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CBS' Classic Specials

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This week CBS will be doing its impersonation of the Nostalgia Network. It starts on Nov. 23, with The Bob Newhart Show 20th 19th Anniversary Special, an updated sequel (with a jokey title) to the 1972-78 Bob Newhart Show, with Newhart’s Dr. Hartley reminiscing about his 19-year practice as a Chicago psychologist. (The show opens with Hartley waking up from a ”horrible dream” about being an innkeeper in Vermont, a la the final episode of the 1982-90 Newhart.) Among the returning cast members from the original show: Suzanne Pleshette, Bill Daily, Marcia Wallace, and Jack Riley.

Next, on Nov. 24, CBS will broadcast The Very Best of the Ed Sullivan Show II, featuring classic performances by the Beatles, Elvis Presley, and the Rolling Stones. Then, on Nov. 25, there’s Memories of M*A*S*H, a documentary-style retrospective with clips from the show, outtakes, and interviews with cast members. One reminiscence you won’t be hearing on the M*A*S*H rehash: ”I never liked (Robert Altman’s) original M*A*S*H movie,” Jamie Farr (who played the cross-dressing Corporal Klinger in the TV series) told Entertainment Weekly. ”In the film, the characters were too mean and nasty. On TV, our characters were more playful. We were more like impish gremlins.”