M*A*S*H was a television series developed by Larry Gelbart which aired on CBS from 1972 to 1983. The show is set during the Korean War and follows members of the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (which is where the acronym MASH comes from). The show ran for 11-years despite the fact that the Korean War lasted just over three years.
M*A*S*H brilliantly wove humor into serious situations in efforts to escape the horrors of war. Often described as a “Dark Comedy,” episodes were both plot and character driven with tones that could seamlessly shift from goofy to sobering in an instant. While the team wasn’t the best when it came to continuity, the show was well written, well acted, and well received. It’s no wonder that M*A*S*H was one of the highest rated shows of all time. It ranked 5th for best series ever written by the Writers Guild of America and eighth greatest show of all time according to TV Guide.
It was in 1968 that Richard Hooker authored MASH, which was about his time in the Korean War. After the success of his first book, he authored two more, diving deeper into the lives of the army medical team. The books were adapted into a movie in 1970, starring Donald Sutherland and Elliott Gould and finally, the 11-season television show was launched.
The 1970 film Mash was originally given an X rating. Producers had to go through the appeals process to knock it down. That being said, technically, M*A*S*H is the only television series to be based off an X rated movie.