Popular TV Series That the Critics Hated

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution

Whether or not a TV series is good is a matter of opinion. With an ever-growing library of options, television critics and viewers alike often have very different takes on what makes a likable show.

What explains this difference of opinion? It could be that television critics judge programs by artistic criteria that mean little to the audience, or that viewers are willing to forgive some flaws if a show resonates with them. Whatever the reasons, throughout TV history, plenty of the most popular shows of all time have been relentlessly panned by critics. (Here are the 100 best sitcoms of all time.)

In some cases, reviewers had nice things to say about a series when it debuted and for its first season or two, but criticized it if it fell apart in later seasons. Once they’d become invested in it, loyal audiences tended not to care if it went downhill, and stuck around for it anyway.

To determine the TV shows critics hated but audiences love, 24/7 Tempo reviewed data on audience and critics rating from review aggregator Metacritic, a property of Red Ventures. Television shows were ranked based on the difference between their Metascore rating, an aggregation of accredited critics ratings, and their Metacritic user rating.

Many genres are represented on this list, from sitcoms to thrillers to sci-fi epics and more. Although all of the shows here had fervent fans, they varied widely in popularity. Some were long-running network programs that lasted for a decade. Others were niche shows that had a small but dedicated following, failed to find a wide audience, and quickly disappeared. These are the best TV shows that were canceled after one season.

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