Hallmark Channel Pulls M*A*S*H Again

Shawn sent me an e-mail to let me know that Hallmark Channel has once again removed M*A*S*H from its lineup. According to Shawn, this is the third time in five months that the cable channel has pulled the series. According to the Sitcoms Online Blog, a two-hour weekday block of M*A*S*H from 5-7PM has been replaced by Seventh Heaven. Shawn also found this January 18th MediaPost article that suggests the move might be permanent:

“Certainly, we keep an eye on all demographics,” says Abbott. “But we don’t program to attract 18-49, and we certainly don’t sell our advertising inventory to deliver 18-49.” Abbott says the new programming efforts, starting in the summer, are intended to shift Hallmark to more 25-54 viewers, from 65-plus viewers.

“It takes a while to build some momentum,” he says. “But we really hit our stride in the fourth quarter in December.” Through it all, Hallmark has remained in the top 10 of all cable networks in household and key women 25-54 ratings.

[…]

He says the network is looking to shift away from older off-network fare, like “Touched by an Angel,” “Golden Girls,” “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” “MASH” and other shows the network airs.

Recall that broadcast network ION dropped M*A*S*H in October of 2009. Cable channel TV Land also airs the series; if Hallmark Channel does decide to remove M*A*S*H for good, TV Land will be the only place to see the series on television unless you’re lucky enough to have a local broadcast station that airs the series.

Monday, February 15th, 2010 Update: According to a post at Hallmark Channel’s Facebook page, M*A*S*H will be returning to the cable channel eventually. Here’s the full post, which was in reply to a question from Matthew about why Hallmark continually removes M*A*S*H from its schedule:

Hallmark Channel USA
Matthew,
First of all thanks for letting us know how you feel. We love praise, but its important to know when our fans have something else to say, too. Also, let us apologize. You are right, we need to do a better job of keeping people up to date on schedule changes. We will try to do that on this page and on our twitter feed @hallmarkchannel. MASH will return to Hallmark Channel, but we don’t have a firm date to give you. But when it does we will post it right here. Thanks
February 2 at 10:25pm

Hallmark’s Twitter page can be found here. Perhaps an announcement regarding M*A*S*H will be forthcoming.

18 Comments

  • Big Daddy O'Reilly says:

    It seems to me that Hallmark Channel has a VERY limited lineup of programming anymore anyway. In the old days, they seemed to have a variety of different programs during the day (I always assumed the four back-to-back episodes of M*A*S*H was because of how long the show lasted)… now a days, everytime I look at their schedule, it seems like old school AFV all day (don’t care, love Tom Bergeron as host), then M*A*S*H, then another random show for the rest of the evening.

    But, seriously, WHAT is UP with all these channels shifting from their original premise?! Cartoon Network doesn’t want to play cartoons anymore, TV Land doesn’t want to play classics anymore, MTV doesn’t play music videos anymore, TBS has been trying to phase out Seinfeld, and apparently by law of the FCC, all channels must have a minimum of seven reality shows on their lineup… what’s up?!

  • RJ says:

    Frankly, I don’t know why there even IS a Hallmark Channel. It started as a religious channel and early last decade became something of a “family friendly” channel. I guess only older folks were watching and not enough families.

    Also, remember when AMC was American Movie Classics and showed older movies without commercials? I’m a bit torn about this one, though, because I love Mad Men, so I suppose AMC can be forgiven for shifting its format.

  • Eye of the Hawk says:

    Ughhh…. again??!!

  • Mrs. Frank Burns says:

    BDOR, I hear you! You’ve read my mind.

    Up until a ten months, AMC was playing the oldie-goldies, with the Dollars Trilogy, and the Dirty Harry and Death Wish franchises, among others. I guess they still are showing the Saturday morning westerns, though. And at least every New Year’s Eve, they air The Three Stooges marathon.

    Luckily, around the time when they started showing ‘newer’ movies, I started to recieve TCM for the first time. Even though TCM is heavy on the movies from the 30s and 20s, I’ve learned to love it. I especially love their Silent Sunday Nights.

  • PinkPagoda says:

    I love the old movies. Hallmark has become very predictable, and redundant. The only thing I really watch on it is MASH, and at Christmas, they have good specials. And I’m in the demographic they are trying to reach. I’m telling you, 7th Heaven ain’t gonna do it for me. It was corny when it came out, and it’s corny now. Like a more anemic Waltons (if there is such a thing) in modern times with money.

    I guess I need to break down, get the DVDs and just forget watching MASH on television.

