AfterMASH

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AfterMASH
AfterMASH title screen
The AfterMASH title screen (season 1)
Format Sitcom
Starring Harry Morgan
Jamie Farr
William Christopher
Rosalind Chao
John Chappell
Jay O. Sanders
Barbara Townsend
David Ackroyd
Anne Pitoniak
Peter Michael Goetz
Brandis Kemp
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 29
Production
Executive producer(s) Burt Metcalfe
Running time 22–25 minutes
Production company(s) 20th Century Fox Television
Distributor 20th Television
Broadcast
Original channel CBS
Original run September 26, 1983 (1983-09-26) – May 31, 1985 (1985-05-31)
Chronology
Preceded by M*A*S*H
Followed by W*A*L*T*E*R

AfterMASH is an American situation comedy that aired on CBS from September 26, 1983, to May 31, 1985. A spin-off of the series M*A*S*H, the show takes place immediately following the end of the Korean War and chronicles the adventures of three characters from the original series: Colonel Potter (played by Harry Morgan), Klinger (played by Jamie Farr) and Father Mulcahy (played by William Christopher). M*A*S*H supporting cast-member Kellye Nakahara joined them, albeit off-camera, as the voice of the hospital's public address system. Rosalind Chao rounded out the starring cast as Soon-Lee Klinger, a Korean refugee whom Klinger met, fell in love with and married in the M*A*S*H series finale "Goodbye, Farewell and Amen."

AfterMASH premiered in the fall of 1983 in the same Monday night 9:00 P.M. EST. time slot as its predecessor M*A*S*H. It finished 10th out of all network shows for the 1983-1984 season according to Nielsen Media Research television ratings. For its second season CBS moved the show to Tuesday nights at 8:00 EST., opposite NBC's top ten hit The A-Team, and launched a marketing campaign featuring illustrations by Sanford Kossin of Max Klinger in a nurse's uniform, shaving off Mr. T's signature mohawk, theorizing that AfterMASH would take a large portion of The A-Team's audience.[1] The theory, however, was proven wrong. In fact, the exact opposite occurred, as AfterMASH's ratings plummeted to near the bottom of the television rankings and the show was canceled nine episodes into its second season, while The A-Team continued until 1987, with 97 episodes.

In 1999, Time Magazine listed the show as one of the 100 worst ideas of the century, and in 2002, TV Guide listed the show as the seventh-worst TV series ever.[2]

Synopsis[edit]

Season one[edit]

In the one-hour pilot episode "September of '53/Together Again", Colonel Potter returned home from Korea to his wife Mildred (Barbara Townsend) in Hannibal, Missouri. He soon found retirement stifling, and Mildred suggested he return to work. Potter was soon hired by the cartoonish hospital administrator Mike D'Angelo (John Chappell) as the chief of staff at General Pershing Veteran's Hospital ("General General"), located in the fictional River Bend, Missouri.

Max Klinger had found himself in trouble with the law in Toledo. Colonel Potter wrote to him and offered him a job as his administrative assistant. Klinger's nemesis at General General was D'Angelo's executive secretary Alma Cox (Brandis Kemp), a mean-spirited woman who was forever trying to "get the goods" on him, from giving him a day to prepare for a civil service exam to rifling through his desk.

Father Mulcahy, whose hearing was damaged in the final episode of M*A*S*H, was suffering from depression and drinking heavily. Potter arranged for Mulcahy to receive an operation at another VA Hospital in St. Louis. After his hearing was surgically corrected, he stopped drinking and joined Potter and Klinger at "General General" as its Catholic chaplain.

Also on hand was the idealistic, talented, and often hungry young resident surgeon Gene Pfeffier (Jay O. Sanders), attractive secretary Bonnie Hornbeck (Wendy Schaal), who had an eye for Klinger, and old-timer Bob Scannell (Patrick Cranshaw) who served under then-Sergeant Potter in World War I and was now a hospital resident of 35 years (thanks to his exposure to mustard gas). Unlike the other patients and staff who addressed Potter by his retired rank of colonel, Scannell called him "Sarge" at Potter's request.

Halfway through the first season, Dr. Boyer (David Ackroyd) was introduced as a hardened veteran who lost a leg in Korea and had a hard time adjusting to civilian life. Despite only having signed on for two episodes,[3] his character began appearing more often towards the end of the season, so often that Dr. Pfeiffer was suddenly pulled from the cast after Dr. Boyer's debut episode.

