Counting Down The Worst TV Shows Of All Time
There are some shows that just don’t live up to the hype. Some shows that are so bad, they’re good. And then there are those shows that are just plain terrible. The Worst TV Shows of All Time list is filled with the latter. From mind-numbingly boring reality shows to Laugh-In wannabes, these are the shows that should have never seen the light of day. So sit back, relax, and prepare to be entertained by this list of the worst TV shows of all time.
Ferris Bueller was based on the beloved film of the same name, but was not as fortunate in capturing the audience’s attention. It lacked all the elements that made the original film special and a classic until today. Neither writer/director John Hughes or star Matthew Broderick had anything to do with the series. The show starred Charlie Schlatter in the title role and Jennifer Aniston is known for being in it in her early career.
The show was not well-received by fans of the movie or critics. The Chicago Sun-Times said that the show was “an utter disgrace”. Ferris Bueller was canceled after just thirteen episodes.
The Phyllis Diller Show
The Phyllis Diller Show was a sitcom that aired on ABC from 1966-1967. The show was based on the stand-up comedy act of Phyllis Diller. ABC was attempting to recreate the Lucille Ball level television star. It was Phyllis Diller’s first foray into television and it did not go well. It was described as having mediocre reviews and startlingly low ratings.
Initially, the series was launched as The Pruitts of Southampton and was changed in the middle of the season. However, the ratings were still low. Phyllis Diller herself called the show “a funeral service in prime time”. The Phyllis Diller Show was canceled after just one season.
*BLEEP* My Dad Says
*BLEEP* My Dad Says was a sitcom based on the popular Twitter account of the same name. When Twitter boomed in the late 2000s, many studios picked up development deals from popular Twitter accounts and this show was one of the many examples of it. It was based on the story of Justin Halpern, who ran the account “BLEEP My Dad Said” which allegedly featured witticisms by his father Sam. The show starred William Shatner as the titular character.
It was panned for its bad jokes and bad acting. According to reviews, it contained “the worst qualities of every lame, four-camera, laugh-tracked sitcom on television,”. The show was canceled in the middle of its first season.
October Road was a drama that followed the life of a novelist who goes back to his hometown. ABC attempted to follow the success of Grey’s Anatomy in the mid-late 2000s with many primetime soap operas and this show is one of them. It starred Bryan Greenberg as the main star, who returned to his hometown after a decade away, and attempts to restore his life and relationships.
Most reviews were negative and one critic stated that the show was “leaden, preposterous and pretentious all at once.” October Road lasted for only two seasons.
Knight Rider (2008) was a reboot of the 1980s series of the same name. The original starred David Hasselhoff and William Daniels, and it was considered a massive success at that time. However, the reboot proved to be different in terms of success. The show followed the adventures of Michael Knight, played by Justin Bruening, and his supercar KITT.
NBC launched the show in 2008 and it unfortunately bombed in its ratings. The show was panned for its bad writing and bad acting. It was also criticized for its lack of originality. The A.V. Club said that the show was “a bad retread of a bad show”. Knight Rider was canceled after just one season.
Rob starred Rob Schneider as a man who marries into a wealthy Mexican-American family. The synopsis of the show is about a “lifelong bachelor and landscape architect with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, who marries into a tight-knit Mexican American family and attempts to be closer to them, often ending in disastrous results despite his good intentions.” The show was heavily criticized for its racist and sexist jokes.
The series was also panned for its poor writing and bad acting. Turns out audiences had no desire for a weekly episodic dose of Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo. Rob was canceled after just seven episodes.
Rules of Engagement
Rules of Engagement was a sitcom that aired on CBS from 2007 to 2013. It was about two couples and their friends. It starred Oliver Hudson, David Spade, Megyn Price, and Bianca Kajlich in the lead role. Despite its long run on television, the show is still considered bad by the viewers.
The series was not well received by critics. A viewer described it, “The story lines are every bit as insufferable as the punch lines”. However, it had good ratings and was able to last for seven seasons with 100 episodes before it was canceled.
Painkiller Jane was a drama that aired on Sci-Fi in 2007. It was based on the comic book character of the same name. The show starred Kristanna Loken in the lead role.
However, the series was poorly produced and it did not have enough audience to continue airing on TV. The show was canceled after only one season.
Modern Men was a sitcom that aired on CW in 2006. It was about three men who try to adapt to the modern world of women. It starred Eric Lively, Josh Braaten, and Max Greenfield in the lead role, while Jane Seymour played as a life coach who helped them in their love lives. The series was criticized by its viewers.
