Entertainment

The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time  

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Originally by Ranker Community
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List Rules 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 ZoneLost, 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. This list also includes cult classic TV shows and top cult TV 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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26
Angel is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time
David Boreanaz, Charisma Carpenter, Alexis Denisof
Angel is an American television series, a spin-off from the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The series was created by Buffy's creator, Joss Whedon, in collaboration with David ...more
27
The Walking Dead is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time
MichaelGuerrieri added Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies
The Walking Dead (A&E, 2010) is an American post-apocalyptic horror television series developed by Frank Darabont, based on the comic book series by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie ...more
28
Pushing Daisies is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time
emlyt added Lee Pace, Anna Friel, Chi McBride
Pushing Daisies is an American fantasy comedy-drama television series created by Bryan Fuller that aired on ABC from October 3, 2007, to June 13, 2009. The series stars Lee Pace as Ned, a ...more
29
Futurama is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time
GennisMaringHalmi added Billy West, John DiMaggio, Katey Sagal
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
30
Stargate SG-1 is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time
Richard Dean Anderson, Michael Shanks, Amanda Tapping
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
31
The Kids in the Hall is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time
Dave Foley, Bruce McCulloch, Kevin McDonald
The Kids in the Hall is a Canadian sketch comedy group formed in 1984, consisting of comedians Dave Foley, Kevin McDonald, Bruce McCulloch, Mark McKinney, and Scott Thompson. Their eponymous ...more
32
Grimm is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time
David Giuntoli, Silas Weir Mitchell, Sasha Roiz
Grimm is an American police procedural fantasy television drama series. It debuted in the U.S. on NBC on October 28, 2011. The show has been described as "a cop drama—with a twist... a dark ...more
33
Seinfeld is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time
davec007 added Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Michael Richards
Seinfeld is an American television sitcom that originally ran for nine seasons on NBC from July 5, 1989, to May 14, 1998. It was created by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld, the latter starring as ...more
34
Veronica Mars is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time
Kristen Bell, Percy Daggs III, Teddy Dunn
Veronica Mars (UPN, The CW, 2004) is an American teen noir mystery drama television series created by screenwriter Rob Thomas. After her best friend (Amanda Seyfried) is murdered, and her father ...more
35
Pinky and the Brain is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time
BorkZorkOrc added Rob Paulsen, Maurice LaMarche, Mark Hamill
Pinky and the Brain is an American animated television series. It was the first animated television series to be presented in Dolby Surround and the fourth collaboration of Steven Spielberg with ...more
36
Xena: Warrior Princess is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time
Lucy Lawless, Renée O'Connor, Ted Raimi
Xena: Warrior Princess is an American/New Zealand television series filmed in New Zealand. The series aired in syndication from September 4, 1995, until June 18, 2001. The series was created in ...more
37
The Office is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time
MichaelGuerrieri added Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer
The Office is an American television comedy series that aired on NBC from March 24, 2005 to May 16, 2013. It is an adaptation of the BBC series of the same name. The Office was adapted for ...more
38
Absolutely Fabulous is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time
Jennifer Saunders, Joanna Lumley, Julia Sawalha
Absolutely Fabulous, also known as Ab Fab, is a BBC television sitcom created by Jennifer Saunders, based on an original idea by her and Dawn French, and written by Saunders, who plays the ...more
39
It's Always Sunny in Philadelp... is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time
Charlie Day, Glenn Howerton, Rob McElhenney
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (FXX, 2005) is an American television sitcom created by Rob McElhenney. The series follows "The Gang", a group of five depraved underachievers: twins ...more
40
The Black Adder is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time
mario.festante added Rowan Atkinson, Brian Blessed, Elspet Gray
The Black Adder is the first series of the BBC sitcom Blackadder, written by Richard Curtis and Rowan Atkinson, directed by Martin Shardlow and produced by John Lloyd. The series was originally ...more
41
Babylon 5 is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time
Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Richard Biggs
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
42
Friends is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time
Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow
Friends is an American television sitcom, created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman, which originally aired on NBC from September 22, 1994, to May 6, 2004. It lasted ten seasons and is now in ...more
43
Fawlty Towers is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time
AlexDeLarge added John Cleese, Prunella Scales, Andrew Sachs
Fawlty Towers is a BBC television sitcom that was first broadcast on BBC2 in 1975 and 1979. Twelve episodes were made. The show was written by John Cleese and his then-wife Connie Booth, both of ...more
44
Downton Abbey is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time
mario.festante added Hugh Bonneville, Phyllis Logan, Elizabeth McGovern
Downton Abbey is a British period drama television series created by Julian Fellowes and co-produced by Carnival Films and Masterpiece. It first aired on ITV in the United Kingdom and Ireland on ...more
45
Chappelle's Show is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time
MichaelGuerrieri added Dave Chappelle, Donnell Rawlings, Neal Brennan
Chappelle's Show is an American sketch comedy television series created by comedians Dave Chappelle and Neal Brennan, with Chappelle hosting the show as well as starring in the majority of its ...more
46
Cheers is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time
Abbydabby added Ted Danson, Rhea Perlman, John Ratzenberger
Cheers is an American sitcom that ran for eleven seasons between 1982 and 1993. The show was produced by Charles/Burrows/Charles Productions in association with Paramount Network Television for ...more
47
Ranker Video
sidapplebaum added Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, Tobias Menzies
Outlander is a British-American television drama series based on the historical time travel Outlander series of novels by Diana Gabaldon. Created by Ronald D. Moore and produced by Left Bank ...more
48
The Daily Show is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time
stew driscoll added Jon Stewart, Trevor Noah, Hasan Minhaj
The Daily Show (Comedy Central, 1999) is an American late-night talk and news satire television program. Described as a fake news program, the show draws its comedy and satire from recent news ...more
49
Psych is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time
sally added James Roday, Dulé Hill, Timothy Omundson
Psych is an American detective comedy-drama television series created by Steve Franks and broadcast on USA Network with syndication reruns on ION Television. It is produced by Franks and Tagline ...more
50
Dark Shadows is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time
Jonathan Frid, Grayson Hall, Alexandra Isles
Dark Shadows is an American gothic soap opera that originally aired weekdays on the ABC television network, from June 27, 1966, to April 2, 1971. The series became hugely popular when vampire ...more