You sit down to finally catch up on that DVR that's running low on memory. You're ready to binge-watch the whole season of your favorite show, and as you reach the end, you get excited for the next season to come. Only, in staying out of the news loop, you're horrified to discover after the fact that it was the final season, and rather than savor it, you flew through it like it was just another chore to get through.
We've all been through that sad struggle and with the constant cancellation of shows on TV — or the decision by a show's creator to bring the story to an end — it's important to stay aware of what shows are ending so that you can properly enjoy the final new outings of your favorite characters. Here's a list of the shows leaving our lives forever in 2017, and why we all loved them so much.
Bates Motel — A&E
- Original Start Date: March 18, 2013 (no finale date set)
- Final Season Premiere: March 2017
- Seasons: 5
- Stars: Freddie Highmore, Vera Farmiga, Max Thieriot, Olivia Cooke
The hit psychological horror/thriller came at a time when A&E was still finding its ground in original programming, having had minimal success with crime dramas The Glades and Longmire, but never finding any huge wins. But when the writers behind Bates Motel came up with the idea to make a prequel series centered around the psychotic Norman Bates and the events leading up to the classic Hitchcock film, A&E saw its potential and skipped the pilot stage, ordering it straight to a 10-episode first season, which saw record ratings for the cable network and strong reviews from critics.
After an equally successful second season, and a better reviewed third season, A&E gave the series a two-season renewal through a fourth and fifth season of the show. However, after a critically acclaimed fourth season that received solid ratings, A&E decided to close up shop on its longest-running original series after its fifth season, which is set to adapt the events of the original film for the small screen.
While some shows are smart to end their run before they get stale, the Psycho prequel was just ramping up to some of its biggest and most dreadful future events yet to come, especially with the final episodes of the fourth season. Though the whole premise behind this show was to show Norman's descent into madness, seeing star Freddie Highmore capture Norman so perfectly will be missed, especially his pairing with phenomenal actress Vera Farmiga as the infamous Norma Bates. With the fifth season portraying the original film's story with Rihanna portraying the legendary Marion Crane, anticipation is high for an explosive final season.
Black Sails — Starz
- Original Start Date: January 25, 2014 (no finale date set)
- Final Season Premiere: January 29, 2017
- Seasons: 4
- Stars: Toby Stephens, Hannah New, Luke Arnold, Ray Stevenson
Another show that came at a time when a cable network was starting to find strong ground in its original programming, Black Sails has been a huge hit for Starz since its debut in 2014, earning rave reviews from critics and audiences alike, as well as drawing in solid numbers in ratings.
The series follows pirates in the 1700s vying for control of the high seas and for the treasure of Urca de Lima. It has always been a fast-paced adventure show that promised stunning visuals and an entertaining journey with the young Captain Flint pre-Treasure Island. It also had some big names as Blackbeard followed through with its promises, delivering a fun swashbuckler with some solid writing and spectacular effects.
Though the news that Season 4 is the last made many fans sad (and for good reason), it should actually be a bittersweet announcement. The show is not being cancelled, but rather ended by the show's creators, who felt they've told the story leading up to the events of Treasure Island properly. With the final season being focused around an all-out war between the pirates and civilizations in the West Indies, it's sure to be an intense conclusion to the already action-packed series.
Bloodline — Netflix
- Original Start Date: March 20, 2015 (no finale date set)
- Final Season Premiere: May 2017
- Seasons: 3
- Stars: Kyle Chandler, Linda Cardellini, Ben Mendelsohn, Sam Shepard
Netflix's original programs have always had it easy when it comes to getting renewal orders, with only two live-action original series receiving cancellation orders from the streaming service: Hemlock Grove and Lilyhammer. Sadly, another Netflix series, Bloodline, has joined the ranks of those two shows with the announcement that its third season will be the last.
