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.

Which unresolved show upsets you the most?

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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. woteva says

    Pisses me off tht they go n make a show like Kyle XY thts got a gd story n sum really gd twists thn they go n cancell it. Whts d point in tht. Wastes ppls time cuz they get no answers in d end anyway, wastes the networks money. If they jst finished it properly wiv a real season finale thn they cud prob get away wiv re-runs aswel in d future but they so damn thick they’d rava leave hundreds if not thousands ov ppl pissed off at thm n hatin thm. If they dnt find a way to finish it properly they gona lose a hell ov alot ov viewers.

  2. Sarah says

    Heroes …Earl…Terminator..all really tick me off. I get more frustrated with networks everyday. One slight slip in ratings and a show is history. No wonder people stop watching when the networks pull the rug out from under you. What a waste of time to spend hours and hours watching just to be left hanging. I think all shows should be given a least some kind of wrap up if networks want to keep viewers! !!!

  3. leighann says

    Reunion is without a doubt the show I was most upset about. I really wish that it could have gotten a proper ending. I loved that show. And apparently I am the only one, because no one else even remembers it. It was cancelled 6 years ago and I am still upset about it.

    I also wanted more of an ending for Angel. But I can also see why it ended the way it did. I also wanted an ending for heroes but oh well.

    As far as Pushing Daisies goes, yes it was an amazing show an yes it was cancelled too soon but it was not left in a cliffhanger. (This is a response to a comment not the article itself.) but there are far too many good series that are cancelled way too soon, and with the exception of Pushing Daisies almost all of my favorites were on FOX: Reunion, Tru Calling, Standoff, Justice, Dollhouse, and Firefly. Dead Like Me too but that wasn’t on FOX either. ILit was on Showtime. I just miss the good ones I guess.

  4. Kris says

    The Black Donnelly’s (Family Above All), John From Cincinnati, and Deadwood still keep me tossing and turning at night. Seing Billy Lush on Chicago Code makes me wannacry… but at least it’s a good show (and has the awesomely unknown Jason Clarke starring in it).

  5. Anonymous says

    The Black Donnelly’s (Family Above All), John From Cincinnati, and Deadwood still keep me tossing and turning at night. Seing Billy Lush on Chicago Code makes me wannacry… but at least it’s a good show (and has the awesomely unknown Jason Clarke starring in it).

  6. Owen says

    For Pre-2000, I think the most frustrating cliffhanger was that of the show Space Above And Beyond. It left the viewers with all the characters in some kind of peril and nothing was resolved.

  7. Matthew Parada says

    Hi. I’m still annoyed that they ended HEROES WITHOUT A PROPER CONCLUSION.




  8. Bryce says

    I literally just watched episode 10 of season 3. I am sincerely pissed off that they could just cancel the show. I have grown closer to this series than any show I’ve ever watched and I am so distraught that they did not have the mere decency to even wrap it up in one final episode. I mean really?

  9. Trish says

    It would have been nice to have an ending to the Kyle XY series. My husband and I recently watched it on Netflix and it really ended bizarrely with him finding out he has an evil brother. They left the show all up in the air and I know there are a lot of people who would like to see the questions answered and a proper ending

  10. Chris says

    I had found Kyle XY to be just like a good book, I could not wait to see what happened next. I stayed up long hours because I just could not stop watching. I just watched the tenth episode of season three and couldn’t help but feel disappointed. So much build up, so much drama, and then nothing but a headful of questions. So sad to see it end this way. I wish the producers would consider finishing out the season and answer all the questions they left hanging in the air. To lead on the fan base and dupe them like that is hard to take

    • Artur says

      I was up every night watching that show till like 3 am I’m disappointed it ended with everything just unsolved…

  11. says

    we just need a ending to kyle xy why would they do that its 2011 and i have the disc so it goes to show its still watched well into u get to the end and ur excited thinking you will find out whats going to happen next and who will he choose to be with amanda or jess i want to know what the end would of been i feel ripped off

    • Artur says

      Ugh I just watched the end of season3, I’m soo mad they never finished it!!! Wow that this show was soo interesting…. And Jess, she’s better:P

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