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Trapper John, M.D.
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TV Series
    (September 23, 1979-September 4, 1986)
    Aired on CBS
    Pernell Roberts as Dr. ‘Trapper’ John McIntyre
    Gregory Harrison as Dr. George Alonzo ‘Gonzo’ Gates
    Premise: More than twenty years after the Korean War, Trapper John McIntyre is the Chief of Surgery at San Francisco Memorial Hospital, and is now the authority figure clashing with a maverick younger doctor
    Wayne Rogers was invited to reprise his role as Trapper John from ‘M*A*S*H,’ but declined, saying he did not want to be typecast as a doctor.
    Ingo Preminger, the producer of the 1970 film MASH, sued, claiming his contract entitled him to profit participation for any project derived from either the film or book. The courts agreed, awarding him 25% of the show’s profits.
    Except during the pilot episode, there were no references to the characters or events of M*A*S*H.
    Harrison left the show mid-way through the seventh season and ratings plummeted. (Although it was hard to tell if that was caused by the loss of a popular character or by suddenly erratic programming: the show went off the air for three weeks after Harrison’s departure, returned to the schedule on a different night, and then got preempted three of the next four weeks.)
    There were two references to M*A*S*H in the pilot episode: talking in his sleep while napping, Trapper yells for Radar to get Hawkeye because they have incoming wounded; and as a camera pans around Trapper’s office, a photo of Wayne Rogers and Alan Alda as Trapper and Hawkeye can be seen.
    It tackled such topics as AIDS and post-traumatic stress syndrome.
    It was a rare example of a drama successfully spinning off from a comedy. (Although you could argue that by the time ‘Trapper John, M.D.’ aired, ‘M*A*S*H’ had gotten so preachy that it had moved from sitcom to dramedy.)
    It was far more successful than the other ‘M*A*S*H’ spin-off, AfterMASH.

Credit: C. Fishel

    For 2020, as of last week, Out of 66 Votes: 39.39% Annoying
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