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The Best Alien TV Shows, Ranked

Updated October 7, 2020 10.9k votes 1.6k voters 86.8k views78 items

Whether you call them extraterrestrials or Martians, TV shows about aliens are always entertaining. The best TV shows about aliens feature otherworldly beings learning all they can about life on Earth - or possibly invading. This is a list of the greatest alien TV shows including everything from Futurama to Doctor Who to Battlestar Galactica.

What programs will you find on this list of top TV shows about aliens? The popular sitcom 3rd Rock from the Sun centered around four extraterrestrial characters who were sent to Earth to observe human behavior. John Lithgow, Kristen Johnston, French Stewart, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt starred in the hit NBC series. ALF is another good TV show about an alien living on Earth, this time in puppet form. The X-Files followed FBI Agents Mulder and Scully as they investigated supernatural occurrences and debated the existence of extraterrestrial life. Other good shows about aliens featured here include Smallville, Star Trek: Voyager, and Invader Zim.

Which show about aliens is the best? Give your favorites series a thumbs up to move them to the top of the list, and add any great shows that are missing.

 

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  • The X-Files1
    440
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    The X-Files

    David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson

    Premiered1993

    The X-Files is an American science fiction horror drama television series created by Chris...  more
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  • Falling Skies2
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    Falling Skies

    Noah Wyle, Drew Roy

    Premiered2011

    Falling Skies (TNT, 2011) is an American post-apocalyptic science fiction television series...  more
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  • Stargate SG-13
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    Stargate SG-1

    Richard Dean Anderson, Michael Shanks

    Premiered1997

    Stargate SG-1 is an adventure and military science fiction television series and part of...  more
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  • The Expanse4
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    The Expanse

    Thomas Jane, Steven Strait

    Premiered2015

    The Expanse (Syfy, 2015) is an American science fiction television series developed by Mark...  more
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  • Doctor Who5
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    Doctor Who

    Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant

    Premiered1963

    Doctor Who (BBC, 2005) is a British science-fiction television show created by Sydney Newman,...  more
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  • Battlestar Galactica6
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    Battlestar Galactica

    Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell

    Premiered1978

    Battlestar Galactica is an American science fiction television series, created by Glen A....  more
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  • Futurama7
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    Futurama

    Billy West, John DiMaggio

    Premiered1999

    Futurama is an American adult animated science fiction sitcom created by Matt Groening and...  more
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  • Lost in Space8
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    Lost in Space

    Toby Stephens, Molly Parker

    Premiered2018

    Lost in Space (Netflix, 2018) is an American science fiction web television series created by...  more
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  • Roswell9
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    Roswell

    Shiri Appleby, Jason Behr

    Premiered1999

    Roswell is an American science fiction television series developed, produced, and co-written...  more
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  • Colony10
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    Colony

    Josh Holloway, Sarah Wayne Callies

    Premiered2016

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    Colony (USA Network, 2016) is an American science-fiction drama television series created by...  more
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  • V11
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    V

    Elizabeth Mitchell, Morris Chestnut

    Premiered2009

    V is an American science fiction television series that ran for two seasons on ABC, from...  more
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  • Star Trek: Voyager12
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    Star Trek: Voyager

    Kate Mulgrew, Robert Beltran

    Premiered1995

    Star Trek: Voyager is a science fiction television series, set in the Star Trek universe. The...  more
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  • Smallville13
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    Smallville

    Tom Welling, Michael Rosenbaum

    Premiered2001

    Smallville is an American television series developed by writer-producers Alfred Gough and...  more
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  • Babylon 514
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    Babylon 5

    Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan

    Premiered1994

    Babylon 5 (Syndicated, 1994) is an American space opera television series created by writer...  more
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  • Rick and Morty15
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    Rick and Morty

    Justin Roiland, Chris Parnell

    Premiered2013

    Rick and Morty (Adult Swim, 2013) is an American adult animated science-fiction sitcom created...  more
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  • Star Trek: The Next Generation16
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    Star Trek: The Next Generation

    Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner

    Premiered1987

    Star Trek: The Next Generation is an American science fiction television series created by...  more
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  • Torchwood17
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    Torchwood

    John Barrowman, Eve Myles

    Premiered2006

    Torchwood is a British science fiction television programme created by Russell T Davies. A...  more
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  • The Outer Limits18
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    The Outer Limits

    Bob Johnson, Ben Wright

    Premiered1963

    The Outer Limits (ABC, 1963) is an American horror and speculative fiction anthology...  more
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  • Stargate Atlantis19
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    Stargate Atlantis

    Joe Flanigan, Rachel Luttrell

    Premiered2004

    Stargate Atlantis is a Canadian-American adventure and military science fiction television...  more
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  • Stargate Universe20
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    Stargate Universe

    Robert Carlyle, Louis Ferreira

    Premiered2009

    Stargate Universe is a Canadian-American military science fiction television series and part...  more
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  • 3rd Rock from the Sun21
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    3rd Rock from the Sun

    John Lithgow, Jane Curtin

    Premiered1996

    3rd Rock from the Sun is an American sitcom that aired from 1996 to 2001 on NBC. The show is...  more
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  • Defiance22
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    Grant Bowler, Stephanie Leonidas

    Premiered2013

    Defiance is an American science fiction television series developed by Rockne S. O'Bannon,...  more
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  • Ancient Aliens23
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    Ancient Aliens

    Robert Clotworthy, Giorgio Tsoukalos

    Premiered2010

    If you don't know where to start, check out our list of the top episodes of Ancient Aliens.

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  • Taken24
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    Taken

    Dakota Fanning, Julie Benz

    Premiered2002

    Taken, also known as Steven Spielberg Presents Taken, is a science fiction miniseries which...  more
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  • Star Trek: The Original Series25
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    Star Trek: The Original Series

    William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy

    Premiered1966

    Star Trek is an American science fiction television series created by Gene Roddenberry that...  more
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