The Best Series Finales

49k votes 4.9k voters 95k views 160 items tags f p @

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
  • 54 ReRanks
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  1. 51
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    - 179


    Harry Anderson, John Larroquette, Richard Moll

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  2. 52
    + 97
    - 223

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    William Conrad, Richard Anderson, David Janssen

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  3. 53
    + 70
    - 76

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

    ;
  4. 54
    + 42
    - 30

    added by RichardBeecher
    David Letterman, Paul Shaffer, Alan Kalter

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  5. 55
    + 95
    - 219

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Mihaly 'Michu' Meszaros, Paul Fusco, Max Wright

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  6. 56
    + 43
    - 38

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

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  7. 57
    + 114
    - 299

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

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  8. 58
    + 29
    - 35

    ranked low on reranks & added by sannalockner
    Teri Hatcher, Felicity Huffman, Marcia Cross

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  9. 59
    + 112
    - 274

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    David James Elliott, Catherine Bell, Patrick Labyorteaux

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  10. 60
    + 109
    - 199


    John Lithgow, Jane Curtin, Kristen Johnston

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  11. 61
    + 23
    - 36

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

    ;
  12. 62
    + 28
    - 30

    added by Umberhaven
    Avery Brooks, Rene Auberjonois, Cirroc Lofton

    ;
  13. 63
    + 26
    - 27

    added by Jules_WinnfieId
    Lucy Lawless, Jaime Murray, Katrina Law

    ;
  14. 64
    + 76
    - 162

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

    ;
  15. 65
    + 11
    - 4

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

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  16. 66
    + 19
    - 20


    Denis Leary, Michael Lombardi, Steven Pasquale

    ;
  17. 67
    + 107
    - 300

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

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  18. 68
    + 75
    - 115

    added by eevangel
    Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel, Scott Patterson

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  19. 69
    + 97
    - 179


    Richard Dean Anderson, Dana Elcar, Bruce McGill

    ;
  20. 70
    + 91
    - 204


    Candice Bergen, Grant Shaud, Robert Pastorelli

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  21. 71
    + 136
    - 253

    added by averagej123
    Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, Jasika Nicole

    ;
  22. 72
    + 97
    - 239


    Dennis Franz, Gordon Clapp, James McDaniel

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  23. 73
    + 75
    - 151

    added by dee123
    Jennifer Garner, Ron Rifkin, Carl Lumbly

    ;
  24. 74
    + 19
    - 45

    added by willyboymcoy
    James Spader, William Shatner, Candice Bergen

    ;
  25. 75
    + 86
    - 170

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

    ;
  26. 76
    + 17
    - 28

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

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  27. 77
    + 8
    - 14


    Anson Mount, Colm Meaney, Robin McLeavy

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  28. 78
    + 18
    - 36


    Jeff Daniels, Emily Mortimer, John Gallagher Jr.

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  29. 79
    + 84
    - 184


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  30. 80
    + 31
    - 38

    added by rgriff1935
    Hal Linden, Abe Vigoda, Steve Landesberg

    ;
  31. 81
    + 81
    - 205

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

    ;
  32. 82
    + 107
    - 197


    Ricky Gervais, Martin Freeman, Mackenzie Crook

    ;
  33. 83
    + 96
    - 251


    Don Johnson, Philip Michael Thomas, Saundra Santiago

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  34. 84
    + 122
    - 279


    Roseanne Barr, John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf

    ;
  35. 85
    + 93
    - 270

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Mischa Barton, Adam Brody, Peter Gallagher

    ;
  36. 86
    + 13
    - 33

    added by SlashLover
    John Hurt, Colin Morgan, Bradley James

    ;
  37. 87
    + 99
    - 174


    Jason Priestley, Shannen Doherty, Luke Perry

    ;
  38. 88
    + 8
    - 20


    Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman, Allison Tolman

    ;
  39. 89
    + 75
    - 161


    Lorne Greene, Michael Landon, Dan Blocker

    ;
  40. 90
    + 70
    - 174


    James Arness, Milburn Stone, Amanda Blake

    ;
  41. 91
    + 86
    - 163


    Tim Daly, Steven Weber, Crystal Bernard

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  42. 92
    + 47
    - 44

    added by alleycat71
    Jeffrey Donovan, Gabrielle Anwar, Bruce Campbell

    ;
  43. 93
    + 9
    - 30


    Michele Lee, Ted Shackelford, Joan Van Ark

    ;
  44. 94
    + 13
    - 49


    Lisa Whelchel, Kim Fields, Mindy Cohn

    ;
  45. 95
    + 17
    - 34

    added by lostshadow
    Cybill Shepherd, Bruce Willis, Allyce Beasley

    ;
  46. 96
    + 56
    - 61


    Zach Tyler, Dee Bradley Baker, Mae Whitman

    ;
  47. 97
    + 19
    - 48


    Angela Lansbury, William Windom, Ron Masak

    ;
  48. 98
    + 15
    - 32

    added by RichardBeecher
    Danny McBride, Steve Little, Katy Mixon

    ;
  49. 99
    + 16
    - 52


    Corbin Bernsen, Jill Eikenberry, Alan Rachins

    ;
  50. 100
    + 17
    - 38


    Carroll O'Connor, Howard Rollins, Anne-Marie Johnson

    ;
161 +

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