Scott in parodies of a grim boxing drama and an old style Hollywood musical.

    On Christmas Eve, M*A*S*H had its usual re-run (Nurse Doctor), though all of the other sitcoms were new episodes. All of the shows had new episodes on New Year's Eve, including M*A*S*H (Yessir, That's Our Baby.)

    For the first time in a long time, M*A*S*H was pre-empted on Feburary 25th. After You're A Good Skate, Charlie Brown and a new episode of The Last Resort, CBS aired part one of the miniseries Scruples. Lindsay Wagner opened a Hollywood boutique in Scruples, and I'm sure plenty of suds followed. A few weeks later M*A*S*H encountered a first. For the first time other than the Christmas-New Year's "dead week", M*A*S*H aired a re-run before the season had completed. The Yalu Brick Road was sandwiched between new episodes of The Last Resort and House Calls.

    Why CBS did that would become apparent the next week. The season finale, April Fool's, was aired between two brand new shows. At 8:30 was The Stockard Channing Show. Stockard had another CBS show the prior year, Stockard Channing in Just Friends, which ran for 13 episodes. In both shows Stockard played a character named Susan, with a ditzy best friend played by Sydney Goldsmith. Apparently some of the same sets were used for both shows as well. Shades of Sandy Duncan.

    At 9:30 was a spinoff from Alice, Flo, starring Polly Holiday. Flo drew good ratings, but only 6 episodes were ordered. The Stockard Channing Show did not draw good ratings, and by May 25th was exiled to the CBS Saturday night graveyard with the TV version of Bad News Bears. At this time House Calls (in re-runs) returned to the 9:30 spot occupied by Flo.

    New at 8:30 was Phyl And Mikhy. This was a show about two track stars that fall in love. Phyl from the US and Mikhy from the USSR. Mikhy defects. No doubt timed to coincide with the 1980 Olympics, which the US boycotted. Whoops. Too bad for this show, but a good thing for TV viewers, as the show looked cheap and tacky. Phyl And Mikhy starred Murphy Cross and Rick Lohman.

    For the rest of the summer, Flo re-runs returned at 8:00 and WKRP was moved to 8:30. The Last Resort was not re-run and was cancelled. All re-runs were pre-empted in July and August for the Republican and Democratic political conventions. As far as M*A*S*H was concerned, there were the usual switch ups. Goodbye Radar Parts 1 and 2 had aired on two consecutive weeks originally, but in re-runs they were aired in a one hour block. Dreams and Period Of Adjustment were re-run twice; Guerilla My Dreams was skipped.

    After all that, M*A*S*H fans just had to wait until late September, when Season 9 rolled out. Right?
  3. ohnothimagen

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

    Finally, I can vaguely remember some of these other shows Jay is mentioning (I was born in '76):righton: I think we talked a bit about House Calls and Trapper John MD in one of the other M*A*S*H discussions here- I remember my parents watching them, but that's about it.
  4. Man they just could not leave a schedule static for more than two weeks at a time could they?
  5. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    I'm curious if you have a source for this. I've seen this claimed before, but it's never made sense to me, because both series (MASH and Trapper John MD) were owned by 20th Century Fox. So wouldn't it be like one arm suing the other?

    Another thing that I've always wondered about is why Wayne Rogers turned down the role in the spinoff. I've seen it claimed (in unsourced articles) that he didn't want to play a doctor again, but that's obviously not true since just a couple months later he debuted in House Calls. It's kind of odd that he'd turn down a role in one series and then accept a very similar role in another series just months later. I guess it probably has to do with money... he was probably offered a better deal for House Calls. I always thought of House Calls as the "real" Trapper John MD, since the character in House Calls resembled Trapper far more than the character in Trapper John MD.
  6. Jay_Z

    Jay_Z Forum Resident

    As far as the lawsuit, Wikipedia says "citation needed." Hmmm...

