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.