20 of the Worst TV Movies of All Time

20 of the Worst TV Movies of All Time

Tori Spelling Signs Copies Of "CelebraTORI: Unleashing Your Inner Party Planner To Entertain Friends And Family"

Television movies are a genre all their own. If you have never saw one of these so bad they are good films, consider yourself lucky.  Television movies were generally show on basic network television until the 90s when cable television became more prevelant in people’s homes. Now these movies can be found on networks such as Lifetime, The Hallmark Channel, and ABC Family. It is truly hard to pick which ones are the worst, but we at TV Overmind like a challenge. Here is a list of twenty of the some of the worst television movies ever made. I am sure you are not surprised two starring Tori Spelling made the list.

20. Susie Q, released 1996 on The Disney Channel

Amy Jo Johnson was looking to move past her role of Kimberly on the hit children’s show Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. So, she starred in this cheesy Disney movie written by Shuki Levy, who was famous for writing for Power Rangers. Johnson played Susie, a girl who dies on the way to her winter formal. She shows up 40 years later as a ghost and helps a family led by Shelley Long. Luckily, Johnson was still able to find television success on Felicity, Flashpoint, and Covert Affairs. 

19. The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story, released September 1, 2014 on Lifetime

I was really hoping this TV movie was going to turn out great, but sadly it was nothing but a film that tried to get the audience to feel bad for Dustin Diamond. The film was supposed to focus on all the juicy details that fans never knew were going on behind the scenes of the teen hit. Instead we found out that Mario Lopez was a womanizer, Lark Voorhies was a Jehovah’s witness, and Elizabeth Berkley wanted to be a serious actress. Talk about a yawn-fest.


18. Beauty and the Briefcase, released April 18, 2010 on ABC Family

I have always been a Hilary Duff fan, but even I could not find anything good about this sappy ABC Family Original Movie. Duff stars as Lane Daniels a freelance writer going undercover to find a story for Cosmopolitan magazine. Spoiler alert: Lane falls for a guy why she is working at a finance company. I know what you are thinking: this premise sounds familiar. You would be right. Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey did the same thing in the movie How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.


17. Dying to Belong, released February 24, 1997 on NBC

Before becoming a two-time Academy Award Winner, Hilary Swank starred in several made for television movies. In Dying to Belong, Swank plays Lisa, a college student hoping to become a journalist. Her friend (played by Blossom’s Jenna Von Oy) is killed during a college hazing gone wrong and tries to uncover the truth. The film turns laughable when Swank beds Steven (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) while Sophie B. Hawkins “Damn I Wish I was Your Lover” plays in the background. Scrubs’ Sarah Chalke plays the girl that helped in the hazing slaying.

16. I’ve Been Waiting for You, released March 22, 1998 on NBC

Sarah Chalke is on the list again. Thankfully, she has grown in her acting skills and is not currently starring in such movies as Dying to Belong and I’ve Been Waiting for You, where she plays Sarah a girl who moves to a small town with her mother. She has the same name as a woman who vowed to get revenge on the town after being burned at the stake for practicing witchcraft. In the end, it appear that Chalke’s character is a descendant of the witch and is killing off her classmates.

15. Lucky Christmas, released November 12, 2011 on The Hallmark Channel

After Saved by the Bell ended in 1993, Elizabeth Berkley struggled to find her next breakout role. The actress, who played Jesse Spano on the sitcom, thought starring in the NC-17 rated flop Showgirls would be her big break. Though Berkley never became a movie star she continued to find successes on television including The L Word and CSI: Miami. In 2011, Berkley starred in this awful television movie about a single mother who has been unlucky all her life. She ends up purchasing a lottery ticket with the winning numbers but it gets stolen. Everything turns up perfect at the end while viewers stomachs turn after realizing they will never get those 2 hours back in their lives.


14. Co-ed Callgirl, released February 11, 1996 on NBC

What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your significant other than to watch this horrible movie starring Beverly Hills 90210‘s Tori Spelling. Spelling stars as Joanna, a college student who ends up being signed up for an escort service by a practical jokester. I didn’t think that made sense either. Joanna soon begins to like the lavish lifestyle, but when things go from glamorous to scandalous she wants to get out of the business. However, it may be too late. Happy Valentine’s Day!


13. Twisted Desire, released May 13, 1996 on NBC

Before starring on the hit ABC comedy Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Melissa Joan Hart starred in this terrible made for television movie that was based on real events. Hart plays Jennifer, a rebellious teenage that starts dating Nick, a man who has spent time in jail on assault charges. When her parents go away, Jennifer sleeps with her boyfriend in her parents bed and is caught. Jennifer convinces Nick to murder her parents and he obliges. Jennifer gets back with her old boyfriend and leads police to the murder weapon so Nick goes to jail. Jennifer’s friend finds evidence that she was behind it the whole time and Jennifer goes to a juvenile detention center.

12. Pandemic, released May 26, 2007 on The Hallmark Channel

Tiffani Thiessen starred in a slew of made for television movies after her stint on Saved by the Bell ended in 1993. Most of them do not compare to the horror of the film Pandemic. Theissen plays Dr. Kayla Martin who works for the CDC and must solve a case involving two surfers who have died from bird flu. She must put people under quarantine. Of course, one of them escapes and spreads the disease. The movie also features a drug lord trying to steal the vaccine to cure himself from the disease. The most laughable thing about this movie is the casting of French Stewart as a doctor.

