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  #1  
Old 05-25-2009, 07:30 PM
cochrane cochrane is offline
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Shows canceled after cliffhanger episodes [Spoilers]

"My Name Is Earl" was canceled by NBC recently. It may be picked up by FOX, it may be picked up by TBS. But assuming "Earl" is dead, it ended on a cliffhanger episode. Earl is Dodge's real father, but Darnell might not be Earl Jr.'s dad.

I can think of a few other shows canceled after a cliffhanger.

"Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" kind of ended on a cliffhanger. John Connor ended up in the future before his father Kyle Reese went back in time and conceived him with Sarah. He is a stranger to his Uncle Derek and is meeting Allison Young, the model for the "Cameron" cyborg for the first time. He has not yet become the leader of the resistance, and Catherine Weaver is off on her own mission to find John Henry. So, one storyline was resolved, and a whole new one is open to possibilities and up for everybody's speculation. I wouldn't count it as an abruptly interrupted storyline, though, but a brand-new beginning.

"Alien Nation" was canceled by FOX in 1990 and ended with a cliffhanger. Four years later, after new management took over at FOX, a TV movie was produced that resolved the cliffhanger. Four additional "Alien Nation" movies were aired.

"Soap" ended in 1981 with three cliffhangers. A suicidal Chester walked in on Danny and Annie in bed together and threatened to kill him. Burt walked into an ambush set up by his political enemies. And Jessica was about to be executed by a firing squad in South America. However, in the "Benson" episode "God, I Need This Job" Jessica appears to Benson in the form of an apparition and reveals she is alive, but in a coma, and she asks Benson To convince her family she is alive instead of their having her declared legally dead.

"Benson" ended on a cliffhanger itself. In a story line in which Benson ran against Governor Gatling for the governor's office, the final episode showed Benson and the governor watching the election results together. The show ended just before the winner's name was revealed.

What other shows can Dopers come up with that ended with cliffhangers?
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  #2  
Old 05-25-2009, 07:37 PM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is online now
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Twin Peaks ends with Bob taking over a person.
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  #3  
Old 05-25-2009, 07:42 PM
J-P L J-P L is offline
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The show Las Vegas ended with the character Sam Marquez having been kidnapped. Also, I seem to remember some mystery being played out around the character of A.J. Cooper played by Tom Sellect.
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  #4  
Old 05-25-2009, 07:44 PM
Intergalactic Gladiator Intergalactic Gladiator is offline
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Carnivale had a cliffhanger. They ended the main story but set it up to continue.

Angel ended as a cliffhanger, with Angel and his gang facing a legion from Hell.

I remember reading that they wanted to end Benson by not saying who won the election, so it really wasn't a cliffhanger, per se.
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Old 05-25-2009, 07:47 PM
Skald the Rhymer Skald the Rhymer is offline
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Originally Posted by cochrane View Post
Benson" ended on a cliffhanger itself. In a story line in which Benson ran against Governor Gatling for the governor's office, the final episode showed Benson and the governor watching the election results together. The show ended just before the winner's name was revealed.
I am morally certain (by which I mean I speak entirely without evidence ) that the Benson finale wasn't a true cliffhanger. They knew the show was ending and chose to have an ambigous conclusion. It's not exactly a "Lady or the Tiger" bit, but I think the viewer is meant to decide for his ownself what happens in the election.
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Old 05-25-2009, 07:48 PM
BluePitbull BluePitbull is offline
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Duckman
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  #7  
Old 05-25-2009, 07:50 PM
Skald the Rhymer Skald the Rhymer is offline
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Originally Posted by Intergalactic Gladiator View Post

Angel ended as a cliffhanger, with Angel and his gang facing a legion from Hell.
.

I am pentecostally certain--by which I mean I believe this in spite of the evidence--that we're meant to think that Angel and his crew all died in that battle, with the possible exception of Spike. That's the ending I find satisfying, anyway.
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Old 05-25-2009, 07:53 PM
ErinPuff ErinPuff is offline
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The Riches - the second season was truncated because of the writers' strike, it ended with a cliffhanger and multiple unresolved plot lines, and then it was cancelled.
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Old 05-25-2009, 08:01 PM
Khadaji Khadaji is offline
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This is my most common beef. I complain about it regularly. Usually in relation to dramas rather than comedies. I think the the UK usually does a better job of handling this - they have a fixed number of episodes and leave it at that. I usually won't watch a drama because it is almost always (not always) canceled before there is closure.
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Old 05-25-2009, 08:03 PM
Todderbob Todderbob is offline
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The 4400.
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Old 05-25-2009, 08:06 PM
Ephemera Ephemera is offline
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Originally Posted by Skald the Rhymer View Post
I am pentecostally certain--by which I mean I believe this in spite of the evidence--that we're meant to think that Angel and his crew all died in that battle, with the possible exception of Spike. That's the ending I find satisfying, anyway.
Nope. There is a comic book series called After the Fall that is overseen by Joss and is a canonical continuation of the series

