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May 24th, 2010
06:48 AM ET

The Mother of All Television Finales

It’s the television finale seen around the world. ABC’s Lost ended after six years of frustrating fans and playing with their minds. Whether you loved, hated or never watched the show at all people are talking about it today on Facebook, Twitter and the blogs. Anyway, it got us thinking about television finales in general. So we want to hear from you. Tell us you your all-time favorite TV finale. We’ll read some of your responses later on CNN Newsroom with Kyra Phillips during our show at 10am ET/7am PT.


Filed under: CNN Newsroom • Kyra Phillips
soundoff (73 Responses)
  1. Lee Stefanis

    My all-time favorite TV finale is definitely "Six Feet Under". It was the most satisfying finale I can think of because we got to see how every character's life ended which was so fitting for a show about death.

    May 24, 2010 at 6:50 am |
  2. Mark O. Estes

    My favorite finale is a tie between LOST's finale and Buffy the Vampire Slayer's final bow. I followed both religiously and it was sad to see them both end. These finales were the equivalent of a graduation, a funeral, and one final reunion all rolled in one. They will be greatly missed.

    May 24, 2010 at 6:56 am |
  3. JC in Spain

    Fantastic finale and must say that this has been my second best series next to 24 that also ends tonight. Lost has kept me gripped to the TV every week and although a bit slow at times, remains a fantastic series and will definitely watch the whole series again when I have it all on DVD. Going to miss you, LOST and 24.

    May 24, 2010 at 6:59 am |
  4. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    I hated lost the only show im going to miss is two and a half men .

    May 24, 2010 at 8:14 am |
  5. Karen

    Six Feet Under

    May 24, 2010 at 8:20 am |
  6. James Holmes

    I really was sad to see Will & Grace leave the airwaves. Such a funny show with a cutting edge message.

    May 24, 2010 at 8:21 am |
  7. Kevin Milton

    I will miss the excitement I got from watching "Lost"

    May 24, 2010 at 8:21 am |
  8. Janie

    "Mash", hands down-!!!!! "Cheers" a close second.

    May 24, 2010 at 8:22 am |
  9. Bill

    Quantum Leap – not just because I was a huge fan of the series, but because it was one of the first series on TV to not tie things up in a pretty little package with a happy ending – it stayed true to its core plot of helping others as part of a greater good, and in this case, at the expense of its lead protagonist.

    May 24, 2010 at 8:23 am |
  10. Nancy Fahey

    The BEST series finale that I have ever seen is the one from the Bob Newhart show, where he was the proprietor of a Bed and Breakfast in Vermont

    In the series finale, he woke up from a 'dream' he'd been having about being this proprietor, but with the wife from his original show – Suzanne Pleshette

    Finniest thing I ever saw 🙂

    May 24, 2010 at 8:23 am |
  11. Brandon

    My favorite finale was from The Mary Tyler Moore Show. I'm glad that the fans got some closure on what was going to happen to Mary and the rest of them at WJM. It was very sad to see an end of a era that good.

    May 24, 2010 at 8:23 am |
  12. Da'Shawn Mosley

    My favorite TV show finale of all time is now LOST. I'm sorry if that's the most obvious answer. I'm an aspiring filmmaker and let me tell you, LOST is the epitome of literary and visual success for those who want to be in the field. I started watching LOST this season trying to learn as much as I could about past seasons and for the last episode to suck me in like it did and get so emotionally involved when I was just a newbie sold it for me. LOST is the best show on television and will without a doubt win Outstanding Show of the Year at the Primetime Emmy Awards!

    May 24, 2010 at 8:24 am |
  13. FloridaFan

    My all-time favorite TV finale is Miami Vice!!! I cried for Days because I loved the show.

    May 24, 2010 at 8:25 am |
  14. Eric

    Going back in time...M*A*S*H would be my favorite. It ended with a bitter-sweet moment when Hawkeye and Hotlips seemed to finally connect .

    May 24, 2010 at 8:25 am |
  15. Ken Adamson

    Without a doubt the best series finale was the Newhart Show where he played an inn keeper, In the last few minutes of the finale he gets hit the head with a gold ball and wakes up on the set of his last show ,

    May 24, 2010 at 8:28 am |
  16. Nile

    The great Miami Vice ended it's 5 year run with a great ending. Back then I wished it could have gone on longer but it was really time for it to end.

