IT, (aka STEPHEN KING'S IT), Tim Curry, 1990, © Warner Bros. / Courtesy: Everett Collection
(Photo by © Warner Bros. / Courtesy: Everett Collection)

All Stephen King TV Series, Miniseries, TV Movies Ranked

TV has been a favorite home to adaptations of Stephen King books and short stories into series, mini-series, and TV movies since 1979 TV series Salem’s Lot. Whether developed for television or straight-to-video — remember video tapes? — TV and movie translations of, or based on, the horror master’s work have long been fan favorites, even if they didn’t receive much critical acclaim.

But which is the best? Rotten Tomatoes dug up 30 Stephen King made-for-TV movies, TV shows, and streaming series and ranked them by their Tomatometer scores. The top 10 is made up of six of the most recent King adaptations — yay, progress! — including The Outsider, which hit HBO in 2020.

Some titles, like The Dead Zone with Anthony Michael Hall, that happened before Peak TV don’t have enough reviews of their seasons to get series-level scores and are listed alphabetically at the end of the list below (that is, you will see them first as you read down the page). Season 1 of The Dead Zone, for instance, has a 77% score on 13 reviews, but has no scores on its other five seasons and therefore doesn’t meet the criteria for a series-level score (at least half of a show’s seasons must have scores).

You may also note that while films that are Certified Fresh are clearly labeled here, TV shows are Certified Fresh by season, and season badges won’t show up in a mixed list of film and series-level scores — click through to the shows’ overview pages to find out how many seasons are Certified Fresh.

Have a look at all Stephen King TV and streaming series and movies ranked by Tomatometer. Have we forgotten your favorite? Remind us in the comments.

The Dead Zone (2002)

#30
Synopsis: A Maine man uses his psychic powers to assist people in need in this paranormal series inspired by Stephen King's... [More]

#29
Adjusted Score: 0%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The seventh in the series of films loosely based on a short story that appeared originally in Stephen King's Night... [More]
Directed By: Guy Magar

#28
Adjusted Score: 0%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: This fourth installment in the horror saga bears little resemblance to Stephen King's original tale. Unlike the third episode, which... [More]
Directed By: Greg Spence

#27
Adjusted Score: 0%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: John Porter is being tormented by evil spirits who killed his sister three-decades earlier. They start by taking over the... [More]
Directed By: Adam Grossman

#26
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Adapted from characters created by Stephen King, Sometimes They Come Back ...For More is set in Antarctica, where a remote... [More]
Directed By: William Berke, Daniel Berk

#25
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Fifteen years after the original Children of the Corn, John Franklin returns as Isaac, leader of the band of murderous... [More]
Directed By: Kari Skogland

#24
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In this chapter of the horror saga, the murderous title children and their demonic leader terrorize a group of college... [More]
Directed By: Ethan Wiley

#23
#23
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A Vietnam veteran and his young wife fall prey to a malevolent rural cult comprised of murderous children in this... [More]
Directed By: Donald P. Borchers

#22
Adjusted Score: 3.417%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Based on the novel by Ridley Pearson, The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer is a prequel to the goose-pimply 2002 TV... [More]
Directed By: Craig R. Baxley

#21

Carrie (2002)
20%

#21
Adjusted Score: 6.648%
Critics Consensus: This made-for-TV adaptation of Stephen King's classic fails to impress or bring anything new to the table, - or to the prom - paling even more in comparison to the 1970's memorable version.
Synopsis: This made-for-TV remake of the classic movie chiller Carrie is slightly more faithful to the original Stephen King novel--and slightly... [More]
Directed By: David Carson

Synopsis: A novelist grieving over the loss of his wife travels to a lakeside home where he's haunted by a ghost... [More]

#19
#19
Adjusted Score: 30.222%
Critics Consensus: Unlikeable characters, a bloated narrative, and drab scripting make The Tommyknockers a hard watch for even the most die-hard of Stephen King fans.
Synopsis: Adapted for TV, this is a Stephen King story in which an aspiring writer and an alcoholic poet (with a... [More]
Directed By: John Power