SPOILER:
I've not read it, but my understanding is that Gunn's a vampire, Angel achieves Shanshu and is a human, Wesley returns as a ghost in the employ of Wolfram and Hart, and Spike, Illyria, Connor, and Lorne are all warlords in LA after Wolfram and Hart sends the city to hell.

Also, there is a giant talking fish.


Anyway, even ignoring that, I don't consider the finale of Angel to be a cliffhanger. The whole point of the show is that evil is never vanquished, and that the fight against it is everlasting. There will never be an end to their mission, and though this looked to be armageddon, it was really just another battle in the eternal struggle between good and evil.

EDIT: I see that Skald says he believes his interpretation in spite of evidence, so my post was mostly pointless, but I'll leave it up there for anyone who didn't already know.

Last edited by Ephemera; 05-25-2009 at 08:10 PM..
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  #12  
Old 05-25-2009, 08:11 PM
Mahaloth Mahaloth is offline
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ALF - The government found him. I had told my parents the TV Guide said "series" finale, but they assured me that there would be another season. There wasn't.

I think there was a one off movie, though.
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  #13  
Old 05-25-2009, 08:13 PM
Skald the Rhymer Skald the Rhymer is offline
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Originally Posted by Aesiron View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by skaldimus the me-i-mus
I am pentecostally certain--by which I mean I believe this in spite of the evidence--that we're meant to think that Angel and his crew all died in that battle, with the possible exception of Spike. That's the ending I find satisfying, anyway.
Nope. There is a comic book series called After the Fall that is overseen by Joss and is a canonical continuation of the series
That's what I meant by "believing in spite of the evidence," Aesirson.

I've read the series, and what you mention in the spoiler box is pretty much on target. The art atrocious. Moreover

SPOILER:
Illyria has mysteriously acquired sizable boobs, presumably on account of the penciller not having dated much in high school.



EDIT: Your post-post edit makes my response to your post as pointless as your response to my post was. However, it does give me the opportunity to reply with a post-post edit of my own and in the process of posting that post-post edit, abuse the the p, o, s, and t keys on my laptop.

Last edited by Skald the Rhymer; 05-25-2009 at 08:15 PM..
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  #14  
Old 05-25-2009, 08:26 PM
Lakai Lakai is offline
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My So-Called Life. This one still hurts when I think about it.
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  #15  
Old 05-25-2009, 08:38 PM
cochrane cochrane is offline
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Originally Posted by J-P L View Post
The show Las Vegas ended with the character Sam Marquez having been kidnapped. Also, I seem to remember some mystery being played out around the character of A.J. Cooper played by Tom Sellect.
I had forgotten about Las Vegas. But you're only partially right. Sam was kidnapped at the end of Season 4 and was rescued in the Season 5 premiere. If I recall, the series finale had Delinda going into labor in a parking lot.
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Old 05-25-2009, 09:08 PM
5 time champ 5 time champ is offline
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The granddaddy of them is all is the relatively recent last episode of The Sopranos. Although I guess you could say it was done purposely.
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Old 05-25-2009, 09:11 PM
MadTheSwine MadTheSwine is offline
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I am unhappy they cancelled Earl,hope someone picks it up.
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Old 05-25-2009, 09:39 PM
kunilou kunilou is offline
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Dallas, although it had worn out its welcome, ended on a cliffhanger, with JR apparently attempting suicide. Five years later, in a made-for-TV sequel, it was revealed that JR hadn't tried to kill himself, but was instead shooting at Satan's minion, who had been encouraging JR to commit suicide.

No thread on cliffhangers is complete without mention of the ultimate anti-cliffhanger episode. In the final episode of the now-forgotten sitcom I Married Dora the title character, an illegal alien who had married her employer to stay in the U.S., watched her nominal husband get on a plane headed for a 2-year assignment in Bahrein. He then got back off the plane and announced the show had been canceled. The final episode ended with the cast and crew waving goodbye to the audience.
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  #19  
Old 05-25-2009, 09:42 PM
RachelChristine RachelChristine is offline
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Lois and Clark ended with Lois & Clark finding a baby on their doorstep that was supposedly their child from the future.