    May 24, 2010 at 8:30 am |
  17. M. Ponce

    It has to be Ugly Betty because she showed that not all happy endings include getting married or getting the guy. It was all about her and her journey in the end.

    May 24, 2010 at 8:31 am |
  18. Jon Palmer

    Without question the best show finale has to be "NEWHART" with "M*A*S*H" coming in a close second. Newhart provided an end that was super creative, shocking and completely out of left field. Jaw droppingly excellent.

    May 24, 2010 at 8:35 am |
  19. Julia Klein

    The best ending of a TV show was the end of the second (2nd) Bob Newhart show, the series of him being an Inn Keeper. The final screen showed him waking up in bed with Emily (Sazanne Plachette sp) his wife from his first long running series and telling her he just had the craziest dream that he was and Inn Keeper in the Northeast.
    Dream over series over. What a surprise that was to see Bob and Emily. Loved it. Julia

    May 24, 2010 at 8:37 am |
  20. PEGGY SENSION

    everybody loves raymond
    the tonight show with jonny carson
    coach

    May 24, 2010 at 8:37 am |
  21. Al

    without a doubt it is Dallas!

    May 24, 2010 at 8:40 am |
  22. Kenneth J Myers Jr

    To me, it was M*A*S*H*. The great writers of the show provided the perfect closure, plus the rocks spelling goodbye at the end ended up being a great touch.

    May 24, 2010 at 8:43 am |
  23. Lobean

    Although it wasn't watched as much, The Bob Newhard Show began with he & Suzanne Plachette & the astronaut in a sit com. That show was cancelled & another Newhart show emerged with Bob & his wife opening & running a Bed & Breakfast Inn.
    The FINAL episode, Bob woke up in the settiing from the 1st sit com, in bed with Suzanne Plachette, telling her he had a horrible dream that they moved to Vermont & opened a B&B and there were 3 guys, all with the same name (DARYL) and basically the whole (second) sit com had been a dream.
    It was hilarious and a very creative ending for anyone who had followed the Bob Newhart Shows.

    May 24, 2010 at 8:47 am |
  24. Lobean

    To the MASH people:
    Great show, but not as great of an ending, then again, neither was Seinfeld.
    MASH kind of ended when BJ left and then Henry's helicopter went down.
    Hands down & most surprising & creative was The Bob Newhart Show.

    May 24, 2010 at 8:52 am |
  25. Lonnie

    Lost was a great show overall but I was a little disappointed with the finale. Nothing will ever compare, in my opinion, with the finale for Six Feet Under, which was a very well-produced show.

    May 24, 2010 at 9:08 am |
  26. Dawn

    Hands down, the best season finale ever was the Six Feet Under Finale.
    You should show some of that!

    May 24, 2010 at 9:51 am |
  27. Jordan

    The Six Feet Under series finale and the final scene in that episode was perfect. I never watched most of that show...but once I saw that final scene, I watched the whole show straight through. I mean wow. What a creative and respectful way to say goodbye to their characters.

    May 24, 2010 at 9:51 am |
  28. Beth

    i thought the best final episode was "That 70's Show".... loved it

    May 24, 2010 at 9:51 am |
  29. Ed

    Six feet under

    May 24, 2010 at 9:51 am |
  30. Kate

    The NBC Scrubs finale was absolutely perfect in every way. It's too bad they ruined it by trying to revive the show on another network.

    May 24, 2010 at 9:51 am |
  31. happy2012

    my favorite tv show finale was digimon

    May 24, 2010 at 9:51 am |
  32. Scott Capwell

    I was 16 years old when M*A*S*H ended, having watched it with my parents since I was 8. I grew up with the show, so there was really no comparable experience to watching people I had literally grown up with say goodbye.

    May 24, 2010 at 9:52 am |
  33. Anne

    The Dallas cliffhanger "Who shot JR" in 1981 was the best of all time..I believe they were the first to do a cliffhanger on network TV!!

