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BellaOnline's Today in History Editor

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TV Finale Airdates

Guest Author - Tammy Cordani

We all have our favorite TV shows that we either watch loyally or TiVo if we’re going to be away from the set. When those shows come to an end, we hope we can catch them on DVD or on TV Land! We take a look at the top fifteen TV show finales, the dates the series began and when they ended.

M*A*S*H starring Alan Alda, Jamie Farr and Loretta Switt began airing on September 17, 1972. Its last episode aired February 28, 1983 and was watched by almost 106 million people.

The place where everyone knows your name, Cheers, starred Ted Danson, Kelsey Grammer, Woody Harrelson, John Ratzenberger, George Wendt, Rhea Perlman, Shelley Long and Kirstie Alley. The show first aired on September 30, 1982 with over 80 million people tuning in to see the last episode on May 20, 1993.

Seinfeld, the “show about nothing”, first aired on May 31, 1990 and starred Jerry Seinfeld, Jason Alexander, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Michael Richards among a plethora of quirky characters. Over 76 million people watched the final episode of the show aired on May 14, 1998.

Friends first aired on September 22, 1994 and made household names of Chandler Bing (Matthew Perry), Phoebe Buffay (Lisa Kudrow), Monica Geller (Courtney Cox), Ross Geller (David Schwimmer), Rachel Green (Jennifer Aniston) and Joey Tibbiani (Matt LeBlanc). The show’s final episode on May 6, 2004 was watched by over 52 million people.

Was the true identity of Robin Masters revealed in the final episode of Magnum P.I. when it aired on May, 1, 1988? The finale of the show, which began on December 11, 1980 and starred Tom Selleck, John Hillerman, Larry Manetti and Roger Moseley, was watched by over 50 million viewers.

Johnny Carson was the man behind the desk interviewing some of Hollywood’s top celebrities since October 1, 1962 on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. 50 million people tuned in to see Carson’s final broadcast as host on May 22, 1992.

The Cosby Show starred Bill Cosby, Phylicia Rashad, Tempestt Bledsoe, Lisa Bonet, Keisha Knight Pulliam, Malcolm-Jamal Warner and later Raven. The comedy first aired on September 20, 1984 with over 44 million people turning in to see the show’s finale on April 30, 1992.

Carroll O’Connor became a household name when he starred as Archie Bunker in All in the Family. The show, which first aired January 12, 1971 also starred Jean Stapleton, Rob Reiner and Sally Struthers. The final episode aired on April 8, 1979 and was watched by over 40 million viewers.

Family Ties first hit the airwaves on September 22, 1982. The show told the story of the Keatons played by Michael J. Fox, Justine Bateman, Meredith Baxter, Michael Gross, Tina Yothers and later Brian Bonsall. The last episode was watched by over 36 million people when it aired on May 14, 1989.

What time is it? The hit comedy Home Improvement starred Tim Allen, Richard Karn, Patricia Richardson, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Zachery Bryan and Taran Noah Smith and first aired on September 17, 1991. The last episode aired on May 25, 1999 and was watched by over 35 million viewers.

The Ewing clan became iconic figures from the moment Dallas first aired on TV on April 2, 1978. The show, which starred Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy, Victoria Principal and Linda Gray, last aired on May 3, 1991 with over 33 million viewers tuning in.

Everybody Loves Raymond starred Ray Romano, Peter Boyle, Brad Garrett, Patricia Heaton and Doris Roberts and first aired on September 13, 1996. Over 32 million people tuned in to see the show’s finale episode on May 16, 2005.

Gunsmoke became one of the longest running shows on TV after it premiered on September 10, 1955. The show, which starred James Arness, Amanda Blake, Ken Curtis and Milburn Stone, was watched by almost 31 million people when the last episode aired on March 31, 1975.

Before it was a movie, The Fugitive was a popular TV show starring David Janssen, William Conrad and Barry Morse. The show premiered on September 17, 1963 and its last episode was watched by 30 million people when it aired on August 29, 1967.

Newhart starred Bob Newhart and Mary Frann and first aired on October 25, 1982. Over 29 million people tuned in to see the series finale on May 21, 1990.

What is a must see TV show for you? Let us know in the forum!

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Content copyright © 2014 by Tammy Cordani. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Tammy Cordani. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Vance R. Rowe for details.

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