AfterMASH "Wet Feet" (found final episode of "M*A*S*H" spin-off series; mid 1980s)
AfterMASH promotional image.
Date found: 23 Aug 2016
Found by: Cecline Kravetz
AfterMASH was the short-lived sequel to the iconic television sitcom/drama M*A*S*H. The series told the story of three alumni of the 4077th as they adjusted to civilian life in a post-war world. 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. The supporting cast included Barbara Townsend as Mrs. Mildred Potter, and future Star Trek alumnus Rosalind Chao as Soon-Lee Han Klinger, a woman Max met in the Korean War and married in the M*A*S*H series finale. Writer Larry Gelbart, who originally brought M*A*S*H to the small screen, was also on board. It is listed on TIME's list of the 100 worst ideas of the 20th century.
The first season (aired in the same Monday 9PM Eastern timeslot previously occupied by M*A*S*H) was moderately successful, making it to Number 15 in the Nielsen Ratings. But CBS was disappointed with the series' failure to immediately live up to its predecessor, and moved AfterMASH to 8PM Eastern on Tuesdays, the same time slot occupied by NBC's hit show, The A-Team. Attempts by CBS to compete against The A-Team included creating 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, and mandated re-tools to the show itself, sacrificing a character-based focus in favor of humorous plots, similar to M*A*S*H’s early seasons. The final episodes dealt with Klinger being detained in the hospital's psych ward as the Potters tried to help Soon-Lee and her baby son by Klinger.
Attempts to boost the show's ratings were unsuccessful. AfterMASH was canceled during its second season and pulled from the network's schedule with one completed episode left unaired .
The episode, which would have been the thirtieth, is called "Wet Feet". Despite M*A*S*H being a hit on home video, AfterMASH did not receive the same level of support, with rights-holders expressing no interest in releasing the series due to its poor reception.
"Wet Feet" went unseen until August 23rd, 2016, when the episode was uploaded onto YouTube by Cecile Kravitz.