The Best Series Finales

47k votes 4.6k voters 91k views 157 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
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  1. 51
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    - 219


    William Conrad, Richard Anderson, David Janssen

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  2. 52
    + 63
    - 68

    ranked low on reranks & added by bhittt
    Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis

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  3. 53
    + 37
    - 25

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

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  4. 54
    + 110
    - 268


    David James Elliott, Catherine Bell, Patrick Labyorteaux

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  5. 55
    + 110
    - 293

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

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  6. 56
    + 109
    - 177


    Harry Anderson, John Larroquette, Richard Moll

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  7. 57
    + 104
    - 196


    John Lithgow, Jane Curtin, Kristen Johnston

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  8. 58
    + 92
    - 214


    Mihaly 'Michu' Meszaros, Paul Fusco, Max Wright

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  9. 59
    + 17
    - 29

    added by sannalockner
    Teri Hatcher, Felicity Huffman, Marcia Cross

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  10. 60
    + 70
    - 106

    added by eevangel
    Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel, Scott Patterson

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  11. 61
    + 102
    - 294

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

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  12. 62
    + 95
    - 233


    Dennis Franz, Gordon Clapp, James McDaniel

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  13. 63
    + 87
    - 199


    Candice Bergen, Grant Shaud, Robert Pastorelli

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  14. 64
    + 130
    - 248

    added by averagej123
    Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, Jasika Nicole

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  15. 65
    + 72
    - 146

    added by dee123
    Jennifer Garner, Ron Rifkin, Carl Lumbly

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  16. 66
    + 82
    - 161

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

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  17. 67
    + 16
    - 30

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

    ;
  18. 68
    + 83
    - 177


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  19. 69
    + 15
    - 31


    Jeff Daniels, Emily Mortimer, John Gallagher Jr.

    ;
  20. 70
    + 13
    - 41

    added by willyboymcoy
    James Spader, William Shatner, Candice Bergen

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  21. 71
    + 78
    - 197

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

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  22. 72
    + 28
    - 34

    ranked low on reranks & added by rgriff1935
    Hal Linden, Abe Vigoda, Steve Landesberg

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  23. 73
    + 93
    - 261

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

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  24. 74
    + 118
    - 268


    Roseanne Barr, John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf

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  25. 75
    + 98
    - 166

    ranked low on reranks
    Jason Priestley, Shannen Doherty, Luke Perry

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  26. 76
    + 101
    - 192


    Ricky Gervais, Martin Freeman, Mackenzie Crook

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  27. 77
    + 69
    - 159

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

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  28. 78
    + 92
    - 177


    Richard Dean Anderson, Dana Elcar, Bruce McGill

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  29. 79
    + 92
    - 245


    Don Johnson, Philip Michael Thomas, Saundra Santiago

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  30. 80
    + 6
    - 13


    Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman, Allison Tolman

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  31. 81
    + 74
    - 155


    Lorne Greene, Michael Landon, Dan Blocker

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  32. 82
    + 12
    - 43


    Lisa Whelchel, Kim Fields, Mindy Cohn

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  33. 83
    + 7
    - 24


    Michele Lee, Ted Shackelford, Joan Van Ark

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  34. 84
    + 68
    - 170


    James Arness, Milburn Stone, Amanda Blake

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  35. 85
    + 43
    - 39

    added by alleycat71
    Jeffrey Donovan, Gabrielle Anwar, Bruce Campbell

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  36. 86
    + 15
    - 29

    added by lostshadow
    Cybill Shepherd, Bruce Willis, Allyce Beasley

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  37. 87
    + 80
    - 157


    Tim Daly, Steven Weber, Crystal Bernard

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  38. 88
    + 16
    - 42


    Angela Lansbury, William Windom, Ron Masak

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  39. 89
    + 15
    - 48


    Corbin Bernsen, Jill Eikenberry, Alan Rachins

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  40. 90
    + 13
    - 40


    Jon Cryer, Ashton Kutcher, Angus T. Jones

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  41. 91
    + 12
    - 27

    added by RichardBeecher
    Danny McBride, Steve Little, Katy Mixon

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  42. 92
    + 49
    - 57


    Zach Tyler, Dee Bradley Baker, Mae Whitman

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  43. 93
    + 12
    - 45


    Gerald McRaney, Matt Mulhern, Marisa Ryan

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  44. 94
    + 72
    - 241

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

    ;
  45. 95
    + 13
    - 43


    John Forsythe, Linda Evans, Joan Collins Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

    ;
  46. 96
    + 13
    - 36


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

    ;
  47. 97
    + 51
    - 106

    added by ChantelleSilveira
    James Van Der Beek, Katie Holmes, Michelle Williams

    ;
  48. 98
    + 22
    - 25

    added by Umberhaven
    Avery Brooks, Rene Auberjonois, Cirroc Lofton

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  49. 99
    + 16
    - 15


    Denis Leary, Michael Lombardi, Steven Pasquale

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  50. 100
    + 18
    - 21

    added by Jules_WinnfieId
    Lucy Lawless, Jaime Murray, Katrina Law

    ;
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