'M*A*S*H' Finale: History-Making Series Ending That Captivated The World

By | February 17, 2020

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Loretta Swit, Mike Farrell, David Odgen, and Jaime Farr,and the Cast of M*A*S*H at the press conference for the show's final episode. (Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

The final episode of M*A*S*H, aired on February 28, 1973, was a country- and generation-uniting event. Just as so many people can tell you what they were doing when they heard John F. Kennedy had been killed, millions and millions can recall tuning in at that exact moment to bid farewell to Alan Alda, Loretta Swit, Jamie Farr, Wayne Christopher, Mike Farrell, Gary Burghoff and the rest of the cast of the most successful sitcom in history. The episode, "Goodbye, Farewell and Amen," stands as the most-watched TV episode of all time, and given the fractured nature of entertainment in the 21st century, will likely hold that title forever.

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This cast felt like family to many viewers (tvseriesfinale)

Truly special television shows bring people together like a campfire. In the history of TV no show brought more people together for a single episode than the finale of M*A*S*H. “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen” was seen by more than an astonishing 106 million people.

To put that in perspective, the most recent TV series to garner even a tiny slice as much attention was Game of Thrones. Sporting dragons and sex, the finale of Game of Thrones only attracted 16.5 million viewers. That’s only 15 percent as many people who amassed on couches all over the country to watch M*A*S*H! Chances are we’ll never see anything like it again.