- David Bianculli: Wayne Rogers' death hit a nerve because of importance of "M*A*S*H" in TV's evolution, especially its comment on war
- He says Rogers' character Trapper John left show early on, but was foundational in setting groundbreaking show's funny/serious tone
David Bianculli is founder and editor of TVWorthWatching.com and teaches TV and film at Rowan University in New Jersey. He also is TV critic and guest host for NPR's "Fresh Air" with Terry Gross. He is the author of the forthcoming book "The Platinum Age of Television: An Evolutionary History of Quality TV" (Doubleday), from which this commentary is adapted. The opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author.
(CNN)The outpouring of sadness at the death of Wayne Rogers on Thursday at age 82 is inseparable from TV viewers' feelings for the character he played and the show on which he played it: the beloved CBS sitcom "M*A*S*H."