The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time TV Programs
home TV TV Programs | Tags

The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time

original ranker
47,890 views 90 items 26,850 votes 2,060 voters 61 followers 37reranks
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.

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

< >
  • the crowd
  • 37 reranks
  • experts
  • comments
  • </> embed
Rerank This List
View as a Ranked by
Rank
loading your
votes…
 
  Name
Score
  1. 1
    Up 809
    Down 242

    the people's #1 &most listed
    Buffy the Vampire Slayer

    1997 More
    85
  2. 2
    Up 418
    Down 235

    ranked high on reranks
    The X-Files

    1993 More
    73
  3. 3
    Up 531
    Down 309

    ranked low on reranks
    Firefly

    2002 More
    72
  4. 4
    Up 329
    Down 221

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Star Trek: The Original Series

    1966 More
    70
  5. 5
    Up 321
    Down 194
    1959 More
    68
  6. 6
    Up 418
    Down 225

    ranked low on reranks
    Doctor Who

    1963 More
    66
  7. 7
    Up 270
    Down 216
    1969 More
    58
  8. 8
    Up 291
    Down 299

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Lost

    2004 More
    58
  9. 9
    Up 268
    Down 216
    1990 More
    56
  10. 10
    Up 192
    Down 161

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Star Trek: The Next Generation

    1987 More
    56
  11. 11
    Up 384
    Down 227

    ranked low on reranks
    Game of Thrones

    2011 More
    56
  12. 12
    Up 264
    Down 125
    2010 More
    56
    added by: MichaelGuerrieri
  13. 13
    Up 210
    Down 228

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Mystery Science Theater 3000

    1988 More
    56
  14. 14
    Up 331
    Down 256

    controversial &ranked low on reranks
    Supernatural

    2005 More
    54
  15. 15
    Up 232
    Down 217

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Battlestar Galactica

    2004 More
    53
  16. 16
    Up 269
    Down 190

    ranked low on reranks
    Angel

    1999 More
    52
  17. 17
    Up 294
    Down 185

    ranked low on reranks
    Arrested Development

    2003 More
    52
  18. 18
    Up 275
    Down 206
    2009 More
    51
  19. 19
    Up 205
    Down 174

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Quantum Leap

    1989 More
    50
  20. 20
    Up 250
    Down 198
    1999 More
    50
  21. 21
    Up 207
    Down 207

    often listed
    Veronica Mars

    2004 More
    49
  22. 22
    Up 269
    Down 201

    controversial
    The Simpsons

    1989 More
    49
  23. 23
    Up 216
    Down 154
    2008 More
    48
    added by: davec007
  24. 24
    Up 146
    Down 203

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Babylon 5

    1994 More
    48
  25. 25
    Up 180
    Down 212

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Xena: Warrior Princess

    1995 More
    47
  26. 26
    Up 193
    Down 157
    2008 More
    47
  27. 27
    Up 202
    Down 143

    ranked low on reranks
    Dexter

    2006 More
    46
    added by: davec007
  28. 28
    Up 161
    Down 161

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Seinfeld

    1989 More
    45
    added by: davec007
  29. 29
    Up 158
    Down 185

    often listed
    Jericho

    2005 More
    44
  30. 30
    Up 217
    Down 216

    controversial
    Family Guy

    1999 More
    43
  31. 31
    Up 140
    Down 200

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Farscape

    1999 More
    43
  32. 32
    Up 187
    Down 126

    ranked low on reranks
    South Park

    1997 More
    43
    added by: MichaelGuerrieri
  33. 33
    Up 142
    Down 119
    1998 More
    43
    added by: Rose1
  34. 34
    Up 157
    Down 175

    often listed &controversial
    Stargate SG-1

    1997 More
    42
  35. 35
    Up 93
    Down 87
    2010 More
    42
    added by: MarkusMarquisBiechl
  36. 36
    Up 84
    Down 63

    Arrow

    41
  37. 37
    Up 118
    Down 212

    often listed &controversial
    Pee-wee's Playhouse

    1986 More
    41
  38. 38
    Up 119
    Down 149

    controversial
    Grimm

    2011 More
    40
  39. 39
    Up 95
    Down 168

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Dark Shadows

    1966 More
    40
  40. 40
    Up 108
    Down 137

    often listed &controversial
    Batman

    1966 More
    38
  41. 41
    Up 96
    Down 108
    2008 More
    38
    added by: averagej123
  42. 42
    Up 94
    Down 184

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    The Prisoner

    1967 More
    38
  43. 43
    Up 135
    Down 167

    controversial
    Once Upon a Time

    2011 More
    37
  44. 44
    Up 99
    Down 161

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    The Avengers

    1961 More
    37
  45. 45
    Up 122
    Down 163

    ranked high on reranks
    Dollhouse

    2009 More
    37
  46. 46
    Up 138
    Down 161

    ranked low on reranks
    My So-Called Life

    1994 More
    36
  47. 47
    Up 94
    Down 111

    ranked high on reranks
    True Blood

    2008 More
    36
    added by: Benjamin2
  48. 48
    Up 123
    Down 173

    often listed &controversial
    The Kids in the Hall

    1988 More
    36
  49. 49
    Up 109
    Down 113

    ranked low on reranks
    Alfred Hichcock Presents

    1955 More
    36
    added by: Jackson Bolt
  50. 50
    Up 87
    Down 130

    ranked high on reranks
    Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

    1993 More
    35
  51. +Add New Item

Is this list missing something?
RANKERS WHO ADDED ITEMS + 10 MORE

items 1 - 50 of 90

think you can do better?

rerank this list
why?

got a blog or website?

embed this list
why?

    more popular lists