It’s almost April, which means the big TV networks are gearing up to hype long-overdue series finales. Here’s your Stereogum primer (the endings are just my guesses; the other info is culled from various sources).
Frasier (NBC), 11 Seasons
Summary: Neurotic gay brothers live in Seattle with their crotchety father who hates them. They drink buckets of coffee and get into wacky situations.
Finale Plot: Frasier reunites with Cheers’ love interest Shelly Long. Woody Harrelson makes a cameo. They all get high and read poetry (over coffee). Niles ends up with Omarosa. The dog dies.
Hype Night: Finale airs 5/13, following an hourlong retrospective.
Spin-Off: None, thank god.
Jumped The Shark: They Did It (Niles and Daphne)
Friends (NBC), 10 Seasons
Summary: Six attractive idiots spend a decade falling in and out of love with one another, all the while living in impossibly big NYC apartments without ever having to work. They drink buckets of coffee and steer clear of black people.
Finale Plot: Ross and Rachel end up together. Joey moves to L.A. Monica and Chandler are horrible parents. Phoebe dies.
Hype Night: The last Friends airs 5/6, following an hourlong retrospective. The 30 second commercials you’ll see cost $2 million each (almost Superbowl level). That night the cast will appear on Leno, to be broadcast from the Central Perk set.
Spin-Off: Joey (starring Matt LeBlanc) will take the prized Thursday at 8/7c timeslot. The Sopranos’ Drea de Matteo will play the role of his sister. The rest of Must See Thursday will be Will & Grace, The Apprentice, and ER.
Jumped The Shark: Never Jumped (WTF?! What about the PET DUCK?)
The Practice (ABC), 8 seasons
Summary: I’m pretty sure this is about a Boston law firm. Whenever I attempt to watch it, the cast is different.
Finale Plot: Lara Flynn Boyle + Camryn Manheim = The L Word.
Hype Night: The Practice says goodbye 5/16.
Spin-Off: According to USA Today, the spin-off will star James Spader. After getting fired, his Practice character files a wrongful-termination suit and joins a bigger firm. Co-stars Rhona Mitra and Jessica Capshaw are expected to be in the spin-off as well.
Jumped The Shark: Never Jumped/Cast Change 2003.
Also ending are Ed (NBC), Angel (WB), The Parkers (UPN) and Boston Public (FOX). I’ve never seen these shows (except one episode of Ed ’cause Michael Ian Black was in it). 2003/04 DOAs include Happy Family, The Tracey Morgan Show, and Miss Match.
Related viewing: last week’s Will & Grace, in which Jack and Karen bravely attempt to soldier on after learning Friends and Frasier will be going off the air. Bebe Neuwirth cameos…
Karen: Talk like Lilith! We hate your real voice!
Bebe: I will if you will.