The only other main character from the original series to appear on AfterMASH was Radar (played by Gary Burghoff), who appeared in a first season two-part episode. As Potter, Klinger, and Mulcahy prepare to head to Iowa for Radar's wedding, Radar shows up in a panic at Potter's house in Missouri, believing his intended fiancée has cheated on him in "It Had To Be You". The Radar character later appeared in a pilot called W*A*L*T*E*R, in which Radar moved from Iowa to St. Louis, after his wife left him on his wedding night, and became a police officer. (The series was never picked up, and the pilot was aired in July 1984 as a TV special on CBS exclusively in the Eastern and Central timezones; the show was pre-empted in Pacific and Mountain timezones by the 1984 Democratic National Convention.)

The season included home scenes with the Potters, most notably when they were deluged with guests in "Thanksgiving of '53", and Potter tried to keep the phone occupied so Klinger couldn't call his relatives, who were on the way over to surprise him; this episode also marked the only onscreen appearance of Potter's oft-mentioned daughter, Evvy Ennis, and Potter's grandson, Corey. One of the season's standout episodes was the Emmy-nominated "Fall Out", where Potter and Pfeffier considered leaving General General, but reconsidered when they linked the leukemia seen in a patient with exposure to atomic testing; writer-director Larry Gelbart received a Peabody Award for this episode. The season closed in March with Klinger being arrested for decking a shady real estate agent as pregnant Soon Lee went into labor. In May, CBS announced the show was renewed for a second season.

Season two[edit]

Season Two opened with Klinger escaping from the River Bend County Jail to attend the birth of his child and remaining a fugitive until a judge sent him to the psychiatric unit at General General, where Klinger feigned insanity to avoid prison and the Potters took in Soon Lee and the (as yet unnamed) baby. Mike D'Angelo was transferred to Montana and was replaced by smarmy new administrator Wally Wainwright (Peter Michael Goetz). Anne Pitoniak was brought in to replace Barbara Townsend as Mildred Potter. David Ackroyd was promoted to a regular cast member after multiple guest appearances in the second half of the first season. An attractive new psychiatrist, Dr. Lenore Dudziak (Wendy Girard) arrived to begin the daunting task of evaluating Klinger, while Potter was horrified that Wainwright assigned Alma Cox as his new secretary.

The recurring M*A*S*H character Colonel Flagg (played by Edward Winter) appeared in the second season, now working for an unspecified intelligence agency whose agents are authorised to carry sidearms in their shoes; he is only too eager to testify against Klinger in "Trials". Character actors Arliss Howard, Timothy Busfield, William Sadler, and David Graf all appeared as patients.

Only three other characters from M*A*S*H were ever mentioned in the sequel series. Hawkeye was referenced in the one-hour opening episode in a voice-over thought by Mulcahy. Frank Burns was mentioned once in the first season (Episode #14: "Chief of Staff") and once in the second season, both times by Sherman Potter. In a second season episode (#26: "Madness To His Method"), Dr. Potter writes a letter to Sidney Freedman, who is mentioned as now working at the University of Chicago, but does not appear in the episode. There is also a touching moment at the end of the "Chief of Staff" episode in which Potter is surprised to see that his hospital office has been redecorated with his desk, paintings, saddle, and other items from the 4077th as "Suicide is Painless" is played; Potter's portrait of Radar and his group portrait of Hawkeye, BJ, Houlihan, Winchester, Klinger, and Mulcahy (from the 10th season episode "Picture This") continued to be seen in his office through the remainder of the sequel series. In the W*A*L*T*E*R pilot, interviewer Clete Roberts is seen on TV mentioning that he had recently interviewed Hawkeye, and Radar mentions a picture he keeps in his wallet of him with Hawkeye, LTC Blake, and Major Houlihan.

In the next-to-last filmed episode, "Saturday's Heroes", the Klingers' baby is finally named. This episode (the final broadcast of the series) aired on May 31, 1985. (Several sources incorrectly claim that this episode ran on December 11, 1984, which was the originally intended air date for this episode. However, CBS had put the series "on hiatus" just a few days earlier and abruptly pulled the episode from the scheduled airing of December 11, even though it had been advertised in several newspaper listings and in TV Guide for that date.)

Format[edit]

AfterMASH made frequent references to M*A*S*H, and likewise featured storylines that highlighted the horrors and suffering of war, from the non-combat perspective of a veteran's hospital. The series was canceled after twenty-nine broadcast episodes. "Wet Feet", the thirtieth episode, was never aired.

