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Top 10 Amazing Alternate TV Endings

These are the Top 10 Alternate TV Endings! For this list, we’ll be looking at the alternative endings to television series that were not broadcast. Because we’ll be talking about the end of these shows, there will be spoilers ahead! We’ve included endings like an explosive jailbreak from Breaking Bad, the good editing from HIMYM, the ambiguous ending from Prison Break and more!

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Top 10 Alternate TV Endings

These shows almost had different conclusions. Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Alternate TV Endings.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the alternative endings to television series that were not broadcast. Because we’ll be talking about the end of these shows, there will be spoilers ahead.

#10: Mysterious Disappearance

“True Detective” (2014-)

Despite being presented as a crime drama, this anthology series has also featured mystery and southern Gothic elements. At the conclusion of the first season’s finale, Louisiana State detectives Cohle and Hart discuss good and evil... in a parking lot. However, things could’ve gotten way more, shall we say, supernatural had show creator Nic Pizzolatto stuck with his original vision. Pizzolatto told Uproxx that he initially conceived of the cops disappearing into the unknown, or adding something supernatural to the ending. This would have certainly added even more mystery to the highly rated and critically acclaimed season, though also added a lot more questions...

#9: Joey Ends Up with Dawson

“Dawson’s Creek” (1998-2003)

Though it’s part and parcel for TV now, particularly for teen dramas, “Dawson’s Creek” was known at the time for its storied love triangle between Joey, Dawson, and Pacey. The finale sees Joey ending up with Pacey, instead of Dawson in a move that disappointed some fans. However, it almost went the other way. The first hour of the finale was actually written with the Dawson ending in mind, but halfway through, the writer changed his mind, feeling that while Dawson and Joey may have been the original plan, the show (and characters) had evolved over time.

#8: Mayor Andy

“Parks and Recreation” (2009-15)

The finale of “Parks and Recreation” is pretty dang great already, but this might have made it even better. The final episodes follow the cast into the future, showing snippets of their lives in the years to come. Although it’s fitting that the unfairly maligned Jerry/Garry Gergich becomes mayor of Pawnee, according to series co-creator Michael Schur, the original plan was to have lovable dope Andy Dwyer take up the post. Andy’s extreme likability and enthusiasm would have made him an ideal leader for the fictional town fans have come to love.

#7: Ambiguous Ending

“Prison Break” (2005-17)

After a 5th revival season full of twists and turns, Michael Scofield is finally able to settle down with Sara and their son in what amounts to an unusually happy conclusion to the series. However, a proposed alternate ending would have kept things more ambiguous. After being told that he has a normal life now and that he can stop looking over his shoulder, Michael literally looks over his shoulder; indicating that his life of danger and crime leave him unable to relax completely. This different conclusion would have also left the door open for a possible 6th season, which, despite original creator Paul Scheuring initially considering season 5 as the series’ ‘end,’ was actually announced in January 2018.

#6: The Volcano Showdown

“Lost” (2004-10)

This show’s finale had plenty of controversial parts, and this alternate ending sidesteps some of the issues. One of the last episode’s bigger set pieces and plot points is a mysterious glowing cave, as well as a stormy battle between Jack and Locke atop a cliff as the Island shakes apart. The creators had originally planned for the Island’s power source and the fight’s location to be a volcano. This plot point was even foreshadowed as early as season three. However, they ultimately nixed it due to budgetary constraints. While it would have undoubtedly been visually spectacular, this volcanic element still probably wouldn’t have fixed every issue people had with the ending.

#5: Dexter Is Executed

“Dexter” (2006-13)

Although he left the series after the fourth season, “Dexter”’s former showrunner Clyde Phillips came up with his own fantastic idea for an ending. The final moments in his version would have featured Dexter waking up on a table, which is soon revealed to be an execution table. In the viewing gallery, the serial killer killer sees many of his most prominent victims and those close to him whose deaths he caused. Although, for many, any ending would’ve been more satisfying than Dexter faking his death and becoming a lumberjack.

#4: Carrie Stays Single
“Sex and the City” (1998-2004)

While the story does continue in several films, the conclusion of the “Sex and the City”TV series sees Carrie Bradshaw end up with Mr. Big. However, several alternate endings were shot, including one where Petrovsky tries to win Carrie back and one where she stays single and returns to New York. Some fans, as well as the series creator Darren Star, felt the ending they ultimately used strayed from the feminist message of the show. For some, Carrie remaining single might have been more in line with its original intentions.

#3: Not Guilty Verdict

“Seinfeld” (1989-98)

The finale of this popular sitcom saw Jerry Seinfeld and his friends on trial by the many people they’ve wronged, for essentially being bad people, which, objectively, they are. Yet many fans were upset that the foursome are found guilty and sent to jail, as we all still loved to root for them, in spite of, and because of, their many flaws. However, an alternate ending was filmed that featured a “not guilty” verdict. This would definitely have been more true to the rest of the show, which saw the group getting off scot free with their antics and learning absolutely nothing.

#2: An Explosive Jailbreak

“Breaking Bad” (2008-13)

Though the finale to “Breaking Bad” is, like the rest of the series, highly acclaimed, it actually had several alternate endings, some of which may have been even better! The final episode sees a largely broken Walter White execute one last gambit with a machine gun to rescue Jesse from his Neo Nazi captors at their hideout and being killed in the process. However, one ending would have seen Walt do something similar to get Jesse out of an actual jail, killing prisoners and guards in the process. That would certainly have been a more explosive and morally ambiguous way for Walt to go out.

#1: The Good Ending

“How I Met Your Mother” (2005-14)

One of the most divisive finales in recent memory, “How I Met Your Mother” ends with Barney and Robin divorcing, despite spending the entire final season on their wedding weekend. It also concludes with the titular mother, Tracy, dying, and Robin and Ted ending up together in the future despite the fact that the show, and viewers, had largely moved past their relationship. Fan outcry was so great that the creators included an official alternate ending on the DVD, which essentially cuts out these developments to focus on the group and the long-awaited meeting between Ted and Tracy.

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