• Seinfeld concluded in 1998
  • It was TV's top show that year
  • So why was it cancelled?

Everyone remembers the infamous way Seinfeld ended. Jerry Seinfeld's popular sitcom concluded after a controversial two-part finale in 1998.

But how did we get there? Seinfeld was the No. 1 show on television at the time, but it went off the air nevertheless. Here's the real reason it ended.

Why was Seinfeld cancelled?

First things first: as Jerry Seinfeld will tell you, his TV show was not cancelled. It did end in 1998 after nine seasons, but Seinfeld concluded because the creators chose to end it. NBC never cancelled Seinfeld.

Over the years, Jerry has told the story of why Seinfeld had to end many times. They felt they had reached a creative peak and agreed to bow out before the show declined in quality.

Jerry Seinfeld explained why Seinfeld ended

In a Seinfeld reunion interview with Oprah Winfrey, Jerry explained it like this. "It's from years and years of being on stage as a comedian," he began.

"I get on stage and I'll do an hour or an hour-and-ten or fifteen minutes or something, but there's that moment when you're on stage when you just feel — and you learn it, takes years to learn it — that this is the moment."

"And you just get off stage then," Jerry said. "Another five minutes can bring [the audience] to a completely different place. Just like a little too much food."

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With Seinfeld, Jerry explained: "I just sensed that moment was coming. And believe me, they offered me a lot of money to stay."

Summing it up, Seinfeld said it was about the legacy of their sitcom. "I didn't want [fans] to have to say, 'I love that show, but the last couple years are kind of...' I didn't want to have to say a 'but.' I wanted them to say, 'I loved that show.'"

And that's how it ended all those years ago. Seinfeld fans: Try out our series quiz here!