11. Mother, May I Sleep with Danger?, released September 30, 1996 on NBC

Tori Spelling starred in so many made for television movies in the 90s, that it was hard to pick out which one of them was actually the worst. Mother, May I Sleep with Danger? wins the prize because not only was the plot dreadful, but so was the title. Spelling plays Laurel a girl who is dating Kevin. Kevin is obsessed with Laurel and her mother disapproves of the relationship. Sounds like every other TV movie, right? She should have just listened to her mother all along. This movie was originally intended to be released in theaters until it was unable to find a distributor.

10. The Craigslist Killer, released January 3, 2011 on Lifetime

Why Lifetime thought it was necessary to make a movie about a man who murdered someone while searching through the personal ads on Craigslist is beyond me. Maybe it was their way of informing the world of the dangers of online dating. Jake Dorman, who is currently starring on the soon-to-be cancelled Manhattan Love Story, plays the infamous Phillip Markoff. When the movie ends, you realize that (thankfully) Markoff only murdered one woman. However, that doesn’t make for captivating television.

9. This Magic Moment, released August 17, 2013 on The Hallmark Channel

I like Law & Order: Special Victims Unit‘s Diane Neal and Scrubs’  Travis Schuldt so I thought I would like this Hallmark movie. I was wrong. Neal plays Helena Harris, an actress who is filming her new movie This Magic Moment in a small town where Clark Gable (Schuldt) lives as a video store owner. Helena asks Clark to pretend to be her new beau to make her co-star and ex-boyfriend jealous. The two end up falling in love and now Clark must decide between Helena or his ex. Though it sounds complicated, it was merely boring and far from magical.

8. Baby Sellers, released August 17, 2013 on Lifetime

The one thing that makes Baby Sellers more awful than other television movies, is the fact that it stars two Emmy Award winning actresses. Kirstie Alley plays Carla Huxley, a woman behind a baby trafficking scheme. The Bold and the Beautiful‘s Jennifer Finnigan plays the detective that is trying to crack the case. She goes undercover and pretends to be a mother trying to adopt one of these stolen babies. After two boring and ridiculous hours, Detective Morrison catches Alley’s Carla in the act and is apprehended. The sad thing is this movie is based on real events.

7. Nature of the Beast, released October 21, 2007 on ABC Family

The cast is promising. This television movie starred The OC‘s Autumn Reeser, Ugly Betty‘s Eric Mabius (who hooked up with Reeser’s character on The OC) and American Pie‘s Eddie Kaye Thomas. Julia (Reesrer) and Rich (Thomas) are engaged. Julia’s cousins end up taking some of Rich’s medication, and as a result Rich turns into a werewolf. Julia finds out, but still loves him. The two end up getting married and live happily ever after as werewolf and wife.


6. Tasmanian Devils, released January 19, 2013 on Syfy Channel

Syfy has been known to make many cheap movies and Tasmanian Devils is not any different. The movie stars The Wonder Years’ Danica McKellar and Olympian Apolo Ohno, who is part of a group of BASE jumpers who land in Tasmanian wilderness. When he dies, his blood awakens gigantic Tasmanian devils. Can this group survive from these wild beasts? I do not think anyone who even bothered to watch this would care either way.

5. Buried Secrets, released November 4, 1996 on NBC

This would be the one Tiffani Thiessen television movies that is worse than Pandemic. Thiessen plays Annalisse, a young woman who moves to a small town with her mother. The house they are renting belongs to Tim Matheson’s Caly. His daughter disappeared years prior and comes back to seek revenge. She possesses Annalisse’s body and kills her stepmother for taking away her father from her mother and then murdering her. The daughter is played by Dr. Quinn‘s Erika Flores.

4. Visitors of the Night, released November 27, 1995 on NBC

After the end of Full House, Candace Cameron Bure starred in a few made for television movies. None of them compare to the atrociousness of Visitors of the Night. Cameron plays Katie, a girl who disappears. When she returns she begins to act strange. Her mother thinks that aliens are to blame, as more and more teenagers begin showing up missing. She tries to rid the town of these aliens invaders, but can she do it alone? You probably don’t care either way.

3. Jersey Shore Shark Attack, released June 9, 2013 on Syfy

If Joey Fatone is the biggest name you have in your television movie, you are in trouble. Jersey Shore Shark Attack is exactly what the title suggests. The film has characters named Nookie and The Complication, who try to get the police to close the beach after bull sharks swarm around the pier. It is not until Joey Fatone gets eaten alive on stage that the authorities begin to take things “seriously.” The Preppies and The Guidos work together to rid the beach of the sharks.

2. Chupacabra vs. The Alamo, released March 23, 2013 on Syfy

Erik Estradea stars in this Syfy travesty released in 2013. Estrada plays Carlos Seguin, a DEA agent that discovers drug cartel members murdered and their bodies drained of blood. Seguin unearths evidence that chupacabras are to blame for the slayings. Seguin, his partner, and his son face of against the mythical beasts at one of the most historical places in the United States: The Alamo. Cedar Cove‘s Julia Benson also stars.

1. The Karate Dog, released May 5, 2004 on ABC Family

Why ABC Family thought it was a good idea to make a movie about a talking dog who knows karate we may never know. Cho Cho the dog helps Simon Rex’s Peter Fowler track down the man who murdered his owner. Something surprising about this awful movie is the cast. Oscar winner Jon Voight, Emmy winner Jaime Pressly, and Desperate Housewives’ Nicollete Sheridan all star. Even Chevy Chase joins the fun as the voice of Cho Cho. Maybe the channel was trying to build off the popularity of the Air Bud franchise. Thankfully, a sequel of this was never made.

What are some other awful TV Movies? List them in the comments below.

Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

Start a Discussion

Main Heading Goes Here
Sub Heading Goes Here
No, thank you. I do not want.
100% secure your website.