With a bit of history with censors at CBS, it’s pretty interesting to read that M*A*S*H only had one episode in its lengthy run rejected.
Now, which of these shows starring Alan Alda, Loretta Swit, and others got the heave-ho from the network? Let’s see if we can get some help from this article by MeTV.
Larry Gelbert, who co-created the show out of the Robert Altman movie, talked about the episode that got CBS in a huff. He did so during an interview with the Archive of American Television.
‘M*A*S*H’ Screenwriter Ross Had Connection With Classic TV Show ‘Batman’
“I think in the first season, we had commissioned a script called ‘Double Trouble,’ I think it was called,” Gelbart said. “And Stanley Ralph Ross, a very, very, very good writer, with credits longer than my arm. And Stanley wrote the script.
“It was about Hawkeye carrying on with two different nurses,” the M*A*S*H show scriptwriter said. “And they decide to teach him a lesson and both tell him they’re pregnant, and both say that he’s the father. That is the one and only script that CBS said under no circumstances will you be able to do this script.”
Here’s a little bit more about Ross himself and he’s got a Classic TV tie-in, too. The guy is an actor and screenwriter. Ross played Batman villain and mute Penguin cohort Barney “Ballpoint” Baxter. He also wrote 27 episodes of Batman, including many Catwoman stories. Oof, so he’s the one that we can point toward when bringing up Julie Newmar, Eartha Kitt, or Lee Meriweather, who all played Catwoman on the show.
Loretta Swit Remains Connected With Veterans Causes Years After Series Ended
M*A*S*H would survive that blow regarding the script quite well. Some people might think CBS’s worries are no big deal compared to other TV shows. Well, the 4077th first appeared on the network back in 1972. That was a time where bringing up issues like pregnancy and sleeping around were still touchy subjects.
Speaking of Swit, the actress played Major Margeret Houlihan on the show. But she has remained an outspoken supporter of veterans for many years.
“What is the veteran?” the actress said in an interview with Closer Weekly. “A veteran is a person who, whether in active duty, retired, or discharged, had in some moment in his or her life written a blank check payable to the United States of America for the sum of up to and including his or her life. They’re heroes.”
In addition to those kind words, last November she was Grand Marshal of the Phoenix Veteran’s Day Parade. Swit also has been involved in a documentary that’s titled Never the Same: The Prisoner of War Experience.