The family drama-thriller that follows a wealthy family dealing with the return of a troublemaker son who endangers their perfect lives by threatening to expose the family's dark secrets has had a very up-and-down run, with the first season earning rave reviews from critics and audiences and the second a mixed response from critics but positive reviews from audiences.
Even if the second season didn't deliver quite as compelling a story as the first, there's no denying the show was fun to watch thanks to its beautiful cinematography and intense performances from its cast, especially from the son trying to keep everything calm (Kyle Chandler) and from the son threatening to bring everything down (Ben Mendelsohn). The characters and their dirty secrets just helped carry this show to make it one fans were looking forward to with another season, but now audiences will have to wait patiently and savor the final season of this mystery-strewn thriller.
Bones — Fox
- Original Start Date: September 13, 2005 (no finale date set)
- Final Season Premiere: January 3, 2017
- Seasons: 12
- Stars: David Boreanaz, Emily Deschanel, T.J. Thyne, Michaela Conlin
Even if you're not a big police procedural fan, there's no denying Bones had a certain charm to it that made it irresistible to watch, especially thanks to the perfect chemistry between stars David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel.
Following cases being solved by FBI agent Seeley Booth (Boreanaz) and forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperance Bones Brennan (Deschanel), the Fox crime comedy has been a huge hit for the network since its debut back in 2005, with ratings consistently going up until season six, which was followed by a steady decrease in the ratings, which has now led to the show's cancellation, earning one final farewell 12-episode season.
All procedural shows do get stale to a certain degree, but Bones was one that was able to have enough episodes in each season to offset the same-old case solving, and thanks to its witty comedy and unique tone, it will be missed by fans.
Duck Dynasty — A&E
- Original Start Date: March 21, 2012
- Final Season Premiere: November 16, 2016
- Finale Date: April 12, 2017
- Seasons: 11
- Stars: Willie Robertson, Phil Robertson, Jase Robertson, Si Robertson
Equally loved and reviled by audiences around the nation, Duck Dynasty has always been infamous for it bizarre family, unique market and wacky antics, all of which have propelled it to be one of the most popular reality shows in history.
Personally, I was never a fan of the show, as I couldn't stand the characters or their "idiotic" behaviors. However, the appeal is there for fans who enjoy ridiculous or outrageous reality characters, and it certainly reaches that demographic. The Robertsons, as backwards as I may see them, are quite hilarious to watch, very much in the vein of watching Paul Teutul, Sr. versus Jr. on American Chopper. \
he Robertsons' popularity have extended to a Christmas album, a video game and various appearances on other sitcoms and talk shows that a world without their TV presence will be a slightly less entertaining one.
Episodes — Showtime
- Original Start Date: January 9, 2011 (no finale date set)
- Final Season Premiere: No date set
- Seasons: 5
- Stars: Matt LeBlanc, Tamsin Grieg, Stephen Mangan, John Bankow
Matt LeBlanc is a man after everybody's heart, capturing us with his star-making role as Joey Tribbiani on the hit '90s sitcom Friends. Sadly, he saw a steep drop in his career following the conclusion of Friends, earning a sitcom right off the bat with the unsuccessful spin-off Joey, as well as co-starring in the rebooted Charlie's Angels film franchise. However, after the cancellation of Joey, LeBlanc took an initial one-year hiatus that turned into a five-year hiatus, before finally returning to acting with Showtime's Episodes, in which he would play a fictionalized version of himself.
The series was a minor hit for Showtime upon release, earning generally positive reviews from critics and decent ratings to earn a season two renewal from the network. The second season earned rave reviews from critics and won LeBlanc a Golden Globe for playing "himself"!
In addition to LeBlanc's outstanding lead performance, the central premise to the show is ripe with clever satire on Hollywood and its need for remaking successful works from other countries, especially from the UK with BBC (which co-airs this show, in the greatest irony). This satire is wonderfully delivered thanks to the other lead performers, Grieg and Mangan, who play the British series' creators that are brought to L.A. to remake their show for American audiences and strain with all the changes being made to their pet project. t
Though the series' third season didn't quite land the mark, the show as a whole has been such a hilarious and smart romp to watch with some fantastic lead performances that it will be hard to watch it go.
