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Old 08-22-2019, 05:49 AM   #1
TMC
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Default What's the history of the big "season finale"?

Are there any in-depth articles or discussion threads on when and how the phenomenon of the "season finale" (where the show tries to end with a bang of some kind) developed?

It seemed like in the earlier days of TV, sometimes a TV season would just peter out ignominiously with a backdoor pilot for another show (Star Trek TOS' "Assignment: Earth" at the end of Season 2, for instance) or a clip show.

Did this change mostly start with Dallas' "Who Shot JR?" in 1980 and then accelerate in 1990 with Star Trek: TNG's "Best of Both Worlds, Part I"?
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Old 08-22-2019, 01:30 PM   #2
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Good question!!! Interesting topic!!!
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Old 08-22-2019, 06:47 PM   #3
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Yeah I'd say the whole "who shot J.R." storyline was the first (or one of the first) big season finales for a TV show. And eventually more shows started doing them in the 80s and it's just gotten more common since then. If there were any shows that did a big season finale before 1980 I'm not aware of them. But it would be interesting to know if anybody else remembers anything like that on a TV series before 1980.

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Old 08-22-2019, 06:56 PM   #4
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Not a cliffhanger or anything but Little House on the Praire " I'll Be Waving as You Drive Away" when Mary goes blind was kind of big. I remember the whole show startled me mainly because I didn't know the backstory of the real Mary Ingalls. That was in March of 1978.
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Old 08-22-2019, 08:46 PM   #5
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“Dallas” really started in the modern TV era. Of course, the other soaps followed. I think “Cheers” was one of the first sitcoms to follow suit.
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