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Trapper John, M.D. (CBS, 1979-1986)

An American medical drama, Trapper John, M.D. was a spin-off from the film MASH. Trapper John, M.D. ran from September 23, 1979 to September 4, 1986 or 7 seasons and 151 episodes.

Twenty-eight years after his discharge from the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, “Trapper” John McIntyre (Pernell Roberts) is the Chief of Surgery at San Francisco’s Memorial Hospital. Working alongside Trapper was Dr. George Alonzo “Gonzo” Gates (Gregory Harrison) who had also served in a MASH. (Trapper served during the Korean War, Gonzo during the Vietnam War.)

Other staffers included Nurse Clara “Starch” Willoughby (Mary McCarty). McCarty died after the first season and was replaced by Nurse Ernestine Shoop (Madge Sinclair), Nurse Gloria “Ripples” Brancusi (Christopher Norris), Dr. Stanley Riverside III (Charles Siebert) and Dr. Justin “Jackpot” Jackson (Brian Stokes Mitchell). Towards the end of the series, Trapper’s son J.T. (Timothy Busfield) joined the hospital as an intern and Nurse Gloria was replaced with Nurse Libby Kegler (Lorna Luft).

A court case was waged by the TV producers behind the series M.A.S.H., seeking royalty payments. The court deemed that Trapper John, M.D. was a spin-off from the MASH motion picture and not the series. Both series and the film had been adapted from Richard Hooker’s novel, MASH: A Novel About Three Army Doctors.