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'Friends' finale the most-watched show of the decade

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The series finale of Friends, which aired in May 2004 and attracted 52.5 million viewers, was the most-watched TV series episode of the decade, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Following Friends were the first season finale of Survivor, the season one finale of Joe Millionaire, an ER episode from 2000, and the premiere episode for American Idol‘s sixth season. Seven of the top 10 episodes are from the first half of the decade, as an increase in channels has fractured audiences and made “must-watch shows” harder to connect with huge audiences. The full Top 10 list is below:

1. Friends, “The Last One,” May 6, 2004 — 52.5 million

2. Survivor: Borneo, “Season Finale,” Aug. 23, 2000 — 51.7 million

3. Joe Millionaire, “Season Finale,” Feb. 17, 2003 — 40 million

4. ER, “All in the Family,” Feb. 17, 2000 — 39.4 million

5. American Idol, “Minneapolis Auditions,” Jan. 16, 2007 — 38.1 million

6. Grey’s Anatomy, “It’s the End of the World,” Feb. 5, 2006 — 38 million

7. Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, May 3, 2000 — 36 million

8. Frasier, “Something Borrowed, Someone Blue,” May 18, 2000 — 33.7 million

9. Everybody Loves Raymond, “The Finale,” May 16, 2005 — 32.9 million

10. Spin City, “Goodbye,” May 24, 2000 — 32.8 million

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