best TV shows The Best Series Finales  

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List Rules 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 and the best TV show endings 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 canceled, and make sure to add your favorite TV series finale/ending if it's not already on the list.

list ordered by

1
3,887 1,142
Breaking Bad is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Series Finales
HoserUSC added Breaking Bad Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn

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2
1,892 1,367
M*A*S*H is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Series Finales
M*A*S*H Alan Alda, Wayne Rogers, Loretta Swi

3
1,992 1,626
Friends is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Series Finales
Friends Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow

4
1,338 1,198
Newhart is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Series Finales
Newhart Bob Newhart, Mary Frann, Tom Poston

5
1,146 1,063
Cheers is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Series Finales
Cheers Ted Danson, Rhea Perlman, John Ratzenberger

6
1,099 1,062
Six Feet Under is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Series Finales
Six Feet Under Peter Krause, Michael C. Hall, Frances Conroy

7
845 970
The Tonight Show Starring John... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Series Finales
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson Johnny Carson, Ed McMahon, Skitch Henderson

8
855 1,015
Star Trek: The Next Generation is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Series Finales
Star Trek: The Next Generation Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes

9
1,105 1,092
Buffy the Vampire Slayer is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Series Finales
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Sarah Michelle Gellar, Nicholas Brendon, Alyson Hannigan

10
1,071 1,336
The Sopranos is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Series Finales
The Sopranos James Gandolfini, Lorraine Bracco, Edie Falco

11
1,110 567
The Office is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Series Finales
ludwig848 added The Office Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer - 2005

12
731 402
Parks and Recreation is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Series Finales
Ariel Kana added Parks and Recreation Amy Poehler, Jim O'Heir, Nick Offerman

13
709 845
Frasier is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Series Finales
Frasier Kelsey Grammer, Jane Leeves, David Hyde Pierce

14
938 1,364
Seinfeld is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Series Finales
Seinfeld Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Michael Richards

15
887 543
Sons of Anarchy is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Series Finales
SensitivePsych0 added Sons of Anarchy Charlie Hunnam, Katey Sagal, Mark Boone Junior

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16
895 654
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Series Finales
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Will Smith, James Avery, Alfonso Ribeiro

17
612 759
The Wire is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Series Finales
The Wire Dominic West, Lance Reddick, Sonja Sohn

18
963 1,711
Lost is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Series Finales
Lost Naveen Andrews, Matthew Fox, Jorge Garcia

19
840 583
House is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Series Finales
detectivepookie added House Hugh Laurie, Omar Epps, Robert Sean Leonard

20
497 696
The Mary Tyler Moore Show is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Series Finales
BrianSkeith added The Mary Tyler Moore Show Mary Tyler Moore, Edward Asner, Gavin MacLeod

21
619 700
The Wonder Years is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Series Finales
The Wonder Years Fred Savage, Dan Lauria, Daniel Stern

22
529 782
Battlestar Galactica is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Series Finales
Battlestar Galactica Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell, Jamie Bamber

23
794 679
Scrubs is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Series Finales
Scrubs Zach Braff, Donald Faison, Sarah Chalke

24
565 694
Home Improvement is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Series Finales
Home Improvement Tim Allen, Patricia Richardson, Earl Hindman

25
554 786
ER is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Series Finales
ER Anthony Edwards, George Clooney, Julianna Margulies

26
575 763
Angel is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Series Finales
Angel David Boreanaz, Charisma Carpenter, Alexis Denisof

27
493 704
24 is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Series Finales
24 Kiefer Sutherland, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Carlos Bernard

28
624 508
Boy Meets World is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Series Finales
Boy Meets World Ben Savage, Rider Strong, William Daniels

29
417 674
Quantum Leap is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Series Finales
Quantum Leap Scott Bakula, Dean Stockwell, Deborah Pratt

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30
480 520
The Golden Girls is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Series Finales
The Golden Girls Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan

31
389 523
Everybody Loves Raymond is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Series Finales
Everybody Loves Raymond Ray Romano, Patricia Heaton, Brad Garrett

32
441 609
Full House is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Series Finales
Full House Bob Saget, John Stamos, Dave Coulier

33
207 180
Mad Men is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Series Finales
Muttley Dastardly added Mad Men Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, Vincent Kartheiser

34
526 591
Charmed is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Series Finales
Dismalhead added Charmed Holly Marie Combs, Alyssa Milano, Brian Krause

35
392 514
The X-Files is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Series Finales
The X-Files David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi

36
354 226
That '70s Show is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Series Finales
surag added That '70s Show Topher Grace, Laura Prepon, Mila Kunis

37
438 405
Married... with Children is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Series Finales
Married... with Children Ed O'Neill, Christina Applegate, Katey Sagal

38
318 712
The Cosby Show is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Series Finales
The Cosby Show Bill Cosby, Phylicia Rashad, Keshia Knight Pulliam

39
402 552
Smallville is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Series Finales
Smallville Tom Welling, Michael Rosenbaum, Allison Mack

40
385 512
The Shield is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Series Finales
Dismalhead added The Shield Michael Chiklis, Catherine Dent, Walton Goggins

41
216 273
30 Rock is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Series Finales
phoebelouise added 30 Rock Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Tracy Morgan

42
335 408
Happy Days is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Series Finales
Happy Days Ron Howard, Henry Winkler, Marion Ross

43
337 552
Friday Night Lights is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Series Finales
Friday Night Lights Kyle Chandler, Connie Britton, Aimee Teegarden

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44
245 177
Avatar: The Last Airbender is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Series Finales
Avatar: The Last Airbender Zach Tyler, Dee Bradley Baker, Mae Whitman

45
226 206
Justified is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Series Finales
WestenBabb added Justified Timothy Olyphant, Nick Searcy, Joelle Carter

46
280 427
Magnum, P.I. is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Series Finales
Magnum, P.I. Tom Selleck, John Hillerman, Roger E. Mosley

47
295 477
All in the Family is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Series Finales
All in the Family Carroll O'Connor, Jean Stapleton, Rob Reiner

48
277 585
Chuck is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Series Finales
WarrenMitchell added Chuck Zachary Levi, Yvonne Strahovski, Joshua Gomez

49
277 414
Family Ties is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Series Finales
Family Ties Michael J. Fox, Michael Gross, Meredith Baxter

50
378 632
Leverage is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Series Finales
Ann-CatrinJansson added Leverage Timothy Hutton, Gina Bellman, Christian Kane