February, 28, 1983 – CBS broadcast the final episode of MASH. The book, written by Richard Hooker, was published in 1968. The film, starring Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould and Tom Skerritt was released in 1970. And the television show first premiered on September 17, 1972. Over the next 11 years the show became one of the most beloved of television sitcoms while developing a progressively heavy moral tone set during the Korean War (1950-1953) where men, women, and children were maimed and killed and the staff of a US Army Hospital struggled to survive. The star of the show, Alan Alda as Captain Benjamin Franklin Pierce, better known as Hawkeye, and a cast that included such memorable characters as Hot Lips, Radar, and the cross dressing Corporal Klinger, confronted issues and solved problems while finding a moment to comment on the insanity of war. The final episode, 2 ½ hours long, was watched by 105.97 million viewers or 77% of the viewing public. It remained the most watched television broadcast for 27 years loosing that distinction to the Super Bowl in 2010.