Unresolved Cliffhangers: The 10 Most Frustrating Last Episodes of the Decade

Frustrating cliffhangersAs we close out the first ten years of this millennium, it’s amazing how many great TV shows have been cancelled. Big as that list is, there are some that stand out more than others — mostly because they left us hanging. Here’s a list of 10 that deserved at least one more episode to wrap things up.

The 4400 — This show and The Dead Zone ran successfully for many years on USA. The ongoing mysteries of both shows kept viewers coming back for more each week. Unfortunately, the cable channel decided to be done with them in 2007. The shows and their viewers were left with unresolved cliffhangers. Of the the shows, 4400 seems a bit more tragic as it wasn’t on for as many seasons and Dead Zone fans have a freaky Christopher Walken movie.

Deadwood — It doesn’t matter whose fault it was — HBO’s or creator David Milch’s — this hard-talking Western remains one of the highlights of the pay-for-view channel’s history. For it to end without a finale is #$%^&$% unforgivable.

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Invasion — Following the instant success of ABC’s Lost in the 2004-05 season, the networks thought that sci-fi was the key to success and brought us shows like Surface and Invasion. None of them caught on and Invasion left viewers hanging with a particularly frustrating set of cliffhangers.

Kyle XY — Sure, the show about the incredible kid without a memory or a bellybutton had lost some steam in the ratings but it didn’t deserve to go out with big cliffhangers. Considering that the series had one of the biggest premieres in ABC Family’s history, the show and its fans deserved one more episode to properly close the show.

Las Vegas — It’s one thing for a show to be cut off during its first season but it’s really annoying when a long-running show is denied a resolution. Should it have been cancelled? In its fifth and final season, Vegas attracted almost as many viewers as fellow Friday night occupant Ghost Whisperer; a series that’s still running on CBS. Bet NBC wishes they had Vegas’ ratings now.

My Name is Earl — You have to wonder if NBC’s current troubles doesn’t have to do with a little bad karma. In its heyday, NBC promoted the heck out of Earl but, when the ratings dwindled too low, they cut it off. Did Earl ever complete his list? We’ll likely never know.

My Own Worst Enemy — NBC pulled the plug on the Christian Slater series so that the last episode ended with a murder and a lot of unfinished business. Couldn’t they have made one more episode to tie things up or at least recut the ending?

Reunion — You probably don’t remember this FOX series. It was a drama about six high school friends and one is murdered at a 20 year reunion. While the mystery is investigated in the present, episodes flash back to the past to see how the characters changed over the years. It was an ambitious series but apparently no one considered the possibility that it could be cancelled before the end of the season. FOX pulled it after nine episodes aired and the loyal viewing audience was left hanging (sort of).

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles — It was no surprise that this series was cancelled but it still ended on a big cliffhanger — with John Connor travelling to a future that’s never heard of him. Couldn’t the story have been resolved somehow? Series creator Josh Friedman once conceded that the third season would have been the show’s best. Judging by the last episode, it appears he was right.

Vanished — Just one of many series from the 2006-07 season that revolved around ongoing sorylines and mysteries. This series, like The Nine, Six Degrees, Runaway, Drive, and The Black Donnellys, was cut off way too prematurely. We did learn kidnapped Sara Collins’ fate but so many other mysteries were left to the imagination. There was talk of revisiting some of the characters on an episode of Bones but it never happened.

What do you think? Are there other frustrating last episodes that you’d add to the list?

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127 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Candy says

    I wish they would have continued Earth 2. It was doing great until they put it on after Monday night football and the football games ran over the beginning of the shows each week. There was another one about people going to the planets in our solar system picking op pieces of a riddle. It was called Defying Gravity.

  2. Hollie says

    I know it’s kind of cheesy but we didn’t have cable at the time…..Legend of The Seeker!! I was mad about My Name is Earl….that show grew on me once I started watching it on netflix. Every show deserves and ending, whether the show is good or not they need to negotiate that into the contracts. A one hour special/finale. A network has to respect the fans…we are only valuable as long as they are banking and I don’t take kindly to being strung along with a show just to be ditched.

  3. says

    To end deadwood was a seriously a
    bad thing the show was like no other it was the absolute best show I have watched it kept you on the edge of your seat getting ready for the next episode they left me hanging BRIN BACK DEADWOOD

  4. Anonymous says

    The most painful last episode. The last minute and it goes blank and you yell at the screen ’cause there’s no more.

  5. Anonymous says

    If shows like Seinfeld and Mash were able to do an ending show, why cant others – perhaps the public needs to put some pressure on the networks and threaten some boycotts if they don’t start making at least 1 finale or ending for closure for the fans!

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