Girls — HBO
- Original Start Date: April 15, 2012 (no finale date set)
- Final Season Premiere: February 12, 2017
- Seasons: 6
- Stars: Lena Dunham, Adam Driver, Andrew Rannells, Zosia Mamet
Widely hailed as one of the freshest, most unique shows on television since its debut, Girls has been one of HBO's biggest hits of the new millennium.
Depicting the life of aspiring writer Hannah and her twentysomething friends as they navigate through one life crisis after another in Brooklyn, the HBO comedy garnered a lot of praise from critics for its insightful humor, captivating characters and witty writing, which are all thanks to writer/star Dunham and her fantastic co-stars.
Girls struck such a strong chord with audiences and critics across the nation, earning 15 Emmy nominations and winning two of them, as well as earning six Golden Globe nominations and two wins.
The show works because of its awkward, quirky and super relatable characters, the intelligent writing and perfectly-cast performances from every single member of the cast. Despite the last two seasons showing a slight drop in quality, the show has been such a hilarious ride thus far that it will be a real shame to see it go after its sixth and final season.
Grimm – NBC
- Original Release Date: October 28, 2011
- Final Season Premiere: January 6, 2017
- Finale Date: March 31, 2017
- Seasons: 6
- Stars: David Giuntoli, Russel Hornsby, Bitsie Tulloch, Silas Weir Mitchell
More fan-favorite than big hit since its debut, Grimm has always had a touch-and-go run at NBC, earning rave reviews with each new season, but struggling in the ratings. Following a young Portland homicide detective who discovers he descends from a line of supernatural guardians known as the "Grimms," who are tasked with keeping balance between the supernatural world and humans, the fantasy crime series has very much been a blend of The X-Files and Supernatural.
Focusing more on telling the story of the Grimms struggles to keep the balance rather than too many procedural filler episodes, Grimm has been a very fun and entertaining show to watch thanks to its unique tone, smart humor and solid visual effects.
Being at home with a network notorious for canceling shows before they can truly get off the ground, Grimm has always been a show considered on the bubble, always earning ratings that would make a cable network leap for joy but make a national network grimace and consider cutting their losses. The show has held five different time slots in its five season run, being jumped three separate times during its second season before finding a suitably successful home on Friday nights at 9 p.m., seeing its biggest ratings spike in the third season with that time slot.
Unfortunately for fans, the declining ratings have gotten on NBC's nerves for the last time, with the network granting the series one final (shortened) 13-episode season to say farewell to its devotees, which is set to premiere in January.
Halt And Catch Fire — AMC
- Original Release Date: June 1, 2014 (no finale date set)
- Final Season Premiere: No date set
- Seasons: 4
- Stars: Mackenzie Davis, Lee Pace, Scoot McNairy, Kerry Bishe
While period shows are typically set around the medieval time periods, some of the best (and my personal favorite) period shows take audiences back to the not-too-distant past to tell a story, and Halt and Catch Fire certainly joins the ranks of the more entertaining entries into the genre.
Set in the 1980s amidst the boom of personal computers, the series tells a fictionalized story of four visionaries who attempt to get in on the large movement and the growth of the World Wide Web in the 1990s with their partnership challenged by greed and ego.
Though the series had a sort of half-hearted first season, it quickly turned it around in its thrilling and much better written second season, which took the premise and gave it a bigger focus on leads Davis and Bishe, who truly shined as the series took a more feminist stance. With an even bigger third season, hopefully the farewell season delivers its most satisfying story yet.
Hand Of God — Amazon
- Original Release Date: August 28, 2014 (no finale date set)
- Final Season Premiere: No date set
- Seasons: 2
- Stars: Ron Perlman, Garret Dillahunt, Dana Delany, Alona Tal
Though this one didn't quite turn out to be the masterpiece everyone hoped it would be, I still would've liked to see this have a longer run to redeem itself and take its interesting premise further. However, the gods at Amazon have decided otherwise and announced back in September that the second season, which is set to debut in 2017, will be its last.
