10 thoughts on “What Was the Greatest TV Series Finale?

  1. TNG is a strong contender, but I think the most watched scripted TV show of all time is still the winner, so I’m going with MASH.

    Also, I will always vote for a “Best” bracket, rather than a “Worst,” as I prefer to look at the positive side of pop culture.

  2. The _WKRP in Cincinnati_ finale… I don’t know if it’s the best, but it’s really very good, and isn’t remembered hardly at all.

    _Justice League Unlimited_ went out with on a high note and with quite a flourish. That was a *real* good one.

    _Newhart_’s finale was famously good… eventually.

    _The Wire_ had a pretty good finale. Also _Seinfeld_. Oh, and _Late Night with David Letterman_ on NBC! _Veronica Mars_, first time around, and _Sports Night_.

  3. The Cheers finale is excellent. Not a bad thing I can say about it. Ditto Mary Tyler Moore and The Fugitive. In fact, I think The Fugitive gets my vote just for being the originator of the form, which is just barely enough to top the other two here.

    Newhart is pretty good as well, as it was good enough to raise an otherwise mediocre series up to a higher level. Without that finale the series is an unmemorable stinker. Conversely, the finale of the 70’s Bob Newhart Show is in no way memorable.

    Thumbs down on TNG. It’s not even the best Star Trek finale.

    The M*A*S*H finale is a bloated downer. Unwatchable once, let alone ever watching it again. I made it through a second time and regretted it as somehow it was even worse than the first time.

    Seinfeld is a famous hound as well. The less said, the better. Embarrassing that anyone would mention it here as being even remotely good.

  4. I’m all in on a Worst Finale Ever bracket as long as we exclude How I Met Your Mother. Let’s just automatically declare it #1 and try to decide #2 instead! 😉

  5. I was a bit young when the Cheers finale aired, and I was just confused and frustrated by it. I think revisiting it now would make it more enjoyable.

    I think the Boy Meets World finale was a good send off with characters who were written off reappearing and decent closure.

  6. I think I would have to say Babylon 5, as long as you consider “Sleeping in Light” to be the finale. (It was supposed to be the finale, but when they weren’t sure if they were getting a fifth season, “Sleeping in Light” was filmed at the end of season 4; when TNT picked them up for an additional season, a new 4th season finale was made, and SiL was held off until the end of season 5. So while it was filmed before the final season, it still would have been the series finale had that fifth season not come about.) (And don’t get me wrong, the final episode of season 5, “Objects at Rest”, was also a good ending, but SiL was a great epilogue to the series.)

    “To absent friends, in memory still bright.” (Which is even sadder when you realize four of the six actors in that scene have since passed away, plus three other cast members as well.)

  7. Cheers is definitely up there for me. As is The Shield. If Buffy had ended after season 5, as that season finale was plotted to be just in case, that would have been my favorite series finale. Angel had a terrific, stirring finale, making it my runner up. My winner is the Wonder Years finale. The first half hour was slow, but the last half still gives me the chills thinking about it, and I haven’t even watched it since.

  8. Cheers and Newhart are good choices. Also Seinfeld, LOST, BSG, and How I Met Your Mother are some of my favorites of recent vintage.

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