M*A*S*H: One Famous Kiss Scene Cost $450K, Here’s Why

by Emily Morgan
mash-kiss-scene-cost-450k-heres-why

The beloved television series “M*A*S*H” ended its run with one of the most anticipated series finales of all time. 

As a way to say a final goodbye to their loyal fans, the show included a kiss that would become one of the most costly scenes in television history.

The On-Screen Kiss During The Series Finale Of ‘M*A*S*H’

Like many shows throughout the 20th century, “M*A*S*H” was not without its romance. The show featured a romantic storyline between two of the show’s most popular characters that ended in a commercially successful kiss for the sitcom and its network.

Two of the most beloved characters on the show were Hawkeye Pierce and Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan. Directors featured both of the characters in the film and the original movie; however, they had a different relationship in the television series. 

Pierce and Houlihan have a much closer friendship that transitions into an on-screen romantic chemistry in the show. While they never end up in a relationship, they share an intimate moment in the series finale. 

When viewers worldwide tuned in to the show’s last episode, they wanted to see how the couple would leave things. Their anticipation paid off: they ended things by sharing a romantic kiss. 

While the moment was more than just a special moment: it also became highly profitable for the network. 

During this finale, a commercial cost $450,000, meaning that an ad aired accompanying the kiss made nearly half of a million dollars. The on-screen kiss undoubtedly came with a high price tag. 

Finale Drew Record Viewers

According to Yahoo, the “M*A*S*H” finale remains one of the most-watched shows of all time. Over 121 million viewers tuned in one last time to watch the cast get sent home from Korea. 

For comparison, in 1998, “Seinfeld’s” finale was recorded with 76 million viewers while the similarly famous predecessor “Cheers” had 84 million. 

Alan Alda, who played Hawkeye Pierce, commented that the finale led to a plumbing issue in a major metropolitan area. 

“The next day, the papers said that so many people had flushed their toilets at the same moment during the commercials that the New York City water supply was seriously in trouble.”

Outsider.com