To Be DIScontinued! - The Hall of Unresolved TV Cliffhangers
"As they say at the Buttery, I'm ready to take your order; what
will it be?" -- Captain Victor Comstock to radio writer Betty Roberts, the
final line of Remember WENN's final ep. For more of
these quotes, click here. "How can they do this - ending a cancelled series with a 'to be
continued' - we'll never know what happen to Cybill & Mary-Anne! :("
-- Paul Hyett, British fan of Cybill.
"Cliffhangers (...) are rip-offs. You end up spending three months waiting for the
plot to resolve itself, and it's almost always disappointing. And some times, it's
an extra special rip-off. Because, as Joss Whedon knows, sometimes shows don't come
back. You see, there's this little phenomenon called cancellation, and it happens
to the best of shows." -- Jason Snell on 'hangers. For the "full" article it
came from, see below.
Season ending cliffhangers have been part of television since 1977,
when Robert Urich's character, a tennis player, got shot on "Soap". Although
they didn't go big until JR Ewing, played by Larry Hagman, got shot on
"Dallas" in 1980... the resolution on 20 November that year had 36.3 million
viewers or 53.3%, according to the World Almanac. (By the way, it was
Chester Tate, played by Robert Mandan, who killed the tennis player, and it
was Kristin Shephard, played by Mary Crosby, who shot JR.) The idea of the
season enders was to delay the resolution for, say, 3 months while the show
was on summer hiatus, unlike, say 2 weeks for a during-the-season
cliffhanger. (It also makes for a dramatic start to the new season... even
when you're doing a sitcom.)
However there's a disadvantage of season ending cliffhangers... the
network can always cancel the show and thus preventing a cliffhanger from
being resolved. This is the purpose of the page: to list those cliffhangers
that left us, the viewers, hanging only for us to be left with no resolution.
Rules, and how to give feedback
There's really only
one rule: All that's needed to be included on this page is a cliffhanger
in the final aired ep. Of course, this distinction gets blurred a bit
sometimes when an ep was made last, but not aired last (like Two of a Kind).
Also, a few 'hangers are bound to slip in even though they have been
resolved, although not in the context of the series (e.g., Dallas, whose
'hanger was resolved in a TV movie). I'll count them.
But there are two ways of giving me feedback:
by email, and via
this polling form (which ends up in my email
Resources... not that there's much