• 41
    Boy Meets World

    Boy Meets World

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    ABC (ended 2000)
    This gentle yet mildly surreal sitcom was part of ABC's "TGIF" lineup aimed at pre-teens and early teens. Its tenure lasted from 1993 through its end in 2000. The people in the world of teenager Cory Matthews (Ben Savage) continue to test his theories about life and relationships, on the fourth season of "Boy Meets World."
    Topanga (Danielle Fishel) is one person who continues to test Cory's outlook and emotions in the ways of young love. Though they are back together again after a bumpy start, anything could happen when it comes to their relationship.
    His best friend, Shawn (Rider Strong), no longer lives with English teacher Jonathan Turner ( Anthony Tyler Quinn), but with his truck-driver dad, who has moved back to town. Cory, who was instrumental in bringing the father and son together, hopes that Shawn's mother will also rejoin the family.
    Cory's older brother, Eric (Will Friedle), failed to get accepted to a four-year college, even after all of his amusing yet sincere efforts to do so. He must now figure out if he's either going to make a fresh start living out of town or stay within the comforts of home.
    Eric isn't the only one trying to decide what's best for his life. Their dad (William Russ) is also at a point where he must decide his future. He's worked at the grocery store since his teenage years and wonders if it isn't time to explore a different career. Fortunately, there's always Cory's mom, Amy (Betsy Randle), to give everyone guidance and all sorts of helpful advice; and his little sister, Morgan (Lindsay Ridgeway), to add her ten-year-old point of view.
    At high school, the ever-present and wise Principal George Feeny (William Daniels) continues to make Cory's and Shawn's lives more challenging. The principal even gets involved with former student Eric as he makes some educational decisions. Feeny, who still lives next door to the Matthews, has a unique way of always seeming to know what unpredictable antics the young men are up to. (ABC Season 4 Press Release)moreless
  • 42
    Silicon Valley

    Silicon Valley

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    HBO
    Silicon Valley is an American sitcom that centers on six programmers who are living together and trying to make it big in Silicon Valley.
  • 43
    Brooklyn Nine-Nine

    Brooklyn Nine-Nine

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    FOX (Returning September 28, 2014)
    Detective Jake Peralta has a light-hearted approach to crime, but things change when he gets a new by-the-book boss.
  • 44
    Nick Cannon Presents Wild 'N Out

    Nick Cannon Presents Wild 'N Out

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    MTV 2
    Nick Cannon and MTV are about to bring the street to the stage with Wild N' Out- A half hour of unpredictable snaps and outrageous situations. Every episode, it's Nick vs. A-List celebrities, as each leads their own team of improv comedians in an attempt to come out on top in a variety of ridiculous comic throw downs. Traditional improv games get a hip-hop twist as Nick and others rip the headlines-and reputations. It all culminates in a freestyle comedy battle to decide who wins fame and who goes home in shame. Don't miss the illest improv on television. Nick Cannon Presents: Wild N' Out:moreless
  • 45
    Melissa & Joey

    Melissa & Joey

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    ABC Family
    Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence star in this ABC Family comedy about a female politician who takes custody of her sister's two children, Lennox and Ryder, after she ends up in jail. Unable to balance her career with the responsibilities of being a new pseudo-mother, Mel (Hart) looks to hire a nanny, who comes in the unexpected form of Joe (Lawrence).moreless
  • 46
    Alias Smith and Jones

