Star Trek (Again) Tops TV Guide List Of Top Cult Shows

For the second time TV Guide has put together a list of the top 30 ‘Cult Shows’ of all time…and Star Trek again tops the list. In fact the top 4 remained the same from the last time they did a list in 2004 (Trek, X-Files, Buffy and Farscape). J.J. Abrams’ Lost is a new entry at number 5, pushing Monty Python down to 6th. See for the full list.


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First? Maybe. Anyway, it’s cool that Trek is first, but I’m not sure it qualifies as a cult show. Star Trek references have become so ingrained in the culture that I think it’s true Americana, not just a cult show.

I don’t consider “cult” derogatory (when it comes to TV, anyway), it’s just that a show like The Prisoner, e.g., qualifies for cult status. I think Trek is in a class all its own. Icon is probably a better word.

Love that Kirk poster, Anthony. I first saw it a year or two ago, and it still makes me laugh out loud every time I see it.

Gotta love Trek, gotta love the Shat, gotta love remastered Trek, and gotta love Trek 2008!!!!

A lotta love for Trek!

American cult? No….
American TV Icon? Hell yes!

I think whenever they make a count down for greatest TV something it’s a sure thing that Star Trek will be on that list some where. Rather it’s for greatest episodes in TV history to greatest show in TV history. Just like whenever they have a list of greatest movies of all time Star Wars is on that list.

Yeah. We’re a cult. In the same way that the Roman Catholic Church (of which I am a proud member, lest I offend someone) is a cult. We’re a very, very *big* cult.

Incidentally, those inspirational posters get all the circulation these days, but many of the lines, including that one, are from, a website that easily absorbed two hundred, three hundred hours of my life in my salad days.

I for one don’t agree with TV guide labeling Star Trek as a “cult” television show. It doesn’t make sense to me….

That conotation seems to imply a television show with a small group of loyal and fanatical fans. Star Trek has a loyal fanbase for sure, but small in number? No way!

Yes, Star Trek fandom does include a group of people that could be considered ‘hardcore” fanatics, but it’s the much larger audience of everyday fans that are truly responsible for the ongoing popularity and financial success of the franchise.

If Trek was just a “cult” favorite, it would have never grown to include four spin off series, ten theatrical films, and over forty years of Trek based toys, books games, collectibles etc..

Mike :o

I have always thought that all Cult means is that it has a fan base that will probably outlast the show or franchise……it has nothing to do with the number of fans.

I don’t mind it being called a “cult” show at all. What they’re getting at isn’t just popularity, but the existence of a fan base that obsessively internalizes and pores over minute details of the fictional universe of the show, and whose attachment to the show can lead to real-world action.

I mean, Trek was saved from cancellation *twice* by collective, organized fan action, in the days when most of said organizing was done via the US Mail. We can actually have technical discussions (indeed, vehement arguments) about arcane matters like whether the turbolift on the bridge is offset from the fore-aft axis of a fictional space vessel from a television show produced more than 40 years ago. And many of us can have said argument without having to consult any reference material.

Yes, there is a larger, non-cultish fan base for Trek, but it’s undeniable that Trek is a cult show. In fact, it’s the *original* cult TV show. We’re a cult, folks. There’s no shame in that.

Trek is a cult phenomenon because it just won’t die. Even when there is no Trek in production, the fan base still keeps it going. (Thank you, New Voyages, et. al.) And because of that fact, it has grown to the size it is in pop culture. Every sci-fi writer has today has to not only craft a convincing story, but they also have the added challange of doing something Trek hasn’t done yet.

Trek was more fun back when it was a cult, before TNG took it mainstream.

Because everybody knows Trek now and we have this new fangled InterWeb® gadget for news, there is no real reason for clubs and events and conventions like there used to be.

Hey you kids! Get off my lawn!

All right, Firefly made the list too!

Fanatical? Yeah you have to thank the people who know every episode by heart, no lives and dress in costume for that. American Pop Culture Icon oh yes but Cult show? I would agree they mis-labled amd mis-defined it. All those others are cult shows.
A cult show is a step below a icon on the evolutionary culture chain here.

Over the years, TV Guide has always been a top promoter for Trek from TOS to ENT. Nice to see

I would rather consider TOS to be a “classic” show instead of a “cult” show. I understand the defintion that TV Guide is using to compile this list, but I still don’t agree it’s accurate when applied to TOS in 2007.

“Classic” television series are those television programs that have stood the test of time, and are still very, very popular decades after they were released. TOS easily fits that definition.

For myself, Star Trek TOS belongs in that elite group of historic programs that have forever changed television. Programs such as “I Love Lucy”, “The Honeymooners”, “The Twilight Zone”, “All in the Family”, “Mash” etc, are all examples of classic television shows that are timeless, and still very popular in syndication.

From what I’ve read in the past, even though TOS wasn’t a top ten series during it’s initial three year run, the number of weekly viewers was still quite respectable. In fact by today’s standards, with so many cable and satelliete channels to choose from, TOS had the numbers to be a hit show.

During the seventies, and well before the ST movies and TNG began, Star Trek did have a strong and loyal following that could be characterized as “cult”, but not anymore. Today the TOS fan base is huge and spans many generations, I don’t believe it fits the TV guide definition of a “cult” at all…

I reality, I think the vast majority of Star Trek TOS fans are far from “fanatics that worship the show”, but instead are people that simply appreciate great television, like myself.

Mike :o



More than 40 years later, looks like we’re going to again change the face of pop culture for an entirely new generation. I can’t wait to get started.

Gotta agree with Shadow…LOVE the poster. Probably ‘cos it’s just SO true :)

And long may Star Trek reign!!

shit! STILL no Invaders! Iam i the only one that remembers that show???

God…leave it to Trekkies to constantly complain about other people’s opinion’s and comments! Geez give me a break Anthony P!

Can’t anyone write a post here without someone feeling the need to attack or belittle the messenger, when they don’t agree with them? What makes you feel your comments are any more valid than mine or others?

I thought this was a site were people could freely share their “personal views and opinions” regarding all things Trek, just as long as you don’t post comments that are rude, incendiary, or offensive to others.

But as usual, most topics here on degenerate into “verbal fistfights” with one or more people thinking their opinions are in some way superior to the others. The end result is predictable and always the same- arguements, childish and sarcastic comments and hostilities over the silliest of subjects. Such BS!

It’s my observation that a small but vocal minority of people that frequent this site, lack the ability to debate in a friendly, humorous and respectful way. It seems that American society in general has this same problem…..


#21 MichaelJohn

I guess we have to accept that while everyone here seems to like Star Trek, not everyone here seems to like other Star Trek fans. ;)

I voted for Petticoat Junction, but somehow it didn’t make the list.

lol @ 20