100 TV Shows, Ranked by Their Final Episode

Written by Carly Hallman

What are the best and worst TV finales of all time? To find out, we examined the most popular shows listed on the Internet Movie Database (IMDB). We scanned the list to find the top TV shows that have ended, and out of that list of popular shows, we took a closer look at each TV show’s rankings both for the show overall and for its last episode.

Looking at 100 shows total, we found TV’s most unforgettable finales, both the epically good wrap-ups and the horrific mistakes. Some of the best TV show finales were memorable events, considered the ending of an era, while some of the worst final episodes seemed to ruin or damage the series as a whole. Either way, they’ve created some powerful reactions.

Without further ado, these are the top series finales measured by their IMDB ratings!

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100 TV Shows, Ranked by Their Final Episode Transcript

These are the rankings of the top 100 most popular TV shows that have already ended according to IMDB, ranked by the rating of their final episode.

Title Years Running Series IMDB Rating Last Episode Title Last Episode IMDB Rating Last Episode Date Aired Number of Episodes
Breaking Bad 2008-13 9.5 Felina 9.9 9/29/13 62
Chernobyl 2019 9.5 Vichnaya Pamyat 9.9 6/3/19 5
The Office 2005-13 8.8 Finale 9.8 5/16/13 188
Avatar: The Last Airbender 2005-08 9.2 Sozin’s Comet, Part 4: Avatar Aang 9.8 7/19/08 66
Person of Interest 2011-16 8.4 Return 0 9.8 6/21/16 103
The Americans 2013-18 8.4 START 9.8 5/30/18 75
Hannibal 2013-15 8.5 The Wrath of the Lamb 9.8 8/29/15 39
Friends 1994-2004 8.9 The Last One: Part 2 9.7 5/6/04 236
Parks and Recreation 2009-15 8.6 One Last Ride: Part 2 9.7 2/24/15 125
Spartacus 2010-13 8.5 Victory 9.7 4/12/13 34
Justified 2010-15 8.6 The Promise 9.7 4/14/15 78
Friday Night Lights 2006-11 8.7 Always 9.7 2/9/11 76
The Big Bang Theory 2007-19 8.1 The Stockholm Syndrome 9.6 5/16/19 281
Community 2009-15 8.5 Emotional Consequences of Broadcast Television 9.6 6/2/15 110
Daredevil 2015-18 8.6 A New Napkin 9.6 10/19/18 39
Fleabag 2016-19 8.7 Episode #2.6 9.5 5/17/19 12
Sons of Anarchy 2008-14 8.6 Papa’s Goods 9.5 12/9/14 92
The Wire 2002-08 9.3 -30- 9.5 3/9/08 60
Psych 2006-14 8.3 The Break-Up 9.5 3/26/14 121
The Leftovers 2014-17 8.3 The Book of Nora 9.5 6/4/17 28
One Tree Hill 2003-12 7.6 One Tree Hill 9.4 4/4/12 187
Fringe 2008-13 8.4 An Enemy of Fate 9.4 1/18/13 100
Downton Abbey 2010-15 8.7 Christmas Special 9.3 3/6/16 52
Orange Is the New Black 2013-19 8.1 Here’s Where We Get Off 9.3 7/26/19 91
Mad Men 2007-15 8.6 Person to Person 9.3 5/17/15 92
House 2004-12 8.7 Everybody Dies 9.3 5/21/12 176
The Vampire Diaries 2009-17 7.7 I Was Feeling Epic 9.3 3/10/17 171
Smallville 2001-11 7.4 Finale 9.3 5/13/11 217
Buffy the Vampire Slayer 1997-2003 8.2 Chosen 9.3 5/20/03 145
Frasier 1993-2004 8.0 Goodnight, Seattle 9.3 5/13/04 263
Twin Peaks 1990-91 8.8 Beyond Life and Death 9.3 6/10/91 30
Bates Motel 2013-17 8.2 The Cord 9.3 4/24/17 50
Chuck 2007-12 8.2 Chuck Versus the Goodbye 9.3 1/27/12 91
The Sopranos 1999-2007 9.2 Made in America 9.2 6/10/07 86
Once Upon a Time 2011-18 7.8 Leaving Storybrooke 9.2 5/18/18 156
Jane the Virgin 2014-19 7.8 Chapter One-Hundred 9.2 7/31/19 100
Gilmore Girls 2000-07 8.1 Bon Voyage 9.2 5/15/07 154
Narcos 2015-17 8.8 Going Back to Call 9.2 9/1/17 30
The O.C. 2003-07 7.5 The End’s Not Near, It’s Here 9.2 2/22/19 92
Glee 2009-15 6.7 Dreams Come True 9.1 3/20/15 121
Star Trek: The Next Generation 1987-94 8.6 All Good Things … 9.1 5/23/94 176
Charmed 1998-2006 7.1 Déjà Vu All Over Again 9.1 5/26/99 179
