Favorite low-budget syndicated TV shows?

Non-reality, so no dating or judge shows.

You know the kind of shows I’m talking about: cheesy special effects, ludicrous plots, cartoonish villains, women in impractically skimpy clothing for no real reason…

Think Xena. The Adventures of Sinbad. Beastmaster.

For non-swords-and-sorcery-types, think V.I.P., Renegade, or Acapulco H.E.A.T.

For the sci-fi route, think Cleopatra 2525, or virtually anything on the Sci Fi Channel throughout the 90s (back when it was still the “Sci Fi Channel”).

My favorite? The Lost World. When I was working nights I would get home around 630AM and it was really the only thing on besides news. At first I was just watching it ironically, but eventually I came to genuinely enjoy it, in all of its awesome crapitude.

Your favorite(s)?

Highlander was pretty cool. Or at least 10 year old me thought it was, I’m probably better off not trying to rewatch it to find out.

As a kid I loved me some What’s Happening!

Raj, Dwayne, Rerun and the gang. Great stuff.

I caught it years (decades?) later and couldn’t believe how all-around bad the acting was. I also never realized that Raj’s glasses obviously had no lenses in them. Final verdict as my adult-self? I still liked it and gladly tune in anytime I’m lucky enough to stumble across it.
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I liked Baywatch, I loved the guys in the skimpy suits. I wanted to look like the women.

I liked Time Trax back in the early 90s.

You are, although Adrian Paul does kick ass with a sword.

Legend of the Seeker was awesome. I mourn its cancellation as much as almost any other show.

Going way back:*** Police Surgeon***, made in Canada and starring the guy who played Jerry, the technician, on Time Tunnel. Brilliantly spoofed in the first season of SCTV.

Another one that I saw in the UK in the '70s: The Professionals, another Canadian police procedural. This one featured William Shatner as the villain (American!) in one episode.

I came here to post this one.

I was also a fan of Tales of the Darkside and its lesser known copy Monsters.

Married With Children

Well, it seems low budget

Jack of All Trades, Cleopatra 2525’s companion show. Bruce Campbell - 'nuff said.

Brisco County, Jr, while we’re at it.

I’ll back The Lost World and Legend of the Seeker, but SyFy’s “Lost Girl” series is a pretty good realization of the urban mythology genre, especially the raunchier side of it, with its bisexual, polymorphously perverse succubus who’s the lead.

I’m also a big fan of Eureka, at least, the first couple of seasons. It had a real picaresque feel to it, combined with a great Mad Science theme. Good stuff!

And I’m not sure the rules permit it, but “The Lost Room,” which is a miniseries and which I’m not SURE was ever syndicated, but DID appear on the SciFi Channel, was absolutely BEST damn SF series EVAH, cheap and syndicated or otherwise. It didn’t rely much on special effects, its budget was miniscule, but the writing was SUPERB.

70’s Dr. Who(Tom Baker). Dumb plots, lame costumes, cheesy special effects, loved it!

I think Unhappily Ever After was widely viewed to be the poor man’s version of Married with Children.

I mainly remember it as background noise but the Tomb Raider knock-off (“Artifact Hunter”? Edit: Relic Hunter!) seemed to be moderately successful. At least it felt like it had more than one season’s worth of material. I remember some X-Men knock-off as well that I think only lasted a season. Effects budget probably did it in. I don’t have “fond” memories of any of these but for a while I was living in an apartment where I got maybe three TV stations so these were usually playing on a weekend evening if I was at home.

The Muppet Show was pretty damn cool.

Going waaaaaay back, there used to be a production company called ZIV productions that specialized in programs for non-network syndication. They ran forever, and they used to be in the 5pm - 7pm slots, when little kids could watch.

Probably the most famous was Sea Hunt, with Lloyd Bridges, but also Ripcord, Bat Masterson, Tombstone Territory and a slew of others that were gone before I was 6 years old. Until I was 7 or 8, that was the only TV I knew because my bedtime was 7:30. Whirlybrids (helicopter law enforcement?) was also great, but i think it was Desilu, not ZIV.

My favorite was Home Run Derby, where each week, 2 MLB sluggers would take turns whacking the bejeezus out of the baseball – but that might be classified as a reality show.

I loved Highlander.

Also a big fan of ***Hercules ***and Xena.

She Spies was fun and filled with eye candy, fronted by the goddess Natasha Henstridge.

The Sentinel was kinda cool. I wish that had run longer.

Misfits of Science? Alphas? No Ordinary Family?

Probably Mutant X (3 seasons, actually).

Oh God, yes, I remember these. Sea Hunt (which I think was an Ivan Tors production, not a Ziv) and Whirlybirds were my absolute favorites.

Chuck and PT were free-lance helicopter pilots, flying that old piston-engined Bell. I used to fantasize about Helen, their switchboard operator.

I think it was the Sea Hunt pilot that used the footage from the F2Y flight tests, where the jet landed in the ocean (and, on TV, promptly sank).