    May 24, 2010 at 9:52 am |
  34. tom r

    Six feet under was the best season finale

    May 24, 2010 at 9:52 am |
  35. Mark Lander

    I still get chills when I think about the Six Feet Under finale. Just amazing.

    May 24, 2010 at 9:53 am |
  36. Vickie Howell

    One of my favorite series finales with one of the best final scenes in television history, was Six Feet Under. The prospective montage of how the entire casts lives and deaths played out was a brilliant closing to a masterful series.

    God, I'm a TV nerd. 😉

    May 24, 2010 at 9:54 am |
  37. Ky

    Though LOST was simply wonderful, my all time favorite finale would have been Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The deeply invested mythology in addition to the most hardcore action scene in television history completely stole my heart! I purchased the 7th season first in my collection just so I could watch it again! Best Show Alive. Thank you Joss Whedon

    May 24, 2010 at 9:54 am |
  38. Carolyn

    Wow! There are so many to choose from. M*A*S*H was one, E.R. was another, Quantum Leap was awesome, Star Trek (the original), Six Feet Under was good and fitting, Hill Street Blues, NYPD Blues was another. Wow, I think I watch too much television...

    May 24, 2010 at 9:54 am |
  39. Yesenia P

    My favorite series ending was "Friends". I just feel like it brought everyone's stories to a close. They all had a happy conclusion after years of trying to find their way in life and do what's right for them. If I laugh and cry I'm satisfied.

    May 24, 2010 at 9:54 am |
  40. Laurel

    By far Six Feet Under !!!!!!!!!

    May 24, 2010 at 9:54 am |
  41. Tina

    Without a doubt, Six Feet Under's finale was by far the most fitting finale for a series. It was a bittersweet ending, a sad goodbye, yet left me feeling the writers had done the whole series justice. Other series finales often left me thinking, "What? That's it? That sucked!"

    May 24, 2010 at 9:54 am |
  42. Dave

    I agree with those who liked the finale of Newhart. That is the funniest, most tongue-in-cheek thing I ever saw on TV. These are only TV shows, so a nod to the "reality" of it being a piece of fiction was great. Recently, I must say I loved the finale of Monk. The characters came to a good conclusion, you knew what would happen next (after the show ended), and the final moments acklnowledged the end of the era and how those of us who loved the show will miss it. I have missed it already.

    May 24, 2010 at 9:55 am |
  43. Chelese Elizabeth Davis

    My absolute favorite was The Starter Wife. The runoff for it wasn't so great.

    May 24, 2010 at 9:56 am |
  44. Devyn

    My favorite TV finale was Star Trek Voyager because they got home! was quite exciting

    May 24, 2010 at 9:56 am |
  45. glen

    Six Feet open was the most amazing and beautifully done finale ever done. Every character's resolution was shown ina way that fit the theme of the program. Even the music was outstanding.

    May 24, 2010 at 9:56 am |
  46. Guy Terreault

    Hi,
    Mine is "StarTrek: Voyager" final episode

    They finally comme back home.

    Still hoping for a sequal.

    May 24, 2010 at 9:59 am |
  47. Michael Garfield

    Newhart. Case closed. The fact that I never watched the actual sitcom but know how that series ended in such a classic way will always stand out.

    Houston, TX

    May 24, 2010 at 10:00 am |
  48. Brandon

    My favorite series finale would have to be JAG! It kills me still to this day that the show is over. Harm and Mac were destined to be together!

    May 24, 2010 at 10:00 am |
  49. Trish

    Without a doubt – Newhart. The most clever plot twist ever. It was pure genious and I still laugh about it. Would love to be able to see it again.

    May 24, 2010 at 10:02 am |
  50. Rev. Foster

    My all-time favorite TV finale was Monk that was on the USA Network.

    May 24, 2010 at 10:03 am |
  51. Aric

    "Knots Landing" was my favorite finale – Abby (Donna Mills) returning as the "brains" behind the final season's corporate takeover & terrorist plot was only trumped by her moving back into her old house on the cul-de-sac! Genius!

    May 24, 2010 at 10:03 am |
  52. Vincent Earle

    Buffy the Vampire Slayer's finale is the best series finale ever.

