Catching Up on the News

The world didn’t grind to a halt while I was on hiatus. Here, in no particular order, are some newsworthy M*A*S*H-related goings-on from the past five months:

M*A*S*H America’s Third Favorite TV Show of All Time

According to a March survey conducted by Harris Interactive, adults in the United States ranked M*A*S*H their third favorite television show of all time, behind current CBS dramas NCIS and CSI. That’s down one spot from 2009 but still pretty good for a show that has been off the air for almost three decades. Other shows in the top ten include Seinfeld, Star Trek, Friends and I Love Lucy/The Lucy Show. Among those earning $75k-$99.9k, M*A*S*H is the number one favorite.

In 2009, M*A*S*H was the favorite show in seven different groups, including Men, Baby Boomers (47-65), College grad, Post grad and Midwest. I find it particularly interesting that the show was so popular among boomer and college/graduate students in 2009. NCIS is now the favorite in both those groups, as well as the bulk of the other surveyed groups. (Harris Interactive, Marketing Charts)

Loretta Swit Launches Art Gallery Website

Earlier this year, Loretta Swit launched an art gallery website — SwitHeartGallery.com — where nearly two dozen paintings and sketches are available for sale. There’s also section called M*A*S*H Memorabilia, where Swit will post memorabilia/collectibles from her 11 years on M*A*S*H, but it has yet to be updated.

Director Jackie Cooper Passes Away at 88

Jackie Cooper, who managed to parlay a wildly successful child acting career into a successful acting/directing career as an adult, passed away on May 3rd at the age of 88. In 1931, at the age of nine, he was nominated for a Best Actor Academy Award for Skippy (he lost, but remains the youngest nominee). In the 1950s, he transitioned from the big screen to the small screen, starring in The People’s Choice from 1955 to 1959 and Hennessy from 1959 to 1962. Between 1978 and 1987 he played Perry White in the Superman film series starring Christopher Reeve.

Cooper directed 13 episodes of M*A*S*H between 1973 and 1974, the bulk of which were broadcast during the 1973-1974 season (the show’s second). Episodes he directed include “The Ringbanger,” “Divided We Stand,” “Radar’s Report,” “The Sniper,” “Hot Lips and Empty Arms” and “The Chosen People.” Cooper won an Emmy Award in 1974 for directing “Carry On, Hawkeye.” He also directed the pilot episode of Trapper John, M.D. in 1979. (New York Times)

M*A*S*H’s Television Presence Dwindles

As far as I can tell based on schedules available online, M*A*S*H no longer has a regular presence on television outside of MeTV, a new digital network with limited national availability. The series has not been seen on Hallmark Channel since July of 2010, was relegated to late night weekend filler on ION in September of 2010, and was removed from its regular early morning time slot on TV Land in April of 2011. MeTV, which stands for Memorable Television, launched nationally in December of 2010 and according to this April press release has clearance in 45% of the country. M*A*S*H airs from 7-8PM and 10-10:30PM Monday-Friday, 7-8PM on Saturday, and 7-8PM and 11PM-12AM on Sundays. You can check to see if a station near you is affiliated with MeTV here.

TV Land Memorial Day Marathons

Still, TV Land has not entirely given up on M*A*S*H. The cable channel will air several M*A*S*H marathons over the Memorial Day weekend (May 28th-30th), primarily two-part episodes and one-hour episodes split into two episodes for syndication. “Memories of M*A*S*H” and the “30th Anniversary Reunion Special” will both air twice. The first marathon kicks off at 2AM on Saturday, May 28th and runs until 8AM. The second begins at 2AM on Sunday, May 29th and runs until 8AM, with “Memories of M*A*S*H” airing from 6-7:30AM. The third marathon begins at 8PM on Sunday, May 29th and ends at 6AM on Monday, May 30th, with “Memories of M*A*S*H” airing from 9-10:30PM and the “30th Anniversary Reunion Special” from 2-4AM.

The fourth marathon gets the prime time treatment, beginning at 8PM on Monday, May 30th until 6AM on Tuesday, May 31st. The series finale airs from 8-11PM and the “30th Anniversary Reunion Special” follows from 11PM-1AM. (TV Land Online Schedule)

Misc. M*A*S*H

While I was searching for news relating to M*A*S*H, I came across the following articles that might be of interest. Many involve members of the cast and their current projects, which I usually don’t post about because they aren’t connected to the series. But I thought I would make an exception today:

  • Mike Farrell surprised students at El Toro High School in Lake Forest, California by showing up opening night for their production of MASH, the play. (The Orange County Register)

  • MASH — the play — is also being staged in Buxton, England by the Chapel Players. (Buxton Advertiser)

  • Jamie Farr is starring in Tuesdays with Morrie through July 31st at the Stage West All Suite Hotel in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. (Toronto Star, Mississauga News, Stage West Mississauga)

  • Maggie Gylleneal will star in a reading of Alan Alda’s new play, Radiance: The Passion of Marie Curie, which will be presented on June 1st as part of the 2011 World Science Festival’s Opening Night Gala Celebration at the Lincoln Center in New York City. She replaces Meryl Streep, who had to withdraw due to a scheduling conflict. (World Science Festival, Theater Mania)

  • Wayne Rogers: “M*A*S*H was very good to me.” (The Arizona Republic)

  • Don Zollinger, a 92-year-old veteran living in Porterville, California, served with Richard Hooker during the Korean War and discusses his experience in South Korea with a reporter for the Porterville Recorder. He was stationed with Hooker at the 8055th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, which served as the basis for the 4077th. Zollinger, who had to be dragged to see the film when it was released, says Radar was based on someone in his unit but there was no real life counterpart to Hot Lips Houlihan. The series “picked up, played with and embellished” incidents that actually occurred, but Zollinger says there were many differences between the real war and the television one. (Porterville Recorder)

If you’re aware of something newsworthy pertaining to M*A*S*H that I’ve missed, please post about it in the comments.

3 Comments

  • Eric says:

    Loretta Swit has posted some of her items to the Celebrity Attic. None of them are MASH related…yet!

  • pinkpagoda says:

    Jaime Farr will be appearing in Jacksonville, Florida this fall (starting in September) at the Alhambra Dinner Theater in “Lend me a Tenor”. I already have the owner setting up a meet and greet for me, so let me know if anyone will be in town.

  • 5 O'Clock Charlie says:

    Seeing as how I’m in the Toronto area, I’ll definitely go and see Jamie Farr’s play in Mississauga.

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