    I think you're probably right, and would need to see a citation to believe there was actually a suit. I couldn't find anything in the normal news sources. Maybe something in Variety, but I don't have access to the archives that far back. Ultimately, the characters were owned by 20th Century Fox. It was a little unusual for them to have another production team develop a Trapper John show while another M*A*S*H show was still in production, but I think they havd the legal right to do so.
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  7. ohnothimagen

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

  8. Jay_Z

    Jay_Z Forum Resident

    I really wonder how hard they tried, if at all, to get Wayne Rogers for Trapper John, MD. I have no idea how that show went through development, but it wouldn't surprise me if the Trapper John element was tacked on after a while, to give the show some extra juice. Which certainly worked. The Trapper John element is really used so little in the show. If Wayne Rogers was playing that material, viewers might be disappointed with the change in format, lack of M*A*S*H references, and wondering how it could be 25 years later when Wayne Rogers had only aged a few years. Recasting solved those problems.

    So maybe the producers made Wayne an offer he COULD refuse! Just a token offer, if they did that much. Wayne turns it down and they move on with what they really want to do. Like you said, House Calls was a better spiritual successor for Wayne anyway.

    Compared to other sitcoms of the era like Mary Tyler Moore, All In The Family, and Happy Days, M*A*S*H did not have that good of a record in producing spinoffs. Trapper John MD was successful, but with barely any connection in format or personnel to the source material. House Calls did well for a while, but was not really connected either. Roll Out! did not last. AfterMASH underperformed; if they'd developed it better, it could have made 3 or 4 years. It would have never been anything great, but it could have been a better coda than it was.

    I think the same reason that Trapper John MD could be developed played into the lack of spinoffs. Fox owned the characters. With the Lear-coms or MTM the networks were dependent on the production companies, but the artistic talent was tied to the new shows as well and could maintain some common threads. I suppose Gelbart and Reynolds had less incentive to develop more M*A*S*H related shows since they were glorified hired hands. Why waste your best ideas when you can break out your own show and make more money?
  9. ohnothimagen

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

    Oh, I am gonna have a wealth of more useless M*A*S*H information to share, since my copy of the M*A*S*H FAQ book arrived yesterday:righton:. I've just been skimming it so far but there seems to be all sort of good stuff in there (there's even a section detailing all the shifts the series saw in TV scheduling, @Jay_Z !) But I did browse the section about Trapper John MD and House Calls. Apparently, yes, they did approach Wayne Rogers to do Trapper John MD but he declined since he'd already signed on for House Calls.
  10. KevinP

    KevinP Forum introvert

    Wellington , NZ
    Would like to see House Calls again. I remember enjoying it at the time, but not sure how well it's aged.
  11. ohnothimagen

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

    From what I can see there are clips from the show up on You Tube, not sure about full episodes, though.
  12. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    Aha. That makes a lot more sense than what it says in several (unsourced) online articles: that he didn't want to be typecast as a surgeon.

    According to this article (which apparently was written during the series' run) CBS approached Brinkley and Glicksman (known for their work on Medical Center) and asked them to develop a Trapper John show. So the Trapper John element was the thing they started with initially. CBS likely was inspired by the Lou Grant show... same idea, take a co-star of a 30-minute sitcom and inject him into a 60-minute drama. Given the idea was to use the familiar character to at least get their foot in the door viewer-wise, I can't imagine they wouldn't have made a sincere effort to get Rogers.

    I would guess the decision to de-emphasize any connection to MASH happened gradually. They didn't have Rogers, and the show was successful, so it became clear they didn't really have any reason to milk the MASH connection. It's interesting that Pernell Roberts was only 6 years older than Wayne Rogers though. I guess (based on his baldness and gray beard) that it seemed like it was more like 10-15 years older though. According to the article I linked above, they offered the role to John Forsythe before Roberts, and he was 16 years older than Rogers.

    I think they should have made an effort to get Wayne Rogers on AfterMASH. And Larry Linville too. Rogers probably wouldn't have done it so shortly after the end of House Calls, but if he'd been on the show I think it could have succeeded.
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  13. ohnothimagen

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

    I think I read somewhere that they offered Larry Linville a guest appearance on After M*A*S*H and he declined.

    I still haven't watched any of that series yet:laugh: I think it's because having a show that focuses on the three least interesting characters (IMO) from the original series just doesn't hold that much appeal for me. Or a lot of other people, obviously, given how successful After M*A*S*H was:p
  14. ohnothimagen

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

    Ach, the hell with it...here's season 10!