The Mentalist 2008-15 8.1 White Orchids 9.1 2/18/15 151
Gossip Girl 2007-12 7.4 New York, I Love You XOXO 9.1 12/17/12 121
Cheers 1982-93 7.8 One for the Road 9.1 5/20/93 271
The Punisher 2017-19 8.6 The Whirlwind 9.1 1/18/19 26
Stargate SG-1 1997-2007 8.4 Unending 9.1 6/22/07 213
That ’70s Show 1998-06 8.1 That ’70s Finale 9.0 5/18/06 200
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine 1993-99 7.9 What You Leave Behind 9.0 6/2/99 173
The West Wing 1999-2006 8.8 Tomorrow 9.0 5/14/06 155
Grimm 2011-17 7.8 The End 9.0 3/31/17 123
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air 1990-96 7.9 I, Done: Part 2 9.0 5/20/96 148
Teen Wolf 2011-17 7.6 The Wolves of War 9.0 9/24/17 100
Legion 2017-19 8.3 Chapter 27 8.9 8/12/19 27
Black Sails 2014-17 8.2 XXXVIII 8.8 4/2/17 38
Shadowhunters 2016-19 6.6 All Good Things … 8.8 5/6/19 55
Sex and the City 1998-2004 7.1 An American Girl in Paris: Part Deux 8.8 2/22/04 94
Elementary 2012-19 7.9 Their Last Bow 8.7 8/15/19 154
M*A*S*H 1972-83 8.4 Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen 8.7 2/28/83 251
Agatha Christie’s Poirot 1989-2013 8.6 Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case 8.7 8/25/14 70
The Tudors 2007-10 8.1 Death of a Monarchy 8.7 6/20/10 38
Gotham 2014-19 7.8 Legend of the Dark Knight: The Beginning … 8.6 4/25/19 100
ER 1994-2009 7.7 And in the End … 8.6 4/2/09 331
Star Trek: Voyager 1995-2001 7.8 Endgame 8.6 5/23/01 170
Preacher 2016-19 8.0 End of the World 8.6 9/29/19 43
Law & Order 1990-2010 7.6 Rubber Room 8.6 5/24/10 456
Broadchurch 2013-17 8.4 Episode #3.8 8.6 8/16/17 24
Deadwood 2004-06 8.6 Tell Him Something Pretty 8.6 8/27/06 36
Vis a Vis 2015-19 8.3 La Marea Amarilla 8.5 2/4/19 51
Prison Break 2005-17 8.3 Behind the Eyes 8.5 5/30/17 91
New Girl 2011-18 7.7 Engram Pattersky 8.5 5/15/18 146
iZombie 2015-19 7.9 All’s Well That Ends Well 8.5 8/1/19 71
Jessica Jones 2015-19 8.0 A.K.A. Everything 8.3 6/14/19 39
Penny Dreadful 2014-16 8.2 The Blessed Dark 8.3 6/19/16 27
Lost 2004-10 8.3 The End 8.2 5/23/10 118
Bones 2005-17 7.8 The Final Chapter: The End in the End 8.2 3/28/17 245
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation 2000-15 7.6 The End Game 8.1 2/15/15 335
The Originals 2013-18 8.2 When the Saints Go Marching In 8.0 8/1/18 92
Lethal Weapon 2016-19 7.9 The Spy Who Loved Me 8.0 2/26/19 55
Designated Survivor 2016-19 7.6 #truthorconsequences 7.9 6/7/19 53
Murder, She Wrote 1984-96 6.9 Death by Demographics 7.7 5/19/96 264
Seinfeld 1989-98 8.8 The Finale 7.6 5/14/98 173
The X-Files 1993-2018 8.6 My Struggle IV 7.5 3/21/18 217
The Addams Family 1964-66 7.9 Ophelia’s Career 7.4 4/8/66 64
Batman: The Animated Series 1992-95 9.0 The Lion and the Unicorn 7.4 9/15/95 85
Castle 2009-16 8.1 Crossfire 7.3 5/16/16 173
Beverly Hills, 90210 1990-2000 6.3 Ode to Joy 7.1 5/17/00 292
Columbo 1971-2003 8.2 Columbo Likes the Nightlife 7.1 1/30/03 68
Star Trek: The Original Series 1966-69 8.3 Turnabout Intruder 7.0 6/3/69 80
Scrubs 2001-10 8.3 Our Thanks 6.1 3/17/10 182
The Good Wife 2009-16 8.3 End 5.9 5/8/16 156
Baywatch 1989-2001 5.2 Rescue Me 5.9 5/14/01 242
The Brady Bunch 1969-74 6.6 The Hair-Brained Scheme 5.7 3/8/74 117
How I Met Your Mother 2005-14 8.3 Last Forever: Part 2 5.6 3/31/14 208
Pretty Little Liars 2010-17 7.4 Til DeAth Do Us Part 5.5 6/27/17 160
True Blood 2008-14 7.9 Thank You 5.1 8/24/14 81
Dexter 2006-13 8.7 Remember the Monsters? 4.6 9/22/13 96
Game of Thrones 2011-19 9.4 The Iron Throne 4.2 5/19/19 73
Two and a Half Men 2003-15 7.0 Of Course He’s Dead: Part 2 3.9 2/19/15 262
House of Cards 2013-18 8.8 Chapter 73 2.6 11/2/18 73

