For years, the finale of the TV series M*A*S*H held the record for the most-watched TV show in history. Not anymore. According to Nielsen, 106.5 million people watched the Saints beat the Colts during this past Sunday's Super Bowl, setting a new viewing record. The M*A*S*H finale garnered 105.97 million viewers back in 1983. Sunday's game also broke the previous Super Bowl viewing record, set last year, when 98.7 million watched the Steelers beat the Cardinals.
As for why so many tuned in to Sunday's game on CBS, it's thought that the prospect of seeing whether Peyton Manning would win a second Super Bowl ring, as well as the prospect of the Saints winning their first-ever Super Bowl after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, proved irresistible to viewers.
The new CBS series Undercover Boss benefited from the Super Bowl's big audience. An estimated 38.6 million viewers stayed tuned to the network to watch the show's premiere episode. It ranks as the third most-watched program in a post-Super Bowl time slot, following a 1996 episode of Friends and a 2001 edition of Survivor.