4 Reasons TV Viewers Should Have Closure


I have a proposal for the TV Networks. This proposal of mine is born of watching so many of my favorite shows fail in the first 3, 5, or 10 episodes and disappear off the TV screen forever. The result of this distressing development is that after watching let’s say 10 episodes, suddenly, you are left hanging. You probably are emotionally invested in the show, and now it is gone, with no resolution of story lines, and possibly a cliffhanger ending.

Just do a Google search and you will see how many shows there are that fans and critics feel were canceled too soon and need closure (Firefly anyone?). A recent example that has generated a lot of discussion on this website is the program Killer Women. It was a new show, and despite the fact it continued to air new episodes in competition with the Olympics, the network moved up the premiere of another new show and thus did not show two episodes before the season finale, leaving viewers wondering if their DVRs had malfunctioned! Then, to top that, the finale was a cliffhanger.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am loving the show that took its place – but that still does not diminish the sting of investing my time and energy into these characters, getting to know them, and then not only being left with a cliffhanger ending, but missing key elements of the story with the skipped episodes.

So what exactly is my proposal? I am so glad you asked! I would like to see a series of one or two-offs that would have a satisfying finale for shows that ran long enough to gather a following that cares. Each week, or two, a different series that was canceled too soon will be briefly resurrected to give loyal viewers some closure. In fact, that would be a great name for this series of finales, “Closure.”

Let’s take a look at why I think this could work.

Some Programs Have Had This Already

WAREHOUSE 13 "Trials" Season 3 Episode 2 (4)

Within the past few years, and actually before that too, some networks have actually given the fan base for programs an opportunity to achieve closure. For example, Syfy channel is doing that with Warehouse 13, which was canceled but was given a half season to close out their story lines. The fifth and final season premieres April 14. Fox did something similar with Fringe, giving the fans a satisfying series ending final season. When Breaking Bad was ending, AMC gave fans a bonus for the two final episodes in the form of them running long – 75 minutes to be exact.

How about some more examples? When Last Resort and 666 Park Avenue were canceled, they had enough time to turn their last episodes into true series finales. 666 Park Avenue burned off the last few episodes in the summer season, but at least they showed them. And NBC, when it canceled Saving Hope, put the final two episodes of season one on their website for fans to view. That program is actually still running with new episodes in Canada, but we in the US can’t view them, even online, due to geo-blocking. But that is a topic for another day.

Smooth Hard Feelings With Fans

The finder cast

So, these examples show clearly that some show runners and networks are aware of their fan base and do care – and are in a position to do something about it. It is extremely annoying to invest your time and emotion into a show, get to know the characters and then have them unceremoniously dumped from your screen like so much detritus.

Take for example The Finder. This show was a lot of fun, something totally different, and of course canceled during its first season. People are just discovering it on Netflix, and wondering why it was canceled. It ended on a cliffhanger, with the main character, Walter, being arrested while his compatriots look on and are helpless to stop it. I want to know Walter’s fate, and in fact, Willa and the rest too! Yes, Michael Clarke Duncan did die in 2012, and his absence would severely affect the show, but there must be a way to give us some resolution to these threads!

Bigger Audiences for New Shows

killer women cast abc 06

Could it be that the low ratings of some new shows are in part due to the viewing audience holding back on watching a new show until five, six or more episodes air? Are these people waiting to see if the show succeeds before they actually watch it? Possibly they have been burned before, and are hesitant to become invested in the show only to be disappointed!

Imagine how much better a fan would feel knowing that they could get some resolution to a series and the characters? This could be the security blanket that folks need to feel free to watch new shows, and invest their time and energy into the programming and characters. It seems to me that networks would want to garner our good will!

It’s Kind of Been Done Before

The Outer Limits Volume 1

There have in the past been anthology shows that had a different story each week. For instance, The Outer Limits was a science fiction show that first ran in the 1960s for two seasons. It was resurrected in the 1990s and ran for 7 seasons. Almost all of the stories were independent of each other, with a small number of episodes being follow-ons from earlier episodes, but never shown back to back. Other classic examples would be The Twilight Zone in the 1950-1960s which ran 5 seasons and Night Gallery in the 1970s which ran 3 seasons, both Rod Serling productions.

So, this would not be something totally out of left field, and surely a business model must exist for it somewhere? Considering how much money networks invest in new programming, surely they can find a little more to give us one or two final episodes to help resolve cliffhangers and plot threads!


What do you think of my idea? Have you been left hanging by the cancellation of a program? Please let me know in the comments section below!