Just because you’ve seen the final closing credits of a series doesn’t mean the show is over. Between syndication, and now streaming, shows are often resurrected to live a whole new life over and over (and over) again.
That is, if anyone wants to watch them.
We looked at eight shows that ended with rabid fanbases to see if they have flourished in the afterlife, or are victims of the channel finally being changed.
Note: Obviously not all of these shows ended at the same time, so we are more looking at the trend lines. Also, the two weeks post-finale have been removed to shake off some of the residual chatter.
Parks and Rec
The citizens of Pawnee were kind of forgotten for a little while there, but when they dropped on streaming services in 2018, people once again started dishing about Leslie, Ron and the rest.
But to give you a better idea of how Parks and Rec has become a part of our lives, look at those three spikes from this year. While the last two are from a reunion and anniversary celebration of the show, the first one is because of people bringing up Galentine’s Day.
The Sopranos has long been considered one of the greatest shows ever, even before its shocking 2007 ending. And it clearly continues to bring in new audiences, or at least receive love from its old fans, because the show has been fairly consistent for the last 12 years in online engagement.
That major spike you see in the middle is from the unfortunate passing of James Gandolfini, but that second-to-last spike at the end is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its debut. As far as that last spike, stay tuned.
The Wire is a critical darling and cult favorite, boosting the careers of multiple actors from its sprawling cast, but it is one of the least talked about shows on this list. Still, after a dip into near extinction in early 2016, it has built back some of its engagement, with that healthy spike showing people honoring its 17th anniversary.
While it’s still remained popular, unlike Parks and Rec, 30 Rock did not see a huge boost thanks to streaming. In fact, despite it being talked about alongside other breakout NBC shows, it was never a ratings winner and, as we see, has yet to tap into the same post-life fandom as other series. Maybe Liz needed better boyfriends.
Breaking Bad was a certified phenomenon during its run, and we can see that in the volume post-finale, though it has become much more modest in recent years. Also we must take into account the engagement it receives from the beloved Better Call Saul as well as the upcoming Greenbrier, the mysterious Jesse Pinkman film that is being worked on now.
Also, that last spike happened the same time as the one we mentioned from The Sopranos, and you may not be surprised to know that it’s all tied in with a little show called Game of Thrones. Whether it’s the ratings, the reviews or just the general sense that something could have been better, a lot of people were bringing up these two shows (and their finales) when discussing the end of GOT. And they weren’t the only two…
Mad Men is another show that had a spike after the controversial Game of Thrones finale, but more interestingly, it has been showing a steady gain in viewership, especially over the last year. We can’t really see why, but be on the lookout for a surge in people drinking scotch in three-piece suits.
Battlestar Galactica did pretty heavy numbers there for a while, though it has a steady decline in chatter since it ended in early 2010. It has continued to be discussed, but it may not be all its own doing.
There is a huge spike in late 2018, and it gives us quite an interesting peek into another way this show will be remembered. It mostly came from this tweet.
As many of us know, in the years since it left NBC, The Office has become one of the popular sitcoms ever. Multiple places say it’s the most streamed thing on all of Netflix and as the above tweet illustrates, even a simple reference to it drives the internet crazy.
Once Netflix no longer carries the show, which will be in 2021, we will see if it retains such a stronghold on the popular consciousness, though we’re not sure what could change this trajectory.
Because seriously, how are you not going to stop and watch this whole thing right now?