USA Today called it “yet another terrible WB sitcom that should have never been made,” while the New York Daily News called it “a waste of money and time.” Modern Men was canceled after just seven episodes.
Baby Bob was a sitcom that aired on CBS from 2002-2003. This show was one of products of websites in the 2000s that launched their own ad campaigns with recognizable mascots and characters. It was based on the website freeinternet.com’s talking Baby Bob. The show was about a baby who could talk. It starred Scott Baio in the lead role.
The series was not as successful as the Baby Bob character from the internet. Many people think that the talking baby joke played much better in small commercial doses than a full series. In addition, many felt that the premise of the show was unrealistic and offensive. Baby Bob was canceled after just six episodes.
The Ugliest Girl In Town
The Ugliest Girl In Town was a sitcom that aired on ABC from 1968-1969. The show was about an ugly duckling named Tessa who becomes a model. It starred Linda Gray in the lead role. The series was panned for its bad writing and bad acting.
Furthermore, many felt that the premise of the show was unrealistic and complicated. It was one of ABC’s failed shows that they did not air the episodes that were already produced. The Ugliest Girl In Town was canceled after just one season.
The Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer
Airing for just four episodes in 1998, The Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer was a comedy series that was met with controversy from the start.
The show was set during the Civil War and followed the exploits of a black butler who worked in the White House. The show was accused of being racist and insensitive, ultimately leading to its cancellation.
AfterMASH was a spin-off of the popular sitcom M*A*S*H. The show followed the lives of three main characters from the original series: Colonel Potter, Father Mulcahy, and Klinger.
While the show had a solid cast and some good writing, it failed to capture the magic of the original series. AfterMASH was canceled after just two seasons.
The Jerry Springer Show
For over twenty years, The Jerry Springer Show has been shocking audiences with its trashy topics and debaucherous guests. From cheating spouses to out-of-control teens, there’s no topic that’s off limits for Springer.
And while some find the show to be a guilty pleasure, others find it to be nothing more than a crass spectacle. The Jerry Springer Show ran for 27 seasons, taping over 3,800 episodes. Springer made it out with around $8 million per season during the show’s peak.
Cop Rock was a short-lived musical police drama that aired for just 11 episodes in 1990. The show followed the everyday lives of police officers in Los Angeles, set to a soundtrack of original songs.
The show was panned by critics and viewers alike, with many finding the concept to be jarring and off-putting. Cop Rock was nominated for four Golden Raspberry Awards, which honor the worst in film.
My Mother the Car
My Mother the Car was a short-lived sitcom that aired for just one season in 1965. The show followed the exploits of a man named David Crabtree, who inherited his late mother’s car. The only problem is, his mother’s soul has been reincarnated into the vehicle.
The show was met with poor reviews and low ratings, ultimately leading to its cancellation. TV Guide placed the show as #2 on its list of “Worst TV Shows.”
The Flying Nun
The Flying Nun was a comedy series that aired for three seasons in the late 1960s. The show followed the exploits of Sister Bertrille, a nun with the ability to fly.
The show was popular with viewers, but it was panned by critics. Time magazine called The Flying Nun “one of the worst shows on television.” Field is still embarrassed by her involvement in the original 1967-1970 release.
Hello Larry was a sitcom that aired for two seasons in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The show followed the exploits of a widowed father who worked as a radio host.
The show was panned by critics and viewers alike, with many finding it to be unfunny and unenjoyable. Hello Larry was canceled after just two seasons.
Killer Instinct was a crime drama that aired for just one season in 2005. The show followed the exploits of a former FBI profiler who now worked as a professor.
The show was panned by critics and viewers alike, with many finding it to be boring and unenjoyable. Killer Instinct was canceled after just one season.
Cavemen was a comedy series that aired for just six episodes in 2007. The show was based on the Geico commercial characters and followed their everyday lives.
The show was panned by critics and viewers alike, with many finding it to be unfunny and offensive. Cavemen was canceled after just six episodes.
Homeboys in Outer Space
Homeboys in Outer Space was a comedy series that aired for just one season in 1996. The show followed the exploits of two black astronauts who crash-landed on a strange planet.
The show was panned by critics and viewers alike, with many finding it to be unfunny and offensive. Homeboys in Outer Space was canceled after just one season.
The Chevy Chase Show
The Chevy Chase Show was a talk show that aired for just four weeks in 1993. The show was met with poor reviews and low ratings, with many finding Chase to be unprepared and unfunny.
