10 TV Shows Canceled on Huge Cliffhangers (PHOTOS)

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Shows Canceled on Cliffhangers
The WB

Angel (The WB)

Just after Angel (David Boreanaz), Gunn (J. August Richards), Spike (James Marsters), and Illyria (Amy Acker) take down the Circle of the Black Thorn, a Senior Partners-issued army of demons confronts them in a rainy alley in the Season 5 finale. Angel swings his sword and… well, that’s all fans got until the story continued in comic book form.

The Event

The Event (NBC)

In the Season 1 finale (and series finale) of this serialized drama, our heroes just barely stop an alien virus from running rampant around the globe. But then the aliens’ homeworld teleports into Earth’s orbit—and First Lady Christina Martinez (Lisa Vidal) reveals herself to be an alien sleeper agent.


Hannibal (NBC)

After three seasons of being under the spell of Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen), criminal profiler Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) throws both himself and the titular cannibal over a cliff in what ended up being the last episode. (So, less a cliffhanger than a cliff-dropper?)

My So-Called Life

My So-Called Life (ABC)

Fans never got a resolution for the love triangle between Jordan Catalano (Jared Leto), Angela Chase (Claire Danes), and Brian Krakow (Devon Gummersall) in this teen drama after Claire discovers that Brian wrote Jordan’s apology letter in the Season 1 finale.

Off the Map

Off the Map (ABC)

In a rare Shondaland miss, this jungle-set medical drama was axed after its first season finale, in which Lily (Caroline Dhavernas) finds love interest Mateo (Nicholas Rodriguez) bleeding out from a gunshot wound as his family’s coca crop burns.


Pitch (Fox)

In a curveball for this baseball drama, the first (and only) season ended with star pitcher Ginny Baker (Kylie Bunbury) overexerting himself and injuring her elbow, putting her future with the MLB into jeopardy.

Pushing Daisies

Pushing Daisies (ABC)

This fantastical and dark comedy—another series from Hannibal mastermind Bryan Fuller—got the “touch of death” after two seasons, just as Ned (Lee Pace) and Chuck (Anna Friel) decided to reveal Chuck’s resurrected status to her beloved, grieving aunts.


Sense8 (Netflix)

Fans of this globe-trotting series were up in arms after Netflix canceled it after a Season 2 cliffhanger involving the Whispers (Terrence Mann) kidnapping Wolfgang (Max Riemelt) and the other sensates—i.e. strangers linked psychically and emotionally—teaming up to rescue him. Happily, Netflix eventually ordered a two-part finale to provide a proper ending.


Southland (TNT)

This police drama ended after five seasons with a cop-on-cop shooting—after John Cooper (Michael Cudlitz), still traumatized by his kidnapping, got into a fight with his neighbors and is shot by a responding officer who sees a gun in his hand. Even more tragically, fans never got to find out whether he survived.

Veronica Mars
The CW

Veronica Mars (Hulu)

Veronica Mars has an avid following; when the show was cancelled, fans crowdfunded a movie to be made years later and a new original season of the show premiered in 2019 on Hulu. That loyal fanbase is not without good reason, as it’s hard not to fall in love with Kristen Bell’s Veronica Mars, a smart and strong young woman who get things done. She’s a student/detective who helps her father with his cases while also trying to solve the murder of her best friend. If you’re into mysteries and crime shows but with a teen twist, you’ll quickly understand its appeal.

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Closure is such a scarcity in the cutthroat television industry. TV networks often cast off their lowest performers rather than outlaying any more expense to wrap up the shows’ loose threads.

And before the news of their shows’ cancellation, TV showrunners often end their seasons with cliffhangers to keep viewers wanting more — and, in some cases, to try to strong-arm the networks into a renewal.

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Canceled TV Shows 2020: Which of Your Favorite Series Are Coming to an End?

'Dear White People,' 'Homeland' and more are also coming to an end.

Those opposing forces mean fans of low-rated TV shows have to expect that they may never see their favorite small-screen stories to their narrative ends. (But don’t give up hope, Ray Donovan fans.)

Click through the gallery above for 10 series that ended on a suspenseful note — including a rare few that got to continue their stories years later.