Top Rated TV Shows of All-Time

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Monday night's ESPN telecast of the Giants-Cowboys game was the highest-rated cable program of all time. The previous record was held by CNN's 1993 Perot-Gore NAFTA debate on Larry King Live.

And since we started the week with some light and fluffy trivia on the Best-Selling Albums of All-Time, here's the television equivalent.

The All-Time Top Rated TV Shows:

1. M*A*S*H finale (50.15 million viewers; 60.2% of households; February 28, 1983)

2. Dallas "Who Shot JR?" episode (41.47 million; 53.3%; November 21, 1980)

3. Roots finale (36.38 million; 51.1%; January 30, 1977)

4. Super Bowl XVI, 49ers vs. Bengals (40.02 million; 49.1%; January 24, 1982)

5. Super Bowl XVII, Redskins vs. Dolphins (40.48 million; 48.6%; January 30, 1983)

6. Winter Olympics, Nancy Kerrigan/Tonya Harding (45.69 million; 48.5%; February 24, 1994)

7. Super Bowl XX, Bears vs. Patriots (41.49 million; 48.3%; January 26, 1986)

8. Gone with the Wind, Part I (33.96 million; 47.7%; November 7, 1976)

9. Gone with the Wind, Part II (33.75 million; 47.4%; November 8, 1976)

10. Super Bowl XII, Cowboys vs. Broncos (34.41 million; 47.2%; January 15, 1978)

The most recent event in the top 45 is Super Bowl XXXIV, from January 2000 (#40).

For you Brits, the highest rated single episode of a program was the 1986 EastEnders Christmas special. Only the 1966 World Cup Final, Funeral of Princess Diana, and a 1969 documentary of the Royal Family had more viewers.

We now return to regularly scheduled programming.

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October 25, 2006 - 4:29am
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