The way the last season was handled by different stations around the country is, I believe, what led to my almost fanatical desire to not miss the shows I like, and why I always feel cheated when a show ends - like I'm the only one who doesn't get to watch it anymore. I grew up watching it when I lived in NJ, in the NYC area. Then I went away to college in western MI and the local station didn't carry it. I went home for Thanksgiving and I saw that my station was still carrying it. That's when I realized that the show was happening but I couldn't see it!
When I went home for Christmas I got to see the Finale. I still remember that it was a great one - they tied up all of the storylines, but started one new one.