Characters[edit]

  • Note: Similar to the list on the M*A*S*H page, this table counts double episodes as 2 episodes, and therefore there are 22 episodes in the first season (with the first episode being double length), and 8 episodes in the second season, since "Wet Feet" was never aired, the total being 30.
Actor Role Years Seasons Episodes
Harry Morgan Col. Sherman Potter 1983-1985 1–2 30
Jamie Farr Maxwell Klinger 1983-1985 1–2 30
William Christopher Father John Mulcahy 1983-1985 1–2 30
Kellye Nakahara PA Announcer 1983-1985 1–2 27
Rosalind Chao Soon-Lee Klinger 1983-1985 1–2 24
Barbara Townsend and Anne Pitoniak Mildred Potter 1983-1984, 1984-1985 1, 2 (actress replaced between seasons) 20
Brandis Kemp Alma Cox 1983-1985 1–2 20
John Chappell Mike D'Angelo 1983-1984 1 19
Patrick Cranshaw Bob Scannell 1983-1985 1–2 (absent from last few episodes of Season 2) 19
Jay O. Sanders Dr. Gene Pfeiffer 1983-1984 1 (first half) 14
David Ackroyd Dr. Mark Boyer 1984-1985 1 (second half)–2 13
Peter Michael Goetz Wally Wainwright 1984-1985 2 6
Gary Burghoff Walter "Radar" O'Reilly 1984 1 2
Edward Winter Samuel Flagg 1984 2 1

Episode list[edit]

Season One (1983 - 1984)[edit]