The Pretender ended with an explosion involving most of the cast. They did, however, resolve this cliffhanger and a few other issues with a couple of tv movies.
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  #20  
Old 05-25-2009, 09:44 PM
Skald the Rhymer Skald the Rhymer is offline
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Originally Posted by kunilou View Post

No thread on cliffhangers is complete without mention of the ultimate anti-cliffhanger episode. In the final episode of the now-forgotten sitcom I Married Dora the title character, an illegal alien who had married her employer to stay in the U.S., watched her nominal husband get on a plane headed for a 2-year assignment in Bahrein. He then got back off the plane and announced the show had been canceled. The final episode ended with the cast and crew waving goodbye to the audience.


If I Married Dora is forgotten, how do you know about it?
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  #21  
Old 05-25-2009, 09:50 PM
Sir T-Cups Sir T-Cups is offline
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Does Quantum Leap count?

It wasn't REALLY a cliffhanger because they wrapped the story up...but it was convoluted at best because it was supposed to be a cliffhanger, then re-wrote it.


How about the best anti-cliffhanger....That one sitcom (name escapes me) that ended with the last breaking the fourth wall and just saying "Bye everybody!". I don't know what it is, but I saw that on "I love the (insert appropriate decade here)".
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  #22  
Old 05-25-2009, 10:07 PM
WhyNot WhyNot is online now
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Farscape. Damn, that one hurt. Not just a cliffhanger, but the two leads pulverized into cremains. The writers weren't expecting cancellation, and had no time to even do that "cram the final two seasons into the last three episodes!" thing.

Of course, they did make it mostly better with a 4-hour miniseries special a couple of years later, but it wasn't the same.
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  #23  
Old 05-25-2009, 10:16 PM
fiddlesticks fiddlesticks is online now
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The granddaddy of them is all is the relatively recent last episode of The Sopranos. Although I guess you could say it was done purposely.
Can't really count because it was never meant to be resolved. And anyone who says Tony didn't get whacked is just kidding themselves.
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Old 05-25-2009, 10:36 PM
Reepicheep Reepicheep is offline
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Showing my atrocious viewing habits, Mortal Kombat: Conquest ended with all the heros dead and Shao Kahn telling Rayden to bow to him.
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  #25  
Old 05-25-2009, 10:46 PM
cochrane cochrane is offline
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Lois and Clark ended with Lois & Clark finding a baby on their doorstep that was supposedly their child from the future
That was one I neglected to bring up in my OP. Thanks.
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  #26  
Old 05-25-2009, 11:17 PM
drm drm is offline
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Can't really count because it was never meant to be resolved. And anyone who says Tony didn't get whacked is just kidding themselves.
The ending doesn't make sense [to me] if he DOESN'T get whacked...

