Famous TV show finales
Why were so many people watching "M*A*S*H" sign off?
Several factors probably played a part, including the vastly different media landscape of the early '80s. Most households didn't have cable telelvision, so broadcast networks were still the dominant players -- and there were only three of them.
In February 1983, 37.2 percent of US households had cable television. In 2006, cable or satellite reached more than 85 percent of US households.