ToBe DIScontinued! - The Hall of Unresolved TV Cliffhangers: 1990-95
When Star Trek had Capt. Picard (Patrick Stewart) become assimilated by the Borg in one season ender, they apparently had NO idea that it would start the cliffhanger craze that's still around today. And of course, some of these season enders ended up becoming series enders. Here are some more of those casualties.
Last aired: 1990
Episode Title: "Consider Me Gone"
Details: The final ep ended with Alf (Paul Fusco) being kidnapped by a so-called alien task force. It wasn't until 1996's "Project Alf" telefilm when the thread was resolved. IMO, because of the show's cancellation on a cliffhanger, most networks didn't think of ending a sitcom's season on a cliffhanger until 1993, when the 5 part episode of "Blossom" "Blossom in Paris" spanned the summer hiatus. Not that Alf was the first sitcom to use the "season ending cliffhanger" gimmick, as it seems that it has been (unsuccessfully) used before. Click here for "Mork and Mindy" and "AfterMASH".
Show: Alien Nation Genre: Sci-Fi Network: NBC Last aired: 1990 Episode Title: "Green Eyes"
Details: The show was based around a Los Angeles cop (Eric Pierpoint) and his human partner, and their respective friends and families. The last episode was a cliffhanger where somebody sent poisoned flowers to the cop'sfamily. It was resolved in a subsequent telefilm. (ThanksOdeus!)
Show: Dallas Genre: Night Soap Network: CBS Last aired: 1991 Episode Title: "Conundrum"
Details: 11 years after JR survived an attempt on his life which led tothe greatest watched TV show (before MASH's last ep), he got into some kindof argument with some demon in a mirror (I believe), which ended with thesound of a gun going off. The ep ended with Bobby (Step by Step's Patrick Duffy) going up to investigate. It wasn't until 1996 when it was revealedin the Dallas telefilm that JR shot the mirror. Show: Good and Evil Genre: Sitcom Soap Network: ABC Last aired: 1991 Details: This show was about 2 sisters competing against each other. Margaret Whitton played the good sis Ginny and Teri Garr was the evil Denise. Denise was about to marry the man her sister loved (she had blackmailed him into it), then her husband who had previously been killed (Marius Weyers) showed up at the ceremony.(Thanks Marvin!)
Show: Twin Peaks Genre: Supernatural Night Soap Network: ABC Last aired: 1991 Details: This show ended with a demon posessing Agent Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan), who was at a lodge. If you ask me, this is one of the most frustrating series-ending cliffhangers of all-time.Plus, though there was a subsequent theatrical film, it didn't fully resolve the 'hanger.
Show: thirtysomething Genre: Drama Network: ABC Last aired: 1991 Episode Title: "California" Details: Michael Steadman (Ken Olin) had quite his job, and was glad
to quit because he didn't want to eventually become "'one of those
white guys' who only cares about their jobs and money and loses touch
with their families and real life in general". However, his wife Hope (Mel Harris) had recently
received a job offer to move to Washington, D.C. to write proposals
for an environmental lobby group. The job
included a huge salary boost. Michael encouraged her to take it,
and said he would follow her this time instead of her having to
sacrifice this job offer so that he could stay in Philly (to paraphrase
his final comments). They were on the verge of separating because Hope
had had enough of watching his soul wither over moral conflicts at his job
and it was negatively affecting his attitude at home. She had been
prepared to take the job and take their children with her to D.C.
However, the ep title was "California", so how does that figure into this? Any feedback would be appreciated.
Show: 2000 Malibu Road Genre: Night Soap Network: CBS Last aired: 1992
Details: At first, all I knew about this failed Aaron Spelling soap was that its finale had Michael T. Weiss (The Pretender) raping and beating Jennifer Beals of Flashdance in astairwell. Oh, and that it had Drew Barrymore. But now, I know more:
The names of Weiss' and Beals' characters: Roger and Perry.
Jade (Lisa Hartman) discovered that her dad, Porter (Mitchell Ryan), had been trying to kill her.
