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The Best Sci Fi Television Series of All Time 

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
Updated April 5, 2020 997k votes 54k voters 764.7k views 299 items

List Rules Sci-fi TV shows and series with science fiction elements

Here is a list of the best sci-fi shows and best sci-fi series of all time, as ranked by hundreds of Ranker voters. This list includes long-running sci-fi TV shows like Doctor Who as well as some of the best canceled shows of the genre. Science fiction TV shows have been around for decades, and some of the longest running shows have fallen into this category. Popular shows such as Star Trek have enjoyed several incarnations, and fan-favorite shows like Firefly and The X-Files have made the crossover from TV to the big screen.

Thanks to networks like SyFy, FX, and The CW, new sci-fi TV shows premiere every year. Sci-fi series like The Expanse, Orphan Black, and The 100 continue to raise viewership ratings and grow fan bases. Netflix has also contributed to the science fiction genre with their original series Stranger Things, which was met with rave reviews. 

Vote for your favorite science fiction shows to move them to the top of the list, or press re-rank to create your own list of your favorite science fiction series. Be sure to stop by to vote on the best British sitcoms and best current TV shows airing right now.

Are you a sci-fi fan? Check out this list of current sci-fi shows to watch. 

 

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1
Firefly is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Sci Fi Television Series of All Time
Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk

Premiered: 2002

Number of Seasons: 1

Number of Episodes: 14

Network: Fox Broadcasting Company

Genres (Tv): Space Western, Space opera, Drama, Comedy-drama, Science Fiction

Firefly is an American space western science fiction drama television series created by writer and director Joss Whedon, under his Mutant Enemy Productions label. Whedon served as an executive ...more

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13 Crazy Yet Plausible Fan Theories About Firefly #33 of 802 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #1 of 571 TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time

2
Battlestar Galactica is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Sci Fi Television Series of All Time
Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell, Jamie Bamber

Premiered: 2004

Number of Seasons: 4

Number of Episodes: 75

Network: Syfy

Genres (Tv): Space opera, Military science fiction, Political drama, Drama, Psychological thriller, + more

Battlestar Galactica is an American military science fiction television series, and part of the Battlestar Galactica franchise. The show was developed by Ronald D. Moore and executive produced ...more

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The Best Battlestar Galactica Characters The Best Seasons of Battlestar Galactica #34 of 383 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years

3
Star Trek: The Next Gene... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Sci Fi Television Series of All Time
Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes

Premiered: 1987

Number of Seasons: 7

Number of Episodes: 178

Network: CBS

Genres (Tv): Action/Adventure, Drama, Adventure film, Action, Science Fiction

Star Trek: The Next Generation is an American science fiction television series created by Gene Roddenberry twenty-one years after the original Star Trek series debuted in 1966. Roddenberry, ...more

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Every Time Picard Said 'Make It So,' Ranked By How Well They Made It So #36 of 391 TV Shows That Only Smart People Appreciatelisted on Longest Running Sci-Fi TV Shows

4
Stargate SG-1 is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Sci Fi Television Series of All Time
Richard Dean Anderson, Michael Shanks, Amanda Tapping

Premiered: 1997

Number of Seasons: 10

Number of Episodes: 214

Network: Showtime, Syfy

Genres (Tv): Military science fiction, Action/Adventure, Adventure film, Action, Science Fiction, + more

Stargate SG-1 is an adventure and military science fiction television series and part of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's Stargate franchise. The show, created by Brad Wright and Jonathan Glassner, is ...more

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#102 of 383 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Yearslisted on Longest Running Sci-Fi TV Shows

5
Star Trek: The Original ... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Sci Fi Television Series of All Time
William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley

Premiered: 1966

Number of Seasons: 3

Number of Episodes: 79

Network: NBC

Genres (Tv): Action/Adventure, Drama, Adventure film, Action, Science Fiction

Star Trek is an American science fiction television series created by Gene Roddenberry that follows the adventures of the starship USS Enterprise and its crew. It later acquired the retronym of ...more

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#8 of 571 TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time #19 of 263 The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time

6
The X-Files is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Sci Fi Television Series of All Time
David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi

Premiered: 1993

Number of Seasons: 11

Network: Fox Broadcasting Company

Genres (Tv): Cryptozoology, Supernatural, Crime Fiction, Drama, Live action, + more

The X-Files is an American science fiction horror drama television series created by Chris Carter. The program originally aired from September 10, 1993 to May 19, 2002 on Fox, spanning nine ...more

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Fan Theories About The X-Files #21 of 383 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Yearslisted on Longest Running Sci-Fi TV Shows

7
Doctor Who is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Sci Fi Television Series of All Time
Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Matt Smith

Premiered: 1963

Number of Seasons: 38

Number of Episodes: 861

Network: British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC America, BBC One, S4C, BBC HD

