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Abbreviated Final Season

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When the final season of a show is shorter than normal

This work is a proposed Trope, Tropers can vote and offer feedback in the comments section below.
Proposed By:
Wunderbolt on Mar 16th 2017 at 9:17:51 PM
Last Edited By:
Arivne on Jun 20th 2018 at 4:57:51 PM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: trope

This will be in Trivia when it's launched.

Some series get cancelled and Cut Short. Other series last far longer than any fan had wanted and become a Franchise Zombie. And some series are told by the network, in no uncertain terms, that they're only getting one more season. One short season.

The networks will not want to pour buckets of money on a failing TV show on the way out, so they'll cut the episode order drastically (usually in half). This means for networks shows used to 22 episodes, they may only get 13. For cable shows (where the standard is 13 episodes), they may only get 6 to wrap everything up.

Often overlaps with Finale Season.


Live-Action TV

  • Bones: Most seasons had around 22 episodes, except for outside circumstances (The Writers Strike, pregnancy). Season 12 only had 13.
  • Chuck: Season 1 was cut short by the Writers Strike. Seasons 2, 3, and 4 had 22, 19, and 24 episodes, respectively. Season 5 only had 13.
  • Friends: Most seasons had 24 episodes. Season 10 only had 18 (with a 'retrospective' two-parter thrown in).
  • Grimm: Seasons 1 through 5 had 22 episodes each. Season 6 only had 13.
  • In Plain Sight: Seasons 1 through 4 had anywhere from 12 to 15 episodes each. Season 5 only had 8.
  • Parks and Recreation: Seasons 2 through 6 had the standard order of 22 or so. Season 7 only had 13.
  • Person of Interest: Seasons 1 through 4 had 22 or 23 episodes each. Season 5 only had 13.
  • Warehouse 13: Seasons 1 through 4 had anywhere from 12 to 20 episodes each. Season 5 only had 6.
  • White Collar: Seasons 1 through 5 had anywhere from 14 to 17 episodes each. Season 5 only had 6.

Western Animation

Feedback: 23 replies

Mar 17th 2017 at 2:16:17 AM

  • Examples section

Mar 17th 2017 at 3:48:38 AM

  • Seasons 7 and 8 of Game Of Thrones will have shorter episodes, consisting of seven and six, respectively, in contrast to the first six seasons, which had ten.

Apr 25th 2017 at 11:42:47 AM

  • My Little Pony Friendshipis Magic's 3rd Season, a Series Fauxnalie created before the staff found out the series was renewed, is the only known season with 13 episodes, half of the usual 26 episodes per season. This brings the show up to the 65EpisodeCartoon benchmark.

Apr 25th 2017 at 12:33:08 PM

Apr 25th 2017 at 2:23:05 PM

(obviously note it's Trivia)

Apr 30th 2017 at 2:36:17 AM

Western Animation

  • Danny Phantom: The first two seasons had 20 episodes each, while the third season had only 13.

Jun 11th 2018 at 7:27:59 PM

Fringe, Parenthood and 30 Rock also had 13 episode victory laps.

Jun 11th 2018 at 8:53:14 PM

  • One Tree Hill: The first eight seasons had around 18-22 episodes each, but the ninth and final season had only 13.

Jun 12th 2018 at 9:36:07 PM

  • Chowder : There are twenty half-hour segments in its first two seasons, while the third and final season only has nine.
  • The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack: The show's first two seasons have twenty episodes, while its final third season has six.

Jun 12th 2018 at 9:39:39 PM

Jun 12th 2018 at 11:42:54 PM

Added Grimm on:

Seasons 1 through 5 had 22 episodes each. Season 6 had only 13.

Jun 12th 2018 at 11:46:28 PM

  • Hannah Montana: The fourth and final season, known as Hannah Montana Forever, only had 13 episodes; this is half the length of season one, and less than half as long as seasons two and three.

Jun 12th 2018 at 11:49:07 PM

Also added Chip N Dale Rescue Rangers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2012.

Jun 13th 2018 at 1:13:29 PM

The first six seasons of New Girl consisted of at least 22 episodes each (season 2 having the highest with 25). The seventh and final season though only consisted of 8 episodes.

Jun 13th 2018 at 2:25:28 PM

  • The eighth and final season of Game Of Thrones is planned to have only six episodes, which will make it the shortest season in the entire series.

Jun 13th 2018 at 2:39:45 PM

Downplayed somewhat with The Wire. After the first four seasons had twelve or thirteen episodes apiece, the fifth and final was given only ten. While this was a relatively minor change compared to some other cases, fans still complained that the final season felt rushed compared to the methodical, step by step pace of prior seasons.

Jun 13th 2018 at 3:09:34 PM

Happened a couple of times in the Series/CSI franchise

  • The main show’s finale was in a 2 hour special called ‘’Immorthy’’ which was separate from season 14
  • The last season of CSI Miammi is it’s only season to have less than 21 episodes (it had a total of 19)
  • Series/CSINY last season consisted of 17 episodes, the lowest of the seasons (2nd last did have 18 episodes though prior seasons had at least 21 episodes)

The last season of Everyone Loves Raymond contained 16 episodes while all other seasons had at least 22.

Series/Mash: Most seasons had at least 20 episodes but the final season consisted of 16 episodes.

The Medium: The last season of the show had 13 episodes while the other seasons aired between 16 to 22 episodes each.

Seasons of The Mentalist consisted of at least 22 episodes except for the final episode which had 13 episodes.

The last season of Monty Pythons Flying Circus consisted of six episodes while the previous seasons had 13.

Prior to the final season, One Tree Hill seasons typically had at least 21 episodes with the exception of season 5 which was shortened due to the 2007-2008 Writers Strike. The final season though consisted of a total of 13 episodes.

The ninth and final season of Series/Scrubs had 13 episode while most seasons were longer. Season 7 did consist of only 11 episodes but that was the result of the 2007-2008 Writers Strike which prevented more episode from being completed.

While Vampire Diaries was consistent in having mostly 22 episode seasons (minus season 4 which had 23), the last season had only 16 episodes.

Jun 13th 2018 at 3:56:47 PM

  • The final season of Mike And Molly had 13 episodes, where the previous five seasons had 22-24 episodes.
  • Season 5 (which is the final season) of The Originals (As well as the fourth season) had 13 episodes when the first three seasons had 22 episodes.

You should also note that these shortened final seasons would often air during the winter or spring season of the US TV schedule.

Jun 14th 2018 at 3:21:42 PM

  • Seasons 1-7 of The Vampire Diaries had a minimum of 22 episodes per season, whereas the final had 16.

Jun 14th 2018 at 10:41:19 PM

Jun 19th 2018 at 5:38:25 PM

  • Due to being Screwed By The Merchandise in its third season, the final season of Jem is only half of the previous two (12 episodes, in contrast with season 1's 26 and season 2's 27).

Jun 20th 2018 at 4:58:43 PM

Ed Edd N Eddy: Seasons 1-3 had 26 episodes, season 4 had 25 episodes, season 5 had 22 episodes. Season 6 (the final season) only had two episodes. Apparently it was originally going to be a normal season but it was later shortened because Antonucci and Cartoon Network wanted to focus on the production of the Big Damn Movie.