    May 24, 2010 at 10:03 am |
  53. Lucy Nelimark

    My favorite show finale was "Friends". I love happy endings and this definitely was one. After 10 years of watching Ross and Rachel, the last show finally gave us all the ending we were waiting for.

    May 24, 2010 at 10:03 am |
  54. stacy

    My favorite finale was "Fresh Prince of Belair"

    May 24, 2010 at 10:03 am |
  55. Baby Jay.

    "Sex and the City" was the best season finale ever. It wasn't, so much, about Carrie and "Mr. Big" but more about the journeys of all four women. And now with the second film arriving in the theater, it's like a huge bonus for "Sex and the City" fans. Awesome writing, relevant topics, and just a lot of extravagant fun are the characteristics which keep people interested in this series years after it's been off the air.

    May 24, 2010 at 10:04 am |
  56. jsover65

    I do not remember viewing any previous episode of LOST but I was glued to the finale. My body and mind are over 65.

    May 24, 2010 at 10:04 am |
  57. BC in Orlando

    The Best finale by far, at least I think so, was HBO's Six Feet Under. I had a connection to every single character and the show did its job well. "it distracted" me & made me think about stuff I apply to everyday life. To know what happened to every characters world as it fast forwarded thru to the end of their life was brilliant! We're all on that coaster. Make the most of it! Love your show Kyra I watch everyday when I can!

    May 24, 2010 at 10:05 am |
  58. Tracy

    Another vote for Six Feet Under. After the disappointment of the finale of Sopranos, this series finale was awesome! I was almost dreading this episode because the series was so good. I thought the writers couldn't do the finale justice, but it was superb!

    May 24, 2010 at 10:05 am |
  59. Dena

    "GREY'S ANATOMY" last Thursday nite, for 2hrs you sat there glued to the tv with your jaw opening wider and wider, the only sound you could hear other than the tv was more and more gasps coming out of your mouth. For 2hrs you walked, peeped around corners of Seattle Grace Hospital with the camera as if you were there, for 2hrs you were so on the scene and your heart waiting to burst and end up on one of the many gurneys and in the hands of your favorite surgeon character. For 2 hrs you couldn't move until the commericals came on and then you ran, literally ran to do what ever you had to do just so you'd be back not to miss a nano second of the show....for 2hrs you gladly did this and at the end you could have still gone loner because it was just that fantastic!! WOW what a awesome ride!!!!!

    May 24, 2010 at 10:06 am |
  60. Joe

    I have never seen the show "LOST", however I saw the finale of all the rest mentioned. They were all excellent, but I think the most emotional finale I ever saw was "Gilligans Island".

    May 24, 2010 at 10:07 am |
  61. Cyree

    My favorite ending was "The L Word". Like Lost, The L Word paid attention to what fan blogs said about the show, and responded by killing off one of the most hated characters. Ultimately, I think that the joke was on the fans, because before Jenny met her end, she went through a series of events that increased our ability to relate to her. It was also a cliffhanger, which kept conversation open about the show after it had ended.

    May 24, 2010 at 10:08 am |
  62. Elizabeth

    my favorite finale was of a T.V show called death note. it involved a supenatural notebook and the goverment trying to catch the killer. i laughted and cryd for like a week after the ending! i even saw the ending in japanese!

    May 24, 2010 at 10:08 am |
  63. janet b.

    Usually series finale's are a disapointment, because we love the show's and are sad to see them go. One of the best finale's I've seen in recent years was from Battlestar Galactica, it was emotional and rewarding for the viewer. Going back several years, I thought the ending of St. Elsewhere was clever, the boy with autism ended up imagining the whole show. As he sat and played with a snow globe we understood the whole show was played out in his imagination.

    May 24, 2010 at 10:12 am |
  64. John Pettigrew

    LOST: I did not miss a single episode in the 6 years of the show. The 2 hour recap special was well done. However, by the time I got to see the finale, and 1/2 hour into it, I got bored. Rather that sitting back and being able to enjoy the finale presentation, I just wanted it to get over and tell me the plot!

    The recap special should have been last week and that lead in to the finale, coupled with the finale.

    Thank you producers for turning what could have the greatest finale and turned it into a lenghty, repiticious bore. At least for me!

