There is a risk every TV lover takes when letting a new show into their hearts, and that is the chance that they will be canceled after just one season or even worse... canceled before they have the opportunity to finish their respective stories, leaving intended finales for canceled shows collecting dust on a writer's hard drive.
Shows are canceled for a myriad of reasons - stars leave, ratings drop, and the like - and unfortunately, it means dedicated viewers will never get to find out how those canceled TV shows were supposed to end.
Fans of shows long gone may still be frustrated decades after the program was canceled. Fortunately, there are showrunners and creative executives who were equally disappointed over the cancellations, so they have decided to share with fans what would have happened in the TV finales you'll never see.
So without any further ado, here are some of the most notable TV shows that didn't get to live up to their full potential, and how the intended finales for those canceled shows would have brought the shows to their organic conclusions.
- Photo: Fox
How It Ended: The show ended just as River became a full-fledged member of the Firefly crew, seemingly hinting at the further continued adventures of Mal and his family in the years to come. The follow-up film, Serenity, attempted to tie up a number of storylines by killing off some key characters and delving further into some of the Alliance's very disastrous mistakes.
How They Wanted It To End: The show's second season would have included the pay off of several of the first season's subplots. Adam Baldwin's Jayne would finally get to pilot his own ship alongside the Firefly. Wash (RIP) and Zoe would have had a child, as shown in comics created after the show went off air. There would have also been some further development of Inara and Mal's relationship, which would have been interesting to see unfold, as Inara would have confirmed that she is terminally ill in Season 2.
- Actors: Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk, Sean Maher, Adam Baldwin
- Premiered: September 20, 2002
- Photo: NBC
How It Ended: Freaks and Geeks ended on a notable cliffhanger, with Lindsay Weir (Linda Cardellini) ditching an academic summit to follow The Grateful Dead on the road with her friends... without telling any of her family members.
How They Wanted It To End: Creator Paul Feig revealed the fate of every character from the show back in 2012, much to fans' delight. Lindsay was going to become a performance artist Greenwich Village after high school, and then move into adult world as a human rights lawyer. In addition, Sam would have become a member of Drama Club, Neal would have gone into Swing Choir, Bill would have transformed into a jock, Daniel would end up in jail, and Nick would enlist in the Army.
- Actors: John Francis Daley, Linda Cardellini, Samm Levine, Martin Starr, James Franco
- Premiered: September 25, 1999
- Photo: ABC
How It Ended: Agent Carter ended its second season with Peggy and Agent Sousa finally hooking up, but left a whole lot unanswered as well. That included the fate of Jack Thompson and where exactly Bridget Regan's Dottie Underwood may have been hiding out at.
How They Wanted It To End: Speaking with THR, executive producer Michele Fazekas teased how Peggy and Sousa's relationship would have played into the show's third season story, along with the possibility Dottie's inevitable return at some point down the line:
"We're certainly not saying that this is definitely who Peggy Carter ends up marrying. They established in Captain America: The Winter Soldier that she ends up getting married at some point down the line. I would be interested to see Peggy in a relationship. She doesn't seem like a woman who would just kiss a guy like that and things wouldn't change. She's committed to trying to actually be in a relationship with Sousa.
We will put Bridget Regan in as many episodes as she wants to be in. She has like two other jobs. [Laughs] But I know she has said that she has now put it into her contract that she can work on Agent Carter whenever it fits into her schedule. So we will use her as much as we can."
- Actors: Hayley Atwell, James D'Arcy, Enver Gjokaj, Wynn Everett, Reggie Austin
- Premiered: January 6, 2015
How It Ended: The show ended just as Kristen Bell's titular detective was relegated to being an outcast at her school once again. Seeds of a romantic reunion between her and her ex, Logan were planted as well. Some of this was wrapped up in the subsequent film that was made years later, but fans never really got to see the rest of Veronica's college career play out.
How They Wanted It To End: Despite Veronica becoming a lawyer in the follow-up film, creator Rob Thomas has said that the original plan was to send her to an FBI training school in the fourth season. This way the stakes would have been raised all over again, and Veronica would have had to become used to an entirely new environment.
- Actors: Kristen Bell, Enrico Colantoni, Jason Dohring, Percy Daggs, Francis Capra
- Premiered: September 22, 2004