When Jon Stewart ended his run on “The Daily Show” this week after more than 16 years as its host, Comedy Central said the series finale was the show’s second most watched episode ever, drawing 3.5 million viewers. But we couldn’t help but wonder, what’s the most-watched prime-time series finale of all time? We’ve got the list of the Top 5 for you below. Can you guess which made No. 1?
For the record, the most watched “Daily Show” episode featured President Obama as a guest on Oct. 9, 2008, drawing 3.6 million viewers.
The Top 5
5. Friends, 2004. 52.5 million viewers. What would happen with Rachel and Ross? Monica and Chandler? Phoebe and Smelly Cat? No shockers here: everyone lived happily ever after.
4. Seinfeld, 1998, 76.3 million viewers. And at least half of those viewers were sorely disappointed with what they saw. One critic deemed it a big “So long, suckers!” farewell to the audience who had made the show about nothing such a big hit.
3. The Fugitive, 1967. 78 million people tuned in to watch part two of the finale and see what would happen to Richard Kimble.
2. Cheers, 1993. 80.4 million viewers. “One for the Road” featured the Return of Diane. Everyone who wondered what had become of Shelley Long’s character found out when she returned with a phony husband.
1. M*A*S*H, 1983. 105.9 million viewers watched the Alan Alda-directed “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen” episode of M*A*S*H, which was not only the most-watched series finale ever, but the most-watched television event ever—until 2010, when the Super Bowl topped it with 106 million viewers.
Want to know the full Top 10? Find out here.
Image from: CBS/FOX