The Best Series Finales

48k votes 4.8k voters 93k views 159 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
    + 95
    - 222
    The Fugitive is listed (or ranked) 51 on the list The Best Series Finales

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

  2. 52
    + 113
    - 179
    Night Court is listed (or ranked) 52 on the list The Best Series Finales


    Night Court Harry Anderson, John Larroquette, Richard Moll

  3. 53
    + 68
    - 73
    Sex and the City is listed (or ranked) 53 on the list The Best Series Finales

    added by bhittt
    Sex and the City Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis

  4. 54
    + 39
    - 29
    Late Show with David Letterman is listed (or ranked) 54 on the list The Best Series Finales

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

  5. 55
    + 95
    - 216
    ALF is listed (or ranked) 55 on the list The Best Series Finales

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

  6. 56
    + 43
    - 35
    That '70s Show is listed (or ranked) 56 on the list The Best Series Finales

    added by surag
    That '70s Show Topher Grace, Laura Prepon, Mila Kunis

  7. 57
    + 111
    - 298
    St. Elsewhere is listed (or ranked) 57 on the list The Best Series Finales

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

  8. 58
    + 111
    - 273
    JAG is listed (or ranked) 58 on the list The Best Series Finales

    often listed
    JAG David James Elliott, Catherine Bell, Patrick Labyorteaux

  9. 59
    + 26
    - 34
    Desperate Housewives is listed (or ranked) 59 on the list The Best Series Finales

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

  10. 60
    + 106
    - 199
    3rd Rock from the Sun is listed (or ranked) 60 on the list The Best Series Finales


    3rd Rock from the Sun John Lithgow, Jane Curtin, Kristen Johnston

  11. 61
    + 28
    - 27
    Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is listed (or ranked) 61 on the list The Best Series Finales

    added by Umberhaven
    Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Avery Brooks, Rene Auberjonois, Cirroc Lofton

  12. 62
    + 21
    - 34
    The West Wing is listed (or ranked) 62 on the list The Best Series Finales

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

  13. 63
    + 24
    - 24
    Spartacus is listed (or ranked) 63 on the list The Best Series Finales

    added by Jules_WinnfieId
    Spartacus Lucy Lawless, Jaime Murray, Katrina Law

  14. 64
    + 73
    - 161
    Stargate SG-1 is listed (or ranked) 64 on the list The Best Series Finales

    often listed & added by dee123
    Stargate SG-1 Richard Dean Anderson, Michael Shanks, Amanda Tapping

  15. 65
    + 9
    - 3
    Person of Interest is listed (or ranked) 65 on the list The Best Series Finales

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

  16. 66
    + 106
    - 297
    Dallas is listed (or ranked) 66 on the list The Best Series Finales

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

  17. 67
    + 18
    - 19
    Rescue Me is listed (or ranked) 67 on the list The Best Series Finales


    Rescue Me Denis Leary, Michael Lombardi, Steven Pasquale

  18. 68
    + 72
    - 112
    Gilmore Girls is listed (or ranked) 68 on the list The Best Series Finales

    added by eevangel
    Gilmore Girls Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel, Scott Patterson

  19. 69
    + 95
    - 179
    MacGyver is listed (or ranked) 69 on the list The Best Series Finales


    MacGyver Richard Dean Anderson, Dana Elcar, Bruce McGill

  20. 70
    + 96
    - 237
    NYPD Blue is listed (or ranked) 70 on the list The Best Series Finales


    NYPD Blue Dennis Franz, Gordon Clapp, James McDaniel

  21. 71
    + 89
    - 203
    Murphy Brown is listed (or ranked) 71 on the list The Best Series Finales


    Murphy Brown Candice Bergen, Grant Shaud, Robert Pastorelli

  22. 72
    + 74
    - 150
    Alias is listed (or ranked) 72 on the list The Best Series Finales

    added by dee123
    Alias Jennifer Garner, Ron Rifkin, Carl Lumbly

  23. 73
    + 132
    - 252
    Fringe is listed (or ranked) 73 on the list The Best Series Finales

    added by averagej123
    Fringe Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, Jasika Nicole

  24. 74
    + 84
    - 167
    Arrested Development is listed (or ranked) 74 on the list The Best Series Finales

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

  25. 75
    + 8
    - 12
    Hell on Wheels is listed (or ranked) 75 on the list The Best Series Finales


    Hell on Wheels Anson Mount, Colm Meaney, Robin McLeavy

  26. 76
    + 17
    - 44
    Boston Legal is listed (or ranked) 76 on the list The Best Series Finales

    added by willyboymcoy
    Boston Legal James Spader, William Shatner, Candice Bergen

  27. 77
    + 14
    - 27
    Eureka is listed (or ranked) 77 on the list The Best Series Finales

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

  28. 78
    + 84
    - 181
    Growing Pains is listed (or ranked) 78 on the list The Best Series Finales


    Growing Pains

  29. 79
    + 17
    - 35
    The Newsroom is listed (or ranked) 79 on the list The Best Series Finales


    The Newsroom Jeff Daniels, Emily Mortimer, John Gallagher Jr.

