Twenty Greatest TV Series Finales

Orson welles filmando con puro y camara 560x315“If you want a happy ending, that depends on where you stop your story.” – Orson Welles

Besides being a director, writer, producer, and actor, Orson Welles was a visionary who told stories in ways we had never heard or seen before. He was able to take William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and transform it into an innovative and modern depiction of a world of politics and war. It was a Broadway hit from 1937 until 1941 and has widely been considered a genius production of a story we have heard a million times before. His genius was his creations and they changed the way we watched, or listened, to the same stories, over and over again.

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That is exactly what happens when we fall in love with a television show. We love it because it was something new and innovative that we might have seen before but not in this form. You could have hated sitcoms but it only takes one show to change your mind. The Office was a very popular one, along with Community or Parks and Recreation. Those shows brought new fans to the genre, some of them remain for life.

But all good things must eventually come to an end. There has never been a television show that has lasted forever and when it is over, we are left with a feeling of loss because we feel like we are a part of the show. We have spent years of our lives dedicated to a show and when it is over, it hurts. There is a void that needs to be filled and what better way to do so then to pickup another television show and begin the cycle all over again.

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There have been fantastic television series that have left a bad taste in the mouths of its fans simply by presenting a disappointing final season or series finale. True Blood, Dexter, Desperate Housewives, Roseanne, Weeds, and Two and a Half Men are a few examples of highly rated shows that found themselves on the downward spiral as they came to an end. It happens in television all the time because some shows are pushed to go longer than expected and the writing becomes either lazy or careless. This can lead to a rushed series finale that tries to wrap up everything left unanswered but winds up never living up to the high expectations that the series set for itself.

Since it is not easy to write the perfect series finale, some television show creators end up disappointing their fans by not living up to the extremely high expectations they have built over the years. Every now and then, however, a series finale ends up giving fans the closure they deserve by putting a shiny red bow on the ending of the show.

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In recent weeks we’ve seen several series come to an end, such as Bones, Grimm, The Vampire Diaries, and Black Sails. Next week, the HBO series Girls will also come to an end. To celebrate their ends, today we take a look at the the twenty greatest television series finales ever.

20. Frasier

  • Network: NBC
  • Seasons (Episodes): 11 (264)
  • Original Air Date: 5/13/2004
  • Viewers (In Millions): 33.7
  • Episode Title: Goodnight, Seattle
  • Directed By: David Lee
  • Written By: Chris Lloyd, Joe Keenan

19. Seinfeld

  • Network: NBC
  • Seasons (Episodes): 9 (180)
  • Original Air Date: 5/14/1998
  • Viewers (In Millions): 76.3
  • Episode Title: The Finale
  • Directed By: Andy Ackerman
  • Written By: Larry David

18. Mad Men

  • Network: AMC
  • Seasons (Episodes): 7 (92)
  • Original Air Date: 5/17/2015
  • Viewers (In Millions): 3.29
  • Episode Title: Person to Person
  • Directed By: Matthew Weiner
  • Written By: Matthew Weiner

17. The Mary Tyler Moore Show

  • Network: CBS
  • Seasons (Episodes): 7 (168)
  • Original Air Date: 3/19/1977
  • Viewers (In Millions): 21.2
  • Episode Title: The Last Show
  • Directed By: Jay Sandrich
  • Written By: James L. Brooks, Allan Burns, Ed Weinberger, Stan Daniels, David Lloyd, Bob Ellison

16. The Cosby Show

  • Network: NBC
  • Seasons (Episodes): 8 (201)
  • Original Air Date: 4/30/1992
  • Viewers (In Millions): 44.4
  • Episode Title: And So We Commence…
  • Directed By: Jay Sandrich
  • Written By: Courtney Flavin, Gordon Gartrelle, Janet Leahy, Hugh O’Neill

15. Newhart

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  • Network: CBS
  • Seasons (Episodes): 8 (184)
  • Original Air Date: 5/21/1990
  • Viewers (In Millions): 30
  • Episode Title: The Last Newhart
  • Directed By: Dick Martin
  • Written By: Mark Egan, Mark Solomon, Bob Bendetson

