"Game of Thrones" comes to an end
"Game of Thrones" came to an end on May 19 after eight seasons on HBO, but many fans hated the big finale, taking to social media to call it "the worst episode of the entire series." Writer George R. R. Martin, meanwhile, took to his personal blog on May 20 to explain how the ending of his still-in-development book series "A Song of Ice and Fire" — the source material for the HBO show — will compare to the adaptation. In the weeks leading up to the series finale, Lena Headey reflected on her initially mixed reaction to Cersei Lannister's "perfect" ending on the show's penultimate episode. A less perfect onscreen death? Missandei's. Many "GoT" fans took issue with the nature of the character's demise on the May 5 episode, which also drew heat for its failure to catch a to-go coffee cup that somehow made it onscreen in a scene featuring Emilia Clarke's Daenerys Targaryen. (The anachronistic goof was later digitally removed.)
"The Big Bang Theory" ends after 12 years on CBS
A series finale that went over a little more smoothly? "The Big Bang Theory" came to an end on May 16 after 12 seasons on CBS. Following the final episode — which featured a surprise cameo from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" alum Sarah Michelle Gellar — Kaley Cuoco and Johnny Galecki hosted the half-hour retrospective special "Unraveling The Mystery: A Big Bang Farewell." The cast of the hit CBS sitcom then appeared on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert," where they dished on their favorite "TBBT" guest stars and revealed that Johnny is the only member of the cast who hooked up in his dressing room. In the weeks leading up to the finale, Jim Parsons explained that he chose to walk away from the show not because of any specific factor but because he knew in his heart that it was just time to move on.
"American Idol" finale ends in an upset
On May 19, Season 17 of "American Idol" ended in an upset when Laine Hardy bested judge-favorite Alejandro Aranda, who frequently performed original songs rather than covers of popular hits.
"The Voice" crowns Season 16 winner, major change to coaches lineup announced for Season 17
Meanwhile, John Legend protégé Maelyn Jarmon bested Blake Shelton's three country crooners to win Season 16 of "The Voice" on May 21. Three days later, host Carson Daly announced that original coach Adam Levine will not be returning to the show. Gwen Stefani will replace him on Season 17.
Peggy Lipton dies at 72, "Nashville Flipped" star dies at 38 and "The Dick Van Dyke Show" actress dies at 97
Peggy Lipton's daughters, Rashida Jones and Kidada Jones, released a statement to the Los Angeles Times on May 11 announcing that the former "Mod Squad" star had died of cancer at age 72. A few days earlier, TMZ revealed that "Nashville Flipped" star Troy Dean Shafer died in his sleep on April 28. He was 38. Dancer-actress Barbara Perry, who appeared on "The Dick Van Dyke Show," died from natural causes in Hollywood on May 5. She was 97.
"Jeopardy!" champ James Holzhauer's winning streak continues
James Holzhauer crossed the $2 million mark on the May 24 episode of "Jeopardy!" Earlier in the month, when he won his 21st straight game, he broke the record for the second-longest winning streak in the game show's history. (Julia Collins won 20 straight games back in 2014.) Only "Jeopardy!" superstar Ken Jennings has won more games: 74 in 2004. Jennings is also the only person who's amassed more winnings than Holzhauer with his grand total of $2,520,700.
CBS News overhauls anchors in bid for new era
On May 6, CBS News announced its news lineup, which was rolled out over the following weeks. Anthony Mason and Tony Dokoupil joined Gayle King on "CBS This Morning" on May 20, four days after Norah O'Donnell said goodbye to the show. (She's taking over "CBS Evening News" sometime this summer and will move the program's production operations from New York City to Washington, D.C., in the fall.) Jeff Glor, meanwhile, signed off from "CBS Evening News" for the last time on May 10 — he's reportedly discussing his next move with the network. John Dickerson will move from "CBS This Morning" to "60 Minutes" sometime soon.
"NCIS" closes Season 16 with huge guest shocker
Cote de Pablo's former NCIS and Mossad agent Ziva David — presumed dead since Season 13 — made her big return to "NCIS" on the Season 16 finale on May 21. The fan-favorite character is set to guest star on the premiere of Season 17 later this year.
Marie Osmond to replace Sara Gilbert on "The Talk"
"The Talk" announced on May 7 that Marie Osmond will replace Sara Gilbert when the series returns for its 10th season in September.
