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
4,102 1,204
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
2,034 1,432
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
2,096 1,740
Friends is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Series Finales
Friends Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow

4
1,407 1,266
Newhart is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Series Finales
Newhart Bob Newhart, Mary Frann, Tom Poston

5
1,195 1,123
Cheers is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Series Finales
Cheers Ted Danson, Rhea Perlman, John Ratzenberger

6
1,162 1,126
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
954 1,059
Star Trek: The Next Generation is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Series Finales
Star Trek: The Next Generation Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes

8
900 1,015
The Tonight Show Starring John... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Series Finales
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson Johnny Carson, Ed McMahon, Skitch Henderson

9
1,191 1,146
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
1,144 1,418
The Sopranos is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Series Finales
The Sopranos James Gandolfini, Lorraine Bracco, Edie Falco

11
1,195 626
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
792 461
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
745 891
Frasier is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Series Finales
Frasier Kelsey Grammer, Jane Leeves, David Hyde Pierce

14
1,000 605
Sons of Anarchy is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Series Finales
SensitivePsych0 added Sons of Anarchy Charlie Hunnam, Katey Sagal, Mark Boone Junior

15
981 1,457
Seinfeld is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Series Finales
Seinfeld Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Michael Richards

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16
943 691
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
647 801
The Wire is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Series Finales
The Wire Dominic West, Lance Reddick, Sonja Sohn

18
911 622
House is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Series Finales
detectivepookie added House Hugh Laurie, Omar Epps, Robert Sean Leonard

19
1,014 1,804
Lost is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Series Finales
Lost Naveen Andrews, Matthew Fox, Jorge Garcia

20
582 824
Battlestar Galactica is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Series Finales
Battlestar Galactica Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell, Jamie Bamber

21
523 738
The Mary Tyler Moore Show is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Series Finales
BrianSkeith added The Mary Tyler Moore Show Mary Tyler Moore, Edward Asner, Gavin MacLeod

22
655 734
The Wonder Years is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Series Finales
The Wonder Years Fred Savage, Dan Lauria, Daniel Stern

23
618 802
Angel is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Series Finales
Angel David Boreanaz, Charisma Carpenter, Alexis Denisof

24
838 719
Scrubs is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Series Finales
Scrubs Zach Braff, Donald Faison, Sarah Chalke

25
591 729
Home Improvement is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Series Finales
Home Improvement Tim Allen, Patricia Richardson, Earl Hindman

26
578 821
ER is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Series Finales
ER Anthony Edwards, George Clooney, Julianna Margulies

27
520 744
24 is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Series Finales
24 Kiefer Sutherland, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Carlos Bernard

28
661 540
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
467 711
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
505 547
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
565 620
Charmed is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Series Finales
Dismalhead added Charmed Holly Marie Combs, Alyssa Milano, Brian Krause

32
404 549
Everybody Loves Raymond is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Series Finales
Everybody Loves Raymond Ray Romano, Patricia Heaton, Brad Garrett

33
460 643
Full House is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Series Finales
Full House Bob Saget, John Stamos, Dave Coulier

34
241 212
Mad Men is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Series Finales
Muttley Dastardly added Mad Men Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, Vincent Kartheiser

35
418 542
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
463 426
Married... with Children is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Series Finales
Married... with Children Ed O'Neill, Christina Applegate, Katey Sagal

37
330 741
The Cosby Show is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Series Finales
The Cosby Show Bill Cosby, Phylicia Rashad, Keshia Knight Pulliam

38
388 260
That '70s Show is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Series Finales
surag added That '70s Show Topher Grace, Laura Prepon, Mila Kunis

39
294 202
Avatar: The Last Airbender is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Series Finales
Avatar: The Last Airbender Zach Tyler, Dee Bradley Baker, Mae Whitman

40
419 540
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
428 578
Smallville is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Series Finales
Smallville Tom Welling, Michael Rosenbaum, Allison Mack

42
355 575
Friday Night Lights is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Series Finales
Friday Night Lights Kyle Chandler, Connie Britton, Aimee Teegarden

43
400 660
Leverage is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Series Finales
Ann-CatrinJansson added Leverage Timothy Hutton, Gina Bellman, Christian Kane

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44
353 434
Happy Days is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Series Finales
Happy Days Ron Howard, Henry Winkler, Marion Ross

45
232 301
30 Rock is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Series Finales
phoebelouise added 30 Rock Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Tracy Morgan

46
253 233
Justified is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Series Finales
WestenBabb added Justified Timothy Olyphant, Nick Searcy, Joelle Carter

47
311 498
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
298 452
Magnum, P.I. is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Series Finales
Magnum, P.I. Tom Selleck, John Hillerman, Roger E. Mosley

49
294 614
Chuck is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Series Finales
WarrenMitchell added Chuck Zachary Levi, Yvonne Strahovski, Joshua Gomez

50
292 435
Family Ties is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Series Finales
Family Ties Michael J. Fox, Michael Gross, Meredith Baxter