17. American Gothic

Air Dates: September 22, 1995 - July 11, 1996
Network: CBS
Best Episode: "To Hell And Back" (July 3, 1996)

Shaun Cassidy, the same showrunner behind the aforementioned Invasion, really can't catch a break. As much as we praised Invasion earlier in this list, Cassidy's more horror-centric ABC series American Gothic was an even better example of Cassidy's talents, yet it suffered a similar one-season fate. The former pop music star should feel proud to know that his work wasn't for naught—he's ranked quite high on Complex's esteemed “Scariest TV Shows” rundown! We're sure he's thrilled.

The honor is well-deserved. Starring terrific character actor Gary Cole as one seriously wicked villain, American Gothic kept its narrative contained to the fictional town of Trinity, South Carolina, which is ruled with an iron fist by a sheriff (Cole) with supernatural ties. The show's dark subject matter touched upon such delightful topics as rape, murder, sexual abuse, and the endangerment of children—so why didn't it last more than a single season again? Oh, that's right—because Cassidy tried something threateningly original. He gets an “A” for effort in our book.

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