10 Shows That Wasted Their Perfect Ending

So close... and yet so far.

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The CW

Making a TV show is a lot like rhythmic gymnastics. It's about impressing an audience, there are lots of people running around in glitter and spandex, and, above all else, you have to stick the landing.

Hundreds of great series have fallen afoul of a weak ending, taking years of fan good will and support and depositing it directly into the bin. Some then took the ending out of the bin and dropped it into the toilet as well.

It's not easy to get an ending right. Writers have to wrap up every character's storyline, fill in any missing plot points, and make sure their fans are happy without making it too predictable.

Which is why it's even more frustrating when a show gets its perfect ending and then keeps going.

Some of these shows were just one season out from a perfect finale. Others stuck around for much longer than that, whilst a few shouldn't have carried on beyond their first run of episodes.

Prepare to be incredibly frustrated by this one, because you're about to read about ten famous TV shows that were so very close to wrapping up at the perfect time.

10. Prison Break

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Long-form serial TV wasn't popular when Prison Break was first pitched to Fox. However, thanks to the success of shows like 24 and Lost, the studio backed the production and the first season aired in 2005.

Chronicling the lives of brothers Lincoln and Michael, Prison Break's first season was praised for its originality and suspense. Over the course of 22 episodes, audiences became firmly invested in the brothers' plight and rejoiced when they made their escape from jail and flew off into the sunset on a plane.

And that is where the series should have stopped.

The setting of a prison was what made the show so compelling to watch. It was claustrophobic, which pushed character relationships to breaking point, and the question of whether or not they would ever escape drove the plot forward brilliantly.

Once all of this was gone, the show had no hook to it. Prison Break ended up becoming just another overblown action thriller with convoluted, continent-striding plots that were far too big to get invested in properly.

It would have functioned far more effectively as a mini-series but, with too much money on the table, there was no way that was ever going to happen.


Jacob Simmons has a great many passions, including rock music, giving acclaimed films three-and-a-half stars, watching random clips from The Simpsons on YouTube at 3am, and writing about himself in the third person.