Following a corrupt judge who suffers a complete breakdown and believes the Big Man Upstairs is telling him to lead a life of vigilantism, the psychological drama featured an all-star cast and some really great ideas that resulted in a somewhat slow, yet very entertaining first season with a lot of promise for the future. Sadly, fans of the series will have to take the renewal/cancellation order with a grain of salt.
The Leftovers — HBO
- Original Start Date: June 29, 2014 (no finale date set)
- Final Season Premiere: April 2017
- Seasons: 3
- Stars: Justin Theroux, Carrie Coon, Margaret Qualley, Liv Tyler
When HBO first began promoting this show, my interest level was very high, as the premise behind the series was very ambiguous and mysterious, and the show featured a cast mixed with big-name stars and ones unknown to myself. As soon as the pilot dropped for the series, its captivating marketing paid off because though it wasn't any kind of ratings record breaker, it really introduced its characters and setting so well, one couldn't help but be intrigued by the the fantasy mystery that is The Leftovers.
Following a small New York town's Chief of Police and his town as they deal with the consequences of what is called the "Sudden Departure," in which 2% of the world's population inexplicably vanished. What's been great about the series so far is its lack of answers about the "Departed," all the while teasing the possibility of another "Sudden Departure."
In addition to the fantasy/mystery element, the show is compelling thanks to its easy-to-connect-to characters, whose actors and actresses all do a phenomenal job at encompassing their roles — especially Justin Theroux, who is just irresistibly thrilling and heartbreaking to watch.
With a second season that wowed and intrigued even more so than the first, there's no telling where the third season can go, but it will be a bittersweet feeling watching these characters for a final eight episode run beginning in April.
Longmire — Netflix
- Original Start Date: June 3, 2012 (no finale date set)
- Final Season Premiere: No date set
- Seasons: 6
- Stars: Robert Taylor, Katee Sackhoff, Lou Diamond Phillips, Cassidy Freeman
Longmire is a seemingly simple show of a longtime sheriff in the small town of Absaroka County, Wyoming returning to his duties after the passing of his wife. However, this show's history is certainly not as simple as it sounds. After having three critically successful and high-ratings seasons on A&E, the cable network still cancelled the series, leaving it on a cliffhanger and enraging fans.
Even though cancelled shows in the past have had fan petitions to bring them back, Longmire became the first series ever to be revived by streaming service Netflix right away in response to fan outcry. The crime drama would go on to see another successful two seasons on Netflix, and earned a renewal order for a sixth season, but that it would be the farewell season.
This show really drew audiences in thanks to its unique location and fun characters, and after falling in love with them for five seasons, it will be a shame to only get 10 more episodes with them next year.
Orphan Black — BBC America
- Original Start Date: March 30, 2013 (no finale date set)
- Final Season Premiere: No date set
- Seasons: 5
- Stars: Tatiana Maslany, Dylan Bruce, Jordan Gavaris, Kevin Hanchard
This sci-fi thriller series is another rare one because not only does it have one of the biggest fan bases on this list, but it's easily one of the most popular BBC shows in America.
Following a woman who discovers she is one of a number of clones created by a secret movement in a renowned biotech corporation and that her sister clones are being killed off by a religious group, the series became a huge hit thanks to the mystery driving it and its brilliantly captivating star, Maslany, who portrays multiple characters of very different backgrounds on the series.
After four phenomenal seasons featuring thrilling twists, tragic consequences and a stunning lead performance every season from Maslany, the creators of the sci-fi series and the British cable network have mutually agreed to bring the series to an end, delivering one final 10-episode season that they promise will be "an epic conclusion to the tale of Sarah and her clone sisters."
