The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time

123k votes 8.8k voters 232k views 341 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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  • 91 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 1,696
    - 1,083

    most listed
    David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi

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  2. 2
    + 1,847
    - 949


    Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman, Matt Smith

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  3. 3
    + 2,552
    - 1,260


    Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco

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  4. 4
    + 1,123
    - 803

    often listed
    Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam

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  5. 5
    + 1,254
    - 879

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

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  6. 6
    + 1,340
    - 693

    ranked low on reranks
    Rod Serling, Robert McCord, Jay Overholts

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  7. 7
    + 1,026
    - 724

    often listed
    Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes

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  8. 8
    + 1,951
    - 1,046

    ranked low on reranks
    Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk

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  9. 9
    + 1,261
    - 615

    added by MarkusMarquisBiechl
    Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Una Stubbs

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  10. 10
    + 1,190
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    Kyle MacLachlan, Michael Ontkean, Mädchen Amick

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  11. 11
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    - 880


    Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Kit Harington

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  12. 12
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Joel Hodgson, Michael J. Nelson, Trace Beaulieu

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  13. 13
    + 1,220
    - 750


    Jason Bateman, Michael Cera, Portia de Rossi

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  14. 14
    + 1,156
    - 662


    Dan Castellaneta, Nancy Cartwright, Julie Kavner

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  15. 15
    + 1,061
    - 719


    Joel McHale, Danny Pudi, Donald Glover

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  16. 16
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    Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Jim Beave

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  17. 17
    + 1,295
    - 768

    added by davec007
    Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn

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  18. 18
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell, Jamie Bamber

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  19. 19
    + 1,084
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    Linda Cardellini, John Francis Daley, James Franco

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  20. 20
    + 1,102
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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
    + 1,174
    - 769

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

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  24. 24
    + 726
    - 572


    Scott Bakula, Dean Stockwell, Deborah Pratt

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  25. 25
    + 847
    - 711


    David Boreanaz, Charisma Carpenter, Alexis Denisof

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  26. 26
    + 722
    - 413

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

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  27. 27
    + 526
    - 601

    the people's #1
    Ben Browder, Claudia Black, Anthony Simcoe

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  28. 28
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    - 551

    often listed
    Dave Foley, Bruce McCulloch, Kevin McDonald

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  29. 29
    + 722
    - 656


    Kristen Bell, Percy Daggs III, Jason Dohring

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  30. 30
    + 712
    - 633

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

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  31. 31
    + 647
    - 606


    Lucy Lawless, Renée O'Connor, Ted Raimi

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  32. 32
    + 603
    - 522


    Richard Dean Anderson, Michael Shanks, Amanda Tapping

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  33. 33
    + 611
    - 499

    added by Rose1
    Holly Marie Combs, Alyssa Milano, Brian Krause

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  34. 34
    + 304
    - 287

    added by emlyt
    Lee Pace, Anna Friel, Chi McBride

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  35. 35
    + 734
    - 540


    Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, Jasika Nicole

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  36. 36
    + 395
    - 432

    added by MichaelGuerrieri
    Dave Chappelle, Donnell Rawlings, Neal Brennan

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  37. 37
    + 421
    - 621

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

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  38. 38
    + 325
    - 490

    often listed
    Jennifer Saunders, Joanna Lumley, Julia Sawalha

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  39. 39
    + 704
    - 672


    Seth MacFarlane, Alex Borstein, Seth Green

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  40. 40
    + 287
    - 168

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

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  41. 41
    + 293
    - 159

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

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  42. 42
    + 404
    - 552

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

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  43. 43
    + 202
    - 136

    added by AlexDeLarge
    John Cleese, Prunella Scales, Andrew Sachs

    ;
  44. 44
    + 530
    - 467


    Charlie Day, Glenn Howerton, Rob McElhenney

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  45. 45
    + 189
    - 164

    added by Abbydabby
    Ted Danson, Rhea Perlman, John Ratzenberger

    ;
  46. 46
    + 444
    - 438


    Adam West, Burt Ward, Alan Napier

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  47. 47
    + 167
    - 136

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

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  48. 48
    + 481
    - 342

    ranked low on reranks & added by SamanthaJones
    Lady Gaga, Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett

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  49. 49
    + 340
    - 483

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

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  50. 50
    + 415
    - 373

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

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