Not every TV show is award-winning — and even the worst of them can still be enjoyable to watch. Everyone’s taste is different, but these shows are almost universally considered the worst sitcoms of all time.
1. The Nanny
Most people associate The Nanny with Fran Drescher’s voice. Surprisingly, her voice was not part of the argument for why this show was unsatisfactory. Instead, viewers complained that the show was unsophisticated and lacked humor.
2. All That Glitters
Although some of the complaints may be due to differing views and values, All That Glitters received a lot of criticism, some of these complaints included calling the acting mediocre and the writing flat.
This show came about after Jim Breuer and Dave Chappelle were featured on Home Improvement. Though well-intentioned, Buddies did not receive the praise the creators hoped for. Even Dave Chappelle wasn’t proud of this one, and that’s saying something.
4. Chicken Soup
Chicken Soup was criticized for Jackie Mason’s acting and unnecessary monologues. It didn’t even pass a few episodes before it was canceled.
5. My Big Fat Greek Life
Critics of the sitcom said that the humor and writing were weak. Others called it ordinary and bland. Nobody seemed disappointed when it was canceled after only a few episodes.
6. Baby Talk
Known for being short-lived, Baby Talk was voted “the worst series on television” in 2001. Even Tony Danza and Scott Baio couldn’t save this one.
7. Life with Lucy
Even Lucille Ball fans were disappointed with the quality of Life with Lucy. Someone said, “They should have called it ‘Afterlife’ with Lucy.” It makes sense why this show was taken off the air so soon.
Many viewers of AfterMASH hoped it would be much like its predecessor, M*A*S*H. Unfortunately, these fans of the original show noted that it wasn’t the same, ultimately leading to the show being disappointing and canceled.
9. Ferris Bueller
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is such an iconic and well-received film, but the show based on the film was sadly neither. This show was named one of the worst shows of the year by critics and debuted at the same time as another similar show, Parker Lewis Can’t Lose. Unfortunately, Ferris Bueller didn’t make it and was taken off the air before Parker Lewis was.
10. The Help
Although the show was one of the most watched in its time slot, critics had only bad things to say about The Help. In fact, one critic noted that it “comes off like a school play, clumsily blocked, loudly acted, and nearly shouted down by obligatory laughter and applause.”
11. Major Dad
Many people have posted positive reviews of this show as they watch or re-watch it decades later. However, viewers were highly critical of the main character and his personality when the show aired.
12. Silver Spoons
There are mixed reviews for this show, depending on where you look. While some viewers thought the performances were heartfelt and touched on important topics, the show ultimately ended up being canceled after it switched to a different time slot with poor reception.
13. Charles in Charge
Charles in Charge was ultimately canceled due to low ratings, but it had highly mixed reviews during its time on the air. Some viewers called the show wholesome and noted that it was a good comedy, while others complained that it was “moronic, predictable, and stupid.”
14. The Tammy Grimes Show
In the 60s, canceling a show before the season ended was uncommon. Due to unfavorable ratings and criticism, the show was off the air after a month, despite having unaired episodes that had already been made.
15. My Mother, The Car
When this show aired, other shows with a supernatural theme did quite well. Sadly, TV Guide named My Mother the Car the “second-worst of all time” in 2002. Since then, there have been other shows that have earned that title.
16. The Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer
This show has a 20% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and was called “juvenile, obscene, and overtly outrageous.” by one critic. Another said, “At first glance, what’s most surprising is how afraid it is of its premise.” It was hard to find even one review supporting this show.
17. Hello, Larry
Don’t mistake longevity for an acknowledgment of quality. Hello, Larry was on the air for about two seasons, despite receiving abysmal reviews. This show also made TV Guide’s worst shows of all time list in 2002.
18. Baby Bob
Shows featuring talking babies are not uncommon now, but at the time, Baby Bob was named one of the worst TV shows of all time by TV Guide. It started with strong ratings, which quickly took a turn for the worse.
Following the classic film of the same name, the TV show was not well-received. Many people felt it was a disastrous attempt to follow up a silver-screen success with a sitcom, which is rarely a good choice.
Viewers must have been hoping that the show would offer something more than just women in bathing suits because NBC canceled it after one season due to low ratings. They could not justify keeping it on the air with high production expenses. It was revived for the syndication market, however.
21. One of the Boys
Although it featured some incredible actors — namely Nathan Lane, Dana Carvey, and Mickey Rooney, this show was quite disappointing. A featured review of the show said it was “surprisingly bland considering the cast.” It only lasted one season.
22. Out of This World
This sitcom had a lot of promise and was based on an exciting storyline: a girl discovers she is half-alien. Sadly, this show received mostly negative reviews, and it was even said to be “quite possibly the worst sitcom ever made — it’s a complete failure on every level.”
Daisy Frisch is a writer and editor who grew up reading and writing before she knew much else. For more than a decade, she has focused on SEO content writing, which has included writing legal and medical copy for lawyers and hospitals all over the country to creating riveting blogs for landscaping and home decor websites. She studied English and Journalism in California, where she also worked in music journalism, interviewing artists as well as reviewing live shows and albums. In addition to an appreciation for music, she is interested in many art forms and fandoms, including but not limited to her decades-old Pokemon card collection, old fighting games, and a fascination for why people do the things they do. If you sit her down with a fantasy novel or put a thriller movie on, it would be hard to tear her away.