The show was canceled after just four weeks, making it one of the shortest-lived talk shows in history.
The Powers of Matthew Star
The Powers of Matthew Star was a sci-fi series that aired for just one season in 1982 and 1983. The show followed the story of an alien who came to Earth and took on the form of a teenage boy.
The show was panned by critics and viewers alike, with many finding the plot unnecessary and unenjoyable. The plotlines became incomprehensive and the viewers started to question the show’s premise.
Baywatch Nights was a crime drama that aired for just two seasons in 1995 and 1996. The show followed the exploits of a group of lifeguards who also worked as detectives.
The show’s overt relationships and overdone drama were a bit much at times. Baywatch Nights was canceled after just two seasons.
Co-Ed Fever was a comedy series that aired for just one season in 1983. The show followed the story of a group of co-eds who lived in a dormitory together.
Alongside ABC’s Delta House and NBC’s Brothers and Sisters, the frat-house comedy was not a big hit to viewers. The show was panned by critics and viewers alike, with many finding it to be unfunny and offensive. Co-Ed Fever was canceled after just one episode.
Woops! was a comedy series that aired for just one season in 1992. The show followed the exploits of a group of people who survived a nuclear holocaust. The show was panned by critics and viewers alike, with many finding it to be unfunny and offensive.
TV Guide named the show “the 42nd-worst TV show of all time,” mentioning the piece as a “post-apocalyptic Gilligan’s Island.” Woops! Was canceled after just one season.
Hogan’s Heroes was a comedy series that aired from 1965-1971 and followed the story of a group of Allied prisoners of war who worked to escape their Nazi captors. The show was popular with viewers but was panned by critics for its bad jokes and offensive humor.
The Washington Post called it “one of the most deplorable situation comedies ever conceived.” Hogan’s Heroes was canceled after just six seasons.
Flying High starred Kathryn Witt, Connie Sellecca, and Pat Klous as three attractive flight attendants working for the fictional Sunwest Airlines. The show was a spin-off of the popular film Airplane! And featured similar humor.
However, the jokes fell flat and many viewers found the show to be offensive. Flying High was canceled after just thirteen episodes.
Ghost Whisperer ran for five seasons from 2005-2010 and was a supernatural drama following the story of a woman who could communicate with ghosts. The show was panned by critics for its bad writing and bad acting.
The New York Times said that “Ghost Whisperer seemed content to recycle plot lines and offer ghostly guests who were more pathetic than fearsome.” The show was canceled after just five seasons.
Black Scorpion was released in 2001 and was a crime drama that followed the story of a female police officer who fought crime in Los Angeles. The show was panned by critics for its bad acting, bad writing, and bad special effects.
The Boston Herald ruthlessly mentioned that “This series looks like a sad refuge for actors down on their luck.” Black Scorpion was canceled after just thirteen episodes.
Galactica 1980 was a sci-fi series that aired for just ten episodes in 1980. The show was a spin-off of the popular Battlestar Galactica series and followed the story of the crew of the Galactica as they tried to find a new home after their planet was destroyed.
The show lacked the charm and many favorited characters from the first interpretation. Galactica 1980 was canceled after just ten episodes.
Murphy’s Law was a short-lived 1986 sitcom that starred George Segal as Murphy Brown, an insurance fraud investigator. His character was not well-liked by the public. The show was also denounced by critics for its bad acting, bad writing, and bad jokes.
Newsday describes it as “A series so monumentally meaningless, so pathetically puerile, so irredeemably ridiculous that, within my limited professional context, it prompts the Biggest Question of them all: Why is there television?”. Murphy’s Law was canceled after just six episodes.
Life With Lucy
Life With Lucy was a sitcom that starred Lucille Ball and Gale Gordon. Even with the legendary Lucille Ball, the show was an unfortunate experiment.
The Washington Post laughably stated that “Reruns of Life With Lucy may have a future as a torture device for use on captured KGB agents and drug smugglers.” Life With Lucy was canceled after just eight episodes.
Manimal was a short-lived 1983 drama series that starred Simon MacCorkindale as Dr. Jonathan Chase, a man who could transform into any animal. The show was panned by critics for its bad acting, bad writing, and bad special effects.
The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Fantasy noted, “Axed after seven regular episodes, the only surprise being that it ever got past the pilot stage”. Manimal was canceled after just eight episodes.
Hee Haw Honeys
Hee Haw Honeys starring Kathe Lee Gifford, Misty Row, Gailard Sartain, Lulu Roman, with Kenny Price as the host. It was a comedy variety show that was a spin-off of the long-running country music series Hee Haw.