# Title Director[n 1] Writer[n 1] Original airdate Production Code[n 2]
1 "September of '53" Burt Metcalfe Larry Gelbart September 26, 1983 (1983-09-26) 2E01
A fresh-from-Korea and bored Potter takes a job as Chief of Staff at the General Pershing VA Hospital. He writes a letter to a struggling Klinger, offering him the job of secretary, and Klinger accepts.
2 "Together Again" Nick Havinga Larry Gelbart September 26, 1983 (1983-09-26) 2E02
Potter arranges for a depressed, alcoholic Father Mulcahy to come to St. Louis for ear surgery and he eventually decides to take a job as the hospital chaplain.
3 "Klinger vs. Klinger" Will Mackenzie Ken Levine, David Isaacs October 3, 1983 (1983-10-03) 2E03
Klinger and Soon-Lee argue about Soon-Lee wanting to get a job, Potter and Pfeiffer operate on a patient without proper identification, and Mulcahy rushes to write his monthly report.
4 "Snap, Crackle, Plop" Nick Havinga Dennis Koenig October 10, 1983 (1983-10-10) 2E04
Klinger takes his civil service exam on less than 12 hours' notice, Potter tries to get D'Angelo, who'd rather buy a new canopy, to get a new autoclave, and Mulcahy deals with a patient who thinks God is trying to kill him.
5 "Staph Inspection" Burt Metcalfe Ken Levine, David Isaacs October 17, 1983 (1983-10-17) 2E07
Potter deals with a dying WWI friend and patient, Klinger tries to get organized, and Mulcahy tries to control a flasher, all while a staph infection grips the hospital and an inspection is on its way.
6 "Night Shift" Edward H. Feldman Everett Greenbaum, Elliott Reed October 24, 1983 (1983-10-24) 2E06
During the night shift at the hospital, Pfeiffer deals with fatigue and overwork, Mulcahy helps a patient see his son, and Klinger searches for missing mattresses, while Potter tries to get back home to a fancy dinner with his wife.
7 "Shall We Dance" Will Mackenzie Ken Levine, David Isaacs October 31, 1983 (1983-10-31) 2E05
Alma tries to get From Here to Eternity (novel) banned from General Pershing, while Pfeiffer tries to win the affections of Alma's secretary Bonnie, who only has eyes for Klinger.
8 "Little Broadcast of '53" Burt Metcalfe Dennis Koenig November 7, 1983 (1983-11-07) 2E08
During an October week at General General, a new nurse adjusts to hospital work and hijinks, Klinger begins to do lunchtime P.A. broadcasts, and Mulcahy deals with a clingy patient.
9 "Sunday, Cruddy Sunday" Nick Havinga Dennis Koenig November 14, 1983 (1983-11-14) 2E09
On Visitor's Day at General Pershing, D'Angelo flirts with Mildred Potter's niece, much to Alma's chagrin, a freelance preacher gives false hope to patients, and a healthy man tries to get admitted.
10 "Thanksgiving of '53" Burt Metcalfe Ken Levine, David Isaacs November 21, 1983 (1983-11-21) 2E10
It's the first Thanksgiving at home since Korea, and the Potters are deluged with guests, including a camera-bug Mulcahy, all the Klingers from Toledo, a mooching Pfeiffer, and a lonely D'Angelo. Notably, Potter's daughter and grandchildren, who were often mentioned in the original series, appear in this episode.
11 "Fallout" Larry Gelbart Larry Gelbart December 5, 1983 (1983-12-05) 2E12
Potter and Pfeiffer consider leaving the bureaucratic VA hospital, but a patient who contracted leukemia from government atomic testing bring them back. Larry Gelbart was nominated for the Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series Emmy after directing this episode.
12 "The Bladder Day Saints" Nick Havinga Everett Greenbaum, Elliott Reid December 12, 1983 (1983-12-12) 2E11
During the annual bladder inspection for local vets, Pfeiffer deals with his first death, a patient tries to fake back pain to stay in the hospital, and Klinger begins to feel uncomfortable when he meets a friend from Korea who didn't come back whole.
13 "All About Christmas Eve" Burt Metcalfe Dennis Koenig December 19, 1983 (1983-12-19) 2E13
On Christmas Eve, the Klingers announce they are having a baby and a depressed Alma consoles herself by trying to fire Klinger.
14 "Chief of Staff" Burt Brinckerhoff Gordon Mitchell January 2, 1984 (1984-01-02) 2E15
As Klinger plans a special surprise for Col. Potter's birthday, Mr. D' Angelo finds out he needs prostate surgery, and a Southern African-American nurse finds it hard to adjust to an integrated hospital.
15 "C.Y.A." Burt Brinckerhoff Janis Hirsch January 9, 1984 (1984-01-09) 2E14
Father Mulcahy fights bureaucracy to get the V.A. to pay for his ear surgery and another patient's transportation, Klinger helps out a paralyzed patient, and the hospital scrambles to find a missing patient.
16 "Yours Truly, Max Klinger" Burt Metcalfe Ken Levine, David Isaacs January 16, 1984 (1984-01-16) 2E16
Klinger writes Radar a letter about recent events in his life, including Soon-Lee being pregnant with his child, his struggle to sell frozen beef to make a little extra money, and a troublesome new surgeon, Dr. Boyer. This episode is the last appearance of Jay O. Sanders as Dr. Gene Pfeiffer, the first appearance of David Ackroyd as Dr. Boyer, and features a guest appearance by Gary Burghoff reprising his role as Radar O'Reilly.
17 "It Had to Be You" Larry Gelbart Dennis Koenig, Ken Levine, David Isaacs January 23, 1984 (1984-01-23) 2E17
Radar takes refuge at the Potters' after he discovers his fiancee was unfaithful. Meanwhile, Doctor Boyer finds it hard to approach women at a local bar.
18 "Odds and Ends" Peter Levin Everett Greenbaum, Elliott Reid January 30, 1984 (1984-01-30) 2E18
Klinger resorts to gambling to get money for the coming baby, and Mulcahy helps Scannell write a new will before Scannell goes under the knife.
19 "Another Saturday Night" Jamie Farr Dennie Koenig (story)
Ken Levine, David Isaacs (teleplay)
February 6, 1984 (1984-02-06) 2E19
With the Mrs. out of town for the night, Dr. Potter heads for the local bar for a meal and someone to talk to. Meanwhile, on Potter's advice, D'Angelo begins to socialize with the hospital patients, but causes more harm than help, and Klinger tries to keep up with Soon-Lee's cravings.
20 "Fever Pitch" Burt Metcalfe Dennis Koenig February 27, 1984 (1984-02-27) 2E21
A hot day brings a patient who needs his fever cooled. Dr. Boyer wants to use a cooling blanket, but it isn't V.A. approved, so he turns to Klinger to get one. Meanwhile, Father Mulcahy is in search of a new place to stay, after life in the rectory turns substandard.
21 "By the Book" Gabrielle Beaumont Larry Balmagia March 5, 1984 (1984-03-05) 2E20
Mulcahy must stop a man who thinks he is Superman from endangering other patients.
22 "Up and Down Payments" Burt Metcalfe Ken Levine, David Isaacs March 12, 1984 (1984-03-12) 2E22
Klinger gets arrested for punching a crooked real estate agent. Soon-Lee goes into labor.

