Graph: The Most Surprising And Disappointing TV Series Finales?

How many television series finales disappoint? How many television series finales actually surprise their core audiences? Reddit user ChallengeResponse created a graph showing the IMDb user ratings of television series finales relative to their average per episode user rating. Check out the graphs now after the jump.

In the top graph below, its interesting to see which television series jumped the most from their average episode rating to their series finale. At the top of the graph are the series that saw the largest increase from average episode rating to series finale — or what you could consider the shows with finales perceived to be better than the show's average output.

The shows aren't what you might expect: Glee leads the pack, followed by Charmed, Newhart, Sex and the City, Revolution, Smallville and The O.C.. Less surprising is the most disappointing television series finales on the bottom of this graph, which includes: Dexter, Dragonball Z, True Blood, How I Met Your Mother, Two and a Half Men and The Sopranos — each of which had very negative buzz after the episodes premiered. I'm actually surprised that Lost isn't lower on the list as I hear so many people bitching about that episode — but the drop from the average episode to series finale is minimal (yet yes, it does still fall in the bottom third of the chart).

The graph is very interesting to look at. ChallengeResponse rendered the findings in a bunch of different ordering methods incase you want to view the results in a different order. Look at the charts yourself below.

Ordered by difference between average episode rating and finale rating


Ordered by average episode rating


Ordered by finale episode rating


Ordered alphabetically


ChallengeResponse explains how he put together the data to create the graph:

Television rating data was collected using IMDbPY( and visualized in iPython( using matplotlib( Source code for iPython notebook is available on GitHub: ***NOTE:*** This updated version has been modified from the original to correct for an issue with Psych (previously using the last episode on IMDb, which was not the finale) and separating the Scrubs finales into S8 and S9 comparisons with the series mean. In addition, added a few more shows, by popular request.