The Greatest Cult Television Shows of All Time

The Greatest Cult Television Shows of All Time


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Reaching back to the beginnings of television, The Greatest Cult Television Shows offers readers a fun and accessible look at the 100 most significant cult television series of all time, compiled in a single resource that includes valuable information on the shows and their creators.
While they generally lack mainstream appeal, cult television shows develop devout followings over time and exert some sort of impact on a given community, society, culture, or even media industry. Cult television shows have been around since at least the 1960s, with Star Trek perhaps the most famous of that era. However, the rise of cable contributed to the rise of cult television throughout the 1980s and 1990s, and now, with the plethora of streaming options available, more shows can be added to this categorization
Reaching back to the beginnings of television, the book includes such groundbreaking series as The Twilight Zone and The Prisoner alongside more contemporary examples like Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and Hannibal. The authors provide production history for each series and discuss their relevance to global pop culture. To provide a more global approach to the topic, the authors also consider several non-American cult TV series, including British, Canadian, and Japanese shows. Thus, Monty Python’s Flying Circus appears alongside Sailor Moon and Degrassi Junior High. Additionally, to move beyond the conception of “cult” as a primarily white, heteronormative, fanboy obsession, the book contains shows that speak to a variety of cult audiences and experiences, such as Queer as Folk and Charmed.
With detailed arguments for why these shows deserve to be considered the greatest of all time, Olson and Reinhard provide ideas for discussion and debate on cult television. Each entry in this book demonstrates the importance of the 100 shows chosen for inclusion and highlights how they offer insight into the period and the cults that formed around them.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781538122556
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 05/29/2020
Pages: 328
Product dimensions: 7.32(w) x 10.37(h) x 0.99(d)

About the Author

Christopher J. Olson is pursuing his PhD in Media, Cinema, and Digital Studies at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. Previously, he worked as an Adjunct Professor at Dominican University in River Forest, IL, where he taught classes on masculinity and interracial communication. He is the co-author of Possessed Women, Haunted States: Cultural Tensions in Exorcism Cinema (Lexington, 2016) and co-editor of Making Sense of Cinema: Empirical Studies into Film Spectators and Spectatorship (Bloomsbury, 2016) and Heroes, Heroines, and Everything in Between: Challenging Gender and Sexuality Stereotypes in Children's Entertainment Media. Olson is also the author of 100 Greatest Cult Films (Rowman & Littlefield, 2018).
CarrieLynn D. Reinhard is an Associate Professor in Communication Arts and Sciences at Dominican University near Chicago, Illinois. She co-created The Pop Culture Lens podcast and helped found the Professional Wrestling Studies Association. Reinhard is the co-author of Possessed Women, Haunted States: Cultural Tensions in Exorcism Cinema (with Christopher Olson) and author of Fractured Fandoms: Contentious Communication in Fan Communities (Lexington, 2016)

Table of Contents


Absolutely Fabulous (1992-2012)
Adventure Time (2010-2018)
The Adventures of Pete & Pete (1992-1996)
Aqua Teen Hunger Force (2000-2015)
Are You Afraid of the Dark? (1990-2000)
Arrested Development (2003-2019)
Arrow (2012-2020)
Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005-2008)
The Avengers (1961-1969)
Babylon 5 (1994-1998)
Battlestar Galactica (1978-1979)
Baywatch (1989-2000)
Beauty and the Beast (1987-1990)
The Black Adder (1982-1983)
000 Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003)
Charmed (1998-2006)
Community (2009-2015)
Cowboy Bebop (1998-1999)
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (2015-2019)
The Critic (1994-2001)
Daria (1997-2001)
Dark Shadows (1966-1971)
Darkwing Duck (1991-1992)
Deadwood (2004-2006)
Degrassi Junior High (1987-1989)
A Different World (1987-1993)
Doctor Who (1963-present)
Dragon Ball Z (1996-2003)
Family Guy (1999-present)
Farscape (1999-2003)
Fawlty Towers (1975-1979)
Fraggle Rock (1983-1987)
Freaks and Geeks (1999-2000)
Frisky Dingo (2006-2008)
Futurama (1999-2013)
Gargoyles (1994-1996)
Gilligan’s Island (1964-1967)
Gilmore Girls (2000-2007)
The Golden Girls (1985-1992)
Hannibal (2013-2015)
He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983-1985)
Home Movies (1999-2004)
H.R. Pufnstuf (1969-1970)
Iron Chef (1993-1999)
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (2005-present)
The Joy of Painting (1983-1994)
Key and Peele (2012-2015)
The Kids in the Hall (1988-1994)
Kolchak: The Night Stalker (1974-1975)
The League (2009-2015)
Lost (2004-2010)
Lost in Space (1965-1968)
Lucha Underground (2014-present)
Max Headroom (1987-1988)
Monty Python’s Flying Circus (1969-1974)
Mr. Show with Bob and David (1995-1998)
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (2010-2019)
My So-Called Life (1994-1995)
Mystery Science Theater 3000 (1988-1999)
The Office (2001-2003)
Outlander (2014-present)
Oz (1997-2003)
Parks and Recreation (2009-2015)
Pee-wee’s Playhouse (1986-1991)
Pinky and the Brain (1995-1998)
Police Squad! (1982)
The Prisoner (1967-1968)
Quantum Leap (1989-1993)
Queer as Folk (2000-2005)
Red Dwarf (1988-2017)
The Ren & Stimpy Show (1991-1996)
Rocko’s Modern Life (1993-1996)
Roswell (1999-2002)
Sailor Moon (1995-2000)
Saved by the Bell (1989-1992)
Scrubs (2001-2010)
SCTV (1976-1981)
Sense8 (2015-2018)
Smallville (2001-2011)
South Park (1997-present)
Space Ghost Coast to Coast (1993-2008)
Spaced (1999-2001)
Sports Night (1998-2000)
Star Trek (1966-1969)
The State (1993-1995)
Steven Universe (2013-present)
Strangers with Candy (1999-2000)
Supernatural (2005-2020)
Tenacious D (1997-2000)
The Tick (1994-1997)
True Blood (2008-2014)
The Twilight Zone (1959-1964)
Twin Peaks (1990-1991)
Upright Citizens Brigade (1998-2000)
Veronica Mars (2004-present)
The Walking Dead (2010-present)
The Wire (2002-2008)
Xena: Warrior Princess (1995-2001)
The X-Files (1993-2018)
The Young Ones (1982-1984)

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