20 TV Show Finales With the Biggest Audiences Ever

Huddling around the television with all of your friends the moment a show airs isn’t quite what it used to be.  While people still gather in groups to watch their favorite shows, the timing of such events doesn’t have to revolve around specifically when the program airs anymore.   Before the invention of the VCR you either caught a program or you didn’t.  If you snoozed you would lose.  Then came the VCR and you could record your favorite TV shows and watch them whenever.  Then came the DVR and TIVO which virtually changed the game forever.

And now we have streaming services.  I bring this all up because the days of humongous ratings for live television and live television events aren’t necessarily gone but I don’t think you’ll be seeing too many show finales eclipse 50 million viewers let alone 20 million.   In the age of Netflix there’s just too much television out there to watch. I think the only thing you’ll see get that kind of view count anymore is the Super Bowl and that’s just about it.

But if you’d like to take a trip down memory lane, here are 20 TV show finales that got the highest viewer counts of all-time.

L.A. Law (NBC) – 22.1 million viewers

MacGyver (ABC) – 22.3 million viewers

St. Elsewhere (NBC) – 22.5 million viewers

Full House (ABC) – 24.3 million viewers

Golden Girls (NBC) – 27.2 million viewers

Happy Days (ABC) – 30.5 million viewers

Gunsmoke (CBS) – 30.9 million viewers

Star Trek: The Next Generation (Syndicated) – 31 million viewers

Everybody Loves Raymond (CBS) – 32.9 million viewers

Dallas (CBS) – 33.3 million viewers

Frasier (NBC) – 33.7 million viewers

Home Improvement (ABC) – 35.5 million viewers

Family Ties (NBC) – 36.3 million viewers

All in the Family (CBS) – 40.2 million viewers

The Cosby Show (NBC) – 44.4 million viewers

Magnum, P.I. (CBS) – 50.7 million viewers

Friends (NBC) – 65.9 million viewers

Seinfeld (NBC) – 76.3 million viewers

Cheers (NBC) – 84.4 million viewers

M*A*S*H (CBS) – 105.9 million viewers

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