    The tenth season of M*A*S*H aired Mondays at 9:00–9:30 pm on CBS.

    Alan Alda Capt. Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce
    Mike Farrell Capt. B.J. Hunnicut
    Harry Morgan Col. Sherman T. Potter
    Loretta Swit Maj. Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan
    David Ogden Stiers Maj. Charles Emerson Winchester III
    Jamie Farr Sgt. Maxwell Q. Klinger
    William Christopher Capt. Father Francis Mulcahy
    12 "That's Show Biz" Charles S. Dubin David Pollock & Elias Davis October 26, 1981 Z-419Z-420
    A former stripper (Gwen Verdon) is the headline of a visiting USO troupe, whose female entertainers find romance with the male surgeons of the 4077th.
    221 3 "Identity Crisis" David Ogden Stiers Dan Wilcox & Thad Mumford November 2, 1981 Z-423
    A trio of wounded GIs includes a corporal (Joe Pantoliano) who makes an odd confession to Father Mulcahy.
    David Ogden Stiers made his TV-directing debut with this episode. Dirk Blocker and Squire Fridell play the other two GIs.
    222 4 "Rumor at the Top" Charles S. Dubin David Pollock & Elias Davis November 9, 1981 Z-424
    A visit by a general's aide starts a rumor that the 4077th is breaking up.
    223 5 "Give 'Em Hell, Hawkeye" Charles S. Dubin Dennis Koenig November 16, 1981 1-G01
    Frustrated that peace talks have stalled, Hawkeye writes a letter to President Truman about the insanity of the war. Newsreel clip of water skier Cahrlene Zint is included.
    224 6 "Wheelers and Dealers" Charles S. Dubin Thad Mumford & Dan Wilcox November 23, 1981 1-G02
    B.J. becomes a gambler due to unsettling news from home, while Potter takes driving-safety classes after getting a traffic ticket.
    225 7 "Communication Breakdown" Alan Alda Karen Hall November 30, 1981 1-G03
    Charles hoards his newspapers when the mail is delayed, while Hawkeye discovers that a South Korean soldier is the brother of a North Korean prisoner.
    226 8 "Snap Judgment" Hy Averback Paul Perlove December 7, 1981 1-G04
    Klinger is accused of petty thievery in the 4077th.
    227 9 "Snappier Judgment" Hy Averback Paul Perlove December 14, 1981 1-G05
    Klinger is court-martialed for stealing from the 4077th and has Charles defend him.
    228 10 "'Twas the Day After Christmas" Burt Metcalfe Elias Davis & David Pollock December 28, 1981 1-G06
    It's the day after Christmas and the 4077th spends it borrowing a tradition from wounded British soldiers - the officers and enlisted switch places.
    229 11 "Follies of the Living - Concerns of the Dead" Alan Alda Alan Alda January 4, 1982 1-G07
    Delirious from a high fever, Klinger communicates with a dead GI (Kario Salem) who doesn't believe he's dead.
    Alan Alda received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for writing this episode.
    There is no laugh track.
    230 12 "The Birthday Girls" Charles S. Dubin Karen Hall January 11, 1982 1-G08
    Margaret goes to Tokyo for her birthday, while the surgeons work hard to save a wounded, pregnant cow.
    231 13 "Blood and Guts" Charles S. Dubin Lee H. Grant January 18, 1982 1-G09
    A famous war correspondent arrives to write about the wounded and gives them the donated blood he brought with him.
    232 14 "A Holy Mess" Burt Metcalfe David Pollock and Elias Davis February 1, 1982 1-G10
    A distraught AWOL private seeks sanctuary at the 4077th, while a local farmer inspires Potter to make a real egg breakfast.
    233 15 "The Tooth Shall Set You Free" Charles S. Dubin David Pollock and Elias Davis February 8, 1982 1-G11
    Charles has a toothache, while Hawkeye suspects a commanding officer is a bigot. Featuring Laurence Fishburne.
    234 16 "Pressure Points" Charles S. Dubin David Pollock and Elias Davis February 15, 1982 1-G12
    Sidney returns to the 4077th when there's a series of missteps in and out of the OR, while Charles engages in a mess war with Hawkeye and B.J.
    Charles S. Dubin received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for directing this episode.
    235 17 "Where There's a Will, There's a War" Alan Alda David Pollock & Elias Davis February 22, 1982 1-G13
    Hawkeye ends up writing out his will when he fills in for a killed surgeon at a frontline aid station.
    Alan Alda received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for directing this episode.
    236 18 "Promotion Commotion" Charles S. Dubin Dennis Koenig March 1, 1982 1-G14
    The officers enjoy popularity with the enlisted at promotion time, but Charles seems to be threatened by a hulking GI (John Matuszak).
    237 19 "Heroes" Nell Cox Thad Mumford & Dan Wilcox March 15, 1982 1-G15
    A former boxing champ, Father Mulcahy's childhood hero, visits the 4077th on a goodwill tour, but he may not have much fight in him left when he has a stroke. The media crew swamps Hawkeye for interviews.
    238 20 "Sons and Bowlers" Hy Averback Elias Davis & David Pollock March 22, 1982 1-G16
    The 4077th challenges the Marines to a bowling tournament, while Hawkeye's father is hospitalized.
    Hy Averback received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for directing this episode.
    239 21 "Picture This" Burt Metcalfe Karen Hall April 5, 1982 1-G17
    Potter wants to paint a portrait of the staff for his wife's birthday, but a feud between Hawkeye, B.J. and Charles is not a pretty picture. Hawkeye leaves the swamp and takes a hut behind Rosie's bar.
    Burt Metcalfe received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for directing this episode.
    240 22 "That Darn Kid" David Ogden Stiers Karen Hall April 12, 1982 1-G19
    Klinger's goat eats the payroll, making Hawkeye owe the Army $22,000. Charles gets entangled in a loan he takes from Rizzo.
  15. ohnothimagen

