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15.5k voters

The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time

Updated November 20, 2020 173.2k votes 15.5k voters 305.7k views266 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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  • Firefly1
    2,345
    1,298

    Firefly

    Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres

    Premiered2002

    NetworkFox Broadcasting Company

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  • Sherlock2
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    Sherlock

    Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman

    Premiered2010

    NetworkBBC One

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  • The Twilight Zone3
    1,739
    1,005

    The Twilight Zone

    Rod Serling, Robert McCord

    Premiered1959

    NetworkUPN, CBS

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  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer4
    2,809
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    Buffy the Vampire Slayer

    Sarah Michelle Gellar, Alyson Hannigan

    Premiered1997

    NetworkThe WB

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  • Game of Thrones5
    2,437
    1,450

    Game of Thrones

    Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey

    Premiered2011-04-17

    NetworkHBO

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  • Breaking Bad6
    1,898
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    Breaking Bad

    Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul

    Premiered2008

    NetworkAMC

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  • The X-Files7
    2,302
    1,524

    The X-Files

    David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson

    Premiered1993

    NetworkFox Broadcasting Company

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  • Doctor Who8
    2,176
    1,464

    Doctor Who

    Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant

    Premiered1963

    NetworkBritish Broadcasting Corporation, BBC America, BBC One, S4C, BBC HD

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  • Supernatural9
    2,016
    1,215

    Supernatural

    Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles

    Premiered2005

    NetworkThe WB Television Network, The CW Television Network

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  • Twin Peaks10
    1,598
    1,091

    Twin Peaks

    Kyle MacLachlan, Russ Tamblyn

    Premiered1990

    NetworkABC, Showtime

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  • Freaks and Geeks11
    1,329
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    Freaks and Geeks

    Linda Cardellini, John Francis Daley

    Premiered1999

    NetworkNBC

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  • Futurama12
    1,011
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    Futurama

    Billy West, John DiMaggio

    Premiered1999

    NetworkComedy Central, Fox Broadcasting Company

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  • The Simpsons13
    1,417
    971

    The Simpsons

    Dan Castellaneta, Nancy Cartwright

    Premiered1989

    NetworkFox

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  • Arrested Development14
    1,422
    1,031

    Arrested Development

    Jason Bateman, Michael Cera

    Premiered2003

    NetworkFox

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  • Community15
    1,260
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    Community

    Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs

    Premiered2009

    NetworkNBC

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  • Star Trek: The Original Series16
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    1,231

    Star Trek: The Original Series

    William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy

    Premiered1966

    NetworkNBC

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  • Quantum Leap17
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    Quantum Leap

    Scott Bakula, Dean Stockwell

    Premiered1989

    NetworkNBC

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  • Star Trek: The Next Generation18
    1,347
    1,099

    Star Trek: The Next Generation

    Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner

    Premiered1987

    NetworkCBS

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  • The Office19
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    The Office

    Steve Carell, Rainn Wilson

    Premiered2005

    NetworkNBC

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  • Battlestar Galactica20
    1,070
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    Battlestar Galactica

    Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell

    Premiered2004

    NetworkSyfy

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  • Dexter21
    1,207
    942

    Dexter

    Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter

    Premiered2006

    NetworkShowtime

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  • Fawlty Towers22
    475
    363

    Fawlty Towers

    John Cleese, Prunella Scales

    Premiered1975

    NetworkBritish Broadcasting Corporation

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  • Angel23
    1,035
    840

    Angel

    David Boreanaz, Charisma Carpenter

    Premiered1999

    NetworkThe WB Television Network

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  • The Walking Dead24
    1,306
    1,044

    The Walking Dead

    Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal

    Premiered2010

    NetworkAMC

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  • South Park25
    1,103
    812

    South Park

    Trey Parker, Matt Stone

    Premiered1997

    NetworkComedy Central

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