Chris Harrison, Mike Fleiss respond to Kelly Ripa's "The Bachelorette" critique, Ellen Pompeo claps back
"The Bachelor" franchise host Chris Harrison and creator Mike Fleiss quickly clapped back after Kelly Ripa said that the reality show "disgusts" her — characterizing it as "gross" and "creepy" — on the May 14 episode of "Live With Kelly and Ryan." After the Bachelor Nation super-producer tweeted that the franchise pays the morning-show host's salary (both "The Bachelor" and "Live" air on ABC), another top talent from the alphabet network, "Grey's Anatomy" actress-producer Ellen Pompeo, chimed in to warn him against "attack[ing] successful women on our network" and "tak[ing] credit for their success."
"The Chi" star Jason Mitchell fired amid allegations of inappropriate behavior
Jason Mitchell got the boot from Showtime's "The Chi," which was recently renewed for a third season, as well as the upcoming Netflix film "Desperados," after producers for both projects were tipped off to allegations of inappropriate behavior on the actor's part. Jason's talent agency and management company also cut ties with him. According to Deadline, the 32-year-old actor "had previously been under scrutiny over an alleged inappropriate behavior situation on ['The Chi'] involving a female co-star, which had been resolved." In 2016, he was reportedly investigated for assault after a woman accused him of slamming her to the ground in a Boston hotel.
Busy Philipps' talk show "Busy Tonight" canceled, star vows to shop series elsewhere
Busy Philipps took to Instagram on May 5 to announce that E! canceled her late-night talk show, "Busy Tonight," after just six months. She added on her Instagram Story that she's "meeting with people" to find a new home for the series.
"Empire" to end with Season 6, "no plans" for Jussie Smollett to return
FOX announced on May 13 that "Empire" will come to an end at the conclusion of its upcoming sixth season, which will air in the fall. The network previously said that there are "no plans" for scandalized former star Jussie Smollett to return to the musical drama.
Meghan McCain demands to be taken seriously by "The View" co-hosts, spars with Seth Meyers on "Late Night"
On the May 21 episode of "The View" — during a discussion about whether or not Donald Trump deliberately attempted to obstruct justice and therefore deserves to be impeached — Meghan McCain was left feeling visibly defeated when her attempts to make a point about Trump's popularity in certain parts of the country were met with jokes from her fellow panelists. It was a tough month for the conservative talking head, who also traded words with Seth Meyers on the May 7 episode of "Late Night" during a discussion of U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar's criticism of pro-Israel policy, which Meghan has called anti-Semitic — a label the former "Saturday Night Live" star deemed "dangerous." After the heated interview aired, Meghan's husband, Ben Domenech, took to Twitter to disparage Seth and his line of questioning in a series of since-deleted tweets — for which he later apologized.
Jamie Foxx hilariously breaks character after line flub on "Live in Front of a Studio Audience"
Jamie Foxx sent his co-stars, as well as the live studio audience, into fits of giggles when he briefly broke character after flubbing a line on ABC's "Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear's All in the Family and The Jeffersons" on May 22.
CBS boss defends bringing back "Bull" for Season 4
During a May 15 press conference, CBS exec Kelly Kahl defended the network's decision to renew "Bull" for a fourth season in spite of Eliza Dushku's allegations that star Michael Weatherly sexually harassed her during her time on the show, explaining that the network "felt comfortable bringing it back on the air" because the "NCIS" alum "owned [his] mistake" and was "apologetic," "remorseful" and willing to "take whatever coaching or training necessary to create a positive environment on set."
Joe Mantegna pens emotional goodbye letter to "Criminal Minds"
Joe Mantegna took to Twitter on May 13 — his last day on set — to share a lengthy goodbye to the fans of "Criminal Minds," on which he's starred as David Rossi since 2007. The long-running CBS procedural will end with its upcoming 10-episode 15th season, which will air in the fall.
"Madam Secretary" to end on CBS with 10-episode sixth season
CBS announced on May 15 that "Madam Secretary" will end with its upcoming 10-episode sixth season, which will air in the fall. Tea Leoni has starred as the titular politician since 2014.
"Blindspot" will return for fifth and final season
NBC announced on May 10 that "Blindspot" will be back for a fifth and final season later this year. There were concerns in late April that the crime-drama series would get the axe at the conclusion of its fourth season on May 31 — before several key storylines had been resolved.
Paul Teutul Sr.'s "American Chopper" reportedly on the chopping block
In mid-May, a rep for Paul Teutul Sr. denied a report that Discovery canceled "American Chopper" — which has been resurrected several times over the years — and that the Orange County Choppers founder, who filed for bankruptcy in 2018, is moving to Delray Beach, Florida, where he plans to relaunch his YouTube channel.