There have been an endless number of cringe-worthy series throughout television history. Some of them came from an idea that made people wonder who thought it was a good concept in the first place. Even though there are professionals in the field who critique movies for a living, these days, everyone’s a critic. Many of these shows have a shared negative opinion between critics and viewers alike.
It’s safe to say most people turn to tv shows to forget about their life and pretend they’re somewhere else. When a show is good, it makes an audience experience what the characters are feeling and immerse us into their world. It’s an experience unlike any other, and it can even be depressing when a good series ends. None of the shows on this list will make you feel that way. In fact, people were depressed when these shows were on air.
The shows on this list contain failed story ideas, boring characters, and all-around lack basic humor. Whether they were original ideas or adapted from another story, they all had one thing in common- bad reviews. This may contain a few shows you’ve heard of before their short-lived air time was cut for good.
Here are 21 Worst Sitcoms Ever Made (According to Rotten Tomatoes).
21 The Millers: 2013-2015 (47%)
Barely making it two seasons, The Millers was an underwhelming story about a local news reporter and his family, after he tells them that he is now divorced. It scored a weak 47% on the Tomatometer, which isn’t surprising considering its ratings only reached 1.5%. The series was officially cancelled after only four episodes into the second season, for a grand total of only 34 episodes.
A cast that included Will Arnett, Margo Martindale, Jayma Mays and Beau Bridges sounds like it should at least have good acting. Unfortunately, the characters didn’t seem to connect and the lack of chemistry made it seem like they were all bad actors.
It was publicly known that there were character replacements only four months after announcing the series would air, so it appears they never found the perfect cast. A last ditch effort was made when they hired Sean Hayes, but CBS cancelled the show soon after.
20 The Great Indoors: 2016 (45%)
Another CBS failure, The Great Indoors was about Jack Gordon and how his life changed when the magazine he worked for as an adventure reporter, turned digital-only. The sitcom went for a fish out of water story about Jack, played by Joel McHale from Community, settling in to his new desk job after being a regular outdoorsman. The show also featured characters played by Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Stephen Fry.
CBS picked up the series for 19 episodes and ended up adding another three to the lineup. It only lasted the one season though, airing those original 22 episodes. This sitcom received a mere 45% on the Tomatometer. Though trying to explore generation gaps in the workplace, the consensus was that the show played out one long, repetitive joke.
19 1600 Penn: 2012-2013 (43%)
Aired originally on NBC, this series only consisted of 13 episodes. 1600 Penn followed the lives of a blended, dysfunctional family living in the White House. One of the show’s creators, Josh Gad, also starred in the role as the oldest son, Skip Gilchrist, who was irritating and ignorant. It was Skip’s character that seemed to get a lot of negative feedback the show received. Gad is also known as the voice of Olaf in Frozen and his role in the recent Murder on the Orient Express remake.
Considered way over the top, many of the situations the Gilchrist Family found themselves in seemed unrealistic and unbelievable. Many of the jokes fell flat and the storylines were thought to be too impractical for the setting. With all the characters facing individual challenges, there was always so much going on it was hard to decide what to focus on.
18 Angel from Hell: 2016 (41%)
Angel from Hell tells the story of perfectionist/workaholic Dr. Allison, played by Maggie Lawson. Her life is turned upside down when Amy, played by Jane Lynch, comes out of nowhere and claims that she is Allison's guardian angel. The comedic angle came from Allison not being able to really talk to anyone about what’s happening. Though the two form an unlikely friendship, it’s hard to understand why this “angel” knows every little detail about her and is interfering with her life in all the wrong ways.
The series consisted of 13 episodes total, but it was cancelled after being on for a month. The main complaint was that the plot didn’t seem fully developed even though the characters had chemistry, and only scored a 40% on the Tomatometer. Only five of the episodes aired on time, while the remaining episodes were shifted to a Saturday time slot during the summer. Ouch.
