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 “A Series Ends,” which includes comments from Mike Farrell, Burt Metcalfe, Elias Davis, David Pollock, Loretta Swit, and William Christopher:
This segment covers how the decision was made to end the series. According to Mike Farell, while filming a scene with Alan Alda during Season 10 the two discussed how long M*A*S*H would go on. “I’d always thought about 10 years,” Alda told him. “Once we knew the wheels were in motion to end the show,” says Burt Metcalfe, “then we knew we were going to do this two-hour show.”
According to Farrell, “we had a this long talk and some disagreed and some agreed and finally we all came to an agreement and we let it be known to the studio and the network that we wanted to bring M*A*S*H to an end and we wanted an episode to end the war.” Although he doesn’t specify who was involved in this long talk, he’s probably talking about the so-called “vote” the cast took during Season 10 about whether to continue. Reportedly only Harry Morgan, Jamie Farr, and William Christopher wanted to keep going and the disagreements Farrell mentions were probably those three arguing against ending the series.
David Pollock admits the finale wasn’t as funny as many episodes because “we didn’t want to be frivolous about the final show.” Loretta Swit recalls how “tough” and “poignant” it was to read through the final script. William Christopher jokes about his hair turning grey by the end because the series lasted so long.
Check back tomorrow at 12PM ET for the next MeTV interview.