Why do shows insist on wasting our time like that?
There are two reasons producers will stick a cliffhanger on the end of a show finale:
1. They want to draw viewers back for the season opener the next year.
2. They fear the show may be cancelled and use the ending as an act of desperation to try and get it renewed.
And both reasons are total BS!
Here's the problem:
The first reason is a HUGE insult to fans of the series. If someone enjoys the show, they'll be back the next year no matter what happens. So just end the story in that episode instead of making us wait months to see it end. If people don't like the show, a cliffhanger will merely push them away and support their belief that watching the show is a waste of time.
The second reason is just plain idiotic and historically NEVER works. I don't know of a single show that was canceled but then brought back just because the last episode had a cliffhanger. Not one. And again, ending a series that way is a BIG insult to the fans.
I blame the people who created that whole "Who Shot J.R." crap on the series "Dallas" years ago. Those dimwits are the ones who started this lunacy and now we're forced to suffer through it.
So to all you producers out there -- STOP IT!!
Here's a novel idea: Instead of relying on some cheap trick to bring back viewers, use creativity, imagination and a damn good script to bring them back. And end the series finale in the same episode!!