    And as long as we are on the subject – whatever happened to the History Channel showint History during prime time? I don’t care about Ax Men, Deadliest Catch, or Modern Marvels – and most of the time I’m not too crazy about the inane reruns on Monster Quest. They NEVER catch the monster!!

  • PinkPagoda says:

    Sorry, – showing NOT showint. No edit button.

  • TWoods says:

    PinkPagoda – you hit the nail right on the head. I only watch Hallmark for MASH and Christmas movies. Nothing else appeals to me on that channel. My DVDs will be getting a lot of action! 😉 And the shows on the History Channel have nothing to do with history….And being a Classical Music aficionado – A&E stands for Arts and Entertainment…Ummm – where are the “Arts”?

  • Big Daddy O'Reilly says:

    Aside from M*A*S*H, I’d watch Lucy whenever she was on, but Hallmark’s edits and cuts of the episodes were a bit unusual compared to other channels which made the episodes ever harder to follow.

    Also, is it just me, or has ABC Family’s (keyword, FAMILY) programming gotten really inappropriate for family audiences lately? I can forgive occasional reruns of Who’s Line since it’s on late a night… but I mean, they got shows that do that same desperate attempt to boost ratings by having two of the hot female starts swap spit with each other, then you’ve got an entire show about a teenaged girl who got pregnant… since when was any of that family-friendly entertainment?

  • Mrs. Frank Burns says:

    Actually, every Monday night I would watch 7th Heaven.

    In September, I started my M*A*S*H DVD collection. Even though there are several epsiodes I know by heart from watching them on TV, I’m so shocked when I watch them on the DVD. With a handful of scenes cut out in syndication, said episode seem foreign to me.

  • RJ says:

    M*A*S*H is nowhere to be found on the Hallmark Channel schedule through March 13th. But you can watch The Golden Girls, America’s Funniest Home Videos and Cheers. If Hallmark is trying to shift away from off-network fare, it is doing it very slowly.

    It is always possible that Hallmark’s window to air M*A*S*H has closed. But that doesn’t seem to be the case. While trying to determine how long Hallmark has the rights to the series (I could only find the vague phrase “multiyear deal”) I came across the following post at Hallmark Channel’s Facebook page, of all places:

    Hallmark Channel USA
    Matthew,
    First of all thanks for letting us know how you feel. We love praise, but its important to know when our fans have something else to say, too. Also, let us apologize. You are right, we need to do a better job of keeping people up to date on schedule changes. We will try to do that on this page and on our twitter feed @hallmarkchannel. MASH will return to Hallmark Channel, but we don’t have a firm date to give you. But when it does we will post it right here. Thanks
    February 2 at 10:25pm

    Here is Hallmark’s Twitter page, if people want to keep an eye on it for announcements regarding M*A*S*H.

  • mona says:

    Some of my best memories as a child are watching MASH every evening with my Father when he came home from work. He’s been ill and in and out of hospitals for the better part of two years now and until recently I felt comforted by the idea that we could still enjoy an episode or two of MASH even though he was in the hospital and away from home. I’m sure he feels as disapointed as I do about the decision to take MASH off the air.

  • rick says:

    I have not watched a hallmark show since M*A*S*H was taken off and I will not watch until it returns. I watched a lot of Hallmark shows before but that is over

  • J says:

    Nonsense about the age group thing. I am 20 years old and I love MASH.

    I just bought the entire series back in January. Good thing since Hallmark is once again messing with a good thing. It was bad enough when they got rid of Gilligan and now they are messing around with MASH.

    I used to love 7th Heaven but that show became too much of a soap opera so I don’t watch any of it now.

  • arlo says:

    i am happy hallmark tv put mash back on . i watch all time iam a kornen vet

  • Larry Slaymaker says:

    Please get MASH back on Hallmark. I’m tired of watching extra runs of Little House.

  • traderdan says:

    You’ve got to hand it to Hallmark–go ahead, someone, hand it to them! They put MASH on in 2010 and again, as in 2009, take it off the air at the 3/4 mark. Please advise Hallmark’s programming person that most importantly, there is NO AGE LIMIT APPEAL of this best-TV-series-ever program, unlike 7th Heaven or Little House. Just as MASH applies to all wars, quite frankly, it’s ageless in appeal. As it stands, you have two or three Christmas programs worth a view, and that’s it! Congratulations! You’re getting good at this. We don’t write these Emails for our health, but it would be nice if just one channel would listen. Bring MASH back and leave it on!

  • PinkPagoda says:

    You can catch 4 episodes of MASH in the wee hours on TV Land – 4, 4:30 5, and 5:30 am, So if you DVR or Tivo, you can get those episodes right now. (I know it isn’t Hallmark, but didn’t know where to put it)

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