Not every small-screen show is lucky enough to experience the sort of ridiculous levels of attention being sent the way of recent television hits like The Last of Us or The Mandalorian. However, just because a series isn't pulling in millions of viewers each and every week doesn't necessarily mean it is doomed for eternity.
In fact, on some occasions, a magnificent chunk of sci-fi, side-splitting under-the-radar sitcom, or gripping piece of underrated drama has eventually managed to find a relentlessly passionate, though admittedly somewhat smaller, TV audience that have gone on to immortalise the figures, tale, and worlds on show.
And you can usually spot one of said cult hit televised offerings coming, in all honesty.
Despite boasting the same sort of rich universe, brimming with narrative potential, memorable central characters, and brilliant comedic material that usually gives folks no choice but to return to the laughs time and time again as many a cult classic TV outing, though, each and every one of these shows just couldn't quite take that next step.
Instead, everything from intriguing sci-fi westerns, to long-running NBC sitcoms all joined the list of ultimately forgotten series, even when they appeared to possess all the tools needed to become a fully fledged cult hit.
Kicking things off with a show that looked destined to join the likes of The X Files, Firefly, and Fringe as a soon-to-be cult dramatic sci-fi hit, Starz' Counterpart boasted one hell of a premise.
After working in the Office of Interchange for thirty years, keeping his head down and not making a fuss, J.K. Simmons' in-the-dark employee Howard Silk soon has his world tipped upside down; or rather... duplicated.
The OI actually controls the checkpoint between parallel Earths, Alpha and Prime. And a tense spy thriller of sorts begins to unfold the second Silk meets his Prime counterpart, with Silk Prime acting as a highly skilled and somewhat merciless intelligence officer.
As expected, Simmons' work as both Silks brought home a ton of strong reviews, with Counterpart actually sitting with a 100% Rotten Tomatoes score for both of its two seasons.
Despite such an acclaimed run and the potential definitely being there for more glorious drama to be unpacked, however, Starz eventually opted not to renew the show past Season Two, feeling it didn't fit into their new female-focused strategy .
The fact Simmons' compelling work as dual Silks remains as an easily consumable two-season arc should've made this a prime candidate for cult sci-fi drama immortality. At time of writing, though, precious few are still yet to treat themselves to this consistently gripping thriller.