17 Uncle Buck: 2015-2016 (32%)
Imitation can be considered the best form of flattery, but for this second tv-adaptation of Uncle Buck, it was anything but. The series fell short, telling the story of an unreliable man-child who learns how to be more adult by taking care of his brother’s kids. Uncle Buck, played by Mike Epps, uses his own silly tactics to do his best to help out with the kids.
The fact that it was based on a beloved film backfired, as it hurt the series instead of helping it. There was only one season consisting of eight episodes that aired before ABC pulled the plug. The show received a low 32% score on the Tomatometer. It’s hard to include every detail, but the series skimmed over some of the important information that made the movie the family classic that it was.
16 Imaginary Mary: 2017 (25%)
Following the life of another workaholic, Amy, played by Jenna Elfman, finds herself unexpectedly falling in love with a father of three. The coming together of her work life and love life triggers her imaginary childhood friend Mary, voiced by Rachel Dratch, to reappear and try to help navigate the transition. Unfortunately, Mary ends up doing more harm than good.
Airing on ABC, the show was cancelled after one season and only aired nine out of the 13 completed episodes. The number of shows was actually decreased before the show had even aired. Imaginary Mary got a score of only 25% on the Tomatometer. With the initial feedback, it was rumored that the show was trying to change the character of Mary, but ultimately the show wasn’t popular enough to keep on the air.
15 Whitney: 2011-2013 (21%)
Set in Chicago, Whitney was a sitcom that aired on NBC. It was based on the real-life experiences of Whitney Cummings, who also wrote and starred in it. The show followed the lives of the unmarried, live-in couple Whitney and her boyfriend, Alex, played by Chris D’Elia. They, along with their friends, tried to figure out how to navigate their relationship after deciding they don’t want to get married. Cummings is also known for her writing on 2 Broke Girls.
Having never really won over the audience, the main character of Whitney was not well received. The show tried to change direction and focus on a fuller cast, instead of just one character. Unfortunately, Cummings was also going through some personal challenges at the time, and the show was cancelled after two seasons, airing a total of 38 episodes. The show received a 21% on the Tomatometer.
14 Bad Judge: 2014-2015 (20%)
Known for her roles in Private Practice and Grey’s Anatomy, Kate Walsh was cast as Judge Rebecca Wright on NBC’s Bad Judge. Judge Wright had a strange courtroom manner and an animated personal life. Following various relationships she pursued, it also highlighted a connection she formed with a young boy whose parents were in jail because of her. The idea of her character changing through her interactions with criminals could be an interesting one, but the title leaned more on the raunchy comedy side, like Bad Teacher and Bad Santa.
The series premiered in the beginning of October in 2014 to mostly negative reviews. It would be cancelled before the month was over, but the network did air the entire series and it finished it's run in January of 2015. There were 13 episodes total, and it received a 20% on the Tomatometer.
13 Mulaney: 2014-2015 (17%)
John Mulaney is widely known for his work on Saturday Night Live as a writer and actor, and as part of the comedy duo Oh, Hello with Nick Kroll. In October of 2015, Mulaney attempted a show that was a fictionalized portrayal of himself. The cast also included Nasim Pedrad as one roommate and Seaton Smith as the other. Martin Short played Lou Cannon, who hires Mulaney to be the lead writer for his show. Together, they experience life’s ups and downs living in New York.
Highly criticized for being too similar to Seinfeld but not being as funny, the show was cancelled after airing for a month. The series suffered from poor ratings and only made it 13 episodes and received a 17% on the Tomatometer.
12 Truth Be Told: 2015 (13%)
In this sitcom, the audience is introduced to Mitch and Russell, who are best friends and neighbors. Mitch is played by Mark Paul Gosselaar, known for his rolls on Saved by the Bell and Raising the Bar. Mitch is an ethics professor and Russell, played by Tone Bell, who was also in Bad Judge, is a stand-up comedian. Along with their wives, played by Vanessa Lachey and Bresha Webb these couples are trying to successfully maneuver through the highs and lows of life.
