Katie Couric's farewell special on NBC's "Today" was watched by 8.4 million people, according to Nielsen Media Research figures released Thursday.

It ranked as the biggest audience for a single "Today" telecast since the morning after the 2004 elections, when 9 million watched. Since 1987, the only other "Today" shows watched by more viewers were those that followed the 1989 San Francisco earthquake and the 2000 election.

"Today" dedicated the Wednesday morning show to Couric, who's leaving to anchor the "CBS Evening News." It brought to a close Couric's 15 years at the program, which has consistently been the top-rated morning show.

Couric, 49, will be replaced by Meredith Vieira of "The View."