AfterMASH "Wet Feet" (found final episode of "M*A*S*H" spinoff series; mid 1980s)
AfterMASH promotional image.
Date found: 23 Aug '16
Found by: Cecline Kravetz
AfterMASH was the short-lived sequel to the iconic television sitcom/drama M*A*S*H, and told the story of three alumni of the 4077th as they made their way in the post-war world and returned to civilian life. The protagonists were Retired Colonel Doctor Sherman T. Potter, his former company clerk Maxwell Q. Klinger, and former company chaplain Father John Francis Patrick Mulcahy. Working as the senior staff in a veterans' hospital in the fictional town of River Bend, Missouri, they were joined by actress Barbara Townsend as Mrs. Mildred Potter, and future Star Trek alumnus Rosalind Chao as Soon-Lee Han Klinger, Max's Korean war bride, whom he married in the rating blockbuster M*A*S*H series finale. Writer Larry Gelbart, who originally brought MASH to the small screen, was also on board.
The first season, aired in the same Monday 9 PM Eastern timeslot previously occupied by M*A*S*H, was seen as a strong one and made it to Number 15 in the Nielsen Ratings. But CBS, which felt that the sequel should be as strong as the show it spun off from, attempted retooling with disastrous results, including moving the show to 8 PM Eastern on Tuesdays, up against NBC's hit show, The A-Team, and even went and created a promotional campaign that featured illustrations by Sanford Kossin of Max in a female nurse's uniform shaving off The A-Team actor Mr. T's signature mohawk, theorizing that a large portion of The A-Team's audience would be grabbed by AfterMASH. Character development was sacrificed in an effort to make the show 'wacky' like M*A*S*H’s early seasons, which were ironically also some of its most dramatic. Not seven episodes into the second season, and also unsurprisingly due to being unable to attract viewers away from The A-Team (which remained highly popular during this time and continued until 1987), the plug was pulled. It is listed on TIME's list of the 100 worst ideas of the 20th century. Certain scripts never got filmed, and one episode, filmed and in the can, has never been seen, either in syndication, home video, or the Internet.
The episode, which would have been the thirtieth, is called "Wet Feet", and for a while, it seemed unlikely to be seen anytime soon. Despite M*A*S*H being a hit on home video and many episodes of AfterMASH being available on the internet, this one seemed set to remain lost, as the rights-holders have expressed no interest in releasing the series, which has acquired a reputation as being very bad, oddly despite how few today have actually seen it, or even know it existed. The final episodes dealt with Klinger actually being detained in the hospital's psych ward as the Potters tried to help Soon-Lee and her baby son by Klinger. The exact plot of "Wet Feet", was wholly unknown until August 23rd, 2016, when the episode was uploaded onto YouTube.
- TIME's worst ideas of the 20th century list. Retrieved 15 May '19