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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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.