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Love or Hate? The Relationships of the 7 All Time Best Ensemble Casts

By on June 16, 2016
Photo Credit NBC

Photo Credit NBC

Ensemble casts rely on chemistry and cohesiveness to inspire loyalty in an audience.

There has to be a certain amount of trust and balance between cast members or the relationships remain unbelievable and the channel gets changed.

What may surprise many is that on screen chemistry does not necessarily mean off screen chemistry.

Nowadays, TV show ensembles in hit shows such as Game of Thrones have taken the place of star-led shows. They create new stars rather than bring in one already known actor, using him or her to attract audiences’ attention.

Let’s take a look at the real relationships of the 7 all-time best ensemble casts and how they made it work – with real friendships or just plain professionalism in the face of adversity.

M*A*S*H

MASH was one of the most popular and critically acclaimed television series, running from 1972 through to 1983.  It was nominated for over 100 Emmys during its 11-year run and came away with 14 wins.  While the show maintained a relatively constant ensemble, only 4 characters were on the show all 11 seasons: Hawkeye, Father Mulcahy, Margaret Houlihan and Max Klinger.

McLean Stevenson (left) William Christopher (top row); Larry Linville, Loretta Swit, Alan Alda, Wayne Rogers, Gary Burghoff and Jamie Farr (bottom row, from left)

McLean Stevenson (left) William Christopher (top row); Larry Linville, Loretta Swit, Alan Alda, Wayne Rogers, Gary Burghoff and Jamie Farr (bottom row, from left). Photo Credit CBS

While the ensemble worked magic together, the media liked to blow the minor clashes and disagreements they were bound to have way out of proportion.

Writer Ken Levine writes on his own blog, “MASH was a happy set. Most of the crew worked the entire 11-year run and if they were so miserable, they would have bailed for other shows.” While Alan Alda’s aloofness was often and correctly reported, for the most part the cast had a “Love” relationship.

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