According to Nielsen Media Research, the final episode of Friends was watched by 51.1 million viewers.
That's a far cry from the 80.4 million who saw the final Cheers and the 76.2 million who watched the Seinfeld finale, but in line with NBC's prediction of 45 to 50 million.
In Houston, Friends drew a beefy 28.0 rating and 37 share. That compares with a combined 29.9 rating and 38 share for ABC, CBS, Fox, UPN and WB programming here, reports chron.com
According to bocaratonnews.com "Ross and Rachel have to end up together. There is no other way," said Bobra Bush of Boca Raton. Bush gathered with approximately 20 other Friends fans last night at the World Famous Sports Cafe and Billiards in Delray Beach to watch the series finale – an event hosted by Social Fusion. They joined over 50 million people who tuned in nationwide.
Advertisers took advantage of the expected ratings and paid record amounts – along the lines of those paid during the Super Bowl – for 30-second spots, earning NBC close to $40 million in sales. That came to about $2 million dollars per commercial.
Besides the commercials, Rachel and Ross were the talk of the night. Most fans didn’t really seem to care about the other characters. They said they just wanted to see Rachel and Ross get back together.
"I want Rachel and Ross to end up together because after all this time…they just have to!" Sandra Thompson of West Palm Beach exclaimed. "Between the ups and downs, they belong together. That would be the perfect ending," she continued.
Jamie Bayardelle of West Palm Beach wanted everyone on friends to be happy in the end, even if it meant splitting up the friends. "I don’t want Rachel to move to Paris. I want Rachel and Ross to get together. And I want Chandler and Monica to move to their house in the suburbs," he said.
The Friends frenzy started almost 10 years ago. On September 22, 1994 we were first introduced to the six 20-something New Yorkers at their local coffee spot "Central Perk."