Source:

https://imdb.com

The Top 10 Best Series Finales of All Time

Out of the most popular shows on IMDB, these have the highest ratings for their final episodes. These may be considered the best TV finales ever:

  1. Breaking Bad — “Felina” (9.9/10)
  2. Chernobyl* — “Vichnaya Pamyat” (9.9/10)
  3. The Office — “Finale” (9.8/10)
  4. Avatar: The Last Airbender — “Sozin’s Comet, Part 4: Avatar Aang” (9.8/10)
  5. Person of Interest — “Return 0” (9.8/10)
  6. The Americans — “START” (9.8/10)
  7. Hannibal — “The Wrath of the Lamb” (9.8/10)
  8. Friends — “The Last One: Part 2” (9.7/10)
  9. Parks and Recreation One Last Ride: Part 2″ (9.7/10)
  10. Spartacus — “Victory” (9.7/10)

Several on our list of the top ten series finales are shorter productions; Hannibal only had to wrap up the plot in 39 episodes, and Chernobyl only had five. (We gave Chernobyl an asterisk because it’s technically a TV miniseries.)

Meanwhile, Friends finished out its ten years and 236 episodes in a very well-received final send-off, and The Office gave its massive cast a proper send-off after 188 episodes. Neither was likely an easy task for the writing staff!

But out of our list of the best TV show endings, Breaking Bad takes the cake. That may be because creator Vince Gilligan always intended to end the series after five seasons. In an interview with The New York Times, he said, “But really, Breaking Bad was intended to be a finite story from the get-go. It was designed to be closed-ended and not have even the possibility of going on indefinitely. It’s really incumbent upon us to bring it to as satisfying a conclusion as possible.” As a result, it’s widely considered to have one of the best TV endings ever, not just by IMDB fans but by sources like Variety and The Washington Post.

The Top 10 Worst Series Finales of All Time

Out of the IMDB’s most popular shows list, these are the worst TV show endings, according to their rating:

  1. House of Cards — “Chapter 73” (2.6/10)
  2. Two and a Half Men — “Of Course He’s Dead: Part 2” (3.9/10)
  3. Game of Thrones — “The Iron Throne” (4.2/10)
  4. Dexter — “Remember the Monsters?” (4.6/10)
  5. True Blood — “Thank You” (5.1/10)
  6. Pretty Little Liars — “Til DeAth Do Us Part” (5.5/10)
  7. How I Met Your Mother — “Last Forever: Part 2” (5.6/10)
  8. The Brady Bunch — “The Hair-Brained Scheme” (5.7/10)
  9. Baywatch — “Rescue Me” (5.9/10)
  10. The Good Wife — “End” (5.9/10)

The opposite of the best TV series endings ever, which wrap up plot lines satisfyingly, often give powerful send-offs to the most important characters, and typically seem like they were planned from the beginning, are the worst endings ever, which are often rushed, ambiguous, and/or disappointing, sometimes even featuring entirely different actors and characters. Such was the case for both House of Cards and Two and a Half Men.

Two and a Half Men was a 7.0-rated sitcom originally starring Charlie Sheen, who was fired. Not many people expected it to keep going successfully in his absence. House of Cards, though, had an overall series rating of 8.8 out of 10, and it dropped down all the way to 2.6 out of 10 for the finale. Critics and fans decried this awkward finish after Kevin Spacey was kicked off the show.

But those were two situations where the writers were thrown huge curve balls. What’s your excuse, Game of Thrones?

Despite being Emmy-nominated, the writers of Game of Thrones have come under fire (pardon the dragon joke) from fans and critics alike for “The Iron Throne,” some insisting that this final episode not only ruined that season but the series as a whole because of its convoluted, inconsistent themes.

See how other shows have dipped in quality or stuck the landing in the final episode in our infographic!


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