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The 14 Most Watched TV Finales Ever

The most watched TV finales ever are iconic events that every fan remembers and feels a part of. All of us have been hooked on a TV series at one point in our lives, and when a particular show runs for some time you eventually get attached to the characters and their stories. So, when that show you love comes to an end, it is a big deal; and so it is for the other millions of fans out there. So, would you like to know which were the most watched TV finales ever?

Most Watched TV Finales Ever

Everyone knows that television has changed significantly in the last few decades, and if you take a closer look at the present list, you will see just how much. Of course, television is still a very profitable business (just check out the Top 10 Most Profitable TV Shows and see for yourself!), but with the opportunities we have of downloading episodes and watching them later, or watching them online even, using platforms like Netflix, there’s no need to follow a TV series on TV; despite how oxymoronic that sounds.

That’s probably why the latest show on our list aired its last episode in 2005, almost ten years ago! Naturally, none of the recent shows you probably expected to be on our countdown actually is, including House, Lost, Breaking Bad, Desperate Housewives or How I Met Your Mother; just to name some of the hottest series which have ended their runs in the last decade. However, there are some things that the top 14 most watched series finales in the U.S. have. On the one hand, all the shows ran for quite a long time, between 7 and 30 seasons. On the other hand, most of them are family wholesome shows with a twist, giving them the potential for large audiences.

Moreover, the finale is not necessarily the most watched episode of a TV series. But you’ll see that all of the shows in our list are considered TV classics anyway. So, let’s take a look at the countdown and find out which were the most watched TV finales ever.

 

14. Star Trek: The Next Generation

 

Episode name: “All Good Things…”

Air Date: May 23, 1994

Number of Viewers: 31 million

Number of seasons and episodes: 7 seasons, 178 episodes

Network: Syndication

 

13. Everybody Loves Raymond

Episode name: “The Finale”

Air Date: May 16, 2005

Number of Viewers: 32.9

Number of seasons and episodes: 9 seasons, 210 episodes

Network: CBS

 

12. Dallas

Episode name: “Conundrum”

Air Date: May 3, 1991

Number of Viewers: 33.3 million

Number of seasons and episodes: 14 seasons, 357 episodes

Network: CBS

 

11. Frasier

Episode name: “Goodnight, Seattle”

Air Date: May 13, 2004

Number of Viewers: 33.7 million

Number of seasons and episodes: 11 seasons, 264 episodes

Network: NBC

The top ten on our list of the most watched TV finales ever continues on the next page.

10. Home Improvement

Episode name: “The Long and Winding Road”

Air Date: May 25, 1999

Number of Viewers: 35.5 million

Number of seasons and episodes: 8 seasons, 204 episodes

Network: ABC

 

9. Family Ties

Episode name: “Alex Doesn’t Live Here Anymore”

Air Date: May 14, 1989

Number of Viewers: 36.3 million

Number of seasons and episodes: 7 seasons, 176 episodes

Network: NBC

 

8. All in the Family

Episode name: “Too Good Edith”

Air Date: April 8, 1979

Number of Viewers: 40.2

Number of seasons and episodes: 9 seasons, 208 episodes

Network: CBS

 

7. The Cosby Show

 

Episode name: “And So We Commence”

Air Date: April 30, 1992

Number of Viewers: 44.4 million

Number of seasons and episodes: 8 seasons, 202 episodes

Network: NBC

 

6. The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson

Most Watched TV Finales Ever

Air Date: May 22, 1992

Number of Viewers: 50 million

Number of seasons and episodes: 30 seasons, 4531 episodes

Network: NBC

 

5. Magnum, P.I.

 

Episode name: “Resolutions”

Air Date: May 8, 1988

Number of Viewers: 50.7 million

Number of seasons and episodes: 8 seasons, 162 episodes

Network: CBS

 

4. Friends

Episode name: “The Last One”

Air Date: May 6, 2004

Number of Viewers: 52.46 million

Number of seasons and episodes: 10 seasons, 236 episodes

Network: NBC

 

3. Seinfeld

 

Episode name: “The Finale”

Air Date: May 14, 1998

Number of Viewers: 76.3 million

Number of seasons and episodes: 9 seasons, 180 episodes

Network: NBC

 

2. Cheers

Episode name: “One for the Road”

Air Date: May 20, 1993

Number of Viewers: 84.4 million

Number of seasons and episodes: 11 seasons, 270 episodes

Network: NBC

 

1.  M*A*S*H

Episode name: “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen”

Air Date: February 28, 1983

Number of Viewers: 105.9 million

Number of seasons and episodes: 11 seasons, 256 episodes

Network: CBS