Series Finale - Notable Series Finales

Notable Series Finales

By audience share, the highest rated finale to date was from the series M*A*S*H in 1983. The episode, "Goodbye, Farewell and Amen", gained an audience share of over 77%. In the extended-length episode, the Korean War ends, and the characters of the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital make their goodbyes and finally go home. Another famous series finale is that of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, which aired in 1977.

Friends ended in 2004 with 52.5 million American the most watched entertainment telecast in six years. the finale was the second most-watched television show of the year, behind the Super Bowl. Named The Last One, it showed all six cast member starting new lives: Rachel moving to Paris but later returning after Ross says he loves her, Monica and Chandler finally having children when their surrogate gives birth to twins, Joey is still living in his apartment with a job on Days of our Lives while Phoebe and Mike decide to have children. The show ends with all six friends standing in Monica's empty apartment, before going to get some coffee. The last words that were said by Chandler who says "where" referring to where to get coffee which is ironic because they have spent the last 10 years getting coffee at Central Perk.

Some positive critical reviews come from shows that have controversial or twist endings. The finale of The Prisoner, "Fall Out," caused controversy by providing a cryptic end to the series. The lead actor of the series, Patrick McGoohan, wrote and directed the final episode. He recalled in an interview years later that the final episode attracted a large audience, who demanded a clear resolution to the series. McGoohan recalled having to hide from fans immediately afterwards because of the reaction to the ending.

The episode "The Last Newhart" ended the series Newhart, by revealing the run of the series to be a dream conjured up by the main character of The Bob Newhart Show. In a similar vein, the series St. Elsewhere ended with the suggestion that the entire series is a fantasy of a small boy in the episode "The Last One".

The final episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, "All Good Things...", won the 1995 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation.

The 2005 series finale of Six Feet Under, "Everyone's Waiting", was ranked as episode #22 on TV Guide's list of "TV's Top 100 Episodes of All Time", and was also named one of the best TV moments of the decade.

The series Lost picked up 13 Emmy nominations in the 2010 Emmy Awards, seven of which were for the series finale "The End".

The Sopranos finale caused millions of viewers to temporarily believe they had lost cable service due to an abrupt blackout finale; the final scene left open the fate of Tony Soprano (series creator David Chase had wanted the cut to black to last for several minutes and take the place of post-show credits, so that the first thing the audience would see was an HBO notice, but the network refused this and there was a very short jump from the final shot to the credits).

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