Speaking of Porter, his men shot Hal (Robert Foxworth) dead.
After arguing with Lindsey (Barrymore) upon discovering she was sleepingwith Eric (Brian Bloom), Joy (Tuesday Knight) was struck by lightning.
Lisa Hartman did a narration to serve as a (perfunctory) tie-up for the loose ends.
Show: Dark Shadows Genre: Night Soap Network: NBC Last aired: 1992
Details: What is it with Michael T. Weiss and cliffhangers?! He wasalso on this show, a remake of a daytime soap. Victoria Winters (Joanna Going) had traveled through time and met her 1791 counterpart, been put ontrial for witchcraft, and was hanged...only to be transported back to 1991.The difference was that Victoria had learned Barnabas Collins's (Ben Cross) secret, that he was a 200-year old vampire...something Victoria never knew in the original. She woke up in 1991 and there stood Barnabas... the final scene. Fans of the series were left wondering how they were going to resolve this departure from the original storyline. However, NBC cancelled the show instead. (Thanks Jimmy Murphy!) Show: New WKRP in Cincinnati Genre: Sitcom Network: Syndicated Last Aired: 1993 Episode Title: "Father of the Groom" Details: The black Program Director (Mykelti Williamson -- better known today as Bubba from "Forrest Gump") was flying back from Chicago when hisplane was lost over Lake Michigan. As a result, the show became the first syndicated show to end on a cliffhanger.
An honorable mention:
Show: Red Dwarf
Genre: Sci-fi Comedy
Cliffhanger Aired: 1993
Episode Title: "Out of Time"
Details: This show's 6th series ended on a
cliffhanger and then was resolved in the next series (three years later!) with a
few throwaway lines of explanation. Definitely cheating! Interestingly
they had shot a scene that was meant to be part of episode that became
the cliffhanger, which resolved the 'hanger and ended on a joke. This
was taken out, possibly because the joke wasn't that funny. The most
recent series (number 8) ended on a so far unresolved 'hanger, but "Red
Dwarf: The Movie" is meant to be released this year, so we'll see.
Show: Between the Lines Genre: Cop Drama Network: BBC Last Aired: 1994 Details: The finis had Harry Nailor (Tom Georgeson) and Tony Clark (Neil Pearson) escaping from a boat that blew up just as they jumped off. (Shades of "ThePretender" perhaps?)(ThanksLiam Gretton!)Show: Exo-Squad Genre: Sci-fiAnimation Network: Syndicated Last Aired: 1994 Episode Title:"Beyond Chaos" Details: The creaters got cute and ended the final season with aliensshowing up out of the blue. When it wasn't picked up for another season fanscursed them for not bringing the well done story arc to some sort of end (at least they actually resolved the story arc involving the war betweenthe squad and the bad guys, the Neo-sapiens - Rover_Wow) when they knew odds of new episodes were slim. Thus, this show was the first animated show to end on a cliffhanger. (Thanks Chris Mack!)
Show: Sonic the Hedgehog Genre: Animation Action Network: ABC Last Aired: 1994 Episode Title: "The Doomsday Project"
Details: This is the one with the Freedom Fighters, squirrel Princess Sally (Kath Soucie, Phil and Lil on Rugrats), roboticized hare Bunnie Rabbot (Rugrats co-star Christine Cavanaugh, Chuckie Finster), French-accented bumbler Antoine (Animaniacs' Rob Paulsen) etc. It ended with Robotnik (Jim Cummings) being defeated, but his assistant Snively (Charlie Adler, who does voice casting for Rugrats ... I guess you know by now that I'm obsessed that show) reappeared at the very end saying "The big round guy finally let Sonic defeat him. Well,don't celebrate too soon, hedgehog. Now, it's my turn. (evil laugh) And I'm NOT ALONE!" Then an evil looking pair of red eyes appeared. Viewers never got the chance to see whose eyes those were, as there were no more episodes after that. I've read from the Sonic newsgroup, however, that the writers had planned to release Naugus (a sorcerer who had appearedin an earlier ep of the series, voiced by The Wild Thornberrys' Tim Curry) for the third season and those were his eyes there. One wonders what would happen if Snively were to team up with Naugus... Anyways, this was the first network cartoon to end on a cliffhanger. (Thanks Larry Torrance!)
