Before television became a fierce year-around competition, seasons started in fall and ended just as schools let out for the summer, helping May 14th become the date of numerous series finales. Here are my favorites:
Malcolm in the Middle
May 14, 2006
This fantastic family sitcom helped pioneer modern television, ditching the standard multi-camera sitcom for a more movie-like single-camera setup. Plus it's hilarious and introduced the world to Bryan Cranston.
My Name Is Earl
May 14, 2009
Jason Lee plays the titled do-gooder in this feel-good sitcom set in a Texas trailer park which follows the recent lottery winner making amends for his life as a petty criminal. It's silly and stupid but shows a good heart.
May 14, 2001
Famous for its swimsuits and cheesy plots, this series was a trailblazer for direct-to-syndication television and helped launch the careers of Pamela Anderson, Carmen Electra, and countless others over 11 seasons.
May 14, 2003
The WB's flagship teen-drama set the stage for the likes of One Tree Hill, Gossip Girl, and Riverdale. Its four leads all had successful careers upon leaving, but they'll always be best known for their time in Capeside.
May 14, 2002
Recently revived by The CW, this short-lived sci-fi/teen-drama may be most known for introducing the world to Katherine Heigl of Knocked Up.
May 14, 1997
Craig T. Nelson has starred in several long-running television series including Parenthood and The Distict, but Coach marks his longest with nine seasons coaching the fictional Minnesota State University Screaming Eagles.
May 14, 1989
Before making it big with Back to the Future, Michael J. Fox tackled the cultural change between the 1970s and 1980s for seven seasons playing young Republican Alex P. Keaton born to ex-hippie parents.
The West Wing
May 14, 2006
May 14, 1998
With arguably the most famous finale of all time, Seinfeld will live on forever in popular culture and in syndication where it's made more than $3 billion since 1995.
May 14th hosts less finales in the world dominated by Netflix, HBO, and reality TV, but the major network's tent-pole shows still follow the fall to spring pattern, so there will be more. I just hope it continues to catch the good finales and not end up like poor May 16th having to host the Big Bang Theory's send-off.
If you're bored, please watch The Big Bang Theory: What Went Wrong?