TV Shows That Ended On Super Frustrating Cliffhangers

Timothy Olyphant and Drew Barrymore in Santa Clarita Diet
IMDB | Netflix

We're still living in the golden age of television, the one that kicked off with The Sopranos. While there's no shortage of great TV to watch, some shows fail to pay off in the end. Some are canceled, or become unwatchable over time.

Due to these and other reasons, there are shows that are destined to end with a cliffhanger — one that will never be resolved. Let's take a slightly frustrating stroll down memory lane with a few noteworthy examples.


Katherine Langford in 'Cursed'
IMDB | Netflix

This Netflix series had a lot of promise, as it was based on the work of Sin City director Frank Miller. But the series was unceremoniously axed after just one season. It's a real shame, as series lead Katherine Langford said that there was a lot more story to tell in season two.

Crossing Jordan

Jill Hennessy and Jeffrey Donovan in 'Crossing Jordan'

Here's a show that had a good, long run on network TV. Despite running for 117 episodes after six seasons, the show was canceled in May of 2007 and the final episode aired later that month. It featured a strange plotline where the series leads were stranded on a mountain after a plane crash.


Avan Jogia and Kylie Bunbury in 'Twisted'
IMDB | ABC Family

You know how a good TV show will hook you for good with a big reveal at the end of the first season? Twisted did this, with a plot line we won't spoil. Unfortunately, since the show didn't get a second season, the big cliffhanger will be forever unresolved.

Spinning Out

Evan Roderick and Kaya Scodelario in 'Spinning Out'
IMDB | Netflix

Another victim of the Netflix chopping block, Spinning Out wasn't even given the dignity of a full season. The figure skating drama built up to numerous plot lines in its abbreviated first season that never properly paid off.

My So-Called Life

Claire Danes and Bess Armstrong in 'My So-Called Life'

We're reaching into the vault with this one-season wonder from the '90s. The conclusion of the first season left viewers hungry for more, but the show was unfortunately canceled. Series creator Winnie Holzman has given some details on what might have happened in a second season, at least.

The Following

Kevin Bacon, Felix Solis, Jessica Stroup and Matthew Gooley in 'The Following'
IMDB | Fox

The Following ran for three seasons, which is plenty of time to wrap up loose threads. Unfortunately, the series had too many plots to properly resolve. Executive producer Alexi Hawley has offered fans some (spoiler-heavy) details on who would have lived and who would have died.


Brandy Norwood in 'Moesha'

Moesha was more of an episodic show than one driven by an overarching plot. Still, viewers were given a major cliffhanger in the final episode of season six. The plan was to bring back the Moesha character in a spinoff series to resolve the loose plot lines, but that never happened.


Jonathan Groff in 'Mindhunter'
IMDB | Netflix

When people criticize Netflix for canceling shows before their time, Mindhunter is a prime example. The series isn't canceled, per se, just put on "indefinite hold." Still, at this point, fans are losing hope that they'll ever see season two storylines get a proper resolution.


Adrienne Barbeau and Nick Stahl in 'Carnivàle'

One of HBO's earlier big-budget prestige dramas, Carnivàle was a strange show. One part dust bowl drama and one part weird mysticism, the series — originally envisioned as a six-season show — was canceled after just two seasons by HBO.

The Last Man on Earth

Will Forte in 'The Last Man on Earth'
IMDB | Fox

Will Forte's comedic chops couldn't save this intriguing post-apocalyptic comedy from the chopping block. Fox pulled the plug on the show after four seasons, leaving a season four cliffhanger in the balance. Forte has offered some insights on what would have happened in season five.

The OA

Brit Marling in 'The OA'
IMDB | Netflix

No, we're not talking about The O.C., we're talking about The OA, a mystery drama series that Netflix canceled after two eight-episode seasons. The final episode featured the main characters literally traversing time and space, and we'll never know how things might have played out.


Adam Baldwin, Nathan Filion and Gina Torres in 'Firefly'
IMDB | Fox

One of the most beloved shows ever to be unceremoniously canceled, Joss Whedon's Firefly was cut short in its prime. Fans got some resolution as the show's universe continued on in the form of a movie and comic books, but nothing will ease the sting of the show's cancelation.

I Am Not Okay With This

Sophia Lillis and Sofia Bryant in 'I Am Not Okay With This'
IMDB | Netflix

I Am Not Okay With This needed a full season just to build up to one major plot point. Then, after the season one finale cliffhanger, Netflix canceled the show unexpectedly due to the pandemic. Netflix didn't even let the show properly resolve things.

Freaks and Geeks

Linda Cardellini, Busy Philipps, James Franco, Seth Rogen, and Jason Segel in 'Freaks and Geeks'

The show that helped launch the careers of deep breath Judd Apatow, Seth Rogen, Linda Cardellini, James Franco, Jason Segel, and Busy Philipps, Freaks and Geeks is a critical darling. Its status as a launching pad for so many Hollywood careers didn't save it from the chopping block, though, as it was axed after its first season.

Devious Maids

Roselyn Sanchez in 'Devious Maids'

Devious Maids was given a four-season run, but that fourth season left the show's devoted fans wanting much more. Now we'll never know what happened to at least one of the show's main characters, who was kidnapped in the season four finale.

The Society

Kathryn Newton and Rachel Keller in 'The Society'
IMDB | Netflix

This Netflix teen drama / mystery series had tons of momentum as it wrapped season one and headed into season two, but the second season was stopped dead in its tracks by the pandemic. Series creators Christopher Keyser says the show's writers had plenty of ideas for season two.

Agent Carter

James D'Arcy and Hayley Attwell in 'Agent Carter'

Back when the MCU dealt almost exclusively with movies and comics, Agent Carter was an early attempt to bring the cinematic universe to the small screen. Season two of the series ended on a major cliffhanger, but season three never happened.

My Name is Earl

Jason Lee, Jaime Pressly, Ethan Suplee, Eddie Steeples, and Nadine Velazquez in 'My Name Is Earl'
IMDB | Fox

Jason Lee's fun comedy built itself up to a cliffhanger at the end of season four. The final episode title card even read "To be continued...". But in the end, the show was not continued, despite being a hit.

Young & Hungry

Emily Osment in 'Young & Hungry'
IMDB | ABC Family

An underrated ABC sitcom, Young & Hungry eventually went where all sitcoms inevitably do: with the announcement that a major character will make a big move. Unfortunately, the series only lasted five seasons, even though its writers were preparing for a sixth.

Santa Clarita Diet

Timothy Olyphant and Drew Barrymore in Santa Clarita Diet
IMDB | Netflix

The series was a critical darling, and creator Victor Fresco wanted the show to run for five seasons. Of course, Netflix being Netflix, the plug was pulled after three seasons, meaning that the season three finale features a cliffhanger that won't ever be resolved.