Last night CNN debuted its latest documentary series devoted to a single decade. The Eighties kicked off with a two-hour episode titled “Raised on Television.” I didn’t watch or record the episode but I did pull it up On Demand after reading that M*A*S*H was discussed.
The M*A*S*H segment lasts under two minutes near the start of the episode. It focused on the huge audience for the series finale. It featured brief clips from “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen” as well as archival CBS News footage, all of which were cropped to fit widescreen TV sets. I don’t believe the series was mentioned again during the episode.
Several people were interviewed for the short segment, including former Entertainment Tonight host Mary Hart and scriptwriter Ken Levine, who worked on M*A*S*H from 1976 to 1979.
ESPN reporter Chris Connelly argued that along with the famous “Who Shot J.R.” episode of Dallas in November 1980, the end of M*A*S*H was one of the last pre-cable TV events.
Mike Farrell mentioned how the cast received telegrams from Henry Kissinger and Ronald Reagan. “The size of the response and the emotional nature of the response that we were getting was difficult for us to understand,” he explained.
Farrell was also interviewed live on CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper yesterday afternoon to help preview The Eighties. You can find that interview here.
The Eighties doesn’t appear to be available online but if you may be able to find it On Demand. It also repeats on CNN this Saturday (April 2nd) at 9PM ET.