Rock icons THE Beatles have topped a poll to find America's most popular TV episode - 40.7 per cent of Americans watched them appear on the Ed Sullivan SHOW.

The FAB FOUR's three appearances on the legendary chat show king's acclaimed series in February 1964 were deemed to be the most watched episodes of a regular show ever.

However, even the HEY JUDE hitmaker's couldn't topple war comedy M*A*S*H's finale in 1983 which drew an incredible 46.9 per cent of Americans to their television sets.

Despite the winning result, the Beatles remain on the top spot because the Mash ending was a 150 minute TV movie special and therefore doesn't qualify as a regular episode.

The next most popular broadcasts were 1982's SUPER BOWL XVI (38.13 per cent) and the infamous WHO SHOT JR? episode of Dallas, which was seen by 37.78 per cent of Americans.

It is estimated that a record breaking 73 million viewers tuned in to see John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr take the stage on Sullivan for the first time.

04/02/2004 13:39