tv programs The Best TV Shows That Never Got a Real Finale

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List Rules Shows that were abruptly canceled and taken off the air before writers could wrap up the series

List of the best TV shows that never got a real finale, ranked by how much fans miss them. The greatest cancelled television shows of all time still live on in places like Netflix and Hulu, but there are few solutions for fixing their unsatisfactory finales - other than bringing the show back Arrested Development-style, or making a movie like Veronica Mars or Firefly. Too many great television series were taken from us by evil network and cable executives. This is a list of great TV shows that were canceled and yanked off the air before their writers had a chance to give the characters (and plotlines) a proper goodbye.

Some of you might be thinking, "Hey, The Sopranos, Seinfeld,  and Lost didn't get real finales if you ask me." Well, although the finales weren't very satisfying, they were the finales that the writers always had planned for years down the line. For the victims on this list of canceled TV shows, fans were robbed of what could have been awesome season five finales. Some of the shows, like Enlightened and Flight of the Conchords, ended due to creative differences rather than HBO laying down the law. However, a show like Strangers With Candy was victim to Comedy Central's wrath far too soon.

This list includes the best shows canceled after one season as well as many other shows cancelled too soon.
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Firefly


Firefly is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best TV Shows That Never Got a Real Finale
Photo: Fox

Firefly is an American space western science fiction drama television series created by writer and director Joss Whedon, under his Mutant Enemy Productions label. Whedon served as an executive producer, along with Tim Minear. The series is set in the year 2517, after the arrival of humans in a new ...more

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Actors: Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk

Premiered: 2002

Number of Seasons: 1

Number of Episodes: 14

Also Ranked

#34 on The Best TV Shows Streaming On Hulu

#24 on The Best Streaming Netflix TV Shows

#11 on The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch

#10 on The Best Teen Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Series

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Freaks and Geeks


Freaks and Geeks is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best TV Shows That Never Got a Real Finale
Photo: Fox

Freaks and Geeks is an American teen comedy-drama television series, created by Paul Feig with Judd Apatow as executive producer, that aired on NBC during the 1999–2000 television season. Eighteen episodes were completed, but the series was canceled after only twelve had aired. A fan-led campaign ...more

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Actors: Linda Cardellini, John Francis Daley, James Franco

Premiered: 1999

Number of Seasons: 1

Number of Episodes: 18

Also Ranked

#38 on The Best Streaming Netflix TV Shows

#35 on The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch

#18 on The Best Dramedy TV Series

#3 on Canceled Shows We'd Most Like to See as Movies

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42 people just voted on Deadwood


Deadwood is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best TV Shows That Never Got a Real Finale
Photo: Freebase/Public domain

Deadwood is an American western television series created, produced, and largely written by David Milch and aired on the premium cable network HBO from March 21, 2004, to August 27, 2006, spanning three 12-episode seasons. The show is set in the 1870s in Deadwood, South Dakota, before and after the ...more

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Actors: Timothy Olyphant, Ian McShane, Molly Parker

Premiered: 2004

Number of Seasons: 3

Number of Episodes: 36

Also Ranked

#34 on What Shows Do You Most Want on Netflix Streaming?

#59 on The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch

#5 on The Best of Premium Cable TV Series

#5 on Canceled Shows We'd Most Like to See as Movies

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29 people just voted on Married... with Children


Married... with Children is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best TV Shows That Never Got a Real Finale
Photo:  uploaded by Ranker TV

Married... with Children is an American sitcom that aired for 11 seasons. It featured a dysfunctional family living in a fictional Chicago suburb. The series, notable for being the first prime-time television series to air on Fox, ran from April 5, 1987, to June 9, 1997. It was created by Michael G. ...more

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Actors: Ed O'Neill, Christina Applegate, Katey Sagal

Premiered: 1987

Number of Seasons: 11

Number of Episodes: 259

Also Ranked

#3 on The Best Fox Comedies of All Time

#30 on The Most Important TV Sitcoms

#43 on Canceled Shows We'd Most Like to See as Movies

#45 on The Greatest TV Shows of All Time

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14 people just voted on Quantum Leap


Quantum Leap is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best TV Shows That Never Got a Real Finale
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Quantum Leap is an American television series that originally aired on NBC for five seasons, from March 1989 through May 1993. Created by Donald P. Bellisario, it starred Scott Bakula as Dr. Sam Beckett, a brilliant scientist who leaps through spacetime following his quantum experiment in time ...more

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Actors: Scott Bakula, Dean Stockwell, Deborah Pratt

Premiered: 1989

Number of Seasons: 5

Number of Episodes: 95

Also Ranked

#3 on The Best 1980s Cult TV Series

#14 on The Best Sci Fi Television Series of All Time

#1 on Canceled Shows We'd Most Like to See as Movies

#74 on The Greatest TV Shows of All Time

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Twin Peaks


Twin Peaks is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best TV Shows That Never Got a Real Finale
Photo:  uploaded by Ranker TV

Twin Peaks is an American television serial drama created by Mark Frost and David Lynch. It follows an investigation headed by FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper into the murder of homecoming queen Laura Palmer. Its pilot episode was first broadcast on April 8, 1990, on ABC. Seven more episodes were ...more

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Actors: Kyle MacLachlan, Michael Ontkean, Mädchen Amick

Premiered: 1990

Number of Seasons: 2

Number of Episodes: 29

Also Ranked

#33 on The Best TV Shows Streaming On Hulu

#46 on The Best Streaming Netflix TV Shows

#90 on The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch

#89 on The Best Sci Fi Television Series of All Time

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30 people just voted on My Name Is Earl


My Name Is Earl is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best TV Shows That Never Got a Real Finale
Photo: fernando neves/Flickr

My Name Is Earl is an American television comedy series created by Greg Garcia that aired on the NBC television network from September 20, 2005, to May 14, 2009, in the United States. It was produced by 20th Century Fox Television and starred Jason Lee as the title character, Earl Hickey. The series ...more

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Actors: Jason Lee, Ethan Suplee, Jaime Pressly

Premiered: 2005

Number of Seasons: 4

Number of Episodes: 96

Also Ranked

#13 on The Best Fox Comedies of All Time

#49 on The Most Important TV Sitcoms

#18 on The Best Streaming Netflix TV Shows

#43 on The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch

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Gilligan's Island


Gilligan's Island is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best TV Shows That Never Got a Real Finale
Photo: Freebase/Fair use

Gilligan's Island is an American sitcom created and produced by Sherwood Schwartz via United Artists Television. The show had an ensemble cast that featured Bob Denver, Alan Hale, Jr., Jim Backus, Natalie Schafer, Russell Johnson, Tina Louise, and Dawn Wells. It aired for three seasons on the CBS ...more

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Actors: Bob Denver, Alan Hale Jr., Jim Backus

Premiered: 1964

Number of Seasons: 3

Number of Episodes: 98

Also Ranked

#19 on The Most Important TV Sitcoms

#43 on The Greatest TV Shows of All Time

#60 on The Best TV Shows to Rewatch

#7 on The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time

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