The term came into use in American television in the early 1990s, as a variation of the term season finale. Prior to that, closing episodes were originally called the "final episode" or "last episode."
- The promotional or advertisement term used to describe the final episode of a television program, usually a situation comedy or a drama.
As a common use-term, the term series finale is used to refer to a planned final episode, which includes resolution. The term last episode is used to refer to the last episode of a television program that was canceled after that episode was filmed.