39th Anniversary of Goodbye, Farewell and Amen

3 Comments

The series finale of M*A*S*H, a movie-length episode titled “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen,” celebrates its 39th anniversary today. It originally 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.

Did you watch this historic broadcast 39 years ago? If not, when was the first time you saw the final episode of M*A*S*H? When was the last time you watched the series finale?

3 Replies to “39th Anniversary of Goodbye, Farewell and Amen”

  1. I watched GFA sitting at the edge of my parents’ bed. It was multi-generational, water-cooler television in an era where there were really only 3 choices to watch TV – ABC, CBS and NBC. M*A*S*H’s ratings record, a 60.2 rating/77 share, will never be broken, even though the number of viewers has been eclipsed by (basically) a handful of SuperBowl’s… primarily because the US population is so much bigger today than it was in 1983. There are almost 100 million more Americans alive in 2021 than there were in 1983. But with so many choices for watching television, the rating won’t ever be broken.

    Aside from the success of the show, the emotional impact of that finale has stayed with me. M*A*S*H was a timeless show – because it was a show produced in the 1970s/80s and set in the 1950s, the uniforms won’t ever age. And being set in a war, the finale did not need to be contrived in any way – the war was over. Still, the show did a beautiful job sending off the 4077th in a 2.5 hour finale, and making sure it had M*A*S*H’s signature combination of humor, drama and pathos woven together.

  2. I was so sad for many reasons watching that. I was so excited to see it but nervous and sad as it was over. I was 14 when it aired and to this day have only been able to watch part of it 1 other time. It’s a very depressing thing as it reminds me of so many things in the past. I watch MASH almost daily and the show is the best to make me feel good. Even keeping it on in the background and I can say the lines for most episodes so I don’t even need to see it as I know the scene thst goes with the lines I hear. I have some of the action figures from the early 80s but have always wanted a painting from potters office. I would treasure it and pass it on. Has anyone ever seen one in recent years?

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