Today, TV Guide decided to update their Top 30 Cult TV Shows list. Last updated in 2004, the list now sports some new, shiny TV shows, like Jericho and LOST. Its an interesting list, both from what shows are on it and what isn’t and also from a ‘cult’ status. Let’s see some of the selections:

  • H.R. Pufnstuf clocks in at #27. Cult? I’d hate to be a member of that cult. H.R. Pufnstuf is scarier than Scientology, although it makes more sense.
  • Firefly is at #25. Absolutely this is a cult TV show, and it is certainly better than many of the shows above it. I’m looking at you, Quantum Leap. This is one show the definitely should be higher.
  • Babylon 5 is at #16. Another one I’d say has a definite cult following, albeit a more muted cult than, say, the Browncoats. I’d also say that I’d put it a bit higher on the list, maybe even in the top 10.
  • Battlestar Galactica is at #14. Alright, so, is the new BG a cult favorite? It gets a ton of press and blog attention. I guess being on cable, and with fairly low ratings (overall, not in terms of cable shows), qualifies as being a cult. But I don’t see the ‘cultishness’ playing out on the web. And I’m not ready to put it higher than B5. Yet.
  • Jericho debuts at #11. Oh please. Just because the show gets a limited revival because the network received tons of nuts in the mail doesn’t make this a cult show. Not yet. Star Trek wasn’t a cult show because it was canceled, then revived. It became a cult show because of its long term impact on fans. Jericho isn’t there yet, and I don’t think it ever will. It’s just not up to par with some of the other cult shows quality-wise, and placing it at #11 is ludicrous. It should be close to #30.
  • LOST is found at #5. Love it or hate it, LOST has definitely had impact on fans. Not only is it a popular show, it also has rabid fans infesting the ‘Net. Which leads to the question: If a show is really popular, can you call it a ‘cult’ show?
  • And last, Star Trek, the original, is, of course, at #1. How could the show that defined ‘cult TV’ not be at number 1? The question here is: Can you consider any of the follow on series to be a ‘cult’ TV show?

What jumps out at me here is that while Jericho gets some love, Heroes doesn’t? What. The. Hell? But then again, it all comes down to the definition of ‘cult’ in a TV sense. Is Jericho more cultish than Heroes? My gut feeling here is no. Certainly, Heroes is more popular, but does more popular mean not cult anymore? If so, then why is LOST on the list? The TV Guide article mentions these questions, but then proceeds to not answer them.

It’s still an interesting list. What do you guys think?

Filed under: TV

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