    May 24, 2010 at 10:19 am |
  65. George D. in Georgia

    Miami Vice and Magnum P.I. were the greatest crime drama finales in the 80’s. This two shows marked the end of an era for P.I. and buddy cop shows.

    Watching Magnum P.I. had me wanting to move to Hawaii and become a P.I. Watching the last episode and not knowing if Magnum was shot and dying from the gun shot, but then you see him running down the walk-way to Rick’s wedding in his Navy uniform. Magnum re-enlisted and has his daughter Lily Catherine, Magnum P.I. was a show that you never knew what Magnum was going to do.

    Then Miami Vice, what can you say about Miami Vice, one of the all time greatest buddy cop shows ever. The line Crockett gives Tubbs, “We had one hellva run, didn’t we partner?” Tubbs says, “We sure did.” That tells it all about the show of how that show had you emotions all over the place. Just the way Crockett and Tubbs were saying good-bye, driving off in that Ferrari Testarossa and Crockett asking Tubbs, “You ever considered a career in southern law enforcement.” Then Tubbs saying “Maybe, just maybe.” And both laughing. And finally, clips from all the memorable moments of the show. It just brings back all the joy, laughter, excitement, sorrow, and pain of the show.

    Never again will there be any shows like Magnum P.I. and Miami Vice and there will never again be finales like that.

    May 24, 2010 at 10:39 am |
  66. Michael in Phoenix

    M*A*S*H

    May 24, 2010 at 12:53 pm |
  67. Jason Gilbert, Ottawa, Canada

    My favorite TV finale of all time was The Fugitive finale. The 1967 finale held the record for most watched episode of a TV series for years. Seeing Dr. Richard Kimble, played perfectly by David Janssen, exonerated in that final episode, brought tears to my eyes. Who can ever forget the final spoken words of William Conrad's narration? "Tuesday, August 29: The day the running stopped."

    May 24, 2010 at 1:57 pm |
  68. Linda

    LOST hands down. No hesitation. Been watching since the beginning and thought no way could they tie up all the questions in one finale, but they did. I assume a lot of people thought "they're all dead", but then it would seem contrived and that's just too obvious. Blew our minds. Even my daughter who hasn't watched it and doesn't know the nuances was emotional. She doesn't impress easily. Now everyone is going back to the first to see it all with a new perspective. It's a metaphor for so much. GREAT JOB!! We'll miss you guys!!

    May 24, 2010 at 2:48 pm |
  69. Linda

    By the way second,"The Fugitive". First in a line of really closing a series and not just stop. What happened? As a trekkie Voyager a close third. I guess I'll have to look into "six feet under" since i've never seen it and so many thought it was the best!

    May 24, 2010 at 2:55 pm |
  70. Bradley Davis

    Without a doubt the best television series finale was Star Trek: The Next Generation. 2 hours of television that is better than most feature films (including some in the Star Trek franchise).

    May 24, 2010 at 10:59 pm |
  71. John Tyler Erie, Pa

    I missed the first four seasons of "Lost" because I worked nights. So when I started watching it I could never understand the plot and was totally lost. The best ending of a series was that of the "Sopranos". It was controversial and upset many of it's loyal fans but I thought is was very appropriate.

    May 25, 2010 at 8:27 am |
  72. jonathan sauer

    The black church is going to march because a history teacher allowed her students to make a film about racism? That's ignorant.

    Yeah the students shouldn't have worn the costumes off-set, but the school shouldn't punish the teacher. Teachers are under enough stress as it is. They are under-paid, under-appreciated, and over-stressed. It's obvious she's learned a lesson in political correctness. Cut her some slack.

    May 25, 2010 at 9:59 am |
  73. Bette Van Winkle

    My all time favorite show finale was the Bob Newhart show. No one saw that ending coming-–Bob woke up and told Suzanne that he had a dream about owning and running a resort in Vermont. Wow!!!! It was a great ending.
    I did not like the ending of Lost. There were still too many loose ends. Too much went on during the six years and too many crazy ideas.
    I would have liked it better if the whole island sunk with everyone on it and Oceanic 15 would have landed safely in LA as if nothing had happened with everyone departing and getting on with life.

    May 27, 2010 at 8:37 am |