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15.6k voters

The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time

Updated March 18, 2021 172.4k votes 15.6k voters 306.7k views270 items

List RulesIncludes TV shows that have a significant fan presence that can be seen on forums, websites, clubs or fan-fiction

This is a 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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  • 1
    2,335
    1,292

    Firefly

    Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres

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  • 2
    1,745
    998

    The Twilight Zone

    Rod Serling, Robert McCord

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  • 3
    2,799
    1,719

    Buffy the Vampire Slayer

    Sarah Michelle Gellar, Alyson Hannigan

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  • 4
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    Sherlock

    Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman

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  • 5
    2,428
    1,450

    Game of Thrones

    Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey

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  • 6
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    Breaking Bad

    Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul

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  • 7
    2,297
    1,512

    The X-Files

    David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson

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  • 8
    2,167
    1,451

    Doctor Who

    Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant

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  • 9
    2,002
    1,220

    Supernatural

    Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles

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  • 10
    1,608
    1,085

    Twin Peaks

    Kyle MacLachlan, Russ Tamblyn

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  • 11
    1,339
    867

    Freaks and Geeks

    Linda Cardellini, John Francis Daley

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  • 12
    1,413
    973

    The Simpsons

    Dan Castellaneta, Nancy Cartwright

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  • 13
    1,012
    623

    Futurama

    Billy West, John DiMaggio

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  • 14
    1,427
    1,023

    Arrested Development

    Jason Bateman, Michael Cera

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  • 15
    1,602
    1,224

    Star Trek: The Original Series

    William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy

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  • 16
    1,258
    940

    Community

    Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs

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  • 17
    918
    681

    Quantum Leap

    Scott Bakula, Dean Stockwell

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  • 18
    1,342
    1,093

    Star Trek: The Next Generation

    Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner

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  • 19
    779
    553

    The Office

    Steve Carell, Rainn Wilson

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  • 20
    1,211
    937

    Dexter

    Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter

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  • 21
    479
    364

    Fawlty Towers

    John Cleese, Prunella Scales

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  • 22
    1,063
    882

    Battlestar Galactica

    Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell

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  • 23
    1,028
    835

    Angel

    David Boreanaz, Charisma Carpenter

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  • 24
    1,307
    1,041

    The Walking Dead

    Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal

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  • 25
    1,101
    810

    South Park

    Trey Parker, Matt Stone

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