With one of the most iconic theme songs in television history, M*A*S*H is unforgettable for its theme and for its amazing contribution to television.
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It’s hard to find people that don’t like at least one season of M*A*S*H though there are many that feel that the early seasons were funnier than the more dramatic later seasons. However, there are some that loved the more dramatic and realistic later seasons than they did the earlier series. No matter on what side of the fence you sit on everyone can agree that what made the show great was its characters.
Life started for M*A*S*H started as the book MASH: A Novel About Three Army Doctors by Richard Hooker that was turned into the film MASH in 1970. The film starred Donald Sutherland, Tom Skerritt, Elliott Gould, Robert Duvall, and the only person that starred in the movie and the show Gary Burghoff. Tom Skerritt, who played Duke in the film, was asked to reprise his role in the TV series but thought that a TV series adapted from a film wouldn’t be successful. Talk about a bet that didn’t go his way.
The original plan was never to make a TV series at all as studio 20th Century Fox wanted to make sequels to the film using the novel sequels of which there are 14 of. However, none of the cast or the director were interested so a TV show was developed.
In a fun Australia tie, the “Lanky Yankee” Done Lane who entertained Australian audiences for years with The Don Lane Show auditioned and got close to the role of Hawkeye. It’s easy to see that he would have done an amazing job, however, it’s hard to think of anyone in the role but Alan Alda. Even if Donald Sutherland played him first.