    Alias Smith and Jones

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    ABC (ended 1973)
    Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry, two successful and popular outlaw cousins in the old West, decide it´s time to go straight. The problem is that the governor just can´t give them amnesty right away, they have to prove that they deserve it. And in the meantime they will still be wanted. Hunting them is everybody, from sheriffs to bounty hunters, to posses and ordinary people. Hannibal Heyes/Joshua Smith is the thinker, the poker player and the optimist, while Kid Curry/Thaddeus Jones is the quick-drawing worrier who sometimes is a bit slow. Together they are Smith and Jones... Other regular characters include "Big Mac" McCreedy, a wealthy ranch owner, who´s feuding with his next door neighbour, senor Armendariz. Harry Briscoe is an agent with Bannerman detective agency, who´s perhaps not the brightest man around. Clementine Hale is a woman with an enormous zest for life. She owns the only picture of Heyes and the Kid and often uses it to get them to get her out of trouble. This show contained both humour and drama, as well as gunplay, poker games, and chases. It is said to be in part inspired by the movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), but it owes equally to TV series Maverick. (Peter Duel's appearance in most of the first season's episodes, with the black hat and his hair combed back, looks very similar to James Garner as Maverick.) On New Year's Eve, 1971, Peter Duel died from a gunshot wound to the head. The death was officially ruled suicide. Duel was fighting an alcohol addiction (he had been convicted of DWI), had been drinking that night, and was depressed over his legal problems and the state of his career, feeling that Alias Smith and Jones was hardly his best work. The runaway success of Alias Smith abd Jones led to a grueling schedule for the actors, as cast and crew worked overtime to produce more episodes to keep up with public demand, and this may also have played a part. The role of Hannibal Heyes was filled within only a few hours by Roger Davis, who had originally done the voice-overs in the opening credits, but the show´s popularity sank steadily - as did the interest for Western shows in general, and the series was canceled in January 1973.moreless
  • 47
    All in the Family

    All in the Family

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    CBS (ended 1979)
    All in the Family was first seen in January of 1971 and immediately changed the face of television. Not only was this the number one television series from 1971 through 1976, but it also signified an avalanche of other situation comedies that dealt with controversial subjects in realistic ways. Including, Chico & the Man, The Jeffersons, Maude, Good Times and Sanford & Son.

    The series centered around the Bunker family who lived in a home located at 704 Houser Street in Queens, New York. Archie Bunker was the main character, and what a character he was. He was televisons most famous bigot, crass and down right rude. Yet he was loveable, with a soft side just beneath the surface. Edith Bunker was his somewhat dizzy wife whom he called "Dingbat". Edith put up with Archie and had qualities about her that made her one of television's most unforgetable characters. Also living in the Bunker household were Archie and Edith's daughter, Gloria, and her husband Mike, or "Meathead" as Archie called him.

    The stories revolved around many controversial topics including, rape, sex, homosexuality, death, and other topics that were relevant to the 1970's, especially political strife and inflation. Archie Bunker was probably the first character in a situation comedy to use racist remarks referring to blacks and other minorities, yet another first for television.

    Other frequent cast members include, the black neighbors, the Jeffersons, who got their own series, The Jeffersons in 1975. The Lorenzos were also neighbors. In 1975, Gloria had a son, Joey, and three years later in 1978, Gloria, Mike and Joey moved away to California, leaving Edith and Archie alone. Not for long, however. Soon they took in a niece, Stephanie Mills, who had been abandoned by her father.

    The original format ended in 1979 which was when the series was renamed Archie Bunker's Place. The new format centered around Archie running his local tavern which he bought in 1977.

    CBS Broadcast History

    Jan 1971-Jul 1971 Tuesdays 9:30 p.m. Sep 1971-Sep 1975 Saturdays 8:00 p.m. Sep 1975-Sep 1976 Mondays 9:00 p.m. Sep 1976-Oct 1976 Wednesdays 9:00 p.m. Nov 1976-Sep 1977 Saturdays 9:00 p.m. Oct 1977-Oct 1978 Sundays 9:00 p.m. Oct 1978-Sep 1979 Sundays 8:00 p.m.

    Nielsen Ratings: (Top 25 or Better)

    #1 1971-1972 Season #1 1972-1973 Season #1 1973-1974 Season #1 1974-1975 Season #1 1975-1976 Season #12 1976-1977 Season #5 1977-1978 Season #10 1978-1979 Seasonmoreless
  • 48
    Phineas and Ferb

