The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time

115k votes 8.2k voters 221k views 349 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
    + 1,613
    - 1,002
    The X-Files is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time


    The X-Files David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi

  2. 2
    + 2,455
    - 1,196
    Buffy the Vampire Slayer is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time

    ranked low on reranks
    Buffy the Vampire Slayer Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco

  3. 3
    + 1,752
    - 882
    Doctor Who is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time


    Doctor Who Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman, Matt Smith

  4. 4
    + 1,070
    - 745
    Monty Python's Flying Circus is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time

    most listed
    Monty Python's Flying Circus Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam

  5. 5
    + 1,194
    - 828
    Star Trek: The Original Series is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Star Trek: The Original Series William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley

  6. 6
    + 974
    - 668
    Star Trek: The Next Generation is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time

    often listed
    Star Trek: The Next Generation Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes

  7. 7
    + 1,272
    - 645
    The Twilight Zone is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time


    The Twilight Zone Rod Serling, Robert McCord, Jay Overholts

  8. 8
    + 1,860
    - 993
    Firefly is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time

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

  9. 9
    + 1,186
    - 560
    Sherlock is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time

    ranked low on reranks & added by MarkusMarquisBiechl
    Sherlock Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Una Stubbs

  10. 10
    + 762
    - 726
    Mystery Science Theater 3000 is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Mystery Science Theater 3000 Joel Hodgson, Michael J. Nelson, Trace Beaulieu

  11. 11
    + 1,125
    - 742
    Twin Peaks is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time


    Twin Peaks Kyle MacLachlan, Michael Ontkean, Mädchen Amick

  12. 12
    + 1,587
    - 824
    Game of Thrones is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time


    Game of Thrones Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Kit Harington

  13. 13
    + 1,165
    - 693
    Arrested Development is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time


    Arrested Development Jason Bateman, Michael Cera, Portia de Rossi

  14. 14
    + 1,097
    - 613
    The Simpsons is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time


    The Simpsons Dan Castellaneta, Nancy Cartwright, Julie Kavner

  15. 15
    + 1,017
    - 674
    Community is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time


    Community Joel McHale, Danny Pudi, Donald Glover

  16. 16
    + 823
    - 696
    Battlestar Galactica is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time

    often listed
    Battlestar Galactica Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell, Jamie Bamber

  17. 17
    + 1,370
    - 871
    Supernatural is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time


    Supernatural Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Jim Beave

  18. 18
    + 1,219
    - 721
    Breaking Bad is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time

    added by davec007
    Breaking Bad Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn

  19. 19
    + 1,029
    - 638
    Freaks and Geeks is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time


    Freaks and Geeks Linda Cardellini, John Francis Daley, James Franco

  20. 20
    + 1,046
    - 942
    Lost is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time

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

  21. 21
    + 854
    - 643
    Dexter is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time

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

  22. 22
    + 844
    - 526
    South Park is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time

    added by MichaelGuerrieri
    South Park Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Isaac Hayes

  23. 23
    + 1,113
    - 721
    The Walking Dead is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time

    added by MichaelGuerrieri
    The Walking Dead Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies

  24. 24
    + 690
    - 533
    Quantum Leap is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time


    Quantum Leap Scott Bakula, Dean Stockwell, Deborah Pratt

  25. 25
    + 813
    - 674
    Angel is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time


    Angel David Boreanaz, Charisma Carpenter, Alexis Denisof

  26. 26
    + 404
    - 521
    The Kids in the Hall is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time

    often listed
    The Kids in the Hall Dave Foley, Bruce McCulloch, Kevin McDonald

  27. 27
    + 500
    - 571
    Farscape is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time

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

  28. 28
    + 678
    - 385
    Futurama is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time

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

  29. 29
    + 695
    - 623
    Veronica Mars is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time


    Veronica Mars Kristen Bell, Percy Daggs III, Jason Dohring

  30. 30
    + 676
    - 601
    Seinfeld is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time

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

  31. 31
    + 565
    - 496
    Stargate SG-1 is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time


    Stargate SG-1 Richard Dean Anderson, Michael Shanks, Amanda Tapping

  32. 32
    + 582
    - 466
    Charmed is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time

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

  33. 33
    + 283
    - 259
    Pushing Daisies is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time

    added by emlyt
    Pushing Daisies Lee Pace, Anna Friel, Chi McBride

  34. 34
    + 705
    - 512
    Fringe is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time


    Fringe Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, Jasika Nicole

  35. 35
    + 602
    - 584
    Xena: Warrior Princess is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time


    Xena: Warrior Princess Lucy Lawless, Renée O'Connor, Ted Raimi

  36. 36
    + 373
    - 404
    Chappelle's Show is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time

    added by MichaelGuerrieri
    Chappelle's Show Dave Chappelle, Donnell Rawlings, Neal Brennan

  37. 37
    + 407
    - 592
    Babylon 5 is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Babylon 5 Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Richard Biggs

  38. 38
    + 311
    - 455
    Absolutely Fabulous is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time

    often listed
    Absolutely Fabulous Jennifer Saunders, Joanna Lumley, Julia Sawalha

  39. 39
    + 266
    - 132
    Pinky and the Brain is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time

    ranked low on reranks & added by BorkZorkOrc
    Pinky and the Brain Rob Paulsen, Maurice LaMarche, Mark Hamill

  40. 40
    + 250
    - 133
    Friends is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time

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

  41. 41
    + 673
    - 649
    Family Guy is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time


    Family Guy Seth MacFarlane, Alex Borstein, Seth Green

  42. 42
    + 382
    - 524
    Grimm is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time

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

  43. 43
    + 508
    - 436
    It's Always Sunny in Philadelp... is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time


    It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Charlie Day, Glenn Howerton, Rob McElhenney

  44. 44
    + 424
    - 420
    Batman is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time


    Batman Adam West, Burt Ward, Alan Napier

  45. 45
    + 167
    - 144
    Cheers is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time

    added by Abbydabby
    Cheers Ted Danson, Rhea Perlman, John Ratzenberger

  46. 46
    + 328
    - 461
    The Avengers is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time

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

  47. 47
    + 399
    - 357
    Alfred Hichcock Presents is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time

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

  48. 48
    + 145
    - 118
    The Black Adder is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time

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

  49. 49
    + 176
    - 114
    Fawlty Towers is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time

    added by AlexDeLarge
    Fawlty Towers John Cleese, Prunella Scales, Andrew Sachs

  50. 50
    + 302
    - 471
    Dark Shadows is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Dark Shadows Jonathan Frid, Grayson Hall, Alexandra Isles

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