Networks have a bad habit of canceling TV series on cliffhangers
Viewers watch TV series to be entertained, to forget about the worries of the day, and to get lost in the fictional world of some of their favorite characters. Even though the shows they watch might not be bringing in the number of viewers the networks want, they still have dedicated viewers who want to see resolutions to developed stories.
But networks can’t always consider that when they’re facing a series that isn’t bringing in the ratings for their advertisers. So they cancel, regardless of where the storyline stands and frustrate fans who deserve to know how their characters will fare in their fictional worlds.
These particular characters and canceled TV series were left with gaping holes that fans can’t resolve on their own.
This spy-comedy-drama starred Zachary Levi as Chuck Bartowski and Yvonne Strahovski as Sarah Walker, an unlikely pair that are forced to work together after Chuck ends up with the country’s greatest spy secrets embedded in his brain. Over the course of the series, Chuck and Sarah fall in love and eventually marry in the fourth season.
The course of true love doesn’t run smoothly for the couple, and Sarah loses her memory. Though cancellation of the series was known well in advance, the producers chose to end the show with what fans considered to be a cliffhanger as they never learn whether or not Sarah gets her memories back.
Since its cancellation in 2012, Chuck has been the subject of fan pleas for a follow-up movie for a resolution. Even Levi is on board with the project, but eight years later, nothing is even remotely in the works.
Ending in 2013, The Glades ended on a major cliffhanger when the series lead, Detective Jim Longworth (Matt Passmore) gets shot on his wedding day to Callie Cargill (Kiele Sanchez). According to producers, the cancellation took them by surprise so they had no way to prepare a proper ending.
A&E canceled the series even though viewership was higher in the fourth and final season than the third. And though show creator Clifton Campbell said Longworth would have survived the gunshot wound, it’s still a bone of contention for fans who feel this series deserves a movie to tie up all of the loose ends left dangling.
This supernatural drama, based on the books by Charlaine Harris, managed to air 19 episodes before getting the ax from NBC in December 2018. Midnight, a small town in Texas, was home to various supernatural creatures, including vampires, witches, demons, and shapeshifters along with a resident psychic who could talk to the dead. They’d all become a makeshift family, taking care of one another and protecting the town.
When witch Fiji Cavanaugh loses her soul to dark magic, her boyfriend, Bobo Winthrop, enlists the help of a trickster demi-god to restore her soul. The only problem was that it came with a condition. Restoring her soul meant that someone would lose theirs.
At the end of Season 2, Fiji discovers she’s pregnant, and Bobo comes to the horrifying resolution that their baby’s soul might have been sacrificed for Fiji’s. But that’s something the fans will never know unless NBC allows a wrap-up movie.
Star Trek: Enterprise
The cancellation of Star Trek: Enterprise in 2005 came as the crew was filming the 18th episode of Season 4. By that time, the remainder of the season had already been written as there were only four more episodes to go.
The series’s ending didn’t focus much on the Enterprise crew at all, but rather, Commander William Riker from Star Trek: The Next Generation. And it delivered the news of the death of a major character. Fans would never learn if the death could have somehow been reversed as main characters were brought back to life many times in the Star Trek universe.
Fans desperate for a fifth season, started a website and a Facebook campaign to encourage Paramount to reconsider its decision. They even managed to raise money to hopefully fund a fifth season. Even years later, in 2013, Star Trek producer Brannon Braga encouraged fans to watch the first four seasons on Netflix, believing it could possibly lead to a fifth season as high numbers for Arrested Development had led the streaming channel to commission new episodes.
While there might still be some hope for Chuck and Star Trek: Enterprise even so many years later, it’s doubtful The Glades or Midnight, Texas will ever be in the running for a TV movie or another season. Fans will have to enjoy the seasons that are available and try not to think about how things should have ended. In the alternative, they can avoid the cliffhanger endings by not watching the final episode of each of these series.
Which of these cliffhanger endings did you see? Which TV series needs a movie resolution? Share your thoughts in the comments below.