Entertainment

The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time 

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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.

list ordered by
1
The X-Files is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time
David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi
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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#6 of 310 The Best Sci Fi Television Series of All Timefeaturing Fan Theories About The X-Fileslisted on Longest Running Sci-Fi TV Shows

2
Doctor Who is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time
Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Matt Smith
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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#31 of 779 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watchfeaturing 12 Insane Doctor Who Fan Theories That Actually Make Senselisted on Longest Running Sci-Fi TV Shows

3
Star Trek: The Original ... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time
William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley
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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#9 of 579 TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time #4 of 310 The Best Sci Fi Television Series of All Time #20 of 259 The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time

4
Buffy the Vampire Slayer... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time
Sarah Michelle Gellar, Alyson Hannigan, James Marsters
Buffy the Vampire Slayer is an American television series which aired from March 10, 1997 until May 20, 2003. The series was created in 1997 by writer-director Joss Whedon under his production ...more

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5
Star Trek: The Next Gene... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time
Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes
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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#1 of 310 The Best Sci Fi Television Series of All Timefeaturing Where Is The Cast Of 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' Now?listed on Longest Running Sci-Fi TV Shows

6
Monty Python's Flying Ci... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time
Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam
Monty Python’s Flying Circus is a British sketch comedy series commissioned by David Attenborough, created by the comedy group Monty Python and broadcast by the BBC from 1969 to 1974. The shows ...more

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#247 of 779 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #21 of 217 The TV Shows with the Best Writing

7
The Twilight Zone is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time
Rod Serling, Robert McCord, Jay Overholts
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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#8 of 310 The Best Sci Fi Television Series of All Timefeaturing Creepy Parallels Between 'American Horror Story' And 'The Twilight Zone' You Never Even Knew Existedlisted on Longest Running Sci-Fi TV Shows

8
Sherlock is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time
Mabie1 added
Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Una Stubbs
Sherlock is a British television crime drama that presents a contemporary adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes detective stories. Created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, it ...more

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#5 of 779 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #1 of 394 TV Shows That Only Smart People Appreciatefeaturing Ranking the Best Seasons of 'Sherlock'

9
Game of Thrones is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time
Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke
Game of Thrones (HBO, 2011) is an American fantasy drama television series created by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, based on the series of fantasy novels by George R. R. Martin. Nine noble ...more

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#2 of 779 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #2 of 259 The Greatest TV Dramas of All Timefeaturing The Best 'Game Of Thrones' Characters

10
Twin Peaks is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time
Twin Peaks
Kyle MacLachlan, Russ Tamblyn, Sherilyn Fenn
Twin Peaks (Showtime, 2017) is a miniseries that follows FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) in a continuation of the original 1990 series, created by David Lynch.

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#96 of 779 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #142 of 158 Shows with the Best Freakin' Series Finales of All Time

11
Firefly is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time
Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk
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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12
Mystery Science Theater ... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time
Joel Hodgson, Michael J. Nelson, Trace Beaulieu
Mystery Science Theater 3000, often abbreviated MST3K, is an American television comedy series created by Joel Hodgson and produced by Best Brains, Inc. The show premiered on KTMA in ...more

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#270 of 779 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #64 of 310 The Best Sci Fi Television Series of All Timelisted on Longest Running Sci-Fi TV Shows

13
Supernatural is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time
Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Katie Cassidy
Supernatural (The CW, 2005) is an American fantasy horror television series created by Eric Kripke. Two brothers, Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles), follow their father's ...more

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#17 of 779 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watchfeaturing The Greatest Sheriffs In TV Historylisted on Longest Running US Drama Shows

14
Breaking Bad is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time
davec007 added
Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn
Breaking Bad is an American drama television series created and produced by Vince Gilligan. The show originally aired on the AMC network for five seasons, from January 20, 2008, to September 29, ...more

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#1 of 259 The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time #1 of 217 The TV Shows with the Best Writingfeaturing The Most Plausible Fan Theories About Breaking Bad

15
Community is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time
Joel McHale, Danny Pudi, Donald Glover
Community is an American television sitcom created by Dan Harmon that premiered on NBC on September 17, 2009. The single-camera series follows an ensemble cast of students at a community college ...more

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#57 of 779 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #619 of 722 The Best Cartoons of All Timefeaturing Fan Theories About 'Community'

16
Battlestar Galactica is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time
Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell, Jamie Bamber
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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#3 of 310 The Best Sci Fi Television Series of All Time #40 of 158 Shows with the Best Freakin' Series Finales of All Timefeaturing The Best Seasons of Battlestar Galactica

17
The Simpsons is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time
Dan Castellaneta, Nancy Cartwright, Julie Kavner
The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical depiction of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by the ...more

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#3 of 722 The Best Cartoons of All Timefeaturing The Best Fake Words From The Simpsonslisted on Longest Running Animated Series

18
Arrested Development is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time
Jason Bateman, Michael Cera, Portia de Rossi
Arrested Development is an American television sitcom created by Mitchell Hurwitz, which originally aired on Fox for three seasons from November 2, 2003 to February 10, 2006. A fourth season of ...more

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#78 of 158 Shows with the Best Freakin' Series Finales of All Time #11 of 217 The TV Shows with the Best Writingfeaturing The Best Arrested Development Characters

19
Freaks and Geeks is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time
Linda Cardellini, John Francis Daley, James Franco
Freaks and Geeks is an American teen comedy-drama television series, created by Paul Feig with Judd Apatow as executive producer, that aired on NBC during the 1999–2000 television season. ...more

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20
Charmed is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time
Rose1 added
Holly Marie Combs, Alyssa Milano, Brian Krause
Charmed is an American television series created by Constance M. Burge and produced by Aaron Spelling and his production company Spelling Television, with Brad Kern serving as showrunner. The ...more

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21
Dexter is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time
davec007 added
Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, David Zayas
Dexter is an American television drama series. Set in Miami, the series centers on Dexter Morgan, a blood spatter pattern analyst for Miami Metro Police Department who also leads a secret life ...more

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#12 of 259 The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time #23 of 217 The TV Shows with the Best Writingfeaturing Behind-The-Scenes Facts About Michael C. Hall And Jennifer Carpenter On 'Dexter'

22
Farscape is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time
Ben Browder, Claudia Black, Anthony Simcoe
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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23
Lost is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time
Naveen Andrews, Matthew Fox, Jorge Garcia
Lost is an American television drama series that originally aired on the American Broadcasting Company from September 22, 2004, to May 23, 2010, over six seasons, comprising a total of 121 ...more

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#7 of 779 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #24 of 158 Shows with the Best Freakin' Series Finales of All Timefeaturing The Best LOST Characters

24
Quantum Leap is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time
Scott Bakula, Dean Stockwell, Deborah Pratt
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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#184 of 779 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #11 of 579 TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time #14 of 310 The Best Sci Fi Television Series of All Time

25
South Park is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time
MichaelGuerrieri added
Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Mary Kay Bergman
South Park (Comedy Central, 1997) is an American adult animated sitcom created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone. In the small town of South Park, four boys get caught up in all sorts of bizarre ...more

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#8 of 722 The Best Cartoons of All Timefeaturing The Best South Park Characters of All Timelisted on Longest Running Animated Series