Pretty Little Liars — Freeform
- Original Start Date: June 8, 2010 (no finale date set)
- Final Season Premiere: June 21, 2016/April 28, 2017
- Seasons: 7
- Stars: Troian Bellisario, Ashley Benson, Lucy Hale, Ian Harding
I'm not gonna lie to you: I've never been a fan of this series. The characters, to me, were all despicable, unlikable and the show felt too much like a combination of Scream and 90210. That being said, I am not the show's target audience, and this is proven by its immensely successful run on the cable network.
The teen drama follows the lives of a clique of teenage girls who begin to be tormented by a mysterious person known as "A" following the disappearance of their leader, Alison DiLaurentis.
Fans of the series have been engrained into the show since day one, primarily because of the big question "Just who in the hell is 'A'?" The fan base grew and stuck with the series for a long and consistent amount of time that it has become Freeform's (formerly ABC Family) longest-running series.
Following the first half of its final season being aired, it was announced by the cast and creators that the series would be coming to an end following the final 10 episodes that will begin airing in April, resulting in an combined depressed sigh from fans everywhere as they would now have to prepare themselves for any final twists to come when the series returns.
Regular Show — Cartoon Network
- Original Start Date: September 6, 2010
- Final Season Premiere: September 26, 2016
- Finale Date: January 2017
- Seasons: 8
- Stars: J.G. Quintel, William Salyers, Sam Marin, Mark Hamill
Much like the previously discussed show, this is another series I was never really fond of, but unlike PLL, I did find some brief moments of enjoyment.
Coming at a time when Cartoon Network was struggling to find some new hit original programming, Regular Show started off only finding a niche audience and quickly accelerating into one of the cable channel's most popular shows amongst audiences, both young and in early adulthood.
The stories of Mordecai and Rigby, two 23-year-old best friends who work as groundskeepers at a park, have long been capturing the hearts of audiences thanks to their bizarre nature that are both childish in their ideas, but also adult in some of their content. Sadly for fans, after seven successfully hilarious seasons on the network, the series is coming to a close at the end of its story up in space. The farewell season is currently underway, so fans must prepare themselves for the upcoming end in January.
One of the best episodes in the series that has brought myself, as well as many people, joy is "Rap It Up," which features popular (and two of my all-time favorite) artists, Tyler the Creator and Donald Glover, as guest stars and performers.
The Strain — FX
- Original Start Date: July 13, 2014 (no finale date set)
- Final Season Premiere: Summer 2017
- Seasons: 4
- Stars: Corey Stoll, David Bradley, Kevin Durand, Richard Sammel
The decision to bring The Strain to a close after four seasons is one I find very troubling, as the show has been such a thrilling adventure since its premiere with great twists and fast-paced storytelling, but its shift from B-movie gore to action-thriller pacing in season three was a little too jarring to ignore.
The unsettling transition aside, it's been a fun journey to watch the virus spread and our protagonists struggle to win the war against the "strigoi," as well as learn about themselves and overcome their own issues. These characters are also so perfectly played by their respective actors/actresses, especially Stoll, who's always had a supporting role leading up to The Strain, in which he shines as the lead.
The other reason the renewal/cancellation order is a respectable one is due to the fact that the source material for the series was a trilogy of books. Each season has done a very good job to adapt each book onto the big screen, the first three seasons combining the first two novels to tell their stories, and with a shocking conclusion to the third season, it transitions perfectly into the concluding novel which will no doubt result in the most thrilling and satisfying season yet for the horror-action series next summer.
Switched at Birth — Freeform
- Original Start Date: June 6, 2011 (no finale date set)
- Final Season Premiere: January 31, 2017
- Seasons: 5
- Stars: Vanessa Marano, Katie Leclerc, Lea Thompson, Constance Marie
The family drama series following two young women who discover their birth hospital switched them up at birth and they have been raised by parents that were not their biological families has been a big hit for the cable network, breaking the channel's record for the highest-rated premiere of an original program.
