38th Anniversary of Goodbye, Farewell and Amen


2021 marks the 38th anniversary of the end of M*A*S*H. The feature-length series finale, “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen,” aired Monday, February 28th, 1983 on CBS. The episode earned a 60.2 Nielsen rating–a record it still holds–with roughly 106 million viewers tuning in.

CBS repeated “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen” twice: on Monday, September 19th, 1983 and again on Tuesday, September 18th, 1984. It aired for the first time in local syndication in February 1993. The finale aired for the first time on cable in September 1998 when M*A*S*H debuted on FX.

Still from the MASH episode Goodbye, Farewell and Amen showing GOODBYE written in stones.
The iconic GOODBYE from the end of “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen.”

Check out my Episode Spotlight review of “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen” from October 2017. You can also read my Goodbye, Farewell and Amen Ratings Analysis and a review of the original CBS broadcast by fan Larry Petit.

I haven’t watched “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen” since 2017. When was the last time you watched the final episode of M*A*S*H?

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9 Replies to “Super Bowl LII Fails to Beat Goodbye, Farewell and Amen”

  1. Wonder if this has anything to do with the kneeling during the national anthem controversy. I saw various news articles on groups planning to boycott the game because of it.

    I suspect also we’ll see numbers continue to gradually drop as cable TV continues to die. I myself wouldn’t have been able to watch if I wanted to unless I found a way to stream it online since I don’t have TV anymore.

    1. Yeah. I saw some figures regarding the numbers of different groups watching and not watching the Super Bowl, and accordingly, the number of male viewers was down I think 5-7%, the number of white viewers down by 11%, and the number of Republican viewers down by like 22% or so.

      But this really shouldn’t come as any surprise. The buffoon we have pretending to be our president is enciting this kind of behavior in our country by calling White Supremacists who go out and attack black people, “some very fine people,” while calling the black people who are speaking out against the injustices their minorities faces from said White Supremacists, “sons of bitches.”

      But what do I care? I’m not a sports person, so I never watch the Super Bowl anyway, lol. And that’s weird, because my state practically worships football – we had Peyton Manning during his college career, so he’s pretty much a hero here: you’re bound to see memorabilia of him somewhere you go around here, whether it’s jerseys, helmets, or whatever else with his name and number.

    2. That’s a big reason why I neither watched nor recorded this Super Bowl, plus I’ve lost a lot of interest in football & sports-watching in general over the past couple years.

  2. I’m wondering how many people actually watched most or all of the game, and how many were multitasking on their phones and laptops with the TV playing the game in the background. I’m pretty sure those MASH viewers weren’t playing tic-tac-toe on a separate little screen with a friend in Italy while they half-watched the iconic finale. Just my two cents. 🙂

    1. Forgot that my emoticon would turn into an emoji with tiny little lines for facial expressions, and I can’t figure out how to edit the post to delete it. It’s supposed to be a simple smile.

    2. This is actually a really good point. There’s probably a pretty large percentage of people out there who spend their evenings on the computer, tablet, phone etc. and just decided to throw the game on that night because why not. You could almost question if that really counts towards the numbers.

      The same would probably apply to all super bowl games. Notice how it wasn’t until 2010 when M*A*S*H was finally beaten. Was this simply because the population had increased or was it because of the reasons mentioned above with the rise of technology? Since we know cable TV has been on the decline for years, I’d wager that it’s both population increase and the rise in technology with people putting it on in the background.

      Too bad there’s no way to get the numbers break down and see if any Super Bowl actually beat M*A*S*H in dedicated viewers.

      1. I’ve been reading all these comments (including yours) and I’m delighted to see the amount of enlightened/intelligent thinking. :]

  3. I would remind everyone that M*A*S*H’s rating, a 60.3/77 – is a record that I doubt will be broken by anything, including a SuperBowl. I don’t think a SuperBowl has cracked a 50 rating, but they regular get into the high 40s.

    By using the rating, the M*A*S*H record normalizes for population, which comparing the 100+ million does not – the US population is much, much greater than it was in 1983.

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