Here's proof that when the M*A*S*H cast bonded together they were an unbeatable force

The entire M*A*S*H cast stormed the network to issue their demands. The studio caved.

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Potter paints the 4077th!
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For the M*A*S*H episode "Picture This," Colonel Potter picks a day when the whole camp is bickering to attempt to paint a family portrait of the 4077th.

In a funny shot toward the end of the episode, the cast erupts into a shouting match in the background, while Potter's abandoned portrait of them smiling stands in the foreground.

This episode's premise not only captured the show's mastery of tension but also gave viewers a chance to see one of TV's most special ensemble casts posing in that cheesy family photo — in the style that fills photo albums in houses everywhere.

When you look at behind-the-scene M*A*S*H cast photos, it's just like flipping through a family photo album.

Even posed, the easy, friendly appearance of the cast — whether it was Alan Alda clasping Loretta Swit's fingers affectionately, Jamie Farr mid-laugh with his hand clamped on David Ogden Stiers' shoulder, or Mike Farrell leaning close to rest his head on the heart of Harry Morgan — all these poses exhibited how close this cast was.

This makes looking at behind-the-scenes photos a more tender experience for fans than many TV shows.

"I worked with a family of brilliant performers and lovely human beings," Loretta Swit told Deseret News in 2018. She confirmed, "We were just a tight-knit family. That was a part of what was going on on-camera, as well as off-camera."

These charming interviews where the M*A*S*H ensemble cast talks about their feelings of family are sweet, but did you know that the entire cast once locked arms to band together to battle against the network?

If you watched M*A*S*H when it originally aired, you remember that the show time and date kept changing. M*A*S*H producers grew frustrated with these shifts, and they asked the entire cast to come with them to network headquarters to stage a confrontational "family meeting" with the then-president of CBS and its then-VP of programming. The Hollywood Reporter wrote in 2018, "They asked the network to stop shuffling them around and give them a better night. They wanted to know what the show meant to the network and to be better treated than the present situation."

"Can you imagine a show going to the network and telling them where they want to be in the lineup?" Jamie Farr asked.

The producers knew the only way the network would concede to their demands was if the whole cast showed up, and they were absolutely right.

There was no beating the bond between these stars or refusing their demands once bonded together, and after that fateful meeting, M*A*S*H eventually became the show that millions tuned into on Mondays – period.

M*A*S*H producer Burt Metcalfe said that the reason the ensemble cast came together so easily and without ego was because of the example set by Alan Alda.

"Alan Alda was the linchpin of the cast," Meltcalfe told The Auburn Journal in 1982. "His creative input was enormous. He was a role model for the others — his caring, his sensitive concern and his feelings for the show. If anyone had a right to a large ego, it was Alan, but he was a pussycat. His example was such no cast member could exercise his ego at the expense of the others. Alan's been a great guy and so have all the others."

"There was no fighting for more lines or more screen time," Swit said in her interview. "It never applied to what went on on our set. It was one for all, all for one."

We're guessing the network, unused to letting actors decide when their shows would air, certainly can attest to the fact that when the M*A*S*H cast became "one for all," they were unstoppable.

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Zip 34 months ago
I have bittersweet emotions about M*A*S*H, since the episodes were playing as a marathon in the nursing home room where my dad was dying. It was one of his favorite shows. One of mine, too. Though I haven't been able to watch it since that time a few years back. Maybe sometime I will watch it again. It was a good show.
lmahabhashyam Zip 34 months ago
As a child I would sit and watch M*A*S*H with my Dad we loved the show my Dad died Christmas Eve 2009 the next day. I picked up the torch of making Christmas morning Danish style pancakes and watched M*A*S*H. Remember all the time’s that you watched the show together all the conversations not just when he died. Seperation from loved one’s is hard but it’s only temporary eternity is forever and then you’ll see each other again. That I can promise you.
CoreyC 34 months ago
The cast of M*A*S*H went through hell during the series with bad working conditions.
ncadams27 34 months ago
In the 50’s and early 60’s, some time slots were controlled by sponsors (NBC Sunday at 9, Dinah Shore then Bonanza). They determined what type of show they wanted.
That may be true, but MASH was broadcast in the 70's. Not sure if that was still the rule then, I wouldn't have paid attention since I was about 10 when MASH first aired.
F5Twitster 34 months ago
"The producers knew the only way the network would concede to their demands was if the whole cast showed up, and they were absolutely right."

That's ACCEDE to their demands.
musicman37 34 months ago
Yes, M*A*S*H was the only show I followed everywhere it went. It mattered not where the network moved it.
musicman37 34 months ago
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Markholl68 musicman37 34 months ago
Weren't they in Korea the whole time though? 😝
I think musicman meant wherever it went as far as time slots. :)
Yes ma'am, I was just trying to be funny 😁
It was funny 🤣
Andybandit 34 months ago
I loved the Picture this episodes of Mash. It is funny how the characters are bickering with each other.
Pacificsun 34 months ago
This is a wonderful story about an exception to the rule! In terms of the Cast being involved. Bravo!

The Death Knell for most of those Classic TV shows, competing among only 3 networks at the time, was moving it! Viewers were very habitual, in the day. One show led into their next favorite. And a lot of people didn't even want to change the channel! So the expected "lineup" was VERY important!

There were other shows that campaigned for timeslot stability, but did it through publicity tours across the Country. Promos on Local Stations, so they would get a free plug for which night and channel that show was on, for that season. Doing publicity tours was grueling, but fans enjoyed the personal "meet & greet" opportunities, and they never forgot how to find their favorite Show.
LoveMETV22 34 months ago
Thanks MeTV. Interesting story. Thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Love the behind-the-scenes M*A*S*H cast photos link. They certainly were unified for their cause.
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