Sadly, the spin-off was not as adored as the original. The show was criticized for its bad jokes and bad acting.
The Brady Bunch Variety Hour
The Brady Bunch Variety Hour is known for its “show-within-a-show” premise in which the Brady family puts on a variety show. The show was panned by critics for its bad jokes, bad acting, and bad singing.
The Los Angeles Times said that the show was “a desperate attempt to cash in on the popularity of a long-running series.” The Brady Bunch Variety Hour was canceled after nine episodes.
Happy Hour had the same two main writers as That ’70s Show, but it was not as successful as the latter. The show followed the lives of three friends in Chicago.
Happy Hour starred John Sloan as a man rebuilding his life upon losing much of his social and professional life. Of the 13 episodes that were shot, only four were ever aired.
Dads starred Seth Green, Giovanni Ribisi, and Brenda Song. The show was about two successful video game developers whose dads move in with them.
Dads was heavily criticized for its racist, sexist, and homophobic jokes. The show was also panned for its bad writing and worse characters. As per Rotten Tomatoes, it was “A near-total disaster, Dads makes the fatal mistake of believing its racist gags can lend an edge to its aggressively predictable writing and unlikeable characters.” Dads was canceled after just six episodes.
Inhumans produced by Marvel was intended to be a cinematic event. However, it did not gain the same success as Marvel’s popular Avengers franchise. Unfortunately, the show was anything but that. The New York Times said that the show was “a mess on every level”.
Rotten Tomatoes summed it up as “Marvel’s Inhumans sets a new low standard for the MCU with an unimaginative narrative, dull design work, weak characters, and disengaging soapy melodrama.” Inhumans was canceled after just eight episodes.
Work It came out in 2012 and was about two men who dress as women to get jobs in the pharmaceutical industry. The show was a disaster to say the least. The concept in itself was controversial and outdated which caused viewers to denounce it.
It was heavily criticized for its premise and The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation released the following statement regarding the show “during a period in which the transgender community now routinely finds itself in the cultural crosshairs, the timing couldn’t be worse for a show based on the notion that men dressed as women is inherently funny.” Work It was canceled after just two episodes.
Dirty Dancing is based on the highly successful film of the same name. It aired in 1988, a year after the popular film was released. The show was a musical drama that followed the story of Baby (played by Jennifer Grey) and her love for dance.
Without its original cast, Dirty Dancing failed to live up to its hype. LA Times wrote that the show “plays like an extended shampoo commercial”. Dirty Dancing was canceled after just eleven episodes.
Clerks (Unaired Pilot)
Clerks was an unaired sitcom pilot based on the cult classic film of the same name. The show was intended to be a continuation of the events of the movie. Obviously, the series was considered terrible enough that it was never aired on television.
ABC attempted to reshape the concept of the film into a typical sitcom with no involvement from any of the actors or Smith himself. However, it was not received well by fans of the original film. The Clerks series was never aired on television.
The Muppets is a 2015 series that was a mockumentary-style sitcom following the personal and professional lives of The Muppets. The show was heavily criticized for its adult humor which many felt was out of character for The Muppets.
Instead of focusing on the elements the characters were famous for, like over the top humor and musical numbers, the show focused on the everyday personal and professional lives of The Muppets during production of Up Late with Miss Piggy, a fictional late-night talk show starring Miss Piggy airing on ABC after Jimmy Kimmel Live. It strayed from the concept of the classic variety series The Muppet Show from the 1970s. Unfortunately, it was not as well-received as the original. The Muppets was canceled after just one season.
Father of the Pride
Father of the Pride was released by NBC in 2004. The show was an animated sitcom that followed the lives of a family of white lions who worked for Siegfried & Roy. It was heavily hyped before its launching, but ended up in dismayed reviews and low ratings. The show was heavily criticized for its crude humor and bad animation.
Many people found the concept of the show very disrespectful following the tragedy of Roy with a tiger that took his life. The New York Times said that the show was “not just bad, but offensive”. Father of the Pride was canceled after just thirteen episodes.
That ’80s Show
That ’80s Show was a comedy that followed a group of friends in the San Francisco area during the 1980s. It was Fox’s attempt to recreate the success of the iconic That ’70s Show.
They hired the same set of producers but created a totally unrelated show from the first one. It wasn’t a spin-off or look into the future of any of the characters. The show was not well-received by critics. The San Francisco Chronicle said that the show was “about as funny as a root canal”. That ’80s Show was canceled after just twelve episodes.