  30. 80
    + 79
    - 202
    One Tree Hill is listed (or ranked) 80 on the list The Best Series Finales

    added by adressefueralles23
    One Tree Hill Chad Michael Murray, James Lafferty, Hilarie Burton

  31. 81
    + 30
    - 37
    Barney Miller is listed (or ranked) 81 on the list The Best Series Finales

    added by rgriff1935
    Barney Miller Hal Linden, Abe Vigoda, Steve Landesberg

  32. 82
    + 105
    - 195
    The Office is listed (or ranked) 82 on the list The Best Series Finales


    The Office Ricky Gervais, Martin Freeman, Mackenzie Crook

  33. 83
    + 96
    - 249
    Miami Vice is listed (or ranked) 83 on the list The Best Series Finales

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

  34. 84
    + 121
    - 274
    Roseanne is listed (or ranked) 84 on the list The Best Series Finales


    Roseanne Roseanne Barr, John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf

  35. 85
    + 93
    - 267
    The O.C. is listed (or ranked) 85 on the list The Best Series Finales

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    The O.C. Mischa Barton, Adam Brody, Peter Gallagher

  36. 86
    + 99
    - 171
    Beverly Hills, 90210 is listed (or ranked) 86 on the list The Best Series Finales


    Beverly Hills, 90210 Jason Priestley, Shannen Doherty, Luke Perry

  37. 87
    + 8
    - 18
    Fargo is listed (or ranked) 87 on the list The Best Series Finales


    Fargo Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman, Allison Tolman

  38. 88
    + 74
    - 160
    Bonanza is listed (or ranked) 88 on the list The Best Series Finales


    Bonanza Lorne Greene, Michael Landon, Dan Blocker

  39. 89
    + 11
    - 32
    Merlin is listed (or ranked) 89 on the list The Best Series Finales

    added by SlashLover
    Merlin John Hurt, Colin Morgan, Bradley James

  40. 90
    + 9
    - 28
    Knots Landing is listed (or ranked) 90 on the list The Best Series Finales


    Knots Landing Michele Lee, Ted Shackelford, Joan Van Ark

  41. 91
    + 69
    - 173
    Gunsmoke is listed (or ranked) 91 on the list The Best Series Finales


    Gunsmoke James Arness, Milburn Stone, Amanda Blake

  42. 92
    + 13
    - 47
    The Facts of Life is listed (or ranked) 92 on the list The Best Series Finales


    The Facts of Life Lisa Whelchel, Kim Fields, Mindy Cohn

  43. 93
    + 45
    - 44
    Burn Notice is listed (or ranked) 93 on the list The Best Series Finales

    added by alleycat71
    Burn Notice Jeffrey Donovan, Gabrielle Anwar, Bruce Campbell

  44. 94
    + 16
    - 33
    Moonlighting is listed (or ranked) 94 on the list The Best Series Finales

    added by lostshadow
    Moonlighting Cybill Shepherd, Bruce Willis, Allyce Beasley

  45. 95
    + 82
    - 162
    Wings is listed (or ranked) 95 on the list The Best Series Finales


    Wings Tim Daly, Steven Weber, Crystal Bernard

  46. 96
    + 18
    - 47
    Murder, She Wrote is listed (or ranked) 96 on the list The Best Series Finales


    Murder, She Wrote Angela Lansbury, William Windom, Ron Masak

  47. 97
    + 15
    - 30
    Eastbound & Down is listed (or ranked) 97 on the list The Best Series Finales

    added by RichardBeecher
    Eastbound & Down Danny McBride, Steve Little, Katy Mixon

  48. 98
    + 16
    - 50
    L.A. Law is listed (or ranked) 98 on the list The Best Series Finales


    L.A. Law Corbin Bernsen, Jill Eikenberry, Alan Rachins

  49. 99
    + 16
    - 47
    Two and a Half Men is listed (or ranked) 99 on the list The Best Series Finales


    Two and a Half Men Jon Cryer, Ashton Kutcher, Angus T. Jones

  50. 100
    + 52
    - 60
    Avatar: The Last Airbender is listed (or ranked) 100 on the list The Best Series Finales


    Avatar: The Last Airbender Zach Tyler, Dee Bradley Baker, Mae Whitman

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