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

    Slight improvement over season 9, but there's a few stinkers here as well. I know we've skewered "That Darn Kid" in other M*A*S*H discussions here, for example. "Picture This" is pretty cringeworthy too- Hawkeye getting pissed off and moving out of The Swamp was done much more effectively IMO in "Sticky Wicket" back in season 1.

    If "Identity Crisis" and "Rumour At The Top" were actually aired in season 9 as intended, they'd probably be two of my favourites from that season. They're good as part of season 10, though. I also like "Blood and Guts", "The Tooth Shall Set You Free" and "'Twas The Day After Christmas".
  16. HGN2001

    HGN2001 Mystery Picture Member

    Forgive me for delving way back to Season One for a moment, but MeTV has just started the cycle all over again, and we watched this episode the other night. What our OP said above is quite correct. Because of the weird running order that CBS employed, "Henry Please Come Home" was actually the first episode produced after the pilot and had a "very much" feel of the movie. Hawkeye even wears a bucket hat through much of it. At the end of the episode, I just happened to catch the "J-302" episode number and realized that it was a very early episode run ninth in order.

    Loretta Swit doesn't appear in it either.
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  17. ohnothimagen

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

    Yeah, the weird running order as opposed to actual production order seems a but wonky at times.

    In regard to the season 9 holdovers aired at the start of season 10, that was due to the writers' strike or whatever it was in 1980, wasn't it?
  18. HGN2001

    HGN2001 Mystery Picture Member

    Probably. Since Season 9 started so late due to the writers' strike, it ended its 20 episode run in late May. Rather than run the two extra episodes that had been filmed, CBS likely decided to hold them over to the start of Season 10.
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  19. Luke The Drifter

    Luke The Drifter Forum Resident

    United States
    Season 10:

    Follies of the Living is one I put in with the great episodes of MASH. But it is hard to find much more from this season. I like "Where There is a Will".
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  20. smilin ed

    smilin ed Forum Resident

    Hmmmm. Series 10...

    There are some good sections of episodes here - the Charles/Hawkeye segments of the otherwise drab Sons and Bowlers, for example. I guess my preferred episodes from this season are Where There's a Will, Follies of the Living (at least it's trying), The Tooth Shall Set You Free, Blood and Guts (an old school episode), Give 'em Hell, Hawkeye, Communication Breakdown, Identity Crisis, Pressure Points, maybe. Again, a lot of good stuff with Charles in this series. That Darn Kid is, of course, one of the all-time worst.
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  21. Jay_Z

    Jay_Z Forum Resident

    Answer below! Also, thank you for allowing these related but somewhat tangential posts!