I'm drawing a blank on Joan of Arcadia but I'm pretty sure it's a cliffhanger. If it isn't, at the very least they set up a kick ass 3rd season.
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  #27  
Old 05-25-2009, 11:28 PM
Eliahna Eliahna is online now
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Aww, geez. Did you really have to put a spoiler in the opening paragraph (and therefore the mouseover text)? That episode of Earl hasn't screened here yet.
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  #28  
Old 05-26-2009, 12:10 AM
nivlac nivlac is offline
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Besides Dallas, that other great primetime soap of the 80's, Dynasty, also ended its run with a cliffhanger. Also the new The Fugitive series starring Tim Daly ended its one-year run with a cliffhanger. Too bad really.
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  #29  
Old 05-26-2009, 12:21 AM
TBG TBG is offline
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John Doe on Fox ended with a pretty big cliffhanger. Years later, someone involved with the show spilled all the beans about how the show would've resolved everything had it continued, and I have to say, I frankly prefer it just ending on a cliffhanger.
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  #30  
Old 05-26-2009, 12:28 AM
enalzi enalzi is offline
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John Doe on Fox ended with a pretty big cliffhanger. Years later, someone involved with the show spilled all the beans about how the show would've resolved everything had it continued, and I have to say, I frankly prefer it just ending on a cliffhanger.
What you're talking about never happened.
Got it?
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  #31  
Old 05-26-2009, 02:01 AM
cochrane cochrane is offline
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Aww, geez. Did you really have to put a spoiler in the opening paragraph (and therefore the mouseover text)? That episode of Earl hasn't screened here yet.
I'm sorry. I plead ignorance. I was totally unaware that "My Name Is Earl" aired Down Under. I know, that's no excuse. The finale was less than two weeks ago and I should have considered that not everybody had seen it. Still, I never even once considered Australia. Again, I'm sorry.
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Old 05-26-2009, 02:31 AM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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John Doe on Fox ended with a pretty big cliffhanger. Years later, someone involved with the show spilled all the beans about how the show would've resolved everything had it continued, and I have to say, I frankly prefer it just ending on a cliffhanger.
Pretty much every "mystery" premise show has ended with unresolved mysteries. Pretender. Wonderfalls. Joan of Arcadia. Journeyman. And so forth. This is why I refuse to watch any more of them.
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  #33  
Old 05-26-2009, 03:48 AM
CyclopticXander CyclopticXander is offline
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Veronica Mars ended as Veronica casts her vote for sheriff, an election whose resolution we never get to see.
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  #34  
Old 05-26-2009, 05:18 AM
Khadaji Khadaji is offline
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Reaper fans will never find out if Sam escapes his contract with the Devil. (Actually, the "season" finale is tonight, but I'm doubting that they'll wrap up anything.)
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  #35  
Old 05-26-2009, 05:41 AM
Eliahna Eliahna is online now
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I'm sorry. I plead ignorance. I was totally unaware that "My Name Is Earl" aired Down Under. I know, that's no excuse. The finale was less than two weeks ago and I should have considered that not everybody had seen it. Still, I never even once considered Australia. Again, I'm sorry.
Hey, that's ok. Thanks to the wonders of the internet, I've seen it now.
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  #36  
Old 05-26-2009, 07:14 AM
zamboniracer zamboniracer is offline
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The UPN (or was it the CW?) sitcom Half & Half ended with a cliffhanger about which of two suitors Rachel True's character was going to pick. Now she's in dating limbo forever.

Last edited by zamboniracer; 05-26-2009 at 07:15 AM..
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  #37  
Old 05-26-2009, 08:29 AM
Enderw24 Enderw24 is offline
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Reaper fans will never find out if Sam escapes his contract with the Devil. (Actually, the "season" finale is tonight, but I'm doubting that they'll wrap up anything.)
Aw man, are they not renewing it? I stuck with it through the writer's strike and I thought it improved about tenfold after they came off that hiatus. Too bad it's gonna go.
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Old 05-26-2009, 08:59 AM
Khadaji Khadaji is offline
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Aw man, are they not renewing it? I stuck with it through the writer's strike and I thought it improved about tenfold after they came off that hiatus. Too bad it's gonna go.
This site says it is officially canceled. It has been pretty spot on in predicting and reporting since I started watching it. It was growing stale for me anyway. Sock was an overwhelming ass, Sam was supposed to be a "good guy" but for me was basically a sorry little wimp and Ben even more-so. The only interesting character was Satan.

Last edited by Khadaji; 05-26-2009 at 09:00 AM..
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  #39  
Old 05-26-2009, 09:22 AM
mrpayday mrpayday is offline
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Blake's 7

and I'll point out that Mortal Kombat had Jaime Pressly in a few episodes.
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  #40  
Old 05-26-2009, 09:33 AM
Telcontar Telcontar is offline
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The Pretender ended with an explosion involving most of the cast. They did, however, resolve this cliffhanger and a few other issues with a couple of tv movies.
Except they also ended on a cliffhanger, something involving prophecies. It always bugged me because i REALLY WANTED TO KNOW! :-P
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  #41  
Old 05-26-2009, 09:36 AM
Don Draper Don Draper is offline
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The American version of "Life on Mars" wrapped up the main mystery AND left on a cliffhanger of sorts, in a way that I still can't decide if it was ingenious or stupid:

SPOILER:
Sam Tyler aka "Spaceman" awakens from cryogenic sleep and recalls that he's really an astronaut on the first manned mission to Mars in 2035. The squad-room staff are all fellow astronauts. Sam's flower child neighbor is an AI program designed to oversee the Virtual Reality 'dreams' the crew experiences in cryogenic sleep. Sam had opted to experience a VR simulation of life as a cop in 2008, but a meteor storm disrupted the program and changed the 'desktop setting' to a 1973 design. Thus, neither Sam's 1973 nor his 2008 experiences were real. The story ends as Sam becomes the first human being to set foot on Mars. But it's left up in the air as to what he discovers there...
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  #42  
Old 05-26-2009, 09:45 AM
FriarTed FriarTed is offline
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Twin Peaks ends with Bob taking over a person.
A person? A PERSON?!?

