Pick: Which classic TV show had the most satisfying series finale?

Do you prefer tears or a twist?

Spring is the season of rebirth, of new life. Well, in nature. On television, it's when everything traditionally ends. All shows have to come to an end sometime. (Except The Simpsons, it seems.) The only question is whether a series ends on its own terms… or unceremoniously comes to halt thanks to the network.

With some huge TV shows wrapping up their runs at the moment, series finales are once again a point of pop-culture discussion. And debate. So it begs the question: Which TV finale is your favorite?

Whether they tugged on our heartstrings or served up a twist, these finales stuck in our mind. We stuck to shows that ended in the 20th century.

Did we overlook your favorite? There were a lot of sleepers we didn't include. (China Beach!) Tell us in the comments.
  1. Pick your favorite TV series finale from the following memorable list:

Pick: Which classic TV show had the most satisfying series finale?

Your Result...

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Runeshaper 5 days ago
Happy Days - Joanie and Chachi get married :)

EmBee 4 months ago
I did NOT vote for MASH even though it has always been in my wheelhouse and seems to be always on. My problem with it was that when it went up to 2 1/2 hours I felt they should have followed the characters home so we could see them reacclimate themselves to their real lives (Margaret I'm guessing would have stayed in the Army and been reassigned somewhere like Walter Reed or Lanstuhl). But I wanted to see Hawkeye's Dad, Mildred, Klinger's parents etc. So I found it a little disappointing.
So I went with Newhart even though I didn't watch it regularly I DID happen to see the finale and couldn't stop laughing.
theFAN2000 4 months ago
I picked Seinfeld because of the way it came full circle back to the beginning of the pilot episode. It was like saying "We want to leave before we end up repeating ourselves". Plus you can look at it as the whole "I could not get arrested" actor thing.
MarcSoules 4 months ago
Yeah, I went with Newhart because it stayed in line with a sitcom. It was a huge surprise. St. Elsewhere was similar. Mash was sooo long, and sappy.
JeffTanner 4 months ago
I saw the M*A*S*H Finale many, many times over the years, and it is my favorite of all. A lot of these I never saw. Or knew about even.
Lucyneenah19701 4 months ago
The Family Ties, Little House on the Prairie, Mary Tyler Moore, MASH, and All in the Family finales were all sad. Sitcoms shouldn't have any episodes that are sad. They're supposed to be funny.
I've forgotten The Wonder Years finale.
The Leave it to Beaver finale was cute and sweet, like the whole series.
I wonder if the last episode of I Love Lucy is considered a finale. The episode with the Revolutionary War statue.
My favorite finale is Newhart! Really funny! I got 70%similar.
TomTerrrific 4 months ago
Now that I think about it, the Monk finale was great, too.
FrankCollins 4 months ago
If there were more viewers who followed The Fugitive, that would have won easily. I followed it through reruns many years later, but it still had the same effect. It is by far the best. I thought the MTM ending was brilliant, and a vicious but true criticism of TV news and its viewers. I was very disappointed with both the MASH and STNG endings. But MASH never recovered from the loss of its original cast, including Colonel Blake and Trapper John, and got increasingly full of itself as it went on, especially the Hawkeye character.
I agree with you about MASH.
KenM 4 months ago
I would have to choose "Quantum Leap". I've never had a TV Show affect me the way that finale did. I thought about all of the implications of that ending for weeks.
MrsPhilHarris KenM 4 months ago
Hmmm...I don't remember it.
klewis167 4 months ago
I think I must be one of the only people to pick Little House on the Prairie! I watched that show from episode one through the Finale. Though I was torn between picking that and picking M*A*S*H.
MADnNOLA 4 months ago
When I started reading, I was looking for Mary Tyler Moore. But no such luck. Newhart was a classic ending.
Mark MADnNOLA 4 months ago
MTM is eighth from the bottom of the list between Magnum PI and MASH.
Greg 4 months ago
Newhart was definitely the most original ending ever. Seinfeld was the worst just an excuse for a clip show and not emotional or funny
Mark 4 months ago
Huge trekkie but I chose Happy Days. I also loved that show for many years and seeing Joanie and Chachi getting married after he was pursuing her for years was awesome. I just wish they could have brought Chuck back for that episode. He was the first Cunningham son who mysteriously vanished after the first season.

I did not pick it because it really was not the end. There was no closure as the missions continued through the movies. Now DS9 and Voyager had outstanding finales with closure. Sisko leaves DS9 and enters the Celestial Temple and Voyager completes its journey back to the alpha quadrant.
Mark Mark 4 months ago
That should read I did not pick Star Trek Next Generation (it).
SteveThames 4 months ago
“The day the running stopped” Fugitive no brainer
DiscoDave 4 months ago
I picked Newhart although not a huge fan of either of his shows. Second choice was M*A*S*H, which was a better finale overall. I don't remember that last Newhart episode other than Suzanne Pleshette waking up in bed with Bob. It was very funny when I first saw it and MEmorable TV.
MrsPhilHarris DiscoDave 4 months ago
That's all I remember too.
MichaelSkaggs 4 months ago
"Magnum, P.I." Otherwise, "Newhart". Also, a lot of tv shows didn't have goodbye episodes because they didn't know they were going to be cancelled. Some are trying to bring some shows back to have an improved last season or at least a decent goodbye episode. One petition drive is on "Change.org" where they are trying to bring back "Scorpion". At last count they have 27,000 plus signatures.
thedude1500 4 months ago
0% I might have been the only one who picked St. Elsewhere. I was torn between it, Seinfeld and Newhart.
It was the idea that is was all seen through the eyes of an autistic child. Not all of the story lines were wound up (and frankly, given the adult situations that were presented, the ending doesn't make a whole lot of sense). But there was just something about it.
Some other shows with good endings: Sopranos (why does everything have to be tied into a neat package at the end), Sons of Anarchy (just about everybody dies in spectacular fashion), The Practice, Star Trek: Deep Space 9, Downton Abby (and most British shows in general), Corner Gas (OK, that was Canadian).
Bad endings: Star Trek: Enterprise
Mixed feeling: Good Wife (I would have loved a spinoff for Kalinda Sharma), Lost
Wiseguy thedude1500 4 months ago
Star Trek Enterprise's final episode was supposed to be the SEASON finale...but it was cancelled instead.
cperrynaples thedude1500 4 months ago
So true about Sopranos, and the WORST finale was definitely It's Garry Shandling's Show!
Joseph 4 months ago
There are some good ones here, and a few that aren't mentioned, like I Married Dora, which is probably more famous for its finale than for the show's content during its brief run. Still, I would have to choose The Fugitive. Viewers who felt Richard Kimble's pain for four years could at last breathe a sigh of relief.

The worst finale? Dallas. What a dud!p
Joseph Joseph 4 months ago
Ignore the small P at the end. My finger slipped. 😬
HockeyMike Joseph 3 months ago
I Married Dora was The Best!
The show was not a "Hit", but, the ending was perfect! I remember watching it..."emotional scene at the airport, kids & Dora saying goodbye to the father as he goes away on a long business trip...then he comes back from the airport terminal..
Dora, "What happened"?
Dad,"It was cancelled".
Dora,"Your flight was cancelled?"
Dad,"No, our show was cancelled!"
Then they all got out of character and thanked everyone...it was perfect. :)
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