Season Two (1984 - 1985)[edit]

# Title Director[n 1] Writer[n 1] Original airdate Production Code[n 2]
23 "Less Miserables" Burt Metcalfe Ken Levine, David Isaacs, Dennis Koenig September 23, 1984 (1984-09-23)[n 3] 2W01
While Soon-Lee is being rushed to the delivery room, Klinger stands in a jail cell worried about his wife, and later conspires with another inmate in order to make his escape. Meanwhile, V.A. Administrator Burt Philbrick (Max Wright) tours the hospital, later informing Dr. Potter that Mr. D'Angelo has been replaced. Soon-Lee gives birth to her son, with Max at her side, after he tells everyone he is going to hide out at the hospital.
24 "Calling Doctor Habibi" Hy Averback Dennis Koenig, Ken Levine, David Isaacs September 25, 1984 (1984-09-25) 2W02
Wally Wainwright arrives and immediately runs into Klinger, who is still on the run from the law. After introducing himself as Dr. Habibi, Klinger is asked to show Mr. Wainwright around. Meanwhile, Alma is demoted to Potter's clerk and Boyer tries to prove himself to Wainwright, despite his prosthetic leg.
25 "Strangers and Other Lovers" Burt Metcalfe Dennis Koenig October 2, 1984 (1984-10-02) 2W03
Potter tries to deal with the overbearing Alma Cox, Boyer beds the wife of a patient, and Klinger is finally arrested.
26 "Trials" Charles S. Dubin Ken Levine, David Isaacs October 9, 1984 (1984-10-09) 2W04
Max Klinger's trial finally takes place, with the result of Klinger being found not guilty by reason of insanity. Klinger is also ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation at General General. Meanwhile, at the hospital, Mr. Wainwright forces Dr. Boyer into performing a difficult operation. Edward Winter reprises his M*A*S*H role of Colonel Flagg to testify against Klinger.
27 "Madness to His Method" Burt Metcalfe Tom Straw October 16, 1984 (1984-10-16) 2W05
Dr. Potter writes to Dr. Sidney Freeman about recent events at the hospital, including news of the hospital's brand new psychiatrist, Dr. Lenore Dudziak (Wendy Girard), who has arrived to perform Klinger's psychological evaluation. Meanwhile, Boyer flirts with Dudziak, Potter tries to connect with a silent patient, and Wainwright decides to serve deluxe meals in the cafeteria to prevent malcontent from the patients.
28 "The Recovery Room" Charles S. Dubin Jay Folb October 30, 1984 (1984-10-30) 2W06
The Klinger baby causes friction between Mr. and Mrs. Potter, while Klinger tries to get mental disability from the VA and Dudziak tries to convince Boyer to attend group therapy. Meanwhile, Dr. Andy Caldwell arrives at the hospital for an internship.
29 "Ward Is Hell" Burt Metcalfe Ken Levine, David Isaacs, Dennis Koenig December 4, 1984 (1984-12-04) 2W09
Klinger runs a hospital lottery, but trouble ensues when Soon-Lee has the winning ticket. Meanwhile, Dr. Boyer is laid up with a staph infection, bringing his anger and bad attitude to the post-op ward.
30 "Saturday's Heroes" Burt Metcalfe Ken Levine, David Isaacs May 31, 1985 (1985-05-31)[n 4] 2W07
Attempts are weekend romances are interrupted when the Potters' car breaks down and Wainwright revokes passes for the psychiatric ward. Elsewhere, the Klinger baby is christened and named.
31[n 4] "Wet Feet" Hy Averback Dennis Koenig Not Aired in America[n 4] 2W08
A Missouri thunderstorm leads Alma to practice her role as the hospital Civil Defense officer, the doctors to take refuge at a supply room poker game, and a mental patient to lock himself in the hospital fallout shelter after mistaking the storm for nuclear war. [4]
32[n 5] "All Day All Night, Mary Ann" Ken Levine, David Isaacs Not Produced[n 5] None[n 5]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Credits from episode title cards
  2. ^ a b Production Code from end credits
  3. ^ The premiere episode of the second season aired in a time slot different from the regular schedule.
  4. ^ a b c The episode "Wet Feet" was set to air at 8:30 p.m. on May 31, 1985, immediately after the airing of "Saturday's Heroes" but was pre-empted by an unannounced CBS news documentary with Dan Rather. "Saturday's Heroes" was originally scheduled to air Dec. 11, 1984, before CBS put the series on hiatus and abruptly pulled the episode.
  5. ^ a b c The script for "All Day All Night, Mary Ann" was written but the episode was never produced.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.bayraider.tv/2006/10/mash_versus_the.html
  2. ^ TV Guide Book of Lists. Running Press. 2007. p. 181. ISBN 0-7624-3007-9. 
  3. ^ King, Richard (19 February 1984). "Ackroyd is the Latest 'AfterMASH' Addition". The Index-Journal. Retrieved 25 August 2014. 
  4. ^ Koenig, Dennis. "Wet Feet" (in Czech). AfterMASH. TV Nova.

External links[edit]