Show: Prey Genre: Sci-Fi Network: ABC Last aired: 1995 Episode Title: "Deliverance (1)" (The way it istitled at epguides.com)
Details: Tom (Adam Storke) Daniels was abducted and held captive. Ed (Vincent Ventresca) Tate was assualted during Daniel's kidnapping and Sloan (Debra Messing) Parker arrived "a day late and a dollar short", as usual.(Thanks Karen Kaiser!) Show: Models Inc. Genre: Night Soap Network: Fox Last aired: 1995 Episode Title: "Sometimes a Great Commotion"
Details: In the finale, there were 2 cliffhangers: 1. Carrie (Carrie-Anne Moss, or Trinity in "The Matrix") told Hillary (LindaGray) that Grayson (Emma Samms) had been using her model agency as a front for a prostitution ring. Later, Carrie got knocked unconcious by a hooker (Grayson was taking revenge on Carrie for this), and found herself in Central America, sold into slavery. 2. Grayson hired a hitman (played by Mitch Pileggi, no less!) to shoot her ex-husband Adam (James Wilder) for taunting her. At a wedding ceremony, Adam picked up Grayson's son Daniel as the hitman was ready to shoot him, and she ran out to prevent the hitman from hitting Daniel. As originally aired on Fox, that was that.
However, seeing the writing on the wall, the producers also shot an ending that ended up airing overseas and on reruns that aired for a while on E! (yeah, the entertainment news channel). Grayson was hit (and killed instantly), and her agency shut down, Craig (Don Michael Paul) proposed to Julie (Kylie Travis), and the models all joked about model Monique's honeymoon (Stephanie Romanov's 2nd role on the show... her 1st was as Carrie's sis)... while still not resolving Carrie's story. Show: VR.5 Genre: Sci-fi Network: Fox Last Aired: 1995 Episode Title: "Reunion" Details: Sydney (Lori Singer) went into a coma after being trapped ina virtual environment called "VR.7", after rescuing first her mother, thensister Samantha (Tracy Needham) from the same environment. (Mother turned out to be some sort of spy.) As for the series' intended future... According to alt.tv.vr5's VR5 digest: "Some members of this list have reported rumors that Lori Singer was to beeffectively replaced by Tracy Needham as the star of the show." But, VR.5 writer and executive producer John Sacret Young said in achat: "Well, we had a number of ideas, and the hope was, of course, thatwe wanted to bring Sydney back. But we didn't want to lose Samantha. Wewanted to have both sisters operating in some way."(Thanks Rob!)
Show: Earth 2 Genre: Sci-Fi Network: NBC Last Aired: 1995 Episode Title: "Natural BornGrendlers" Details: The series ended with Devon Adair (Debrah Farentino) collapsingfrom an unknown illness and being put into cold-sleep until a cure couldbe developed. Fans didn't find out why she was sick or whether shecould ever be cured. (I've read, however, that Farentino, who was inCapitol, was pregnant at the time and had been written out until she delievered her baby, then she would be written in again.This would inevitably involve her getting cured. - Rover_Wow) (Thanks Jennifer Skripac! Note, no email address, she's asked for her privacy.) Show: Christy Genre: Drama Network: CBS Last Aired: 1995 Episode Title: "The Road Home"
Details: Based on the novel written by Catherine Marshall in 1967, the series cliffhung with the title character (Kellie Martin) emotionally torn between two very different men: Reverend David Grantland (Randall Batinkoff) and Dr. Neil MacNeill (Stewart Finlay-McLennan). It was all about who she'd marry. It wasn't until 2001, however, that we got our answer in PAX's miniseries "Choices of the Heart", where she ended up with Neil (and this was after she'd accepted David's proposal). (Thanks Aaron Carlisle!)