MeTV Interviews: The Studio Fire

Back in May 2015, MeTV aired “MeTV Remembers the M*A*S*H Finale,” a three-hour special presentation of the series finale featuring new interviews with members of the M*A*S*H cast and creative team. MeTV uploaded those interviews to YouTube in December 2015. Over the next 10 days, I’ll be posting each of the interview segments for everyone to watch and discuss. Read more about the MeTV interviews here.

Today we’re watching and discussing “The Studio Fire,” which includes comments from Alan Alda, Burt Metcalfe, and William Christopher:


Alan Alda didn’t expect “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen” to run as long as it did. He initially thought it would be an hour-and-a-half. But it kept growing. They gave the network a two-hour movie. Then there was a fire at the former Fox Ranch [in October 1982] that destroyed most of the outdoor M*A*S*H set. “We knew that our only choice was to incorporate that into the story,” explains Burt Metcalfe.

The fire was the only reason the finale was expanded, according to William Christopher. Metcalfe called an executive at CBS and offered to deliver an extra half-hour if the network wanted it.

I’m sure everyone at CBS was overjoyed at the chance to sell more commercials for the finale.

Check back tomorrow at 12PM ET for the next MeTV interview.

2 Comments

  • Father Angus says:

    Probably the most significant natural disaster for M*A*S*H.

  • TheSarge68 says:

    Wow, what a cool flashback!
    I remember watching every single episode each and every week with my family and than throwing lines from the latest episodes around class with my homies, most of the gang would know what I was talking about cause everyone watched MASH!, Those were the good old days, back when everyone was still at home, and alive, and since there was only the one TV in the entire house, everyone sat around and we all knew every episode, we all loved the show.
    If we ever missed an episode we would hope that when they would air the repeats during the summer months that we would catch any we didn’t get to see.
    I also recall watching the last regular episode and being real sad knowing that my favorite weekly show was going away for good, It kinda hurt bad enough to where I just couldn’t watch the special stuff after the episode and instead took my girlfriend at the time Nancy out for Pizza and than later regretting not seeing the very last stuff that was aired, So, now I just can’t wait to finally see it all tomorrow, and now knowing that even more recent interviews and other newer stuff have been added, thanks to reading all about it right here on this wonderful website, only makes it a bigger bonus and worth the 33 year year wait to see it all, since they’ve never shown that stuff in the episode reruns!
    Thanks so much for the tip!

    Alan Alda has always been one of my favorite actors.
    Jamie Farr was always a real riot, I remember busting ribs from laughing so hard when he rode the jeep holding the torch ddressed as the Statue of Liberty! LOL ,
    My mom and eldest sis couldn’t wait to see what women’s outfit, dress or gown “Cpl. Klinger” would be wearing each week! LOL

    Has anyone caught the documentary “Behind the Burley Q” about the history of Burlesque shows? It’s definitely worth watching, there are some real nice and also hilarious interviews with Mr Alda and many other famous, semi famous and not so famous actors, musicians and of course all the dancers and many entertainers in it along with some photos and footage of everyone including a very young Alan Alda and also his late dad along with many of the ladies from a now long gone era who are sadly all gone.

    Enjoy!

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