Harry Morgan died Wednesday at age 96. He’s most memorable to me as Colonel Potter on M*A*S*H, a show I grew up watching in my teens and early 20’s.

The M*A*S*H finale has the distinction of having the highest measured household rating of any TV episode in US history (60.2), meaning that on average, 60.2% of US TV households at the time watched the entire show.

Here are the top 10 highest rated (by households) US TV episodes:

Top 100 US TV Telecasts by Rating through February 1, 2009

Rank
Program Net Rating Share
Households (000) Telecast Date
1 M*A*S*H Special CBS 60.2 77  50,150 Feb. 28, 1983
2 Dallas CBS 53.3 76  41,470 Nov. 21, 1980
3 Roots Pt. VIII ABC 51.1 71  36,380 Jan. 30, 1977
4 Super Bowl XVI Game CBS 49.1 73  40,020 Jan. 24, 1982
5 Super Bowl XVII Game NBC 48.6 69  40,480 Jan 30, 1983
6 XVII Winter Olympics – Wed-2 CBS 48.5 64  45,690 Feb. 23, 1994
7 Super Bowl XX Game NBC 48.3 70  41,490 Jan. 26, 1986
8 Gone With The Wind-Pt.1 (Big Event-Pt 1) NBC 47.7 65  33,960 Nov. 7, 1976
9 Gone With The Wind-Pt.2 (NBC Mon.Mov.) NBC 47.4 64  33,750 Nov. 8, 1976
10 Super Bowl XII Game CBS 47.2 67  34,410 Jan. 15, 1978


Click here for the entire list of the top 100 as of February, 2009.

Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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