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Best TV shows with the worst endings

  • Best TV shows with the worst endings

    All good things must come to an end, even successful television shows, and sometimes the best shows have the worst endings. Whether it’s a show that’s gone on well past its prime, or a show whose original cast left and were replaced by actors who paled in comparison, or a reboot or revival with a promising start that stalled after a season or two, even great shows aren’t perfect.

    To determine the 50 best TV shows with the worst endings, Stacker compiled data on the best TV shows on IMDb with more than 50,000 votes and ranked them according to the average IMDb user rating across the final season. User ratings are ranked according to full value, but only two decimals places are shown. Those listed as ties are exact ties down to the last decimal. Data is up to date as of Sept. 16.

    These shows represent every genre from sci-fi to drama and come from all over the world. They are about witches and horsemen and include a British sketch comedy. One is set in a fifth dimension not known to man, another is about a suburban mother who resorts to selling drugs, and there are three versions of a space show with a cult-like following that spans five decades.

    While it may seem many of these shows have little in common, the thread that ties them together is that somewhere along the line things went bad. In the end, they left a trail of disappointed or confused fans who wondered what exactly happened to that show they loved. Keep reading to see how many shows on the list ranked among your favorites with the very worst endings.

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  • #50. Charmed (1998-2006)

    - Final season IMDb user rating: 7.68
    - Total seasons: 8

    “Charmed” featured the Halliwell sisters, three women who found out they were powerful witches meant to fight evil. The final season was plagued with budget cuts and the final episode, which found middle-sister Piper traveling back in time to prevent the events that led to her sisters’ deaths, was okay, but the time travel storyline woven throughout was confusing and fans were upset that Shannen Doherty didn’t return as eldest Halliwell sister, Prue, for a final goodbye. Doherty left the show in 2001 and was replaced by Rose McGowan, the long-lost half sister.

  • #49. Sleepy Hollow (2013-2017)

    - Final season IMDb user rating: 7.68
    - Total seasons: 4

    The supernatural show aired on Fox and was loosely based on the 1820 short story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving. The main character, Ichabod Crane, is resurrected and sent to the future to solve a mystery from the past. While the first two seasons received favorable reviews, things went downhill in the final seasons. Not only did the storyline become convoluted, but the once diverse cast was pared down and fans felt betrayed.

  • #48. Will & Grace (1998-2020)

    - Final season IMDb user rating: 7.67
    - Total seasons: 11

    The “Will & Grace” 2017 reboot pretended the original season finale never happened, and it set Will and Grace back to where they were when fans left them years earlier. While it was interesting to revisit these characters, by the third season, many fans wondered if the producers should have let the characters go gentle into that good night. It seemed “Will & Grace” had many things to say, but they weren’t anything fans hadn’t heard years earlier.

  • #47. Gossip Girl (2007-2012)

    - Final season IMDb user rating: 7.66
    - Total seasons: 6

    While the first season of the show received excellent reviews and a score of 79% on Rotten Tomatoes, many fans thought finding out the identity of Gossip Girl ruined the show. Others were upset about how little sense it made to continue a high school show once the characters were out of high school.

  • #46. Futurama (1999-2013)

    - Final season IMDb user rating: 7.65
    - Total seasons: 10

    Matt Groening, who created the long-running animated marvel “The Simpsons,” also created “Futurama,” which first aired on New Year’s Eve, 1999, and was about a pizza delivery boy who froze himself in the present only to wake up in the future. The show, hailed as a funny and sharp comedy, remained on Fox for four seasons until 2003. For many, the 2008 Comedy Central reboot simply was not as funny as it was during the first go-round.

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  • #45. Monty Python’s Flying Circus (1969-1974)

    - Final season IMDb user rating: 7.65
    - Total seasons: 4

    Initially, critics were not fond of the British sketch-comedy “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” and found its comedy crude and inappropriate. As time went on, the tides changed, and so did the audience and critical response. Perhaps it was because there was nothing like it on television. John Cleese left after the third season, and the disarming charm of such innovative comedy wore thin with the fourth season of the show that featured more misses than hits.

  • #44. New Girl (2011-2018)

    - Final season IMDb user rating: 7.64
    - Total seasons: 7

    A solid performer for Fox, “New Girl” debuted in 2011 and was a comedy about a teacher who moved into a Los Angeles loft with three men. Ratings dropped during the sixth season, and Fox prepared what could serve as a series finale, though it did wind up picking the show up for a shortened seventh season. Writing for Decider, Lea Palmieri voiced what many were thinking, “After last night’s “New Girl” series finale, well, it kind of feels like maybe we didn’t need that seventh and final season after all.”

  • #42. Pretty Little Liars (2010-2017) (tie)

    - Final season IMDb user rating: 7.64
    - Total seasons: 7

    “Pretty Little Liars” followed a group of teenage girls who were keeping a deadly secret. Many fans felt the payoff in the final season was not worth the seven-year wait. They learned the identities of A, Uber A, A.D., and found the truth to be entirely underwhelming.

  • #42. Sex and the City (1998-2004) (tie)

    - Final season IMDb user rating: 7.64
    - Total seasons: 6

    Based on the book by author Candace Bushnell, “Sex and the City” was about the adventures of writer Carrie Bradshaw as she navigated love and life in New York City. It gave us a solid group of female friends who supported each other, and it also brought fashion and women’s sexuality to the forefront. The end though, left many fans and the show’s creator, Darren Star, as well as writer Bushnell, disappointed.

  • #41. Luke Cage (2016-2018)

    - Final season IMDb user rating: 7.62
    - Total seasons: 2

    “Luke Cage,” a Netflix original based on a Marvel comic book hero who gains superhuman abilities after an experiment goes awry, received positive reviews for its first season, though it fell into the dreaded sophomore slump. The show fell apart behind the scenes too, and Netflix canceled it after the second season.

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