The Best Series Finales

52k votes 5.2k voters 100k views 158 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
    + 99
    - 231

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

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  2. 52
    + 119
    - 186


    Harry Anderson, John Larroquette, Richard Moll

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  3. 53
    + 76
    - 82

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

    ;
  4. 54
    + 33
    - 40

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

    ;
  5. 55
    + 51
    - 44

    added by surag
    Topher Grace, Laura Prepon, Mila Kunis

    ;
  6. 56
    + 45
    - 39

    added by RichardBeecher
    David Letterman, Paul Shaffer, Alan Kalter

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  7. 57
    + 98
    - 225


    Mihaly 'Michu' Meszaros, Paul Fusco, Max Wright

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  8. 58
    + 115
    - 309

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

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  9. 59
    + 115
    - 281

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

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  10. 60
    + 34
    - 41

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

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  11. 61
    + 112
    - 205


    John Lithgow, Jane Curtin, Kristen Johnston

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  12. 62
    + 34
    - 38

    ranked low on reranks & added by Umberhaven
    Avery Brooks, Rene Auberjonois, Cirroc Lofton

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  13. 63
    + 80
    - 168

    often listed & added by dee123
    Richard Dean Anderson, Michael Shanks, Amanda Tapping

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  14. 64
    + 30
    - 34

    added by Jules_WinnfieId
    Lucy Lawless, Jaime Murray, Katrina Law

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  15. 65
    + 15
    - 9

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

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  16. 66
    + 109
    - 306

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

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  17. 67
    + 21
    - 23

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

    ;
  18. 68
    + 144
    - 259

    added by averagej123
    Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, Jasika Nicole

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  19. 69
    + 80
    - 121

    added by eevangel
    Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel, Scott Patterson

    ;
  20. 70
    + 94
    - 209


    Candice Bergen, Grant Shaud, Robert Pastorelli

    ;
  21. 71
    + 99
    - 185


    Richard Dean Anderson, Dana Elcar, Bruce McGill

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  22. 72
    + 99
    - 244


    Dennis Franz, Gordon Clapp, James McDaniel

    ;
  23. 73
    + 77
    - 157

    added by dee123
    Jennifer Garner, Ron Rifkin, Carl Lumbly

    ;
  24. 74
    + 22
    - 33

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

    ;
  25. 75
    + 20
    - 28


    Denis Leary, Michael Lombardi, Steven Pasquale

    ;
  26. 76
    + 88
    - 175

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

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  27. 77
    + 23
    - 40


    Jeff Daniels, Emily Mortimer, John Gallagher Jr.

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  28. 78
    + 20
    - 51

    added by willyboymcoy
    James Spader, William Shatner, Candice Bergen

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  29. 79
    + 12
    - 21


    Anson Mount, Colm Meaney, Robin McLeavy

    ;
  30. 80
    + 97
    - 277


    Mischa Barton, Adam Brody, Peter Gallagher

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  31. 81
    + 85
    - 190


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  32. 82
    + 35
    - 44

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

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  33. 83
    + 99
    - 258

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Don Johnson, Philip Michael Thomas, Saundra Santiago

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  34. 84
    + 127
    - 287


    Roseanne Barr, John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf

    ;
  35. 85
    + 82
    - 213

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

    ;
  36. 86
    + 107
    - 204


    Ricky Gervais, Martin Freeman, Mackenzie Crook

    ;
  37. 87
    + 13
    - 24


    Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman, Allison Tolman

    ;
  38. 88
    + 101
    - 180


    Jason Priestley, Shannen Doherty, Luke Perry

    ;
  39. 89
    + 77
    - 166


    Lorne Greene, Michael Landon, Dan Blocker

    ;
  40. 90
    + 16
    - 41

    added by SlashLover
    John Hurt, Colin Morgan, Bradley James

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  41. 91
    + 54
    - 50

    ranked low on reranks & added by alleycat71
    Jeffrey Donovan, Gabrielle Anwar, Bruce Campbell

    ;
  42. 92
    + 71
    - 180


    James Arness, Milburn Stone, Amanda Blake

    ;
  43. 93
    + 88
    - 168


    Tim Daly, Steven Weber, Crystal Bernard

    ;
  44. 94
    + 20
    - 38

    added by lostshadow
    Cybill Shepherd, Bruce Willis, Allyce Beasley

    ;
  45. 95
    + 21
    - 52


    Angela Lansbury, William Windom, Ron Masak

    ;
  46. 96
    + 60
    - 66


    Zach Tyler, Dee Bradley Baker, Mae Whitman

    ;
  47. 97
    + 77
    - 250

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

    ;
  48. 98
    + 18
    - 37

    added by RichardBeecher
    Danny McBride, Steve Little, Katy Mixon

    ;
  49. 99
    + 13
    - 55


    Lisa Whelchel, Kim Fields, Mindy Cohn

    ;
  50. 100
    + 9
    - 36


    Michele Lee, Ted Shackelford, Joan Van Ark

    ;
159 +

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