That one of the greatest TV shows in history began. On September 17, 1972, M*A*S*H began it's 11 year run on CBS. A book first, then a movie, by 1972 a cheap TV show version of the movie. By the end of it's first season, it ranked 46 and was close to being cancelled. In steps Babe Paley, wife of William S, Paley, owner of CBS in the 70's. She loved the show. and voila! It made it to a second season.