9 Most-Watched TV Events Ever, Including the ‘M*A*S*H’ Finale, Now 40 Years Old

MASH (aka M*A*S*H), background from left: Jamie Farr, David Ogden Stiers, Mike Farrell, Alan Alda, William Christopher, front from left: Loretta Swit, Harry Morgan in 'Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen' (Season 11, Episode 16, aired February 28, 1983), 1972-78
20th Century Fox Film Corp./Everett Collection
This excerpt appears
courtesy of our partner site

Four decades ago, on February 28, 1983, an estimated 60 percent of American households flicked on their televisions and tuned their sets to CBS for the series finale of M*A*S*H. That final installment got a 60.2 Nielsen rating and is the highest-rated telecast to date, according to the analytics company.

When accounting for total viewers, though, the ranking changes. Citing Nielsen data, Wikipedia users have listed of the 30 most-watched television broadcasts in the United States, and the M*A*S*H finale isn’t in the top slot. After consolidating the Super Bowl broadcasts on the list — since those NFL games take up 22 entries in the top 30! — here’s where the ranking stands.