    Phineas and Ferb

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    Disney Channel
    Welcome to the Phineas and Ferb page at TV.com! Looking for something to do when school is out for the summer? Then you should tune in to this hit animated series on the Disney Channels (including Disney XD) as this show can give you all sorts of ideas that two overly creative stepbrothers can come up with during each day to pass the time before school starts in the fall. Of course, in real life, all of them would be impossible to do in one day. But as the master builders they are, Phineas and Ferb are able to bring their grand inventions and structures to life within a few hours, have their fun, and prepare for their next thing to do the next day. In their blended family, Phineas and Ferb are stepbrothers and can come up with the ideas on what to build and do for fun. Phineas' teenage older sister Candace, regards most of what they do as dangerous and unsafe, and in most episodes, tries her best to bust them in their schemes to her mom, Linda Flynn, or occasionally, her stepfather Lawrence Fletcher. However, her efforts are mostly thwarted as the boys' grand structures or inventions miraculously disappear before either parent can see them before arriving home or wherever they're located. Most times, they disappear as a result of their pet, Perry the Platypus, whom unknown to anyone in the family is a secret agent. To the Flynn-Fletcher family, he's a simple-minded pet, but when he gets the opportunity and nobody is looking, he puts on his little fedora hat, sneaks into his secret lair under the family home via various methods, and gets his assignments from Major Monogram. Perry's nemesis is Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz, an evil, but goofy scientist who comes up with various schemes of his own in efforts to rule the tri-state area of Danville, hometown of Phineas, Ferb, and company. Doofenshmirtz's schemes are as outrageous as the boys, as are the reasons he came up with them in the first place. But unlike, Phineas and Ferb, Heinz's efforts are usually unsuccessful as Perry is able to thwart the scientist's, and most times, the boys' and Perry's stories intertwine, leading to not just success for Perry, Phineas and Ferb and Doofenshmirtz's defeat, but Candace being denied the chance to bust her brothers. The cycle then starts again the following day in the summer.moreless
  • 49
    I Love Lucy

    I Love Lucy

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    CBS (ended 1957)
    Cuban-born bandleader, Ricky Ricardo, and his wife, Lucy, live in a Brownstone apartment building on East 68th Street in New York City. The beautiful but daffy Lucy has the nasty habit of getting into jams, scrapes, and predicaments of all kinds. The Ricardos' best friends and landlords, Fred and Ethel Mertz, frequently find themselves in the middle of Lucy's outlandish escapades, whether she's plotting to land a part in her husband's nightclub act, determined to write her first novel, or concocting yet another sure-fire "get-rich-quick" scheme. After Lucy gives birth to their only child, Little Ricky, Ricky achieves great success as an entertainer. Ricky is asked to go to Hollywood to star in his first motion picture. Together, the Ricardos and the Mertzes drive to California for Ricky's big break. Along the way, they are held at gunpoint when they try to flee a rundown motel, square-dance their way out of a Tennessee jail, and put on a benefit show for Ethel's hometown friends in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Once in Hollywood, star-struck Lucy spills a tray of desserts on William Holden, gets trapped in John Wayne's dressing room, and wrestles with with a dog guarding Richard Widmark's estate. By the time Ricky has finished his movie, Lucy has developed quite a reputation, and all of Hollywood is relieved to learn that the redheaded dynamo is on her way home. Shortly after the Ricardos return home to New York, the Ricky Ricardo Orchestra is booked for an extensive European tour, and Lucy, Ricky, Fred, and Ethel soon find themselves visiting England, France, Switzerland and Italy, where Lucy ends up barefoot in a vat - stomping grapes in a small vineyard. Back in the States, Lucy and Ricky decide to move to the country so that Little Ricky can enjoy the benefits of "clean, fresh, air and homegrown foods." The Ricardos break the news to Fred and Ethel and buy a home in Westport, Connecticut, but the Ricardos and Mertzes can't stay apart for long, and soon Fred and Ethel relocate to Westport, renting the Ricardos' guest house. With the Mertzes close by, Lucy grows tulips that melt in the sun, learns all about how NOT to raise chickens, battles with a runaway lawn mower, and experiences many other joys that country life has to offer. Nielsen TV Ratings History: #3 in the 1951-1952 season #1 in the 1952-1953 season #1 in the 1953-1954 season #1 in the 1954-1955 season #2 in the 1955-1956 season #1 in the 1956-1957 seasonmoreless
  • 50
    Doc Martin

    Doc Martin

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    ITV
    Martin Clunes stars in comedy-drama Doc Martin, as a doctor whose truculence and tactless manner causes mayhem in a small Cornish community. Martin plays surgeon Martin Ellingham, whose glittering career comes crashing down around him when he develops a phobia which prevents him conducting operations. He makes a life changing decision to retrain as a GP, and applies for a vacant post in the sleepy Cornish hamlet of Portwenn, where he spent childhood holidays. If the patients are expecting tea and sympathy from their curmudgeonly GP they are going to be disappointed. Despite his surgical brilliance, he has no personal skills, and his understanding of humans is practically non existent. Martin is joined by a prestigious cast which includes Eileen Atkins as his Aunt Ruth. Caroline Catz stars as primary school headmistress Louisa Glasson, who Martin is attracted to - but his hopelessness with people ensures that the pat to true love will not be smooth...moreless
  • 51
    The Middle

