'M*A*S*H' 45th Anniversary: Take a Look Back at the Classic Series' TV Guide Magazine Covers
Feb. 24, 1973
M*A*S*H first graced the cover of TV Guide Magazine in this issue near the end of its first season. The photo of the original main cast includes, clockwise from left: Gary Burghoff as Radar O'Reilly, McLean Stevenson as Henry Blake, Alan Alda as Hawkeye Pierce, Wayne Rogers as Trapper John McIntyre, Larry Linville as Frank Burns and Loretta Swit as Margaret Houlihan (a.k.a. "Hot Lips").
Feb. 9, 1974
The series made it to the TV Guide Magazine cover again about a year after its first appearance, with this fun caricature of the main cast from famed cartoonist/illustrator Jack Davis.
Nov. 2, 1974
Another illustrated cover highlighted the cast later in 1974, near the start of the series' third season.
Jan. 24, 1976
M*A*S*H was back on the cover after a little over a year, with a photo highlighting the major cast changes in the show's fourth season as Mike Farrell (top left) and Harry Morgan (right) joined the cast as B.J. Hunnicutt and Col. Sherman Potter.
June 4, 1977
Bernard Fuchs drew this illustration of Alan Alda as Hawkeye for this cover featured during the show's fifth season.
Feb. 25, 1978
This interestingly illustrated cover from during the show's sixth season includes a likeness of new cast member David Ogden Stiers (top left), who joined the cast earlier that season as Major Charles Emerson Winchester III.
March 17, 1979
A Season 7 shot of B.J. (now with mustache!) and Hawkeye on the cover of TV Guide Magazine.
Jan. 5, 1980
Max Klinger (Jamie Farr) may not have gotten out of the Army as early as he would have liked, but at least Farr finally made it onto a TV Guide Magazine cover in this Season 8 illustration.
April 25, 1981
Another solo illustration of Alda's Hawkeye Pierce was featured on this Season 9 cover.
Feb. 12, 1983
After two years without a M*A*S*H-related cover, TV Guide Magazine understandably went all out with this special fold-out cover dedicated to "Goodbye, Farewell and Amen," the expanded series finale of the iconic series that aired on Feb. 28.
Gracing this cover are images of the Season 1 and Season 11 casts, along with a shot from Radar's series departure a few years earlier. You'll also note some of the special farewell articles hyped for inside the issue, including a piece penned by star Alan Alda about his favorite episodes.
For over 25 years, the M*A*S*H series finale remained the most-watched television broadcast in U.S. history, with nearly 106 million viewers tearfully tuning in to say goodbye (and roughly another 20 million tuning in for the episode's final five minutes).
In recent years, the finale has been surpassed in viewership by Super Bowl broadcasts, but "Goodbye, Farewell and Amen" still remains the only non-Super Bowl broadcast to be among the Top 20 most-viewed TV broadcasts in U.S. history.
July 2, 1983
Although M*A*S*H was over by this time, its classic final episode still made it a big factor to be included on this TV Guide Magazine's "Best Of" cover.
Sept. 10, 1983
The M*A*S*H era of TV Guide Magazine covers kind of went out with a whimper as the 1983 edition of the Guide's famed Fall Preview issues highlighted the show's new spinoff series, AfterMASH (the cover's top image).
Unfortunately, as lovable as the characters of Col. Potter, Klinger and Father Mulcahy (William Christopher) may have been as part of the original ensemble, they clearly weren't enough to headline their own show, and AfterMASH ended after two seasons (it did, at least, last far longer than Mr. Smith, the talking-orangutan series also previewed on this cover).
Attention, all personnel! Sept. 17 marks the 45th anniversary of the premiere of M*A*S*H.
The iconic Korean War-set dramedy bowed on CBS on Sunday, Sept. 17, 1972, and went on for 11 seasons, including spending some of its time as part of CBS' vaunted Saturday night lineup in the '70s. When the series ended on Feb. 28, 1983, it was a major event for the country, with well over 100 million viewers tuning in to say farewell to the members of the 4077th whom they had come to know and love over the previous decade.
Cast of M*A*S*H in one of its earlier seasons (20th Century Fox Television)
TV Guide Magazine, of course, had plenty of coverage of the classic series in its heyday, including giving the show at least one cover during nearly every one of its seasons.
Check out the gallery above for all the times that M*A*S*H made the TV Guide Magazine cover throughout its initial run. (We've even got a bonus look at TV Guide Magazine's cover featuring the show's far-less-successful spinoff, AfterMASH! But as far as we can tell, TV Guide Magazine never gave the cover to W*A*L*T*E*R, the pilot for a truly forgettable effort to spin off the Radar O'Reilly character into his own series.)
M*A*S*H reruns can still be enjoyed on the following networks; check their websites for more details, as some days and times vary:
- MeTV, Weeknights at 7/6c and 7:30/6:30c
- AMC, Episodes usually air in blocks most weekdays at 9am/8c. On Sept. 17, AMC will air a special anniversary marathon from 6am-2pm ET.
- SundanceTV, Episodes usually air in blocks Mondays beginning at 6am/5c, and Saturday nights at 5 or 6pm ET.
- TV Land, Episodes usually air in blocks weekdays beginning at 4/3c.
- WGN America, Episodes can be seen at various days/times, check the network website for details.
TV Guide Magazine has helped America set its schedule since the 1953 Fall Preview issue.