15 Most-Disliked TV Shows Since The 50s


Television, a medium that has entertained, educated, and influenced millions worldwide, has also seen its share of controversies and failures. Some TV shows have been universally adored, while others have faced scathing criticism, low ratings, and public backlash. In this gallery article, we share the 15 most hated TV shows since the 1950s, exploring what went wrong and why these shows failed to resonate with audiences.

My Mother the Car (1965–1966)


“My Mother the Car” is cited as one of the worst TV shows ever made. The series centered on a man whose deceased mother is reincarnated as a talking car. The absurd premise was widely mocked, and the show struggled to find an audience, leading to its cancellation after just one season. 

The Flying Nun (1967–1970)


Starring Sally Field, “The Flying Nun” featured a nun who could take to the skies thanks to her habit’s aerodynamic qualities. The concept was too outlandish for many viewers and critics, who found the show’s premise ridiculous. However, despite the mockery, it managed to last for three seasons.

Holmes & Yoyo (1976–1977)


“Holmes & Yoyo” combined the detective genre with science fiction, featuring a detective paired with a clumsy humanoid robot partner. The mix of genres did not gel well with viewers. Its poor reception led to a quick cancellation.

Manimal (1983)


“Manimal” followed Dr. Jonathan Chase, a man who could transform into any animal to fight crime. Despite innovative special effects for the time, the show’s campy execution and implausible scenarios were heavily criticized. 

Cop Rock (1990)


“Cop Rock,” a television series conceived by Steven Bochco, daringly fused police procedurals with musical theater, featuring both cops and criminals breaking into song. Although ambitious in its concept, the show proved to be a catastrophic experiment, drawing widespread ridicule and meeting its demise after a mere 11 episodes.

The Chevy Chase Show (1993)


“The Chevy Chase Show” was a late-night talk show starring comedian Chevy Chase. In spite of Chase’s popularity from “Saturday Night Live” and his film career, the show was a disaster. Critics panned Chase’s awkward hosting style, and it suffered from low ratings.

Homeboys in Outer Space (1996–1997)


This UPN sitcom followed two African-American astronauts navigating space in a low-budget spaceship. The show was criticized for its stereotypical characters and low-quality production values. 

Cavemen (2007)


Based on GEICO insurance commercials featuring cavemen struggling in modern society, “Cavemen” was an ill-fated sitcom. Even with a strong promotional campaign, “Cavemen” failed to attract viewers, so it was canceled after only six episodes aired.

Viva Laughlin (2007)


“Viva Laughlin” was a musical drama series centered around a casino owner. It attempted to incorporate musical numbers into its storyline but failed in its awkward execution and lackluster performances. 

Dads (2013–2014)


Produced by Seth MacFarlane, “Dads” centered on two successful men whose fathers move in with them. Critics slammed it for its reliance on offensive jokes and stereotypes. The humor was seen as lazy and insensitive, leading to overwhelmingly negative reviews.

The Michael J. Fox Show (2013–2014)


This series followed a news anchor returning to work after a Parkinson’s diagnosis, mirroring Fox’s real-life condition. Critics found it uneven and uninspired, and it failed to attract ample audience, resulting in its cancellation after one season.

Work It (2012)


“Work It” was a sitcom about two unemployed men who dress as women to get jobs. It was panned for being tone-deaf and unfunny. Unsurprisingly, “Work It” was canceled after just two episodes.

The Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer (1998)


This sitcom, set during the Civil War era, featured an African-American butler in Abraham Lincoln’s White House. The show faced immediate backlash for its insensitive premise, particularly for making light of slavery.  

Emily’s Reasons Why Not (2006)


Starring Heather Graham, “Emily’s Reasons Why Not” was hyped as the next big romantic comedy series. However, it failed to impress both critics and audiences, with many citing its lack of originality and charm. ABC canceled the show after just one episode, making it one of the most short-lived series in television history.

Ironside (2013)


A remake of the classic 1960s series, “Ironside” cast Blair Underwood as a paraplegic detective. The script was poorly written, lacked depth, and failed to live up to the original. It also faced controversy for not casting a disabled actor in the lead role. 


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