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

    Season 9.

    As mentioned, a strike - an actors' strike - took place in July 1980 and lasted for 94 days. This strike didn't affect news, sports, reality-type programming, or daytime soaps. However, it did shut down production of all of the scripted programming ramping up about that time of year. The strike was settled in late October. In general, entertainment and sports were plagued by strikes for much of the 1980s.

    I take it the season premiere of M*A*S*H might have taken place on September 15th. Instead, CBS telecast the movie Foul Play, and a re-run of Nurse Doctor. On the following weeks CBS would air a re-run or two (almost always M*A*S*H and one or two others) along with a re-run of a special, an unsold pilot, or a movie. I'm guessing this didn't fare too well against the other networks. ABC had That's Incredible and Monday Night Football; no actors required for either show. NBC had Little House On The Prairie, which aired new episodes throughout the strike. I'm guessing that due to the children acting on the show, production on that show started earlier in the summer to take advantage of school being out.

    For the record, the "bonus re-runs", in addition to Nurse Doctor, were Private Finance, Mr. & Mrs. Who?, Life Time, Dear Uncle Abdul, Bottle Fatigue, Old Soldiers, and Morale Victory. No Radar episodes from the 8th season from this bunch.

    When the strike ended, new episodes started trickling in. There was no set pattern of season premieres. Seemingly it was based on however soon the shows could get their episodes done. M*A*S*H debuted for the year on October 17th. Flo had the 8:00 slot based on its strong 6 episode showing the prior season. WKRP would not be back on Monday nights. It was moved to... Saturdays at 8:00. Followed up by The Tim Conway Show. Conway had a one hour variety show in the spring of 1980. This was reduced to a half hour and shown on Saturdays. Conway, outside of McHale's Navy and his Carol Burnett tenure, was also known for starring in a series of failed TV shows. This show was no better. Sorry WKRP.

    So what aired after Flo? The only new CBS sitcom of the season... The Ladies Man. Not to be confused with the 1999 sitcom starring Alfred Molina... or the Jerry Lewis movie... or the SNL skit and movie starring Tim Meadows. THIS show starred Lawrence Pressman, who M*A*S*H fans (who are they?) may remember as the sleazy Congressional aide who accused Hotlips of being a Communist in Are You Now Margaret? Pressman, who's still active, is probably most remembered for being in the cast of Doogie Howser. Despite watching a lot of TV during this time period, I have no memories whatsoever of this show. That probably says something about the potency of the Flo - Ladies' Man one-two punch.

    By the time M*A*S*H had its season premiere, Flo and The Ladies Man had both aired some new episodes. Perhaps due to the strike, CBS showed remarkable patience with this line-up.

    There was a new twist involving the holidays. Instead of the normal "dead week" re-run, CBS chose to re-run Season 8's Captains Outrageous on December 22nd. On December 29th the New Year's themed episode A War For All Seasons aired. House Calls also aired a new, unthemed episode this night. M*A*S*H's lead in for the night was an episode of the new series Freebie And The Bean.

    I'm sure CBS was not happy with the results they were getting from a fading Flo and The Ladies Man on a night they otherwise competed well on. At the end of January those two shows were moved to... Saturday night. Their replacement? The White Shadow. Back from a bad slot for CBS, Tuesdays at 8:00. The White Shadow was respected, but never well rated, and aired the last 7 episodes of its 3 year run through February and March.

    After a March 16th airing of Blood Brothers, M*A*S*H had two more episodes to air out of 20 for the season. (24 were scheduled to be produced, but four of those would be pushed forward to Season 10.) CBS opted to air re-runs of Father's Day and Operation Friendship the next two weeks. Why? Same reason they had in Season 8. When a new episode (Blood Brothers) aired on April 6th, it was preceded by two new shows.

    The 8:00 slot was filled by another service comedy based on a movie. Featured two of the actors from the movie reprising their roles. Introducing... Private Benjamin! Starring Lorna Patterson, who'd had a featured role in Airplane! Eileen Brennan was good in this, but the show was innocuous enough that it made Gomer Pyle look like Full Metal Jacket. It did last for 39 episodes. Patterson got married and left show business completely by the end of the decade.

