M*A*S*H was a comedy/drama that ran from 1972 to 1983 on CBS (mostly comedy, but partly drama). This series was about the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) stationed in Korea during the Korean war, and was based on a 1968 novel by Richard Hooker titled MASH: A Novel About Three Army Doctors. The series was a major success, and the show turned out to be one of the highest rated shows in US TV history. Not only that, the final episode, which aired in February of 1983, was the most watched TV show in U.S. TV history as well. Some of the main characters included Hawkeye Pierce (Alan Alda), Hot Lips Houlihan (Loretta Swit), Klinger (Jamie Farr), Chaplain Mulcahy (William Christopher), Trapper John (Wayne Rogers), Frank Burns (Larry Linville), Radar (Gary Burghoff), and B.J. Hunnicutt (Mike Farrell).
Fans of the show will remember than an episode could turn from hilarious to serious in just a few minutes as the hospital and Army staff went about the business of caring for injured soldiers. Many of the doctors, like Hawkeye, Trapper John, and B.J., were drafted into the war, while others, like Hot Lips and Colonel Potter joined based on a since of duty. Although based around the Korean war conflict, the show was as much a commentary on the Vietnam war, and writers did their best to criticize the conflict in a less threatening way. Fans of the show might remember the short-lived spin-off series called AfterMASH that aired from 1983 to 1985, and the more successful show Trapper John, M.D., which aired from 1979 to 1986.