    The Middle

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    ABC (Returning September 24, 2014)
    ABC's comedy series uses a mother's point of view to shed light on the lives of a middle-class family in the Midwest. The show focuses on the Heck family life in an Indiana suburb and is narrated by Frankie, a dedicated—though frazzled—mother who works at a local car dealership and volunteers for school functions. Father Mike works at a quarry and takes a more laid back approach to most things, but backs up Frankie with force when the need arises. Oldest child Axl, a snarky, surly, high schooler, spends much of his time napping and roams around the home shirtless. Geeky, gangly, braces-wearing Sue is trying to navigate her way through junior high, join the cool crowd, and avoid Axl's endless onslaught of taunts, none of which she does with much success. Youngest child Brick is in elementary school and is the academic in the family, but suffers from near-crippling social anxieties and possesses an odd habit of repeating words he just said back to himself in a loud whisper. Starring Patricia Heaton and Neil Flynn, the Warner Bros. television pilot was written by Eileen Heisler and DeAnn Heline, who also serve as executive producers.moreless
  • 52
    The League

    The League

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    FXX
    Fantasy Football is at the core of The League, a comedy that explores how the online sports obsession affects marriages, friendships, families, and completely shuts down Sundays. The comedy will be partially improvised, with the team from Curb Your Enthusiasm behind it. The show begins its fourth season in October on FX.moreless
  • 53
    Young & Hungry

    Young & Hungry

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    ABC Family
  • 54
    Awkward

    Awkward

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    MTV - Music Television (Returning September 23rd, 2014)
    The life of teenager Jenna Hamilton, played by Ashley Rickards, is forever changed after an accident turns into a horrible misunderstanding. When she receives a mysterious letter, a silly but awkward series of events unfolds as she struggles with her identity, love life and the difficulties of high school life.moreless
  • 55
    Wilfred

    Wilfred

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    FXX
    Elijah Wood and Jason Gann star in the new show about a struggling and suicidal ex-lawyer named Ryan (Wood) who befriends his neighbor's dog Wilfred (Gann), even though he sees him as a man in a dogsuit. Fiona Gubelmann also stars as Ryan's attractive neighbor and Wilfred's owner, Dorian Brown as Ryan's controlling sister Kristen. Wilfred is based on the popular Australian show of the same name, David Zuckerman adapted the show for FX. Jason Gann, creator and star of the original show, also serves as Co-Executive producer.moreless
  • 56
    Bob's Burgers

    Bob's Burgers

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    FOX (Returning October 5th, 2014)
    From the Loren Bouchard, co-creator of Home Movies comes this animated comedy series about a burger flipper from a seaside East Coast town.
  • 57
    Drake & Josh

    Drake & Josh

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    Nickelodeon (ended 2008)
    Two lives are about to be changed. Meet two 15-year-olds; Drake Parker, a typical teen slacker who only loves rock 'n roll and hot girls, and Josh Nichols, a guy who is a straight-A student, has a job at the local movie theatre (The Premiere), and whose favorite way to spend a Saturday is to study. Yes, these two are very different. But when Josh's father marries Drake's mother and the two are forced to live together, Josh is excited about it but Drake can't stand his new stepbrother. Meanwhile, Drake's little sister Megan tries to make Drake and Josh's lives as miserable as possible. "Drake and Josh" follows two teens as they learn the lessons of life and have a lot of laughs along the way.moreless
  • 58
    Blue's Clues

