It’s been over 40 years since the legendary finale of the hit television series M*A*S*H. For eleven years between 1972 and 1983, the equally funny and dramatic exploits of the eponymous “4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital” graced television screen across the world.
With over a decade’s worth of episodes, the show has been in heavy syndication since it originally ended. In Australia, one may still be able to catch a rerun of an episode sometime in the afternoon on Channel 7 or Channel 9. There have been several spin-offs since but none were able to get anywhere close to matching the success of the original.
Fans who want to look back fondly on the record-setting show are in for a treat in the new year. Television network FOX has just announced the release of what promises to be the definitive M*A*S*H retrospective. M*A*S*H: The Comedy That Changed Television will air on January 1st, and promises to be the “definitive look at the 14-time Emmy-winning television classic.”
According to TV Line, the two-hour special will feature new interviews with surviving cast members including Alan Alda (Capt. Benjamin Franklin “Hawkeye” Pierce), Gary Burghoff (Cpl. Walter “Radar” O’Reilly), Jamie Farr (Cpl./Sgt. Maxwell Q. “Max” Klinger), Mike Farrell (Capt. B.J. Hunnicutt) and Loretta Swit (Maj. Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan). Executive producers Gene Reynolds and Burt Metcalfe will also appear in the special.
The special will feature “never-before-seen behind-the-scenes footage, photos and stories,” according to FOX. Many of the original cast and crew are unfortunately no longer with us, but their contributions will be honoured in the special as well.
Late writer/producer Larry Gelbart along with stars Larry Linville (Maj. Frank Burns), Harry Morgan (Col. Sherman T. Potter), McLean Stevenson (Lt. Col. Henry Blake), Wayne Rogers (Capt. “Trapper” John McIntyre), William Christopher (Father Francis Mulcahy) and David Ogden Stiers (Maj. Charles Emerson Winchester III), will be “remembered through a vibrant collection of clips from the series as well as in rarely-seen archival interviews.”
“MASH is not only a great television series, it is a cultural phenomenon. It has made multiple generations of viewers laugh, cry and think, often in the same episode,” said John Scheinfeld and Andy Kaplan, the Executive Producers of the special,
“We are excited to team with Fox to create this unprecedented window into an innovative television classic.”
While there have been past reunions since the finale of the series, this may be the final time the surviving members of the cast will reunite.
For those who can watch the Fox broadcast at 8 pm Eastern Time on January 1st or have access to Hulu, this will be a special not to miss.