634 voters

The Best 1980s Cult TV Series

Updated July 27, 2021 3.9k votes 634 voters 26.9k views23 items

List RulesVote up your favorite TV cult classics that were airing new episodes between 1980 and 1989.

Catch up on these classic '80s cult TV shows, ranked from best to worst by your votes. It's hard to put your finger on what made a show a great 1980s cult TV series. Some of the best '80s cult classics are sci-fi based and others gained cult status due to their subversive humor. One thing is for sure, the top 1980s cult TV series have very loyal fans and they aren't afraid to let you know it.

What are some of the shows that appear on this list of TV's best 1980s cult classics? Pee-wee's Playhouse was a great 1980s kids' show that gained a cult following of adults because of its absurdist humor. This popular '80s cult classic aired from 1986 to 1990. Mystery Science Theater 3000 is another good cult show that aired in the 1990s. Star Trek: The Next Generation proved to be just as popular as the original series during its seven seasons from 1987 to 1994. Other good shows that appear on this list of 1980s cult classics list include Doctor Who, SCTV, and Quantum Leap.

What are the best '80s cult TV shows? Did the shows you think were the best make this list? Vote up the 1980s cult classics you think are the best of the decade and see where the cult TV shows of the '80s you loved to watch rank.

  • Photo: NBC
    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 NBC and created by the team of James Burrows, Glen Charles, and Les Charles. The show is set in a bar named Cheers in Boston, Massachusetts, where a group of locals meet to drink, relax, and socialize. The show's main theme song, written and performed by Gary Portnoy, and co-written with Judy Hart Angelo, lent its famous refrain, "Where Everybody Knows Your Name", as the show's tagline. After premiering on September 30, 1982, it was nearly canceled during its first season when it ranked last in...  more
    • Actors: Ted Danson, Rhea Perlman, George Wendt, Shelley Long, Kirstie Alley
    • Premiered: September 30, 1982
    • Genres: Sitcom

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  • 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 Beckett, a brilliant scientist who leaps through spacetime following his quantum experiment in time travel, by temporarily taking places of other people's lives in order to correct historical mistakes. Dean Stockwell co-stars as Admiral Al Calavicci, Sam's womanizing, cigar-smoking companion and best friend, who appears to him as a hologram. The series features a mix of humor, drama, romance, social commentary, and science fiction, and was named one of TV Guide's "Top Cult Shows Ever."...  more
    • Actors: Scott Bakula, Dean Stockwell, Dennis Wolfberg, W. K. Stratton, Carolyn Seymour
    • Premiered: March 26, 1989
    • Genres: Drama, Science fiction, Fantasy

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  • Photo: The Simpsons / Fox
    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 Simpson family, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. The show is set in the fictional town of Springfield and parodies American culture, society, television, and many aspects of the human condition. The family was conceived by Groening shortly before a solicitation for a series of animated shorts with the producer James L. Brooks. Groening created a dysfunctional family and named the characters after members of his own family, substituting Bart for his own name. The shorts became a...  more
    • Actors: Dan Castellaneta, Nancy Cartwright, Julie Kavner
    • Premiered: December 17, 1989
    • Genres: Sitcom, Entertainment, Animated

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  • Photo: Daniel Sempértegui / Flickr
    The A-Team is an American action-adventure television series, running from 1983 to 1987, about a fictional group of ex–U.S. Army personnel who escape and, while still on the run from the army, work as soldiers of fortune. A feature film based on the series was released by 20th Century Fox in June 2010....  more
    • Actors: George Peppard, Mr. T, Dirk Benedict, Dwight Schultz, Melinda Culea
    • Premiered: January 23, 1983
    • Genres: Drama, Action

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