The Best Series Finales

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List Criteria: 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 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 cancelled, and make sure to add your favorite TV series finale/ending if it's not already on the list.

Collection Photo:  via hbo
  • 58 ReRanks
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  1. 51
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Kevin James, Leah Remini, Jerry Stiller

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  2. 52
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    - 196


    Harry Anderson, John Larroquette, Richard Moll

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  3. 53
    + 64
    - 53

    ranked low on reranks & added by surag
    Topher Grace, Laura Prepon, Mila Kunis

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  4. 54
    + 43
    - 49

    added by jay.broughton
    Martin Sheen, Rob Lowe, Allison Janney

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  5. 55
    + 84
    - 95

    added by bhittt
    Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis

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  6. 56
    + 40
    - 48

    added by Umberhaven
    Avery Brooks, Rene Auberjonois, Cirroc Lofton

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  7. 57
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    - 318

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Ed Begley Jr., William Daniels, Howie Mandel

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  8. 58
    + 100
    - 236


    Mihaly 'Michu' Meszaros, Paul Fusco, Max Wright

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  9. 59
    + 118
    - 289


    David James Elliott, Catherine Bell, Patrick Labyorteaux

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  10. 60
    + 49
    - 50

    ranked low on reranks & added by RichardBeecher
    David Letterman, Paul Shaffer, Alan Kalter

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  11. 61
    + 115
    - 214


    John Lithgow, Jane Curtin, Kristen Johnston

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  12. 62
    + 35
    - 53

    added by sannalockner
    Teri Hatcher, Felicity Huffman, Marcia Cross

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  13. 63
    + 82
    - 177

    added by dee123
    Richard Dean Anderson, Michael Shanks, Amanda Tapping

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  14. 64
    + 90
    - 129

    added by eevangel
    Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel, Scott Patterson

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  15. 65
    + 153
    - 267

    added by averagej123
    Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, Jasika Nicole

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  16. 66
    + 36
    - 43

    added by Jules_WinnfieId
    Lucy Lawless, Jaime Murray, Katrina Law

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  17. 67
    + 110
    - 316

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Larry Hagman, Ken Kercheval, Patrick Duffy

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  18. 68
    + 29
    - 34

    added by Muttley Dastardly
    Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, Vincent Kartheiser

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  19. 69
    + 21
    - 19

    added by Kimberly Finzel
    Jim Caviezel, Taraji P. Henson, Kevin Chapman

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  20. 70
    + 96
    - 217


    Candice Bergen, Grant Shaud, Robert Pastorelli

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  21. 71
    + 102
    - 192


    Richard Dean Anderson, Dana Elcar, Bruce McGill

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  22. 72
    + 100
    - 251


    Dennis Franz, Gordon Clapp, James McDaniel

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  23. 73
    + 82
    - 164

    added by dee123
    Jennifer Garner, Ron Rifkin, Carl Lumbly

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  24. 74
    + 95
    - 182

    added by Owen_Paul_Sloane
    Jason Bateman, Michael Cera, Portia de Rossi

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  25. 75
    + 26
    - 40

    added by Umberhaven
    Colin Ferguson, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Erica Cerra

    ;
  26. 76
    + 23
    - 36


    Denis Leary, Michael Lombardi, Steven Pasquale

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  27. 77
    + 24
    - 57

    added by willyboymcoy
    James Spader, William Shatner, Candice Bergen

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  28. 78
    + 25
    - 48


    Jeff Daniels, Emily Mortimer, John Gallagher Jr.

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  29. 79
    + 100
    - 286


    Mischa Barton, Adam Brody, Peter Gallagher

    ;
  30. 80
    + 87
    - 223

    added by adressefueralles23
    Chad Michael Murray, James Lafferty, Hilarie Burton

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  31. 81
    + 102
    - 266


    Don Johnson, Philip Michael Thomas, Saundra Santiago

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  32. 82
    + 132
    - 299


    Roseanne Barr, John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf

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  33. 83
    + 14
    - 29


    Anson Mount, Colm Meaney, Robin McLeavy

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  34. 84
    + 88
    - 199


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  35. 85
    + 19
    - 31


    Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman, Allison Tolman

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  36. 86
    + 38
    - 50

    added by rgriff1935
    Hal Linden, Abe Vigoda, Steve Landesberg

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  37. 87
    + 110
    - 211


    Ricky Gervais, Martin Freeman, Mackenzie Crook

    ;
  38. 88
    + 105
    - 189


    Jason Priestley, Shannen Doherty, Luke Perry

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  39. 89
    + 19
    - 48

    added by SlashLover
    John Hurt, Colin Morgan, Bradley James

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  40. 90
    + 78
    - 174


    Lorne Greene, Michael Landon, Dan Blocker

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  41. 91
    + 72
    - 187


    James Arness, Milburn Stone, Amanda Blake

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  42. 92
    + 91
    - 173


    Tim Daly, Steven Weber, Crystal Bernard

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  43. 93
    + 26
    - 56


    Angela Lansbury, William Windom, Ron Masak

    ;
  44. 94
    + 24
    - 45

    added by lostshadow
    Cybill Shepherd, Bruce Willis, Allyce Beasley

    ;
  45. 95
    + 58
    - 58

    added by alleycat71
    Jeffrey Donovan, Gabrielle Anwar, Bruce Campbell

    ;
  46. 96
    + 80
    - 259

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Eliza Dushku, Harry Lennix, Fran Kranz

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  47. 97
    + 64
    - 72


    Zach Tyler, Dee Bradley Baker, Mae Whitman

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  48. 98
    + 15
    - 60


    Lisa Whelchel, Kim Fields, Mindy Cohn

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  49. 99
    + 21
    - 44

    added by RichardBeecher
    Danny McBride, Steve Little, Katy Mixon

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  50. 100
    + 11
    - 43


    Michele Lee, Ted Shackelford, Joan Van Ark

    ;
156 +

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