14. Sons of Anarchy

  • Network: FX
  • Seasons (Episodes): 7 (92)
  • Original Air Date: 12/9/2004
  • Viewers (In Millions): 6.4
  • Episode Title: Papa’s Goods
  • Directed By: Kurt Sutter
  • Written By: Kurt Sutter

13. Friday Night Lights

  • Network: NBC
  • Seasons (Episodes): 5 (76)
  • Original Air Date: 2/9/2011
  • Viewers (In Millions): 3.48
  • Episode Title: Always
  • Directed By: Michael Waxman
  • Written By: Jason Katims

12. Parks & Recreation

  • Network: NBC
  • Seasons (Episodes): 7 (125)
  • Original Air Date: 2/24/2015
  • Viewers (In Millions): 4.15
  • Episode Title: One Last Ride
  • Directed By: Michael Schur
  • Written By: Michael Schur, Amy Poehler

11. 30 Rock

  • Network: NBC
  • Seasons (Episodes): 7 (138)
  • Original Air Date: 1/31/2013
  • Viewers (In Millions): 4.88
  • Episode Title: Last Lunch
  • Directed By: Beth McCarthy-Miller
  • Written By: Tina Fey, Tracey Wigfield

10. The West Wing

  • Network: NBC
  • Seasons (Episodes): 7 (156)
  • Original Air Date: 5/14/2006
  • Viewers (In Millions): 10.11
  • Episode Title: Tomorrow
  • Directed By: Chris Misiano
  • Written By: John Wells

9. Star Trek: The Next Generation

  • Network: CBS
  • Seasons (Episodes): 7 (178)
  • Original Air Date: 5/23/1994
  • Viewers (In Millions): 17.4
  • Episode Title: All Good Things…
  • Directed By: Winrich Kolbe
  • Written By: Ronald D. Moore, Brannon Braga

8. The Shield

  • Network: FX
  • Seasons (Episodes): 7 (88)
  • Original Air Date: 11/25/2008
  • Viewers (In Millions): 3.4
  • Episode Title: Family Meeting
  • Directed By: Clark Johnson
  • Written By: Shawn Ryan

7. The Sopranos

  • Network: HBO
  • Seasons (Episodes): 6 (86)
  • Original Air Date: 6/10/2007
  • Viewers (In Millions): 11.9
  • Episode Title: Made in America
  • Directed By: David Chase
  • Written By: David Chase

6. The Wire

  • Network: HBO
  • Seasons (Episodes): 5 (60)
  • Original Air Date: 3/9/2008
  • Episode Title: -30-
  • Directed By: Clark Johnson
  • Written By: David Simon, Ed Burns

5. Cheers

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  • Network: NBC
  • Seasons (Episodes): 11 (270)
  • Original Air Date: 5/20/1993
  • Viewers (In Millions): 80.4
  • Episode Title:
  • Directed By: James Burrows
  • Written By: Glen Charles, Les Charles

4. M*A*S*H*

  • Network: CBS
  • Seasons (Episodes): 11 (251)
  • Original Air Date: 2/28/1983
  • Viewers (In Millions): 105.97
  • Episode Title: Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen
  • Directed By: Alan Alda
  • Written By: Alan Alda, Burt Metcalfe, John Rappaport, Dan Wilcox, Thad Mumford, Elias Davis, David Pollock, Karen Hall

3. Friends

  • Network: NBC
  • Seasons (Episodes): 10 (236)
  • Original Air Date: 5/6/2004
  • Viewers (In Millions): 52.5
  • Episode Title: The Last One
  • Directed By: Kevin S. Bright
  • Written By: Marta Kauffman, David Crane

2. Six Feet Under

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  • Network: HBO
  • Seasons (Episodes): 5 (63)
  • Original Air Date: 8/21/2005
  • Viewers (In Millions): 3.89
  • Episode Title: Everyone’s Waiting
  • Directed By: Alan Ball
  • Written By: Alan Ball

1. Breaking Bad

  • Network: AMC
  • Seasons (Episodes): 5 (62)
  • Original Air Date: 9/29/2013
  • Viewers (In Millions): 10.28
  • Episode Title: Felina
  • Directed By: Vince Gilligan
  • Written By: Vince Gilligan