The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time

117k votes 8.4k voters 224k 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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  • 90 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 1,638
    - 1,028

    most listed
    David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi

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  2. 2
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    - 1,215

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    Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco

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  3. 3
    + 1,778
    - 905


    Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman, Matt Smith

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  4. 4
    + 1,084
    - 760

    often listed
    Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam

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  5. 5
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley

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  6. 6
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    - 655

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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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    - 575

    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
    + 1,613
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    Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Kit Harington

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  13. 13
    + 1,187
    - 706


    Jason Bateman, Michael Cera, Portia de Rossi

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  14. 14
    + 1,113
    - 623


    Dan Castellaneta, Nancy Cartwright, Julie Kavner

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  15. 15
    + 1,403
    - 884


    Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Jim Beave

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  16. 16
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    often listed
    Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell, Jamie Bamber

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  17. 17
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    - 685


    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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    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
    + 1,123
    - 736

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

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  24. 24
    + 701
    - 540


    Scott Bakula, Dean Stockwell, Deborah Pratt

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  25. 25
    + 823
    - 681


    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
    + 706
    - 628


    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
    + 573
    - 499


    Richard Dean Anderson, Michael Shanks, Amanda Tapping

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  32. 32
    + 610
    - 586


    Lucy Lawless, Renée O'Connor, Ted Raimi

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  33. 33
    + 292
    - 263

    added by emlyt
    Lee Pace, Anna Friel, Chi McBride

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  34. 34
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    added by Rose1
    Holly Marie Combs, Alyssa Milano, Brian Krause

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  35. 35
    + 711
    - 517

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

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  36. 36
    + 377
    - 409

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

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  37. 37
    + 412
    - 596

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

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  38. 38
    + 313
    - 461

    often listed
    Jennifer Saunders, Joanna Lumley, Julia Sawalha

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  39. 39
    + 274
    - 136

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

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  40. 40
    + 259
    - 141

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

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  41. 41
    + 677
    - 655


    Seth MacFarlane, Alex Borstein, Seth Green

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  42. 42
    + 385
    - 528

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

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  43. 43
    + 184
    - 118

    added by AlexDeLarge
    John Cleese, Prunella Scales, Andrew Sachs

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  44. 44
    + 515
    - 442


    Charlie Day, Glenn Howerton, Rob McElhenney

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  45. 45
    + 176
    - 146

    added by Abbydabby
    Ted Danson, Rhea Perlman, John Ratzenberger

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  46. 46
    + 431
    - 423


    Adam West, Burt Ward, Alan Napier

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  47. 47
    + 155
    - 122

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

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  48. 48
    + 333
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Patrick Macnee, Diana Rigg, Honor Blackman

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  49. 49
    + 403
    - 359

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

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  50. 50
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    ranked low on reranks & added by SamanthaJones
    Lady Gaga, Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett

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