First Episode/Last Episode: 14 TV Shows That Quit While They Were Ahead

Some TV shows are canceled before their time, others hang on and drift into mediocrity.  Then there’s the sweet spot -- those programs that deliver the goods, close the door and leave us wanting more. Warning: series-ending spoilers ahead.


the wire had the attention of powerful people FIRST SEASON LAST SEASON hen-Attorney General Eric Holder jokingly asked producers for a sixth season. Creator David Simon agreed if the Department of Justice is equally ready to reconsider and address its continuing prosecution of oUr misguided, destructive and dehumanising drug

The Atlantic


chappelle's show was done when dave walked away CRACKED COM FIRST SEASON LAST SEASON Chappelle ended his groundbreaking sketch show after only two seasons. One reason: He wasn't sure if the bits were satirizing racial stereotypes or reinforcing them.



the good place was mapped out start to finish CRACKED COM FIRST SEASON LAST SEASON Creator MiKE Schur knew four seasons would be the end. Jamella Jamil reveals why: 'Because is the classiest ever and Wantedtensshirtball you at the right time in the right way.'



the fugitive producers had to fight for a resolution FIRST SEASON LAST SEASON ABC didn't want a definitive ending for The Fugitive, arguing it would hurt the show in reruns. But producers believed viewers deserved to see Dr. Kimble get justice, and the final episode was the most-watched of

Vanity Fair


the office influenced a generation of sitcoms CRACKEDC FIRST SEASON LAST SEASON The BBC Office lasted only two 6-episode seasons and a Christmas special. didn't want to repeat myself... so I just left it as it was, says Gervais. The US version could have learned something from its ancestor.

Huffington Post


seinfeld had no hugging or learning, right to the end CRACKED COM FIRST SEASON LAST SEASON NBC offered Seinfeld the most lucrative deal in TV history for a return but Jerry said no thanks. For me, this is all about timing. My life is all about timing. As a comedian, my

New York Times


breaking bad would not go the way of mulder and scully CRACKED c FIRST SEASON LAST SEASON Why did Breaking Bad end when its popularity was at its peak? Creator Vince Gilligan learned from his experience on X-Files: You don't want to leave the party too late. You want to leave

Showbiz Cheat Sheet


fans had lots of finale theories about mad men CRACKED cO FIRST SEASON LAST SEASON But creator Matthew Weiner had the ending of the show figured out by the end of Season 4, including Betty's fate and Don's iconic commercial. Jon Hamm jokingly proposed a spinoff: Better Call Pete.

Hollywood Reporter


six feet under began and ended with death FIRST SEASON LAST SEASON The Six Feet Under finale was lauded for something many series endings fail to provide: a sense of closure. Showing each character's eventual demise made total sense for a series about funeral life. Good grief.

Hollywood Reporter


parks and recreation never was a ratings monster CRACKED CO FIRST SEASON LAST SEASON Parks and Rec got to have its cake and eat it too: It stopped before storylines got tired but the finale featured several flashes into the future so we could learn the fates of our favorites. So



unbreakable kimmy schmidt still may have stories to tell KIMMY SCHMIDT THE LEGENDS OF GREEMULAK. CRACKED cO FIRST SEASON LAST SEASON Kimmy producers Tina Fey and Robert Carlock ended the Netflix series after only four seasons, and sO far, Carlock's whispers of a follow-up film haven't come to fruition. Damnit.



flight of the conchords was a victim of exhaustion CRACKEDco FIRST SEASON LAST SEASON Flight wasn't grounded because of low ratings or high costs. The pressure of writing original music for each episode just wasn't fun, admits Bret McKenzie. We're retired sex symbols.

The Guardian


i love lucy delivered crazy ratings right up to the end H CRACKED cO FIRST SEASON LAST SEASON I Love Lucy was TV's top-rated show in its final season. At the time, it was the first show to end its run while still number one. Lucy kissed Desi goodbye as they

New York Times


buffy the vampire slayer struggled with behind-the-scenes conflict CRACKED.COM FIRST SEASON LAST SEASON When the show finished after Season 7, the explanation was the standard let's go out on top. Recent cast allegations suggest otherwise, as Sarah Michelle Geller reportedly did not want Joss Whedon's name spoken around her.