Entertainment

Longest Running Sci-Fi TV Shows

TVs Frank
29k views 11 items

List of the longest-running science fiction TV shows in US history. These sci-fi TV series have more episodes than any others in American television. Some of the shows ran and have since gone off the air or been canceled, while others remain ongoing and are still being produced. Typically, these shows were collected into "seasons" of television, each with a pre-set amount of episodes. Sometimes, these seasons were broken up, in some cases with years or even decades between production of the series, while still being considered the run of a single TV show. (Spin-offs and other shows that were reinvented and debuted as new series are not considered.) This list contains all the longest-running shows in the history of TV science fiction.

Typically, sci-fi has been a difficult genre for TV executives. Though many popular science-fiction shows have steadily built a die-hard following on TV, many of them are cancelled early, often due to the complications and cost of producing a weekly sci-fi adventure series that feels authentic and professional. Many of the sci-fi series now accepted as among the best of all time - from the original "Star Trek" to "Firefly" - have only lasted a few precious seasons.

Check out more lists like the best Sci-Fi novel of all time, the best films set on Mars and the best alien movies ever made.
Space Patrol is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Longest Running Sci-Fi TV Shows
Photo: Metaweb (FB)/Fair use

Seasons: 5
Episodes: 1110

Space Patrol is a science fiction adventure series set in the 30th century that was originally aimed at juvenile audiences of the early 1950s via television, radio, and comic books. It soon developed a sizable adult audience, and by 1954 the program consistently ranked in the top 10 shows broadcast on a Saturday. The stories followed the 30th-century adventures of Commander-in-Chief Buzz Corry (Ed Kemmer) of the United Planets Space Patrol and his young sidekick Cadet Happy (Lyn Osborn), as they faced interplanetary villains with diabolical schemes. ...more on Wikipedia

Actors: Ed Kemmer, Lyn Osborn, Ken Mayer, Virginia Hewitt, Nina Bara, + more

Premiered: 1950

More Space Patrol

#83 of 93 on The Greatest TV Shows Set in the Future #37 of 39 on The Best TV Shows Set in Space, Ranked

see more on Space Patrol
Doctor Who is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Longest Running Sci-Fi TV Shows
Photo:  BBC

Seasons: 37
Episodes: 851

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 known as the Doctor, a Time Lord/Lady who can change appearance and gender, and his/her companions. ...more on Wikipedia

Actors: Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Matt Smith, Peter Capaldi, Jodie Whittaker, + more

Premiered: 1963

More Doctor Who

#4 of 115 on Sci-Fi Shows You Should Be Watching Now #36 of 766 on The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #75 of 185 on The Greatest TV Shows for Women #4 of 300 on The Best Sci Fi Television Series of All Time

see more on Doctor Who
The X-Files is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Longest Running Sci-Fi TV Shows
Photo: FOX

Seasons: 11
Episodes: 218

The X-Files is an American science fiction horror drama television series created by Chris Carter. The program originally aired from September 10, 1993 to May 19, 2002 on Fox, spanning nine seasons and 202 episodes. The series revolves around FBI special agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully investigating X-Files: marginalized, unsolved cases involving paranormal phenomena. Mulder believes in the existence of aliens and the paranormal while Scully, a skeptic, is assigned to make scientific analyses of Mulder's discoveries to debunk his work and thus return him to mainstream cases. Early in the series, both agents become pawns in a larger conflict and come to trust only each other. They develop a ...more on Wikipedia

Actors: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi

Premiered: 1993

More The X-Files

#22 of 766 on The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #63 of 185 on The Greatest TV Shows for Women #6 of 300 on The Best Sci Fi Television Series of All Time #11 of 1060 on The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time

see more on The X-Files
Mystery Science Theater 3000 is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Longest Running Sci-Fi TV Shows
Photo:  Comedy Central

Seasons: 12
Episodes: 217

Mystery Science Theater 3000, often abbreviated MST3K, is an American television comedy series created by Joel Hodgson and produced by Best Brains, Inc. The show premiered on KTMA in Minneapolis, Minnesota on November 24, 1988. It later aired on The Comedy Channel/Comedy Central for another six seasons until its cancellation in 1997. The show was then picked up by The Sci-Fi Channel and aired for another three seasons until its final cancellation in August 1999. Featuring a man and his robot sidekicks, they riffed on B-movies as a part of an "experiment." The series ran for 11 years, 197 episodes, one feature film, won a Peabody Award in 1993, was listed as one of Time magazine's "100 Best ...more on Wikipedia

Actors: Joel Hodgson, Michael J. Nelson, Trace Beaulieu

Premiered: 1988

More Mystery Science Theater 3000

#49 of 300 on The Best Sci Fi Television Series of All Time #12 of 300 on The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time #13 of 14 on The Best Current TV Shows About Space #62 of 67 on The Best Sitcoms of the 1980s

see more on Mystery Science Theater 3000