The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time

118k votes 8.4k voters 225k views 347 items tags f p @

List Criteria: Includes TV shows that have a significant fan presence that can be seen on forums, websites, clubs or fan-fiction

List of the best cult TV shows ever, ranked by their loyal fans. TV series that develop cult followings are known for their magnetic characters, pithy dialogue, and complex plots that interweave of the course of several episodes or seasons. The best cult TV fan bases are passionate and may feel deeply attached to the cult characters, their lives, and their relationships. Many devoted fan communities take to online message boards, writing fan-fiction, and attending conventions dressed as their favorite characters.

Long-running mainstream series such as "The Twilight Zone," "Lost," and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" easily attracted loyal fanbases, but even more impressive are those beloved shows that only lasted a season or two, like "Freaks and Geeks" and "Firefly." Even after their favorite shows go off the air, fans of cult TV shows continue to collect memorabilia, replica props, and do cosplay at fan events. This subcultural phenomenon spans genres from sci-fi cult shows to fantasy, drama, and even comedy cult series.

What are the best cult TV series? To vote on more of the best TV series, check out these lists of the best sci-fi shows of all time and the best shows cancelled too soon.
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  1. 1
    + 1,649
    - 1,028

    most listed
    David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi

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  2. 2
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    - 1,216

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    Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco

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  3. 3
    + 1,784
    - 909


    Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman, Matt Smith

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  4. 4
    + 1,085
    - 765

    often listed
    Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam

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  5. 5
    + 1,219
    - 845

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley

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  6. 6
    + 1,303
    - 661

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    Rod Serling, Robert McCord, Jay Overholts

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  7. 7
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    often listed
    Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes

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  8. 8
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    Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk

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  9. 9
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    - 581

    added by MarkusMarquisBiechl
    Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Una Stubbs

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  10. 10
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    Kyle MacLachlan, Michael Ontkean, Mädchen Amick

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  11. 11
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Joel Hodgson, Michael J. Nelson, Trace Beaulieu

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  12. 12
    + 1,622
    - 850


    Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Kit Harington

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  13. 13
    + 1,192
    - 712


    Jason Bateman, Michael Cera, Portia de Rossi

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  14. 14
    + 1,119
    - 625


    Dan Castellaneta, Nancy Cartwright, Julie Kavner

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  15. 15
    + 842
    - 711

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell, Jamie Bamber

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  16. 16
    + 1,407
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    Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Jim Beave

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  17. 17
    + 1,031
    - 692


    Joel McHale, Danny Pudi, Donald Glover

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  18. 18
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    added by davec007
    Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn

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  19. 19
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    Linda Cardellini, John Francis Daley, James Franco

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  20. 20
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Naveen Andrews, Matthew Fox, Jorge Garcia

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  21. 21
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    added by MichaelGuerrieri
    Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Isaac Hayes

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  22. 22
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    added by davec007
    Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, David Zayas

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  23. 23
    + 1,130
    - 740

    added by MichaelGuerrieri
    Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies

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  24. 24
    + 702
    - 546


    Scott Bakula, Dean Stockwell, Deborah Pratt

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  25. 25
    + 826
    - 685


    David Boreanaz, Charisma Carpenter, Alexis Denisof

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  26. 26
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    ranked low on reranks & added by GennisMaringHalmi
    Billy West, John DiMaggio, Katey Sagal

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  27. 27
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    the people's #1 & often listed
    Ben Browder, Claudia Black, Anthony Simcoe

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  28. 28
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    often listed
    Dave Foley, Bruce McCulloch, Kevin McDonald

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  29. 29
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    - 634


    Kristen Bell, Percy Daggs III, Jason Dohring

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  30. 30
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    added by davec007
    Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Michael Richards

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  31. 31
    + 577
    - 503


    Richard Dean Anderson, Michael Shanks, Amanda Tapping

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  32. 32
    + 621
    - 590


    Lucy Lawless, Renée O'Connor, Ted Raimi

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  33. 33
    + 590
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    added by Rose1
    Holly Marie Combs, Alyssa Milano, Brian Krause

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  34. 34
    + 293
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    added by emlyt
    Lee Pace, Anna Friel, Chi McBride

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  35. 35
    + 713
    - 522

    ranked low on reranks
    Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, Jasika Nicole

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  36. 36
    + 378
    - 415

    often listed & added by MichaelGuerrieri
    Dave Chappelle, Donnell Rawlings, Neal Brennan

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  37. 37
    + 413
    - 601

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Richard Biggs

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  38. 38
    + 313
    - 467

    often listed
    Jennifer Saunders, Joanna Lumley, Julia Sawalha

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  39. 39
    + 276
    - 141

    ranked low on reranks & added by BorkZorkOrc
    Rob Paulsen, Maurice LaMarche, Mark Hamill

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  40. 40
    + 263
    - 145

    ranked low on reranks
    Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow

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  41. 41
    + 680
    - 658


    Seth MacFarlane, Alex Borstein, Seth Green

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  42. 42
    + 388
    - 532

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    David Giuntoli, Silas Weir Mitchell, Sasha Roiz

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  43. 43
    + 517
    - 448


    Charlie Day, Glenn Howerton, Rob McElhenney

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  44. 44
    + 184
    - 124

    added by AlexDeLarge
    John Cleese, Prunella Scales, Andrew Sachs

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  45. 45
    + 178
    - 150

    added by Abbydabby
    Ted Danson, Rhea Perlman, John Ratzenberger

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  46. 46
    + 431
    - 427


    Adam West, Burt Ward, Alan Napier

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  47. 47
    + 155
    - 126

    added by mario.festante
    Rowan Atkinson, Brian Blessed, Elspet Gray

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  48. 48
    + 333
    - 467

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Patrick Macnee, Diana Rigg, Honor Blackman

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  49. 49
    + 404
    - 362

    added by Jackson Bolt
    Alfred Hitchcock, Harry Tyler, John Williams

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  50. 50
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Jonathan Frid, Grayson Hall, Alexandra Isles

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