Why Do TV Shows End On A Cliffhang………?

Why Do TV Shows End On A Cliffhang………?
Writers take a risk ending a show on a cliffhanger.

The first piece is an extract from an article by Henrik Magnusson that appeared on the Cracked.com site back in 2013. I feel it sums up how we all feel about cliffhangers that are left unresolved.

The cliffhanger is one of the most useful tricks in the book for TV writers: Not only does it keep viewers coming back week after week to find out whether our favorite heroes will finally meet their doom (spoilers: they won’t), but it also discourages network executives from pulling the plug on a show before the story is resolved. That’s why huge, dramatic cliffhangers are so popular in season finales — if the execs cancel the show before we find out what happens next, they’ll look like giant douchebags.
However, if your show isn’t doing all that well in the ratings, that sure as hell won’t stop said execs from giving it the ax.

Click on link for full article:


Take a look at this article from The TV Addict site.
Why Cliffhanger Endings are Ruining Television
March 22, 2011 by Tiffany Vogt
It is time for showrunners and writers to examine the legacy of their shows. Do they want their legacy to be along the lines of: “fun show, but it never had an ending – cannot recommend it” or “fun show, cut-short before it’s time, but they at least got to wrap it up – recommend checking it out”? Television is not just entertainment for the present – it provides entertainment for the future. Several television series have secured their legacy simply by finding a way to provide closure for their fans.

It is time for television to stop following the churn-and-burn philosophy as if it did not matter how a television show is remembered, and adopt an contingency plan. An exit strategy only demonstrates an appreciation of the established fans.

Full article can be found at the link below:


A big thank you to the writers of the above pieces.


2 thoughts on “Why Do TV Shows End On A Cliffhang………?”

  1. My sentiments exactly. I don’t like cliff hangers at all! I end up saving the season ending cliff hangers and re-watching them right before the new season airs. Otherwise I don’t remember all the details. Fortunately I’ve never watched a show that was cancelled after a season ending cliff hanger. BTW, your “Why-cliffhanger-endings-are-ruining-television/” – tv addict link above isn’t working


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