    The second show was another sitcom called The Two Of Us. Clever title. Mimi Kennedy played an American single mom who hired an English butler played by Peter Cook. Not sure how thrilled Cook was with this role when old partner Dudley Moore was at his peak of stardom. Kennedy had been on the short list for the original SNL cast. She later played Dharma's mother on Dharma And Greg. Dana Hill played her daughter, and Oliver Clark, who'd guested a couple of times on M*A*S*H, including the other Benjamin Franklin Pierce who had his mail mixed up with Hawkeye. This was a well-cast show.

    These two shows would run for just three weeks each, as teasers I suppose. I guess it worked, since both would be brought back for the next season.

    For no apparent reason, CBS opted to air two more re-runs, The Best Of Enemies and Your Retention Please, pushing the final episode of the season, The Life You Save, to May 4th. With Private Benjamin and The Two Of Us already done, the lead-ins were Bugs Bunny: All American Hero, and a M*A*S*H re-run of No Sweat. Trying to juice May sweeps a bit? No idea.

    Despite the strike, the only week of this entire season where a new episode or a re-run did not air was November 10th, when CBS aired the movie The Champ and a new Ladies' Man. The lead-ins for re-run season were a returned from exile WKRP and The Tim Conway Show. With only 20 episodes, The Best Of Enemies, Your Retention Please, Letters, Operation Friendship, No Laughing Matter, Oh How We Danced, and Bless You Hawkeye were all re-run twice. Cementing Relationships, Death Takes A Holiday, A War For All Seasons, and The Life You Save were not re-run.

    I'm sure Season 10 ran much more smoothly. It's not like there would be another strike!
  22. Jay_Z

    Jay_Z Forum Resident

    I think they needed a lead, somebody other than the three from M*A*S*H to be the lead. The nearest example I can think of is Mayberry RFD. You had no Andy Taylor, no Opie. Barney Fife gone years before. They had the town, Mayberry. A few of the latter day townspeople were left like Goober and Howard Sprague. Aunt Bea actually was around for the first season. Ken Berry was brought in, had a girlfriend played by Arlene Golanka. Ken Berry's character had a son. I was never that crazy about Ken Berry, he seems about exactly what the Quad Cities were capable of producing in entertainment. I say this as a Midwesterner myself. But he was a lead. The others could be built up some, but they weren't leads.

    The three they brought over from M*A*S*H were never going to be leads. Potter was too old. I got sick of Mulcahy stories around Season 5 of M*A*S*H. Just too earnest. He was better being well meaning but befuddled. Klinger was boring by this time as well. But all of them had been on M*A*S*H for at least 8 years and the egos were such that the show was built around them. Eventually Gelbart and company figured out it wasn't enough, but viewers were tuning out by that time.
    ohnothimagen likes this.
  23. Jay_Z

    Jay_Z Forum Resident

    Which is better - That's Showbiz two parter, or Snap Judgment/Snappier Judgment? I don't think I've seen either.
    ohnothimagen likes this.
  24. dirwuf

    dirwuf Raccoon of the Year

    Fairfield, CT
    "Snap Judgement" and "Snappier Judgement"....perfect

    I think the better question is which is worse.
  25. ohnothimagen

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

    IMO "Dear Sigmund", "Lifetime" and "Follies Of The Living, Concerns Of The Dead" are probably the best of the Alda-written episodes.
    Precisely why I've never been too interested in checking out After M*A*S*H. Though they had their moments I always found Potter and Mulcahy sorta dull. Klinger I liked better when he was still bucking for a Section 8. A series revolving around those three? No thanks...and obviously Alda, Farrell, Swit etc had their own skepticism about the spinoff because they didn't touch it with a ten foot pole although I believe all were asked to make a guest appearance at one point or another.
    I'm gonna have to side with Dirwuf on this one. IMO "Snap/Snappier Judgement" is marginally better than "That's Show Biz" but both are pretty hokey. And predictable as hell. Odd, considering the guy who wrote "Snap" was a one off (Paul Perlove)- you'd think having some fresh blood would have made the episode fresh, but no. It would have fit better in, say, season 8- or at least would seem less cliched than in season 10.

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