Friday, February 27, 2015


When M*A*S*H entered its final years, the cast would conduct a vote at the end of each season. If a majority voted to continue the show, everyone would return. If the majority ever voted against continuing the show, it would end. By the 11th season, the majority of the cast had burnt out on the show and the side voting against returning had finally won. Only three Castmembers wanted to continue- Harry Morgan, Jamie Farr and William Christopher.

The show had become a lucrative franchise for CBS and 20th Century Fox. When M*A*S*H hosted a staggering 120 Million viewers for its finale, the network was eager to keep the momentum going. Even if just a fraction of the finale's viewership tuned in to see a spinoff, it would be huge. CBS approached the three Castmembers who wanted the show to continue and proposed a spinoff called AfterM*A*S*H. They quickly agreed.

Unfortunately for Harry, Jamie and William, nobody much cared to see their characters' after war escapades. Colonel Potter without anyone to yell at was a bore; Klinger was no longer funny if he wasn't coming up with schemes to get out of the army and Father Mulcahy was never that interesting to begin with. CBS tried everything to get viewers to watch, including embarrassing advertising campaigns:

Nothing worked; the magic was gone. AfterM*A*S*H was mercifully put out of its misery after one and a half seasons. The show became a mostly forgotten punchline and a poster boy for nonsensical, cash grab spinoffs.