Genres (Tv): Sci-fi, Adventure, Drama

Doctor Who (BBC, 2005) is a British science-fiction television show created by Sydney Newman, C. E. Webber, and Donald Wilson. The further adventures in time and space of the alien adventurer ...more

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The Greatest Doctor Who Companions of All Time #30 of 802 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watchlisted on Longest Running Sci-Fi TV Shows

8
Star Trek: Deep Space Ni... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Sci Fi Television Series of All Time
Avery Brooks, Rene Auberjonois, Cirroc Lofton

Premiered: 1993

Number of Seasons: 7

Number of Episodes: 176

Network: UPN

Genres (Tv): Military science fiction, Action/Adventure, Drama, Adventure film, Action, + more

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is a science fiction television series set in the Star Trek universe. The show is set in the Milky Way galaxy, in the years 2369–2375. In contrast to the setting of ...more

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#165 of 571 TV Shows Canceled Before Their Timelisted on Longest Running Sci-Fi TV Shows

9
The Twilight Zone is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Sci Fi Television Series of All Time
Rod Serling, Robert McCord, Jay Overholts

Premiered: 1959

Number of Seasons: 5

Number of Episodes: 156

Network: UPN, CBS

Genres (Tv): Anthology, Drama, Horror, Mystery, Science Fiction, + more

The Twilight Zone is a 1959 American television anthology series created by Rod Serling. It is a series of unrelated stories containing drama, psychological thriller, fantasy, science fiction, ...more

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Creepy Parallels Between 'American Horror Story' And 'The Twilight Zone' You Never Even Knew Existed #58 of 802 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watchlisted on Longest Running Sci-Fi TV Shows

10
Battlestar Galactica is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Sci Fi Television Series of All Time
JimmyPaton added Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell, Jamie Bamber

Premiered: 1978

Number of Seasons: 1

Number of Episodes: 24

Network: American Broadcasting Company

Genres (Tv): Science Fiction

Battlestar Galactica is an American science fiction television series, created by Glen A. Larson, that began the Battlestar Galactica franchise. Starring Lorne Greene, Richard Hatch and Dirk ...more
11
Stargate Atlantis is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Sci Fi Television Series of All Time
Joe Flanigan, Rachel Luttrell, David Hewlett

Premiered: 2004

Number of Seasons: 5

Number of Episodes: 100

Network: Syfy

Genres (Tv): Military science fiction, Action/Adventure, Adventure film, Action, Science Fiction, + more

Be sure to check out our list of the best Stargate Atlantis episodes.

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#470 of 802 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #50 of 571 TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time

12
Farscape is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Sci Fi Television Series of All Time
Ben Browder, Claudia Black, Anthony Simcoe

Premiered: 1999

Number of Seasons: 4

Number of Episodes: 88

Network: Syfy, Nine Network

Genres (Tv): Science Fiction, Puppet

Farscape is an Australian/American science fiction television series, produced originally for the Nine Network. The series was conceived by Rockne S. O'Bannon and produced by Jim Henson ...more

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The Best Farscape Characters #346 of 802 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #55 of 571 TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time

13
Star Trek: Voyager is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Sci Fi Television Series of All Time
Kate Mulgrew, Robert Beltran, Roxann Dawson

Premiered: 1995

Number of Seasons: 7

Number of Episodes: 172

Network: UPN

Genres (Tv): Action/Adventure, Drama, Adventure film, Action, Science Fiction

Star Trek: Voyager is a science fiction television series, set in the Star Trek universe. The show takes place during the 2370s, and begins on the far side of the Milky Way galaxy, 75,000 ...more

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#84 of 571 TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time #117 of 383 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Yearslisted on Longest Running Sci-Fi TV Shows

14
Fringe is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Sci Fi Television Series of All Time
Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, Jasika Nicole

Premiered: 2008

Number of Seasons: 5

Number of Episodes: 100

Network: Fox Broadcasting Company

Genres (Tv): Drama, Horror Film, Mystery, Thriller, Science Fiction

Fringe is an American science fiction television series created by J. J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci. It premiered on the Fox Broadcasting network on September 9, 2008, and concluded ...more

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The Best Seasons of Fringe #20 of 571 TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time #46 of 383 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years

15
Futurama is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Sci Fi Television Series of All Time
Billy West, John DiMaggio, Katey Sagal

Premiered: 1999

Number of Seasons: 7

Number of Episodes: 140

Network: Comedy Central, Fox Broadcasting Company

Genres (Tv): Animation, Sitcom, Comedy, Science Fiction

Futurama is an American adult animated science fiction sitcom created by Matt Groening and developed by Groening and David X. Cohen for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series follows the ...more

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Every Opening Caption from Every Single Futurama Episode #12 of 717 The Best Cartoons of All Timelisted on Longest Running Animated Series

16
Star Trek: Enterprise is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Sci Fi Television Series of All Time
Scott Bakula, John Billingsley, Jolene Blalock

