What are the Top Cult TV Shows of All Time?

Some TV shows have fans. Others have fanatics. They dissect every moment of the series, learn to speak Klingon, even send tons of nuts to the network when they hear their show is in danger. Those are the cult shows, and TV Guide has just released its updated list of the top 30 cult shows of all time.


It's a broad list, spanning comedy ("Absolutely Fabulous"), drama ("Freaks and Geeks") and sci fi ("Star Trek," unsurprisingly taking the No. 1 spot). I always think of "cult" shows as being low-rated and obsessed over by only a very small group, but the TV Guide list takes a broader definition, putting "Lost" and "The Simpsons" on the list. At first, I was taken aback — can a cult show also be one of the most popular shows on TV? — but then I thought about all the "Lost" backwards scenes I've watched and all the times I've been stuck in a car with people who only speak in "Simpsons" quotes, and I decided they deserved their spots.

But on the other hand, there were some pretty surprising exclusions. I think "The Office" has all the hallmarks of a cult show: It's low-rated, but you'd never know it from the way its fans obsess over it, and I think having a convention automatically qualifies a show as cult-like. "My So-Called Life," which made the first list three years ago, has apparently "not withstood the test of time" — though given the reaction to the news of a DVD release, I bet some of you would beg to differ. "Arrested Development" has a particularly devoted, die-hard fan base that continues to mourn the show long after its cancellation — words that could also apply to "The State" and "Kids in the Hall."

Which shows do you think qualify for cult status? To see TV Guide's full list, read more

*Denotes newcomer to the list

30) Strangers with Candy (1999-2000)*
29) Absolutely Fabulous (1994-2003)
28) Stargate SG-1 (1997-2007)*
27) H.R. Pufnstuf (1969-1971)
26) Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman (1975-1978)
25) Firefly (2002-2003)*
24) Twin Peaks (1990-1991)
23) Dark Shadows (1966-1971)
22) Doctor Who (1963-present)
21) Freaks and Geeks (1999-2000)

20) The Avengers (1966-1969)
19) Quantum Leap (1989-1993)
18) Veronica Mars (2004-2007)*
17) Beauty and the Beast (1987-1990)
16) Babylon 5 (1994-1998)
15) Family Guy (1999-present)
14) Battlestar Galactica (2003-present)*
13) Mystery Science Theater 3000 (1989-1999)
12) Pee-Wee's Playhouse (1986-1991)
11) Jericho (2006-present)*

10) Xena: Warrior Princess (1995-2001)
9) Twilight Zone (1959-1964)
8 ) The Simpsons (1989-present)
7) The Prisoner (1967-1968)
6) Monty Python's Flying Circus (1969-1974)
5) Lost (2004-present)*
4) Farscape (1999-2003)
3) Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003)
2) The X-Files (1993-2002)
1) Star Trek (1966-1969)

"Star Trek," "Absolutely Fabulous" and "Lost" photos Source

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