Video Rarities: CBS Fall 1972 Sunday Night Promo with M*A*S*H


Here’s a 60-second promotional spot for Sunday night programming on CBS from the start of the 1972-1973 television season.

Take a look at the lineup CBS offered viewers in September 1972:

 7:30PM Anna and the King (New)
 8:00PM M*A*S*H (New)
 8:30PM The Sandy Duncan Show (New)
 9:00PM The New Dick Van Dyke Show
 9:30PM Mannix

Both Anna and the King and The Sandy Duncan Show were gone by December 1972. M*A*S*H survived the 1972-1973 season and, as we all know, remained on the air until February 1983.

If you watch closely, you’ll see one or two brief scenes that don’t appear in the broadcast version of “M*A*S*H — The Pilot,” including one of a camp dentist yanking a tooth out of someone’s mouth.

This video was originally uploaded to YouTube in 2012. I’m glad I downloaded it because the video later disappeared from YouTube at some point.

3 Replies to “Video Rarities: CBS Fall 1972 Sunday Night Promo with M*A*S*H”

  1. That scene with Painless Pole (the dentist) really jumped out at me while watching this, because yeah, we never saw that in the actual episode.

    I’m still convinced there were two different versions of the pilot, and that one of them was never aired. “Our Finest Hour” is evidence of such, because not only does the clip of Margaret and Frank spying on Hawkeye and Dish contain some additional, extended footage of Frank muttering, “Animals. . . .” that we never saw in the actual episode itself, the use of canned laughter in the clips from the pilot in “Our Finest Hour” differ from the canned laughter used in those scenes from the actual broadcast episode.

    If only there was some way to learn the truth.

  2. CBS made some really odd choices in what snippets to use here to attract people to make the effort to watch this new show. “The Sandy Duncan Show” honestly looks FAR funnier and more interesting than this “M*A*S*H” program, from what we see here!

  3. Here’s your answer… or at least narrows it down to two things:
    1. A new series will always shoot some promo material to use before the show’s premiere. So the scene with Painless could have been promo material.
    2. The pilot was clearly long – witness how the opening scene (i.e., the extended theme song scenes) was cut down for syndication. This scene could have been cut from the pilot or the dailies for the pilot, and never made it into the episode. Obviously the scene of Dish running in the opening never made it into the series as a whole as she appeared in only one more episode.

    Lastly, as to your question about Our Finest Hour – I believe RJ did an extended piece on that episode. In a nutshell, that show was basically produced, on video, by a promo house in Burbank. CBS wanted two extra half-hours. The main staff was exhausted, so the idea was to bring back Clete Roberts and create a clip-show version of “The Interview.” The interstitials were new but obviously clips were not. The promo house in Burbank put it together on video, which is why the credits look brighter on that episode, and, of course, the actual credits are people who never touched another episode of M*A*S*H (for the most part). Our Finest Hour was rebuilt, from scratch, as part of the remastering of the episodes in 2020 – so if you look at it on iTunes (for example), it should track a lot better. I personally like seeing M*A*S*H in 16:9 HD, but I know others have a difference of opinion. I think we can all agree every scene is sharper and clearer.

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