Originally titled People are Talking, this series attempted an edgy side by throwing in provocative one-liners and keeping no topic off limits. Truth Be Told first aired on NBC in October of 2015 and the final episode aired in December that same year. It received a 13% on the Tomatometer and only consisted of 10 episodes, a decrease from the 13 it was originally ordered for.
11 Rob: 2012 (11%)
When Rob, played by Rob Schneider, marries a Mexican-American woman, his every attempt to get her family to like him ends up in chaos. He knows he’s not the family’s favorite person, so he does everything he can to win them over. The iconic comedian Cheech Marin played the role of his father-in-law, but even that wasn't enough to save this bomb.
Rob was criticized mostly for having unoriginal content and an attempt at integrating Mexican-American culture. Jace Lacob of The Daily Beast said that the show never got deeper than guacamole when it came to Mexican culture. The show’s eight episodes aired on CBS in 2012, from January to March. The series was officially cancelled by the network in May. He was a classic when he was on Saturday Night Live, but this show was a flop receiving an 11% on the Tomatometer.
10 Friends with Better Lives: 2014 (10%)
Most people will agree that they think other people have it better, the grass is always greener on the other side right? That was exactly the synopsis of the sitcom Friends with Better Lives. It highlights the lives of six people who all think the others have it better than them. Since they are all in different stages of their lives, it’s hard to compare what others have, making the show hard t relate to.
James Van Der Beek, Kevin Connolly and Brooklyn Decker were part of the cast, but even with their past success, the show only received a 10% on the Tomatometer. The series aired on CBS in March 2014. Shortly down the line in May, the series was cancelled when only five episodes had aired. The full 13 episodes can now be seen on streaming platforms, such as Amazon Prime and Netflix.
9 Allen Gregory: 2011 (9%)
The animated sitcom Allen Gregory, is about the life of a super intelligent 7-year-old boy of the same name, voiced by Jonah Hill. The audience followed along as the family dealt with the trials and tribulations of life in a recession. In a house with his father and his partner, along with his adopted sister, the kids must now deal with having to attend public school after only experiencing private, due to their financial state.
Hill also voiced characters in How to Train Your Dragon, Megamind and Sausage Party, but this series didn’t become nearly as popular. His character was considered to feel unlikable and the show never felt consistent. It aired from October to December on Fox. It was cancelled after one season and only included seven episodes. The series received a score of 9% on the Tomatometer.
8 Hank: 2009 (8%)
Big-time Wall Street Executive Hank Pryor, played by Kelsey Grammer, suddenly finds himself let go from his job and forced into small-town living. Having been used to providing a life of luxury in New York City for his wife and two kids, they now must try and rebuild a life in Virginia. Of course, this isn't enough drama as they now also live near his wife’s family. Though they have lost everything, Hank tries his best to reconnect with his family.
Receiving bad ratings from the start, the series was officially cancelled after being on ABC in 2009 from September to November. There was a total of 10 episodes made, but only five were aired. Hank received an 8% on the Tomatometer, feeling as though the plot of this sitcom had been played out, sort of like a reverse Everybody Loves Raymond.
7 I Hate My Teenage Daughter: 2011-2012 (7%)
Best friends Annie and Nikki, played by Jaime Pressly and Katie Finneran, find support in each other as they raise their teenage daughters. They need all the help they can get. Being lifelong friends, these two single-moms realize their daughters are becoming the bullies they were tortured by in high school. Not wanting their daughters to be grow up being unlikable, the friends try their best to make sure they are raising good people.
I Hate My Teenage Daughter premiered on Fox in November of 2011. Having not produced enough in the ratings, it was cancelled in March 2012, but not all the episodes had aired. Fox had planned to finish the series over the summer, but ultimately even that fell through. The show was thought to be poorly written and the characters were too stereotypical. It received a 7% on the Tomatometer.