In addition to being a ratings hit for the channel in its current four season run, the series has been hailed by both audiences and critics for its moving themes and storytelling, as well as praise for being the first mainstream series to feature deaf and hard-of-hearing characters and performers with scenes being shot exclusively in American Sign Language.
The series really has been a powerful one to watch, the characters being easy to connect to and fall in love with that it will be sad to see them go after their farewell ten episode season.
Teen Wolf — MTV
- Original Start Date: June 5, 2011 (no finale date set)
- Final Season Premiere: November 15, 2016
- Seasons: 6
- Stars: Tyler Posey, Dylan O'Brien, Holland Roden, Linden Ashby
TV shows based on movies typically have a hard time getting off the ground, usually seen as inferior to the source material and only lasting a couple seasons before being killed off. However, MTV struck gold when they decided to adapt the '80s teen comedy Teen Wolf into a small-screen series, offering the perfect blend of horror, action and teen romance for modern audiences who were still reeling from the Twilight franchise and looking for something similar yet different.
At first, the show did feel like a combination of the original film and Twilight, which (as a guy) just was a bit off-putting. But as it went on, it actually really improved its tone and storytelling, developing into a thrilling, dark and gory series that had viewers on the edge and waiting for more.
This quick connection to audiences helped propel the network's success with original programming for today's younger generation, which helped earn the series multiple season renewals and helped the network to regain audiences for more original programs including Scream: The Series and The Shannara Chronicles.
After O'Brien's injury filming the latest Maze Runner delayed production on the final season — not to mention dipping ratings in the last two seasons — the cast and creators decided to make the sixth season the final season. With the second half of the season premiering next year, audiences will have to watch each episode with the knowledge it will soon be coming to an end.
Turn: Washington's Spies — AMC
- Original Start Date: April 6, 2014 (no finale date set)
- Final Season Premiere: Fall 2017
- Seasons: 4
- Stars: Jamie Bell, Seth Numrich, Daniel Henshall, Heather Lind
I can't lie, when this show's cancellation was announced, I was very surprised... that the show was still on. The series certainly had a great set up to be a long-lasting story of the real espionage that went into America's fight against British rule and featured a cast of very talented players. The problem with the show was there was never a solid marketing campaign by its parent channel, AMC, to properly promote the series, resulting in its absence from people's memory, as well as a steady decline in ratings following a fairly successful first season.
Even if the show takes many liberties from the history it's based on, it was still a pretty suspenseful show in its freshman and sophomore outings, finding better ground in its tone and character development in its second season that gave it big promise for the future. Based on reviews from audiences, season three seemed to deliver more great storytelling that was supported by stellar action and phenomenal performances from its all-star cast.
Because of its ratings growth in the second half of its third season, AMC decided to give the show one more season, which showrunner Craig Silverstein looks forward to delivering a thrilling farewell season of the Culper Ring's efforts to bring the British down.
Workaholics — Comedy Central
- Original Start Date: April 6, 2011 (no finale date set)
- Final Season Premiere: January 11, 2017
- Seasons: 7
- Stars: Adam DeVine, Anders Holm, Blake Anderson, Kyle Newacheck
Easily one of my favorite shows on this list (which makes this all the more painful), Workaholics has been a fan-favorite on Comedy Central for its near six year run on the cable network, introducing the world to the comedy talents of its three stars and the hilarious antics of their characters.
Following our three lazy heroes as they attempt to live out their partying dreams while also struggling with their mundane jobs as telemarketers, the series is also primarily written by the stars, including their best friend/weed dealer, Kyle Newacheck.
The series has earned rave reviews from audiences thanks to its vulgar humor, awkward-yet-relatable lead characters and bizarre premises, and with each season getting funnier than the first and feeling shorter, it will be sad to see these three comedic geniuses leave the small screen in the shortened ten episode final season in January.
Which shows are you sad to see go? Are there any you're hoping end sooner rather than later? Let us know in the comments below!