    Blue's Clues

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    Nickelodeon (ended 2013)
    "To empower, to challenge, and build the self-esteem of preschoolers...all while making them laugh!" --- show slogan Blue's Clues celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2006. Blue gained a new baby brother who was later added to the series Blue's Room. The fun of the anniversary has ended, but you can continue to enjoy Blue's Clues in repeats on Noggin. Blue's Clues is a colorful and learning series that is targeted at the younger crowd, but can be enjoyed by all. Seasons 1-4 - It's Me, Steve! Have You Seen Blue, My Puppy? In the first four seasons of the program, host Steve Burns invited viewers daily into the Blue's Clues house to help him out, learn and have fun. From doing things like imitating Elvis Presley, to picking up a guitar and singing, acting like animals and more, Steve was always ready to do something funny and surprising. The show, was, and still is, based around the host looking for three clues that Blue provides by labeling them with a pawprint to figure something out. In a segment called "Blue Skidoo," Blue takes us into someplace that could be anything from a storybook world to a gameboard. Finally, "Mailtime" explores the theme of the episode using real kids. The program underwent many changes throughout the first four seasons of the show, including the release of a direct-to-video movie, the introduction of new characters such as Periwinkle and Cinnamon and even visits from occasional special guests. The schedule is highly variable, so keep an eye on listings for both Nick Jr. and Noggin. Additionally, many episodes of all versions of the program are available on commercial video and DVD. Season 5 - Joe Moves In In Season 5, long-time host Steve Burns left the program. The real Steve Burns began actively pursuing a musical career, while on the program it was said that he went to college. In order to fill in the role of host, the program introduced his "brother" Joe (Donovan Patton) to watch over the characters and play Blue's Clues in Steve's absence. Joe brings his own unique style to the program, from the colored shirts he wears that change from day-to-day, to his own personal interests, such as ducks. Season 6 - The Legend of the Blue Puppy In an episode shown in primetime viewers learned that Blue was born with a key that unlocks a playroom she can visit. In this playroom, Blue is transformed into a puppet. As a puppet, she can talk and interact with many new characters in the playroom, such as Rory the dinosaur, her stuffed friend Polka Dots, and a girl who goes by "Fred." Meanwhile, the show continues with Joe as the host and many of the normal features that viewers have come to know and love. Blue's Clues returned with a special episode in August 2006. This special episode celebrated the program's tenth anniversary. Cast listed in the guide as "Steve's Friends" or "Joe's Friends" are either additional voices or kids who appeared in Mailtime. These are listed under Co-Stars and are either one-shot guests, or sometimes recurring. Additional voices could be anything from a kid yelling "A Clue! A Clue!" to an auxiliary character such as a "Felt Friend." Additionally, a "Blue's Friends" section was added in later Season 6, for additional voices in "Blue's Room." Note that in Seasons 1 and 2, voices of regular characters also appears under "Steve's Friends." In Season 3, they are moved to a separate section, but it's a generic credits screen that doesn't reflect the characters that appear in the episode. From Season 4 onward, only voices actually used in the episode are credited. Blue's Clues currently has a number of DVD releases, but still no complete season releases, or anything more than basic special features, except for Blue's Big Musical Movie. If you'd like to see more new releases, visit TV Shows on DVD where you can vote on the types of releases you'd like to see and even leave comments for the powers-that-be. You must be registered with the site to vote, but registration is free and only requires a small amount of personal information to prevent people from voting more than once.moreless
  • 59
    The Andy Griffith Show

    The Andy Griffith Show

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    CBS (ended 1968)
    The Andy Griffith Show is definitely a TV classic. It ran from 1960 to 1968, producing 249 episodes.

    The main character, Andy (Andy Griffith), was a widowed father of the polite little boy named Opie (Ron Howard) and is a sheriff, who works with nervous and very suspecting Barney Fife (Don Knotts). They all live in the nice southern town of Mayberry. But, Mayberry can get a little dangerous when the town drunk Otis Campbell (Hal Smith) is on the loose. Thelma Lou (Betty Lynn) is Barney's sweetheart, although Andy had to help him describe his feelings to her. Aunt Bee (Frances Bavier) is the very loving and caring, but stern housekeeper for Andy and Opie. Gomer Pyle (Jim Nabors) is the bone-head, thoughtless, but humorous character. He is a gas attendant. Goober Pyle (George Lindsey) is Gomer Pyle's cousin. They are very alike, you could say, and arrives in Mayberry when Gomer decides to enlist in the United States Marine Core. The show had two spin-offs: Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C. and Mayberry R.F.D.

    Top 20 Ratings: 1960-1961 - #4 1961-1962 - #7 1962-1963 - #6 1963-1964 - #5 1964-1965 - #4 1965-1966 - #6 1966-1967 - #3 1967-1968 - #1

    Awards for The Andy Griffith Show: Don Knotts won five Emmy Awards for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Comedy: 1961, 1962, 1963, 1966, and 1967.

