Total Nerd

The Greatest TV Shows Set in the Future  

Ranker TV
1.7k votes 154 voters 4k views 93 items

List Rules Whether they feature awesome futuristic sets or are just flat out funny, vote up your favorite shows set in the distant future (no anime).

Blast forward in time and help rank the best TV shows set in the future. Since the early days of television, futuristic themes and settings have always been a hot commodity. Whether it's a show from 1996 looking into the crazy future world of 2017 and 2019 or a hilarious cartoon set thousands of years from now, a broad range of TV shows have been set in the future—whenever that may be. From alien communication to flying cars and teleportation, nothing's off limits when it comes to the future—which is what makes these shows so great.

For whatever reason, there's a long list of animated shows set in the future, from the hit cartoon Futurama to the classic Duck Dodgers. Perhaps it's because drawing a futuristic world is easier than physically creating one. Whatever the reason, we'll take it. Of course, top sci-fi shows set in the future also include live-action—and they're often more entertaining. Just think of such titles like Planet of the Apes, Lost in Space, and Doctor Who. In short, there's a wide selection of both modern shows about the future and those made decades ago.

What's your favorite show set in the future? Check out the list of futuristic series below and vote up your choices. If you'd like to take a trip to the past, check out some TV shows set in the 50s.

list ordered by
1
Futurama is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the Future
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
2
Star Trek: Enterprise is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the Future
DovileP. added Scott Bakula, John Billingsley, Jolene Blalock
Star Trek: Enterprise is a science fiction TV series and a prequel to the original Star Trek. The series premiered September 26, 2001, on the UPN television network with the final episode airing ...more
3
Star Trek: The Original Series is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the Future
DovileP. added 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
4
Firefly is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the Future
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
5
Battlestar Galactica is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the Future
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
6
Black Mirror is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the Future
carlybobarly added Daniel Kaluuya, Toby Kebbell, Rory Kinnear
Black Mirror is a British television anthology series created by Charlie Brooker that features speculative fiction with dark and sometimes satirical themes that examine modern society, ...more
7
Andromeda is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the Future
Kevin Sorbo, Lisa Ryder, Laura Bertram
Andromeda is a Canadian/American science fiction television series, based on unused material by the late Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, developed by Robert Hewitt Wolfe, and produced by ...more
8
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the Future
DovileP. added Avery Brooks, Rene Auberjonois, Cirroc Lofton
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is a science fiction television series set in the Star Trek universe. The show is set in the Milky Way galaxy, in the years 2369–2375. In contrast to the setting of ...more
9
The Orville is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the Future
Seth MacFarlane, Adrianne Palicki, Scott Grimes
The Orville (Fox, 2017) is a science fiction comedy-drama series created by Seth MacFarlane. Ed Mercer (MacFarlane) is captain of the U.S.S. Orville (ECV-197), a mid-level exploration starship ...more
10
Star Trek: The Next Generation is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the Future
DovileP. added 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
11
Star Trek: Voyager is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the Future
Kate Mulgrew, Robert Beltran, Roxann Dawson
Star Trek: Voyager is a science fiction television series, set in the Star Trek universe. The show takes place during the 2370s, and begins on the far side of the Milky Way galaxy, 75,000 ...more
12
The Expanse is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the Future
Thomas Jane, Steven Strait, Cas Anvar
The Expanse (Syfy, 2015) is an American science fiction television series developed by Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, based on the novels by James S. A. Corey. In a future where humanity has ...more
13
Altered Carbon is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the Future
Joel Kinnaman, Renée Elise Goldsberry, James Purefoy
Altered Carbon is an American science fiction television series created by Laeta Kalogridis, based on the novel by Richard K. Morgan. In a future where human minds are digitized and downloaded ...more
14
Doctor Who is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the Future
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
15
The Jetsons is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the Future
George O'Hanlon, Janet Waldo, Mel Blanc
The Jetsons is an American animated sitcom produced by Hanna-Barbera, originally airing in primetime from September 23, 1962 to March 17, 1963, then later in syndication, with new episodes in ...more
16
Babylon 5 is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the Future
DovileP. added 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
17
Another Life is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the Future
Katee Sackhoff, Selma Blair, Tyler Hoechlin
Another Life (Netflix, 2019) is an American drama television series created by Aaron Martin. An astronaut, Niko Breckinridge-Wallace (Katee Sackhoff) commands a crew on a mission to explore the ...more
18
Lost in Space is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the Future
Toby Stephens, Molly Parker, Ignacio Serricchio
Lost in Space (Netflix, 2018) is an American science fiction web television series created by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless, and a reboot of the 1965 series. After encountering a rip in ...more
19
Colony is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the Future
Josh Holloway, Sarah Wayne Callies, Peter Jacobson
Colony (USA Network, 2016) is an American science-fiction drama television series created by Carlton Cuse and Ryan J. Condal. In the wake of a mysterious alien invasion, a family fights to stay ...more
20
Dark Matter is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the Future
Marc Bendavid, Melissa O'Neil, Anthony Lemke
Dark Matter (Syfy, 2015) is a Canadian science fiction series created by Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie, based on their comic book. Onboard a starship called the Raza, six people awaken in ...more
21
Astro Boy is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the Future
Billie Lou Watt, Ray Owens, Gilbert Mack
Astro Boy, known in Japan by its original name Mighty Atom, is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Osamu Tezuka from 1952 to 1968. The story follows the adventures of a robot ...more
22
Planet of the Apes is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the Future
Roddy McDowall, Ron Harper, James Naughton
Planet of the Apes is an American science fiction television series that aired on CBS in 1974. The series stars Roddy McDowall, Ron Harper, James Naughton, Mark Lenard and Booth Colman. It is ...more
23
Cleopatra 2525 is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the Future
Gina Torres, Victoria Pratt, Jennifer Sky
Cleopatra 2525 is an American science fiction television series that aired in syndication for two seasons, from January 2000 to March 2001. It appeared as the first part of the Back2Back Action ...more
24
UFO is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the Future
Ed Bishop, Dolores Mantez, Michael Billington
UFO is a 1970 British television science fiction series about an alien invasion of Earth, created by Gerry Anderson and Sylvia Anderson with Reg Hill, and produced by the Andersons and Lew ...more
25
Starzinger is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the Future
Starzinger is an anime series that aired in Japan from 1978 to 1979. In the United States, it was referred to as Spaceketeers and was part of Jim Terry's Force Five series. In the United ...more