best TV shows The Best Series Finales  

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List Rules Finale episodes of TV shows

This list of the best series finales in television is a somber reminder that no matter how much you love a TV character or a show, in time, they all will end. Your favorite TV couple, your favorite villain, and even your favorite television businesses will all close up shop at some point, and these are the best final episodes of those series that are no longer on the air. And believe it or not, some of the best TV shows ever didn't make the list because they straight up had bad finales.

This list includes the greatest television series finales and the best TV show endings in the history of television, ranked by TV viewers who had a strong reaction - good or bad - to the final episodes of their favorite shows. Some of these TV shows had the highest ranked series finales of all time while others are on the list simply for resonating with their fans. Some series finales, like the final episode of Newhart, are still talked about because people can't believe the show actually ended that way. Others, like M*A*S*H, rank high because they were emotionally fulfilling to the fans who had turned on their TVs and opened their lives to those most loved TV characters week after week, right up until the end.

What show had the best series finale? That's what this list is here to decide. Remember, the top series finales both wrapped up the storylines AND left viewers wanting more. Go easy on the series finales that came as a result of a show being canceled, and make sure to add your favorite TV series finale/ending if it's not already on the list.

list ordered by

1
+ - 3,816 1,116
Breaking Bad is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Series Finales
Breaking Bad Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn

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2
+ - 1,865 1,349
M*A*S*H is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Series Finales
M*A*S*H Alan Alda, Wayne Rogers, Loretta Swi

3
+ - 1,957 1,593
Friends is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Series Finales
Friends Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow

4
+ - 1,322 1,182
Newhart is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Series Finales
Newhart Bob Newhart, Mary Frann, Tom Poston

5
+ - 1,131 1,047
Cheers is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Series Finales
Cheers Ted Danson, Rhea Perlman, John Ratzenberger

6
+ - 1,080 1,049
Six Feet Under is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Series Finales
Six Feet Under Peter Krause, Michael C. Hall, Frances Conroy

7
+ - 836 954
The Tonight Show Starring John... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Series Finales
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson Johnny Carson, Ed McMahon, Skitch Henderson

8
+ - 838 999
Star Trek: The Next Generation is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Series Finales
Star Trek: The Next Generation Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes

9
+ - 1,087 1,077
Buffy the Vampire Slayer is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Series Finales
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Sarah Michelle Gellar, Nicholas Brendon, Alyson Hannigan

10
+ - 1,058 1,316
The Sopranos is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Series Finales
The Sopranos James Gandolfini, Lorraine Bracco, Edie Falco

11
+ - 1,084 546
The Office is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Series Finales
The Office Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer - 2005

12
+ - 712 388
Parks and Recreation is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Series Finales
Parks and Recreation Amy Poehler, Jim O'Heir, Nick Offerman

13
+ - 699 828
Frasier is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Series Finales
Frasier Kelsey Grammer, Jane Leeves, David Hyde Pierce

14
+ - 871 528
Sons of Anarchy is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Series Finales
Sons of Anarchy Charlie Hunnam, Katey Sagal, Mark Boone Junior

15
+ - 918 1,335
Seinfeld is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Series Finales
Seinfeld Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Michael Richards

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16
+ - 879 641
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Series Finales
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Will Smith, James Avery, Alfonso Ribeiro

17
+ - 599 747
The Wire is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Series Finales
The Wire Dominic West, Lance Reddick, Sonja Sohn

18
+ - 821 565
House is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Series Finales
House Hugh Laurie, Omar Epps, Robert Sean Leonard

19
+ - 945 1,677
Lost is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Series Finales
Lost Naveen Andrews, Matthew Fox, Jorge Garcia

20
+ - 490 681
The Mary Tyler Moore Show is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Series Finales
The Mary Tyler Moore Show Mary Tyler Moore, Edward Asner, Gavin MacLeod

21
+ - 609 686
The Wonder Years is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Series Finales
The Wonder Years Fred Savage, Dan Lauria, Daniel Stern

22
+ - 559 675
Home Improvement is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Series Finales
Home Improvement Tim Allen, Patricia Richardson, Earl Hindman

23
+ - 775 665
Scrubs is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Series Finales
Scrubs Zach Braff, Donald Faison, Sarah Chalke

24
+ - 511 769
Battlestar Galactica is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Series Finales
Battlestar Galactica Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell, Jamie Bamber

25
+ - 562 748
Angel is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Series Finales
Angel David Boreanaz, Charisma Carpenter, Alexis Denisof

26
+ - 543 776
ER is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Series Finales
ER Anthony Edwards, George Clooney, Julianna Margulies

27
+ - 484 691
24 is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Series Finales
24 Kiefer Sutherland, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Carlos Bernard

28
+ - 619 494
Boy Meets World is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Series Finales
Boy Meets World Ben Savage, Rider Strong, William Daniels

29
+ - 407 660
Quantum Leap is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Series Finales
Quantum Leap Scott Bakula, Dean Stockwell, Deborah Pratt

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30
+ - 468 510
The Golden Girls is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Series Finales
The Golden Girls Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan

31
+ - 381 508
Everybody Loves Raymond is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Series Finales
Everybody Loves Raymond Ray Romano, Patricia Heaton, Brad Garrett

32
+ - 435 594
Full House is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Series Finales
Full House Bob Saget, John Stamos, Dave Coulier

33
+ - 193 171
Mad Men is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Series Finales
Mad Men Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, Vincent Kartheiser

34
+ - 517 579
Charmed is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Series Finales
Charmed Holly Marie Combs, Alyssa Milano, Brian Krause

35
+ - 348 214
That '70s Show is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Series Finales
That '70s Show Topher Grace, Laura Prepon, Mila Kunis

36
+ - 385 501
The X-Files is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Series Finales
The X-Files David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi

37
+ - 432 393
Married... with Children is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Series Finales
Married... with Children Ed O'Neill, Christina Applegate, Katey Sagal

38
+ - 315 699
The Cosby Show is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Series Finales
The Cosby Show Bill Cosby, Phylicia Rashad, Keshia Knight Pulliam

39
+ - 395 540
Smallville is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Series Finales
Smallville Tom Welling, Michael Rosenbaum, Allison Mack

40
+ - 382 501
The Shield is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Series Finales
The Shield Michael Chiklis, Catherine Dent, Walton Goggins

41
+ - 213 263
30 Rock is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Series Finales
30 Rock Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Tracy Morgan

42
+ - 329 399
Happy Days is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Series Finales
Happy Days Ron Howard, Henry Winkler, Marion Ross

43
+ - 238 169
Avatar: The Last Airbender is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Series Finales
Avatar: The Last Airbender Zach Tyler, Dee Bradley Baker, Mae Whitman

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44
+ - 333 542
Friday Night Lights is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Series Finales
Friday Night Lights Kyle Chandler, Connie Britton, Aimee Teegarden

45
+ - 221 199
Justified is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Series Finales
Justified Timothy Olyphant, Nick Searcy, Joelle Carter

46
+ - 293 468
All in the Family is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Series Finales
All in the Family Carroll O'Connor, Jean Stapleton, Rob Reiner

47
+ - 275 419
Magnum, P.I. is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Series Finales
Magnum, P.I. Tom Selleck, John Hillerman, Roger E. Mosley

48
+ - 277 576
Chuck is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Series Finales
Chuck Zachary Levi, Yvonne Strahovski, Joshua Gomez

49
+ - 275 406
Family Ties is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Series Finales
Family Ties Michael J. Fox, Michael Gross, Meredith Baxter

50
+ - 377 624
Leverage is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Series Finales
Leverage Timothy Hutton, Gina Bellman, Christian Kane