    Frances Bavier won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Comedy in 1967.moreless
  • 60
    M*A*S*H

    M*A*S*H

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    CBS (ended 1983)
    M*A*S*H was a true ensemble series. Whilst characters such as Kellye, Igor, Rizzo, Goldman and Ginger are listed where they appear as specific characters central to the plot, they also appeared regularly as non-speaking cast members. This is also true of many of the nurses, corpsmen, orderlies and drivers listed as guest stars. Based on the 1968 novel by Richard Hooker and the 1970 20th Century-Fox movie of the same name, M*A*S*H aired on CBS from September 17, 1972 to February 26th, 1983 for 251 episodes, and has become one of the most celebrated television series in the history of the medium. During its initial season, however, M*A*S*H was in danger of being canceled due to low ratings. The show reached the top ten program list the following year, and never fell out of the top twenty rated programs during the remainder of its run. The final episode of M*A*S*H was a two and one half hour special that attracted the largest audience to ever view a single television program episode. In many ways the series set the standard for some of the best programming to appear later. The show used multiple plot lines in a half-hour episodes, usually with at least one story in the comedic vein and another dramatic. Some later versions of this form, e.g. Hooperman (ABC 1987-1989) and The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd (NBC 1987-1989), would be known as the dramady, half-hour programs incorporating elements of both comedy and drama. Other comedies would forgo the more serious aspects of M*A*S*H, but maintain its focus on character and motive. And some dramatic programming, such as St. Elsewhere and Moonlighting would draw on the mixture of elements to distinguish themselves from more conventional television. M*A*S*H was set in Uijeongbu, South Korea, north of Seoul, during the Korean War. The series focused on the group of doctors and nurses whose job was to heal the wounded who arrived at this "Mobile Army Surgical Hospital" by helicopter, ambulance or bus. The hospital compound was isolated from the rest of the world. One road ran through the camp; a mountain blocked one perimeter and a minefield the other. Here the wounded were patched up and sent home--or back to the front. Here, too, the loyal audience came to know and respond to an exceptional ensemble cast of characters. The original cast assumed roles created in Altman's movie. The protagonists were Dr. Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce(Alan Alda) and Dr. "Trapper" John McIntyre (Wayne Rogers). Pierce and McIntyre were excellent surgeons who preferred to chase female nurses and drink homemade gin to operating and who had little, if any use for military discipline or authority. As a result, they often ran afoul of two other medical officers, staunch military types, Dr. Frank Burns (Larry Linville) and Senior Nurse, Major Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan (Loretta Swit). The camp commander, Lt. Col. Henry Blake (McLean Stevenson), was a genial bumbler whose energies were often directed toward preventing Burns and Houlihan from court martialing Pierce and McIntyre. The camp was actually run by Corporal Walter "Radar" O'Reilly (Gary Burghoff), the company clerk who could spontaneously finish Blake's unspoken sentences and hear incoming helicopters before they were audible to other human ears. Other regulars were Corporal Max Klinger (Jamie Farr) who, in the early seasons, usually dressed in women's clothing in an ongoing attempt to secure a medical (mental) discharge, and Father Francis Mulcahy (William Christopher), the kindly camp priest who looked out for an orphanage. In the course of its eleven years the series experienced many cast changes. McIntyre was "discharged" after the 1974-75 season because of a contract dispute between the producers and Rogers. He was replaced by Dr. B.J. Hunnicutt (Mike Farrell), a clean cut family man quite different from Pierce's lecherous doctor. Frank Burns was given a psychiatric discharge in the beginning of the 1977-78 season and was replaced by Dr. Charles Emerson Winchester (David Ogden Stiers), a Boston blue blood who disdained the condition of the camp and tent mates Pierce and Hunnicutt. O'Reilly's departure at the beginning of the 1979-80 season was explained by the death of his fictional uncle, and Klinger took over the company clerk position. Perhaps the most significant change for the group occurred with the leave-taking of Henry Blake. His exit was written into the series in tragic fashion. As his plane was flying home over the Sea of Japan it was shot down and the character killed. Despite the "realism" of this narrative development, public sentiment toward the event was so negative that the producers promised never to have another character depart the same way. Colonel Sherman Potter (Harry Morgan), a doctor with a regular Army experience in the cavalry, replaced Blake as camp commander and became more both more complex and more involved with the other characters than Blake had been. Though the series was set in Korea, M*A*S*H, both the movie and the series, was initially developed as a critique of the Vietnam War. As that war dragged toward conclusion, however, the series focused more on characters than situations--a major development for situation comedy. Characters were given room to learn from their mistakes, to adapt and change. Houlihan became less the rigid military nurse and more a friend to both her subordinates and the doctors. Pierce changed from a gin-guzzling skirt chaser to a more "enlightened" male who cares about women and their issues, a reflection of Alda himself. O'Reilly outgrew his youthful innocence, and Klinger gave up his skirts and wedding dresses to assume more authority. This focus on character rather than character type set M*A*S*H apart from other comedies of the day and the style of the show departed from the norm in many other ways as well, both in terms of its style and its mode of production. While most other contemporary sitcoms took place indoors and were largely produced on videotape in front of a live audience, M*A*S*H was shot on film on location in Southern California, as well as in a closed studio set (studio #9 at 20th Century Fox). Outdoor shooting at times presented problems. While shooting the final episode, for example, forest fires destroyed the set, causing a delay in filming. The series also made innovative uses of the laugh track. In early seasons, the laugh track was employed during the entire episode. As the series developed, the laugh track was removed from scenes that occurred in the operating room. In a few episodes, the laugh track was removed entirely, another departure from sitcom conventions. The most striking technical aspect of the series is found in its aggressively cinematic visual style. Instead of relying on straight cuts and short takes episodes often used long shots with people and vehicles moving between the characters and the camera. Tracking shots moved with action, and changed direction when the story was "handed off" from one group of characters to another. These and other camera movements, wedded to complex editing techniques, enabled the series to explore character psychology in powerful ways, and to assert the preeminence of the ensemble over any single individual. In this way M*A*S*H seemed to be asserting the central fact of war, that individual human beings are caught in the tangled mesh of other lives and there must struggle to retain some sense of humanity and compassion. This approach was grounded in Altman's film style and enabled M*A*S*H to manipulate its multiple story lines and its mixture of comedy and drama with techniques that matched the complex, absurd tragedy of war itself. M*A*S*H was one of the most innovative sitcoms of the 1970s and 1980s. Its stylistic flair and narrative mix drew critical acclaim, while the solid writing and vitally drawn characters helped the series maintain high ratings. The show also made stars of it performers, none more so than Alda, who went on to a successful career in film. The popularity of M*A*S*H was quite evident in the 1978-79 season. CBS aired new episodes during prime time on Monday and programmed reruns of the series in the daytime and on Thursday late night, giving the show a remarkable seven appearances on a single network in a five day period. The series produced one unsuccessful spin-off, AfterMASH, which aired on CBS from 1983-85. The true popularity of M*A*S*H can still be seen, for the series is one of the most widely syndicated series throughout the world. Despite the historical setting, the characters and issues in this series remain fresh, funny and compelling in ways that continue to stand as excellent television. Some of the above info from the article in the Museum Of Broadcast Communications: M*A*S*H page, written by Jeff Shires. M*A*S*H Theme Song - "Suicide Is Painless" Written by Digital Tradition Mirror (Lyrics shortened for television theme) Through early morning fog I see, Visions of the things to be, The pains that are withheld for me, I realize and I can see... That suicide is painless, It brings on many changes, And I can take or leave it if I please. Ratings (Top 30 or Better) – 1972-1973:Not in Top 30 1973-1974:#4 1974-1975:#5 1975-1976:#15 1976-1977:#4 1977-1978:#9 1978-1979:#7 1979-1980:#5 1980-1981:#4 1981-1982:#9 1982-1983:#3 Telecast: CBS September 17, 1972 - September 19, 1983 Broadcast History (all times Eastern): Sep 1972 - Sep 1973, CBS Sun 8:00-8:30 Sep 1973 - Sep 1974, CBS Sat 8:30-9:00 Sep 1974 - Sep 1975, CBS Tue 8:30-9:00 Sep 1975 - Nov 1975, CBS Fri 8:30-9:00 Dec 1975 - Dec 1977, CBS Tue 9:00-9:30 Jan 1978 - Sep 1983, CBS Mon 9:00-9:30 251 Episodes In Color On Film Repeats air on Hallmark Channel.moreless
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