It is so easy to get hooked on a great TV show. Sometimes, all it takes is accidentally walking in on a single episode to become embroiled in the drama, the cliffhangers, the characters, or the uproariously hilarious jokes of a series. No matter what you prefer – drama, comedy, sitcom, dramedy, or anything in between – there is no denying the fact that television series can capture our attention and devotion in ways that no other form of entertainment can quite match.
It probably has something to do with the ongoing, serialized nature of the TV show. You end up spending a longer duration of time with a show than you do, say, a movie, and this results in a sort of committed feeling to the shows that really speak to us. We end up feeling sort of as if we are experiencing the lives of the characters we come to love.
Week after week, we catch up with them, root for them, cry with them, and share their joys. This is not entirely unlike the relationships that we develop with other people, wouldn’t you say? Over time, bonds materialize, grow, evolve, and are strengthened by shared experiences. Something similar occurs when we get embroiled in a great TV show.
And, fortunately for us, we are living through what has commonly been called televisions’ golden age. Thanks to the outpour of high-quality content brought upon by streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video, there are more shows than ever before for us to become obsessed with. The only problem is that, with this huge influx of great shows, it becomes increasingly difficult to anticipate which ones will remain being produced for another season and which ones are to get the ax.
Perhaps you have been in a situation where you find a show that you love, become fully invested in it, and then, just like that, maybe a year or two later it comes to your attention that it’s been canceled. It’s always awful to discover this, especially when you never saw it coming. It’s not easy, either, to stay in the loop with what shows are getting the green light for additional seasons and which ones are getting canned. A lot of this information is for some reason kept relatively under wraps.
However, if you want to make sure that you are never blindsided by a show cancelation again, there is one little website for you to turn to, the baldly titled television syndication news site, TV Series Finale.
As it is a much smaller entertainment news site than most, I was not able to find a whole lot in the way of this site’s history. I was able to surmise, though, that, according to the site’s About section, “This site began in 2005 as a website devoted to the last episodes of television shows. What we quickly found is that people also wanted to know IF their favorite shows had been canceled or were ending. This led to a larger focus on cancellations and, by extension, TV show renewals.”
They go on to reveal a little bit about the process by which they gather their information. “The best way to tell if a show will be canceled is to track the Nielsen ratings,” TV Series Finale says, “While times are changing quickly, most networks still make the bulk of their income from people watching TV commercials on the night they aired – so the ratings play a big role in their decisions (higher ratings means more money to make new episodes). We’ve tracked the ratings for years but now post that data so that readers can follow along and get an idea if their shows will be canceled.”
So, not only does TV Series Finale offer definitive news regarding which shows are and are not being canceled, they also meticulously track reputable and historically indicative data in order to speculate (with a high degree of accuracy, if I do say so myself) what shows look as if they might be facing the chopping block soon based on ratings.
Personally, this strikes me as a brilliant idea. And I am so happy to have finally found a website that puts in the work on this front. No longer do I have to be caught off guard with a shocking show cancellation. At least now I can mitigate my expectations beforehand.
Well, this is where the issue of TV Series Finale being such a small website begins to work to its detriment. Small sites, of course, do not have a ton of cash to spend. And it takes money to pay for great web designers. Now, I’m not saying that TV Series Finale is poorly designed to the point of inadequacy. It works just fine. My problem with the site design stems more from an aesthetic qualm.
The site just looks amateurish. You’ll find a few cheesy logos and banners here and there that nauseatingly resemble clip art. Again, the site functions perfectly well; I just wish it looked better while doing so. Aside from a carousel slideshow of featured content placed in an awkwardly shaped box toward the top of the page, the majority of TV Series Finale is a jumble of text and too-small thumbnail images. In my opinion, this site could be opened up quite a bit. It feels like they tried to stuff way too many things onto a single page, which has resulted in a sloppy execution.
Whatever TV Series Finale lacks in design, though, it more than makes up for in terms of content. They offer plenty of family-friendly news articles on which users can comment (the community is overwhelmingly positive compared to other entertainment news sites). There are also tons of articles to peruse that speculate on whether shows might be renewed or not, lists of canceled shows (all-time and recent), TV show air status pages, etc.
You can even take a look at the raw data that TV Series Finale draws from for yourself thanks to the fact that they link to the Nielson ratings. They also offer daily network rankings, showing you where shows stand in the eyes of the networks on which they air. So, in terms of content, TV Series Finale has more than you could ever need to keep you informed. And it is all useful.
Desktop and Mobile Experience
Unfortunately, as you may have guessed, TV Series Finale does not have an app available at the moment. This is sort of a given, seeing how they are not a hugely profitable website. The only way they draw in profits, as far as I know, comes from a very low number of advertisements – which, of course, makes for a great desktop experience.
However, I cannot seem to get over how useful an app would be for a site such as this. Just for the push notifications alone. The minute your favorite show gets renewed, for example, you could get an alert on your phone letting you know. If possible, I would love to see this site turned into an app as well.
Suggestions that I have for TV Series Finale
In addition to developing an app, I think that TV Series Finale should, in general, make the user experience of this site a little more personalized. Even small tweaks, I think, could go a really long way here. For instance, allowing people to sign up as users and following their favorite shows would be incredible. In fact, I would go as far as to say that this feature is almost a necessity – TV Series Finale, please get to work on this immediately!
Hey, here’s an idea … maybe TV Series Finale could start making a little more money by offering a premium service in which users could track their favorite shows and be given an ad-free experience. Then they could use that money to also build an app. Yup, that’s definitely the move. As of now, though, this site is suffering from some sorely missed opportunities.