Dale Freakin' Cooper!
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  #43  
Old 05-26-2009, 10:06 AM
Raguleader Raguleader is offline
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Roughnecks: The Starship Troopers Chronicles ended on a cliffhanger, with the PSICON forces regrouping after fighting off a huge bug invasion of Earth, only to discover...
SPOILER:
that the main Bug force hadn't arrived yet.


I'm told the studio ran out of money before they could finish making the show, and the plot would have been resolved in the final campaign (the show was divided into five-episode "Campaigns" instead of seasons, this was the "Homefront" campaign)

On a similar vein: Space: Above and Beyond also ended on something of a cliffhanger, though I don't think it was necessarily ever meant to be resolved.

SPOILER:
Colonel McQueen is badly wounded in an explosion which coincided with a failed attempt at a ceasefire negotiation with the Chig ambassador. The surviving colonists from the Tellus colony are successfully recovered (including West's girl), but at the loss of Vansen, Damphoose (their ship crippled and descending towards the Chig homeworld), and Wang (killed while covering West and Cooper's retreat with the colonists). The UN forces, having before the cease fire been in a position to launch a surprise attack against the Chig homeworld, now have lost the initiative and face a long bloody war.


Oh yeah, and Reboot ended on a cliffhanger too. I miss that show.
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Old 05-26-2009, 10:07 AM
Poysyn Poysyn is online now
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"V" ended with a cliffhanger. Elizabeth was getting on board the ship with the "Leader" and Diana alluded to the fact there was a bomb on board too.

Pissed me off as a young'un...
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  #45  
Old 05-26-2009, 10:17 AM
joebuck20 joebuck20 is offline
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ALF - The government found him. I had told my parents the TV Guide said "series" finale, but they assured me that there would be another season. There wasn't.

I think there was a one off movie, though.
I was pissed off by that too, but the made-for-TV years later resolved the story. IIRC he was set free and ended up becoming an ambassador for Earth.
Someone else on the thread mentioned Veronica Mars. I remember watching it and thinking "That's it?" But I should have seen it coming. It was one of the episodes where you're five minutes away from the end and wondering how they're going to wrap everything up. We never find out what happens to Logan, if Veronica gets in trouble, what becomes of her dad. A great show that died an untimely death.

Last edited by joebuck20; 05-26-2009 at 10:17 AM..
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  #46  
Old 05-26-2009, 11:59 AM
ivylass ivylass is offline
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I'm drawing a blank on Joan of Arcadia but I'm pretty sure it's a cliffhanger. If it isn't, at the very least they set up a kick ass 3rd season.
I don't know if it was a cliffhanger, meaning a nail-biter, but they did set it up where she met someone who may or may not have been Satan and realizing she'd have to rely on her friends going forward. Meaning, I think, that she'd have to tell them she talked to God.
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Old 05-26-2009, 01:09 PM
Push You Down Push You Down is offline
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No thread on cliffhangers is complete without mention of the ultimate anti-cliffhanger episode. In the final episode of the now-forgotten sitcom I Married Dora the title character, an illegal alien who had married her employer to stay in the U.S., watched her nominal husband get on a plane headed for a 2-year assignment in Bahrein. He then got back off the plane and announced the show had been canceled. The final episode ended with the cast and crew waving goodbye to the audience.
"Was your flight cancelled?"
"No, we were."

Wasn't there that cop show with Arsenio Hall and Samo Hung that had a cliffhanger season finale and the show came back- and didn't acknowledge the cliffhanger.
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Old 05-26-2009, 01:15 PM
Alan Bird Alan Bird is offline
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The Riches - the second season was truncated because of the writers' strike, it ended with a cliffhanger and multiple unresolved plot lines, and then it was cancelled.
So sad to see that one get cancelled.

Not a fictional show but NBC dumped the finale of Last Comic Standing, season 2.
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  #49  
Old 05-26-2009, 01:25 PM
Scumpup Scumpup is offline
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Golden Years was cancelled with the last episode unaired. Things remained unresolved until years later when the series, in entirety, was released on DVD.
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  #50  
Old 05-26-2009, 01:37 PM
Snooooopy Snooooopy is online now
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Originally Posted by Push You Down View Post
"Was your flight cancelled?"
"No, we were."

Wasn't there that cop show with Arsenio Hall and Samo Hung that had a cliffhanger season finale and the show came back- and didn't acknowledge the cliffhanger.
Martial Law.

From what I've read, the cliffhanger was briefly addressed and disposed of. New producers had come in and were retooling the show; continuity was the last thing on their minds.
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