Despite his unceremonious exit from M*A*S*H, Wayne was apparently offered an opportunity to reprise the role he’d played in the series in his own spinoff show, Trapper John, M.D. Despite a guarantee that his character would have a better development arc in this series, as Trapper would then be the show’s main character, he decided to decline the offer. At the time, he claimed he didn’t want to get typecast into physician roles and wanted to expand his acting reach.
Instead, Trapper was played by Pernell Roberts, who had portrayed Adam Cartwright in Bonanza prior to the role. Despite the fact that this spinoff series was not as popular as the original show, Trapper John, M.D. ran for seven seasons, airing its series finale in 1986.
According to ScreenRant, the show was involved in a lawsuit as the M*A*S*H creators claimed the series was a spinoff of their show. Instead, the Trapper John, M.D. creators argued it was a spinoff of the original 1970 movie.
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