Synopsis: A 13-part supernatural tale set in an eerie Maine hospital that `stands on uneasy ground,' having been built at the... [More]

#15

Salem's Lot (2004)
50%

#15
Adjusted Score: 19.528%
Critics Consensus: Boasting slick visuals and exceptional performances, Salem's Lot ultimately lacks the spine-tingling scares of the original adaptation.
Synopsis: In this TV adaptation of the Stephen King novel, a journalist with traumatic memories of his haunted childhood returns to... [More]
Directed By: Michael Salomon

#14
Adjusted Score: 52.785%
Critics Consensus: While not without its fair share of thrills, The Langoliers suffers from a meandering pace and dubious characterizations.
Synopsis: Ten passengers on a red-eye flight from L.A. to Boston discover that they are not the only people on the... [More]
Directed By: Tom Holland

Haven (2010)
63%

#13
Synopsis: An FBI agent encounters residents with supernatural abilities in a small Maine town in this dramatic series inspired by Stephen... [More]

#12
#12
Adjusted Score: 67.068%
Critics Consensus: Tim Matheson's gripping performance and a strong mood make Sometimes They Come Back an effective, if not wholly revelatory, Stephen King adaptation.
Synopsis: A hapless high-school teacher is haunted by the ghosts of the three teenage punks who killed his brother.... [More]
Directed By: Tom McLoughlin

Under the Dome (2013)
69%

#11
Synopsis: A small New England town is sealed off from the world by an enormous transparent dome that inexplicably appears and... [More]

The Stand (0)
70%

#10
Synopsis: A gripping postapocalyptic horror story based on the 1978 novel, with a strong cast (including Rob Lowe in a particularly... [More]

#9
#9
Adjusted Score: 70.94%
Critics Consensus: Though hampered by an uneven second half, It supplies a wealth of funhouse thrills and an idelible turn from Tim Curry as Pennywise.
Synopsis: Based on one of Stephen King's bestselling novels, this is a story told in flashbacks. In a small town, a... [More]
Directed By: Tommy Lee Wallace

The Outsider (2020)
80%

#8
Synopsis: Adaptation of Stephen King's novel about the investigation of the gruesome murder of a boy in the Georgia woods and... [More]

Synopsis: This TV miniseries is set in Little Tall Island, a small town off the coast of Maine. The citizens are... [More]

11.22.63 (2016)
83%

#6
Synopsis: An English teacher travels back in time to stop JFK's assassination, but many elements threaten his mission.... [More]

Synopsis: An eight-part anthology series of chilling and thrilling tales from the pen of Stephen King.... [More]

Castle Rock (2018)
87%

#4
Synopsis: A psychological-horror series set in the Stephen King multiverse, Castle Rock is an original story that combines the mythological scale... [More]

#3

Salem's Lot (1979)
88%

#3
Adjusted Score: 88.786%
Critics Consensus: Director Tobe Hooper and a devilishly charismatic James Mason elevate this television adaptation of the Stephen King novel, injecting the vampiric tradition with fresh blood and lingering scares.
Synopsis: When Ben (David Soul) returns to his hometown to work on his novel, he discovers a series of strange events... [More]
Directed By: Tobe Hooper

#2

1922 (2017)
90%

#2
Adjusted Score: 90.882%
Critics Consensus: Thanks to director Zak Hilditch's patient storytelling and strong work from lead Thomas Jane, 1922 ranks among the more satisfying Stephen King adaptations.
Synopsis: 1922 is based on Stephen King's 131-page story telling of a man's confession of his wife's murder. The tale is... [More]
Directed By: Zak Hilditch

#1

Gerald's Game (2017)
91%

#1
Adjusted Score: 93.489%
Critics Consensus: Carla Gugino carries Gerald's Game's small-scale suspense with a career-defining performance.
Synopsis: Gerald Burlingame (Bruce Greenwood) and his wife Jessie (Carla Gugino) attempt to rekindle the flames of their marriage with a... [More]
Directed By: Mike Flanagan


RELATED: All Stephen King Movies Ranked



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