Television's biggest shows come to an end: How did this happen?

By Ellie Hayes
On February 15, 2013


It's the end of an era. Popular television shows, such as "The Office," "30 Rock," "Fringe," "Gossip Girl," and "Jersey Shore," are airing their season finales.

The American comedy "The Office" is completing its ninth season on May 16. Ratings have dipped after losing star Steve Carell, and longtime fans have felt that the quality has faded. With the loss of actors and writers Mindy Kaling and B.J. Novak, Executive Producer Greg Daniels revealed the expected news in August that "The Office" was embarking on its final season.

After airing seven seasons, and winning 14 Primetime Emmys and six Golden Globes, "30 Rock" has come to its end. The series has brought publicity and recognition to Tina Fey and revived Alec Baldwin as a king of comedy. "30 Rock" aired its final episode Jan. 31. Up to the fifth season, "30 Rock" remained consistent, though the drop of an average 6 million viewers in the fourth season, to 4.4 million viewers in the fifth, led to considering the termination of the series.

Fox's popular science fiction adventure show "Fringe" aired its final episode with a modest 3.2 million viewers and a 1.0 viewer rating.  "Fringe" was regarded as a show "Fox liked enough to keep on the air long past its ratings expiration date."

The American teen drama television series "Gossip Girl" aired its final episode Dec. 17. In common with many television series, viewership and quality began strong but gradually deteriorated. The final episode of "Gossip Girl" delivered 1.5 million viewers and a 0.8 rating among adults 18 to 49, the show's best performance this season. 

MTV's most-viewed series of all time, "Jersey Shore," is concluding its sixth season within three years Dec. 20. "Snooki & JWoww" took air June 21 to continue the viewer's enlightenment into the "guido" lifestyle.

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