2011 Year In Review

Another year has passed and another pair of M*A*S*H anniversaries were marked. 2011 was the 39th anniversary of the premiere of M*A*S*H (1972-2011) and the 28th anniversary of the end of the series (1983-2011). The biggest news story of the year was the passing of Harry Morgan on December 7th at the age of 96. Morgan’s death attracted a wide variety of media attention. Both TV Land and Me-TV scheduled tribute marathons of M*A*S*H in Morgan’s honor. Mike Farrell, Gary Burghoff and Loretta Swit released statements remembering Morgan. A poll conducted here at MASH4077TV.com asking fans to vote for the best episode of M*A*S*H featuring Morgan saw “Old Soldiers” win with a 45% of the vote, followed by “The General Flipped at Dawn” (26%), “Dear Mildred” (15%), “Potter’s Retirement” (5%), Other (5%) and “Pressure Points” (4%).

Charles S. Dubin, who directed 44 episodes of M*A*S*H (more than any other director) also passed away in 2011 (on September 5th at the age of 92). Other deaths in 2011 included director Jackie Cooper (May 3rd), scriptwriter Burt Styler (June 13th), actor Alan Fudge (October 10th), newscaster Robert Pierpoint (October 22nd) and actor Leonard Stone (November 2nd).

Aside from these sad passings, 2011 was another slow year for M*A*S*H. In March, the series was voted the third favorite television show of all time by adults in the United States, behind only two CBS shows currently on the air (NCIS and CSI). In June, the Associated Press reported that Tony Packo’s restaurant in Toledo, Ohio was in financial trouble (an update: in December two employees of Tony Packo’s Inc. were indicted on charges of aggravated theft and a judge approved the sale of the company). Finally, at some point over the summer ION Life, a specialty digital network related to ION Television, began airing M*A*S*H, although it appears to have since stopped doing so.

For those keeping track, 2012 will mark the 40th anniversary of M*A*S*H. Will there be another reunion special like the 30th Anniversary Reunion Special broadcast on FOX back in 2002? We shall have to wait and see.

Rather than end with the traditional quote from “A War For All Seasons,” which never seemed quite appropriate, here’s an exchange relating to New Year’s Eve from “Hot Lips and Empty Arms” instead:

Margaret: “Did either of you ever kiss Frank?”
Trapper: “Not me. How about you?”
Hawkeye: “I was hoping maybe this New Year’s Eve.
Margaret: “I probably shouldn’t be telling you this, but Frank Burns is a lipless wonder.”


  • Don’t forget there was also that Memories of M*A*S*H reunion special in 1992, so… who knows?

    Asfor 2011 as a whole, it was a great year, much better than 2010 was… not sure how 2012 will turn out, I have this feeling it’ll be a big year full of changes, but since my instincts always turn out to be the opposite, then that must mean 2012 will be a bad year… who knows?

  • pinkpagoda says:

    If you watch the episodes on Me-TV – you will see that much less is cut out. The second background story is there in all the episodes, as well as the ending scenes that are often missing. I actually got to see Hawkeye ride up on the pony, and leave with Trapper on board – when they “won” the pony by finding all of the presidents faces!!

  • Chai says:

    Happy New Year to everyone here!! I want to tell you all how much I enjoy interacting with everyone when we play the ‘Name the Episode’ game on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It is practically the highlight of my week. I know we don’t know each other personally but I’d like to think we would all get along just fine if we happened to meet somewhere, someday.

    Welcome to 2012!!