The show My Name is Earl aired for four seasons on NBC before being canceled, and the creator has revealed how he would have ended the show if it had been allowed to run its course. But did you ever wonder what the actual ending be like?
If “My Name Is Earl” had not been canceled prematurely, the creator intended to end it with Earl unable to complete his list but realizing that his original list had started a chain reaction of good in the world.
The Incomplete Journey of Earl
The series ended on a cliffhanger, but Greg Garcia had a plan in place for how to wrap things up.
I had always had an ending to Earl and I’m sorry I didn’t get the chance to see it happen. You’ve got a show about a guy with a list so not seeing him finish it is a bummer. But the truth is, he wasn’t ever going to finish the list. The basic idea of the ending was that while he was stuck on a really hard list item he was going to start to get frustrated that he was never going to finish it. Then he runs into someone who had a list of their own and Earl was on it. They needed to make up for something bad they had done to Earl. He asks them where they got the idea of making a list and they tell him that someone came to them with a list and that person got the idea from someone else. Earl eventually realizes that his list started a chain reaction of people with list and that he’s finally put more good into the world than bad. So at that point he was going to tear up his list and go live his life. Walk into the sunset a free man with good karma.Greg Garcia, Writer for My Name is Earl
Garcia also asked the network if he could end the season on a cliffhanger. The network instructed him to proceed, and it was only after that that NBC decided to cancel the series. If Garcia had known the network would cancel the show, he might have written a different season four finale.
Furthermore, Garcia intended to reveal Earl Jr.’s father before the show ended. The writers assumed it would be someone famous who had only been in town for one night. The writers had no say in who that was, but the baby daddy was supposed to be revealed before the series ended. (Source: 25 Years Later Site)
Ending on a Cliffhanger
The To Be Continued referenced a significant plot point in My Name Is Earl: who was the true father of Joy’s sons. The Season 4 finale revealed that Earl was the father of Dodge, and the same DNA test told that Crabman was not the father of Earl Jr. as he thought. Greg had previously stated that he intended to indicate the father’s identity later in the series, but we will never know.
Randy and Catalina are other storylines that still need to receive a conclusion. Randy is a good guy who deserves to be with the woman he loves forever, no matter how unrealistic his expectations are.
Of course, the main plotline of Earl finishing his list is the most unsatisfying aspect of the cancellation. Earl never accepts the good he has done and moves on from his attempts to fix his life. He’s come a long way, but more could have happened. (Source: 25 Years Later Site)
Image from RottenTomatoes