Actor Wayne Rogers wasn’t too pleased with Hollywood as he watched the entertainment scene stay the same after hit show M*A*S*H ended its run.
Rogers, who played “Trapper John” McIntyre for three seasons before leaving the show, offered his thoughts during an interview with Pop Goes The Culture TV. He died on Dec. 31, 2015, at 82 years old.
Rogers said he learned M*A*S*H made more money for Twentieth Century Fox than all the “Star Wars” pictures combined.
‘M*A*S*H’ Actor Says Studio Didn’t Know How To Value Show Entering Syndication
“The first time they sold it (M*A*S*H) into syndication,” Rogers said, “they sold it at something like $100,000 per episode less than they sold it for the second time.”
He said it all comes back to nobody knowing anything, even after they saw the show was a hit. Rogers said Fox didn’t know how to value M*A*S*H with a price for syndication purposes.
When the host says they’ve learned since that time, Rogers replies that he doesn’t think so.
“Hollywood hasn’t learned a God-d–ned thing,” the one-time M*A*S*H star said. “It’s the same. People are doing the same things. You got the same people making the same kind of decisions. They don’t know. If they know, they’d make a hit every time. They don’t make a hit. They go out and spend.”
Rogers Said Studios Will Spend Millions Making Flop Movies, TV Shows
Rogers points out how much, though, is spent today by studios. “They’ll spend $150 million dollars to make a flop instead of $5 million or whatever it was,” he said.
The M*A*S*H star shares a story about playing tennis with movie star Charlton Heston at Heston’s home with the producer of Heston’s film “Soylent Green” there, too. Rogers said the producer told him that the movie cost either $760,000 or $960,000 to make
“That doesn’t buy you the Kraft service truck today, you know,” Rogers said. “You got the same people fumbling around trying to find a hit show,” Rogers said. ”
Before dismissing his knowledge of financial decisions in Hollywood, Rogers actually kind of knew a bit about finances. He had dipped his toes into the real estate and stock markets while on M*A*S*H. Eventually, Rogers became a money manager and investor. He headed up his own stock trading investment corporation called Wayne Rogers & Co. after his run on M*A*S*H ended.
It appears the former M*A*S*H star, who went on to play in CBS’s sitcom “House Calls” for three seasons, had some knowledge to back up his talk.