Premiered: 2001

Number of Seasons: 4

Number of Episodes: 98

Network: UPN

Genres (Tv): Military science fiction, Action/Adventure, Drama, Adventure film, Action, + more

Star Trek: Enterprise is a science fiction TV series and a prequel to the original Star Trek. The series premiered September 26, 2001, on the UPN television network with the final episode airing ...more

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#262 of 802 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #47 of 571 TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time

17
Quantum Leap is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Sci Fi Television Series of All Time
Scott Bakula, Dean Stockwell, Deborah Pratt

Premiered: 1989

Number of Seasons: 5

Number of Episodes: 95

Network: NBC

Genres (Tv): Procedural drama, Drama, Science Fiction

Quantum Leap is an American television series that originally aired on NBC for five seasons, from March 1989 through May 1993. Created by Donald P. Bellisario, it starred Scott Bakula as Dr. Sam ...more

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#137 of 802 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #7 of 571 TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time

18
Babylon 5 is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Sci Fi Television Series of All Time
Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Richard Biggs

Premiered: 1994

Number of Seasons: 5

Number of Episodes: 110

Network: Prime Time Entertainment Network, TNT

Genres (Tv): Space opera, Science Fiction

Babylon 5 is an American space opera television series created by writer and producer J. Michael Straczynski, under the Babylonian Productions label, in association with Straczynski's Synthetic ...more
19
The Expanse is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Sci Fi Television Series of All Time
Thomas Jane, Steven Strait, Cas Anvar

Premiered: 2015

Genres (Tv): Mystery, Sci-Fi

The Expanse (Syfy, 2015) is an American science fiction television series developed by Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, based on the novels by James S. A. Corey. In a future where humanity has ...more

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#388 of 802 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #171 of 263 The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time #199 of 391 TV Shows That Only Smart People Appreciate

20
Eureka is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Sci Fi Television Series of All Time
Colin Ferguson, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Erica Cerra

Premiered: 2006

Number of Seasons: 4

Number of Episodes: 33

Network: Syfy, Sky1

Genres (Tv): Police procedural, Drama, Comedy-drama, Comedy, Science Fiction

Eureka was an American science fiction television series that premiered on Syfy on July 18, 2006. The fifth and final season ended on July 16, 2012. The show was set in a fictional town in ...more
21
Warehouse 13 is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Sci Fi Television Series of All Time
Eddie McClintock, Joanne Kelly, Saul Rubinek

Premiered: 2009

Number of Seasons: 3

Number of Episodes: 52

Network: Syfy

Genres (Tv): Supernatural, Action/Adventure, Adventure film, Comedy-drama, Comedy, + more

Warehouse 13 is a U.S. television science fiction series that premiered on July 7, 2009, on the Syfy network. Executive-produced by Jack Kenny and David Simkins, the dramatic comedy from ...more

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The Best Seasons of Warehouse 13 #164 of 802 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch

22
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. ... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Sci Fi Television Series of All Time
nymless added Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Brett Dalton

Premiered: 2013

Number of Seasons: 1

Number of Episodes: 13

Genres (Tv): Drama, Action, Adventure Film, Science Fiction, Fantasy

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., or simply Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., is an American television series created for ABC by Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon, and Maurissa Tancharoen, based on the Marvel ...more

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The Best 'Agents OF S.H.I.E.L.D.' Storylines #134 of 383 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years #108 of 391 TV Shows That Only Smart People Appreciate

23
Red Dwarf is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Sci Fi Television Series of All Time
Chris Barrie, Craig Charles, Danny John-Jules

Premiered: 1988

Number of Seasons: 10

Number of Episodes: 61

Network: British Broadcasting Corporation, Dave

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Comedy, Science Fiction

Red Dwarf is a British comedy franchise which primarily comprises ten series of a television science fiction sitcom that aired on BBC Two between 1988 and 1993 and from 1997 to 1999, and on Dave ...more
24
The Hitchhiker's Guide t... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Sci Fi Television Series of All Time
Stephen Moore, Simon Jones, David Dixon

Premiered: 1981

Number of Episodes: 6

Network: British Broadcasting Corporation

Genres (Tv): Comic science fiction, Humour, Sitcom, Comedy, Science Fiction

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was a BBC television adaptation of Douglas Adams's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy broadcast in January and February 1981 on UK television station BBC ...more

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#82 of 152 The Best British Sitcoms of All Time #6 of 34 The Very Best British Sci Fi Shows, Ranked

25
Torchwood is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Sci Fi Television Series of All Time
John Barrowman, Eve Myles, Kai Owen

Premiered: 2006

Number of Seasons: 4

Number of Episodes: 41

Network: British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC One, Starz, BBC HD, BBC Three

Genres (Tv): Action/Adventure, Crime, Drama, Adventure film, Action, + more

Torchwood is a British science fiction television programme created by Russell T Davies. A spin-off from the 2005 revival of long-running science fiction programme Doctor Who, Torchwood aired ...more