6 Dr. Ken: 2015-2017 (7%)
Having both a career and a loving family, Dr. Ken is about a frustrated doctor who struggles to balance them properly. Ken Jeong, who is known for his roles in The Hangover series and Knocked Up, does have real-life experience as a physician. The series follows his life as he tries to maintain his poorly run clinic and his relationships with his therapist wife, clueless son and self-centered daughter.
This sitcom premiered on ABC in October 2015 and lasted two full seasons with 44 episodes. It was cancelled in May 2017 and received a 7% on the Tomatometer. While there was nothing considered to be wrong with the show, it received mostly negative reviews and most people felt there wasn’t anything that was fresh about it.
5 Work It: 2012 (5%)
When times are tough, two men who lost their jobs attempt to fool the system by dressing as women. Lee, played by Ben Koldyke, ends up getting a job as a pharmaceutical rep. Lee then convinces his friend Angel, played by Amaury Nolasco, to join him. The series tried to have them learn how hard it can be to live as a woman, while giving them a new found appreciation for their "man" selves at night.
Considered wildly inappropriate, the reviews were negative between viewers and critics. Work It, received a 5% on the Tomatometer for being boring, unoriginal and offensive. The cast didn’t seem to click, nothing about the plot worked and many people wondered how it got on air in the first place. It was so negatively received, it stirred up controversy with some members of the LGBTQ community.
4 We Are Men: 2013 (4%)
When Carter, played by Christopher Nicholas Smith, gets left at the altar, his only choice is to move into a short-term rental complex. There, he meets Gil Bartis (Kal Penn), Stuart Strickland (Jerry O’Connell) and Frank Russo (Tony Shalhoub), who are all divorced as well. We are Men focuses on the friendships between the tenants, using their experiences to help get Carter’s life back on track.
The series aired on CBS in 2013 at the end of September. After only two episodes, it was cancelled a few weeks later in early October. The men were said to come off as not relatable and the humor felt cliché. It was also negatively compared as the “male version” of Sex and the City and received a 4% on the Tomatometer.
3 S*** My Dad Says: 2010-2011 (0%)
Struggling as a writer and blogger, Henry, played by Jonathan Sadowski, moves back in with his old-fashioned dad, Ed, played by William Shatner. The pair go through situations that test their already rocky relationship. Henry finally finds work as a writer, even though his father rudely interrupts the interview with a phone call. The editor was intrigued by his father’s personality and he’s forced to continue living with his opinionated, politically incorrect father so he’ll always have more material.
The idea for this sitcom came from Justin Halpern's Twitter feed of the same name. CBS picked up the series in 2010 and it aired in September of that year. There was some concern over the content of the show since the original content was explicit. S*** My Dad Says was pretty negatively received and scored a 0% on the Tomatometer. It was cancelled in February 2011.
2 Dads: 2013-2014 (0%)
Seth Green, who plays Eli Sachs, is no stranger to movies or television. The same can be said of co-star Giovanni Ribisi, who playes Warner Whittemore. When these two 30-something men decide to let their fathers move in with them at the same time, things don't go as smoothly as they thought. In fact, it turns out to be a complete nightmare. Who could have predicted that?
Getting this series to air was tricky from the start. It was originally supposed to be six episodes, straight-to-series, but then it was extended to 13. It ultimately ended up consisting of 19 episodes, airing from September of 2013 until July of 2014. It received a 0% on the Tomatometer for having unlikable characters, racist gags and predictable writing.
1 Saint George: 2014 (0%)
George Lopez has had a rocky career in television. His ratings have been up and down, with his shows seeming to be hit or miss. Saint George, a story where he is a recently divorced night-school history teacher in Los Angeles, was a total miss. His chaotic life included dealing with his stressful ex-wife, his overbearing mother, 11-year-old son and his annoying cousin. Though successful in his career, he was struggling with his personal life.
Another series to receive a 0% on the Tomatometer, the show was said to consist of bad jokes and underdeveloped characters. It was his first appearance in a scripted series since George Lopez on ABC. It aired on FX in March of 2014 and only lasted until May. It was officially cancelled a month later.
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