Encyclopedia  |   World Factbook  |   World Flags  |   Reference Tables  |   List of Lists     
   Academic Disciplines  |   Historical Timeline  |   Themed Timelines  |   Biographies  |   How-Tos     
Sponsor by The Tattoo Collection
List of most-watched television episodes
Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

List of most-watched television episodes

The following is a list of most-watched television episodes, organized by country and based on various criteria.

Table of contents
1 United Kingdom
2 United States

United Kingdom

Most watched episodes

(by total number of viewers, [1])
  1. Only Fools and Horses Christmas special, 24.35 million (1996)
  2. To the Manor Born final episode, 23.95 million (1981)
  3. Royal Variety Performance 22.85 million (1967)
  4. Panorama interview with Diana, Princess of Wales, 22.75 million (1995)
  5. Royal Variety Performance 22.65 million (1965)

United States

Sources:
BBC, Reuters

Most watched episodes

(by percentage of population, but listing total viewers; source: BBC)
  1. M*A*S*H finale, 105.9 million viewers (February 28, 1983)
  2. The Ed Sullivan Show with guests The Beatles, 73 million (February 9, 1964)
  3. The Ed Sullivan Show with guests The Beatles, 70.7 million (February 16, 1964)
  4. Super Bowl XVI, 85.2 million (1982)
  5. Dallas "Who Shot JR?", 83 million (November 21, 1980)

Most watched finales

(by total viewers; source:
Reuters)
  1. M*A*S*H, 105.9 million viewers (1983)
  2. Cheers, 80.4 million, (1993)
  3. Seinfeld, 76.3 million (1998)
  4. Friends, 52.5 million (2004)

The most-watched finale is not necessarily a show's most-watched episode. Friends, for example, had 52.9 million viewers for a 1996 episode which followed Super Bowl XXX.