A chat with TV archivist Karen Herman on M*A*S*H, 30 years later (VIDEOS)
By April Neale Mar 1, 2013, 23:27 GMT
It\'s hard to believe that 30 years ago, over 100 million viewers tuned in to watch "Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen" – the final episode of M*A*S*H.
It's hard to believe that 30 years ago, over 100 million viewers tuned in to watch "Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen" – the final episode of M*A*S*H.
With a 60.3 rating and 77 share, the 2 ˝ hour series finale of the television classic remains the most-watched series finale in history.
The Archive of American Television, a key program of the Academy of Television Arts & Science Foundation, has extensive assets surrounding this seminal moment in pop culture, including interviews with Alan Alda, Walter Dishell, Jamie Farr, Burt Metcalfe and more. The videos are available on the Foundation’s website.
We were fortunate to chat with television archivist, Karen Herman yesterday about TV and this great series.
Monsters and Critics: Do you feel American TV (broadcast network) comedies have a lot to learn from the writing and acting ensemble work displayed in this great series? It seems many have devolved in quality and original thought.
Karen Herman: “Although M*A*S*H was clearly one of the best shows of all time, I don’t think that TV comedies as a whole have devolved. “M*A*S*H took sitcom storytelling and character development to a new level — allowing dramatic moments or even full episodes devoted to extremities in the human condition. Today, you won’t see a lot of comedies set in war zones, but there are shows that still carry the mantle from a humanistic angle — Louis C.K.’s ‘Louie’ probably does it best.”
Here are a few of the archived interviews from the Academy of Television Arts & Science Foundation: