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MASH

M*A*S*H is an American television series developed by Larry Gelbart, adapted from the 1970 feature film MASH (which was itself based on the 1968 novel MASH: A Novel About Three Army Doctors, by Richard Hooker).

The series was a medical drama produced by 20th Century Fox Television for CBS. The show followed a team of doctors and support staff stationed at the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital in Uijeongbu, South Korea, during the Korean War. M*A*S*H’s title sequence featured an instrumental version of the song Suicide Is Painless, which also appears in the original film. The show was created after an attempt to film the original book’s sequel, M*A*S*H Goes To Maine, failed. It is the most well-known version of the M*A*S*H works.

The series premiered Sept. 17 1972, and ended Feb. 28, 1983. The finale was for 27 years the most-watched television episode in history with over 105 million viewers, a record that was toppled by the Feb. 7, 2010 broadcast of the Saints vs. Colts Super Bowl (it had 106.5 million viewers). The show is still broadcast in syndication on various television stations. The series spanned 251 episodes and lasted eleven seasons covering a three-year conflict.

Many of the stories in the early seasons are based on real-life tales told by real MASH surgeons who were interviewed by the production team. Like the movie, the series was as much an allegory about the Vietnam War (still in progress when the series began) as about the Korean Conflict.