Popular TV series such as Friends, How I Met Your Mother, Two And A Half Men all came to an end.

Why is that happened, when they could have continued?

  1. Popular serials have the financial resources to continue.

  2. new story-lines can be added.

  3. New actors can be introduced.

Serials in Indian subcontinent run as long as they can, sometime for more than 20 years by adding new stories,characters and time leaps

Why couldn't American serials do that too?

  • So that they can end it on an all time high such that it is remembered for how great it is rather than like final seasons of "Dexter" which ruined Dexter for everyone... Commented Jan 30, 2018 at 4:52
  • @NikhilEshvar Added to your list, Lost,Heroes, Big Bang Theory
    – Vishwa
    Commented Jan 30, 2018 at 5:42
  • 1
    Hey I like this question :D !
    – Anu7
    Commented Jan 30, 2018 at 11:46
  • 2
    It's for various reasons. Sometimes it's the EPs wanting to go out on a good note, sometimes it's production costs in relation to new series deals during Pilot season (network tv), sometimes the actors want out or price increase to stay... Commented Jan 30, 2018 at 16:51
  • 1
    Also, for the Friends case, the EPs tried making a spin-off to keep the spirit but failed after season 2. Commented Feb 3, 2018 at 17:14

1 Answer 1


It may be for various reasons

From Wikipedia,

In television, cancellation refers to the termination of a program by a network, typically because of low viewership, financial losses, or unfavourable critical reviews. Other potential reasons for canceling television programs include controversies involving the program's cast, conflicts among the show's staff members or to make room for new programming.

It also states that,

Commercial television is supported by advertising, or viewers paying for TV-channels. Viewing figures are collected by audience measurement ratings agencies (such as Nielsen in the United States), and the programs with the highest viewing figures command a higher advertising fee for the network. As such, shows with a low viewership are generally not as profitable.

Other factors are considered as well, such as the cost to produce the show.Very rarely are television programs cancelled for reasons other than ratings or profitability. Four notable cases are Turn-On and Australia's Naughtiest Home Videos, which were cancelled after viewer and station outrage; Bridget Loves Bernie, forced off the air despite high ratings because of threats of violence from Jewish radicals; Home Run Derby, canceled due to the host's death; and Megan Wants a Millionaire, which was axed in August 2009 following the arrest warrant (and later, suicide) of one of the finalists.

Read full article here

So to sum up,Quoting Vox,

  1. The show almost immediately flopped.

  2. The show struggled in the ratings, and the studio wouldn't reduce the licensing fee.

  3. The show struggled in the ratings and wasn't owned by the same corporation that owns its network.

  4. The show had poor ratings and no syndication or streaming potential.

  5. The show got poor ratings and was expensive.

  6. The show got poor ratings, and nobody liked it (at the network).

  7. The show just got too old.

Read more here

Basically if a TV show cannot produce money, doing bad at ratings, or if story is finished, show is older and hard to continue, actors think now the time to stop are the most common reasons for the cancellation or end of the series.

Note: Cancellation and Ending of a program is different.

Added Notes:

Read here for article about friends with Matthew Perry here

For Two and Half Men read here

  • ... and House of Cards because of, emm, the actor that shall not be named. Commented Feb 3, 2018 at 17:16

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