Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Mission:Impossible and MASH

You may not think that these two classic TV shows have anything in common. Well, they were not produced by the same studios (Desilu/Paramount and 20th Century Fox, respectively.) They didn't share the same stars (although Larry Linville and Loretta Swit both guest-starred on episodes of M:I before being cast on MASH). They did share the same network, CBS-TV, but that isn't what we're here to celebrate.

No, both of these classic TV shows made their broadcast debuts on the same night: September 17. Mission appeared first, on September 17, 1966. MASH followed six years later on September 17, 1972.

Another coincidence.....both series had casts that were largely different by the time their series ended! Of the four or five leads on Mission: Impossible in its first year, only Greg Morris and Peter Lupus lasted the whole seven years. And on MASH, of course, only Loretta Swit and Alan Alda lasted all eleven years (although Jamie Farr and William Christopher were supporting characters in the first years before becoming regular cast members). And because they both had vast cast changes, neither of their original line-ups are my favorites! 

So celebrate Classic Television by watching an episode of Mission:Impossible or MASH. Or both!
the original M:I cast

all-time classic M:I cast (1967-1969)
Larry Linville played an Eastern bloc military man
in a 1968 M:I episode

Loretta Swit played an old girl-friend of Peter Graves 
in a 1970 M:I episode

 the original MASH cast circa 1974

my favorite MASH cast with BJ, Potter, and Frank (1975-77)

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