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Estimated 51.1M Tune in for 'Friends'

An estimated 51.1 million people tuned in to watch Ross and Rachel get together on the final episode of “Friends” Thursday night, according to preliminary Nielsen Media Research ratings.

That was roughly two-thirds of the audience gathered by the “Cheers” and “Seinfeld” finales, but along the lines of what NBC had been predicting.

Nielsen estimated that just under 36 million people warmed up for the last episode by watching highlights of the past 10 seasons during the hour preceding the show.

Television’s most popular comedy provided the ending most of its fans were hoping for, with the on-again, off-again couple declaring their undying love and the gang heading out for one last cup of java.

 
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