The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time

78k votes 7.5k voters 147k views 189 items tags f p @

List Criteria: American/British shows only; fantasy/sci-fi's included; live action only; mini-series included

The greatest TV dramas of all time are the ones that make you feel connected to characters you will never meet in real life to the point where you obsess about their exploits as much as your own. These top TV dramas rank high among the best TV shows of recent memory with many touting characters on the list of best TV characters ever.

Many of these greatest TV drama series, like Lost and the Sopranos, have already come to a close (earning them places on the list of the best TV series finales), while others like Mad Men and Breaking Bad are on the verge of closing up TV shop and leaving us to inevitably wonder about the lives of the surviving characters and what could have happened with the characters that get killed off (I've got even odds on Walter White buying a ticket to the meth lab in the sky in the Breaking Bad finale).

What is the best drama series in TV history? Tough question to answer considering many of the best TV series are dramas (and a lot of them are good!) Use this list of the greatest TV dramas ever to cast your vote for the top drama series and, if your favorite drama series isn't on the list, make sure to add it so other real people can get caught up in the fictional lives of your favorite TV drama characters.

Collection Photo:  via hbo
  • 74 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
    • Age
    • Region
  • 2 See list ranked by
Z
G Options B Comments & Embed 2rerank list
  1. 1
    + 2,342
    - 1,549

    the people's #1
    Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn

    ;
  2. 2
    + 1,828
    - 1,264

    most listed
    Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Kit Harington

    ;
  3. 3
    + 1,739
    - 850

    ranked low on reranks
    James Gandolfini, Lorraine Bracco, Edie Falco

    ;
  4. 4
    + 1,448
    - 869


    Dominic West, Lance Reddick, Sonja Sohn

    ;
  5. 5
    + 905
    - 796


    Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Una Stubbs

    ;
  6. 6
    + 709
    - 591

    added by gschwayze
    Kevin Spacey, Michel Gill, Robin Wright

    ;
  7. 7
    + 818
    - 747


    Hugh Laurie, Omar Epps, Robert Sean Leonard

    ;
  8. 8
    + 835
    - 936

    often listed
    Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, Vincent Kartheiser

    ;
  9. 9
    + 1,094
    - 1,165


    Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies

    ;
  10. 10
    + 1,141
    - 1,022


    Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco

    ;
  11. 11
    + 885
    - 1,029

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, David Zayas

    ;
  12. 12
    + 775
    - 583

    ranked low on reranks
    Scott Grimes, Damian Lewis, Ron Livingston

    ;
  13. 13
    + 752
    - 873

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi

    ;
  14. 14
    + 818
    - 688


    Rod Serling, Robert McCord, Jay Overholts

    ;
  15. 15
    + 931
    - 802


    Naveen Andrews, Matthew Fox, Jorge Garcia

    ;
  16. 16
    + 617
    - 494

    added by gschwayze
    Matthew McConnahey, Woody Harrelson

    ;
  17. 17
    + 577
    - 631


    Peter Krause, Michael C. Hall, Frances Conroy

    ;
  18. 18
    + 590
    - 610


    Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman, Matt Smith

    ;
  19. 19
    + 299
    - 217


    Alan Alda, Wayne Rogers, Loretta Swi

    ;
  20. 20
    + 497
    - 502


    Martin Sheen, Rob Lowe, Allison Janney

    ;
  21. 21
    + 609
    - 605


    Charlie Hunnam, Katey Sagal, Mark Boone Junior

    ;
  22. 22
    + 464
    - 556


    Hugh Bonneville, Phyllis Logan, Elizabeth McGovern

    ;
  23. 23
    + 469
    - 527


    Steve Buscemi, Stephen Graham, Vincent Piazza

    ;
  24. 24
    + 548
    - 591


    Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk

    ;
  25. 25
    + 281
    - 173

    ranked low on reranks & added by LanaYoshii
    Martin Freeman, Billy Bob Thornton, Colin Hanks

    ;
  26. 26
    + 481
    - 489


    Kevin McKidd, Ray Stevenson, Polly Walker

    ;
  27. 27
    + 460
    - 483


    Ernie Hudson, J.K. Simmons, Lee Tergesen

    ;
  28. 28
    + 525
    - 596


    Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Jim Beave

    ;
  29. 29
    + 414
    - 401


    William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley

    ;
  30. 30
    + 460
    - 467


    Kyle MacLachlan, Michael Ontkean, Mädchen Amick

    ;
  31. 31
    + 402
    - 472


    Timothy Olyphant, Ian McShane, Molly Parker

    ;
  32. 32
    + 428
    - 554


    Anthony Edwards, George Clooney, Julianna Margulies

    ;
  33. 33
    + 184
    - 153

    added by RondaBandy
    Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes

    ;
  34. 34
    + 426
    - 539


    Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell, Jamie Bamber

    ;
  35. 35
    + 379
    - 425


    Jerry Orbach, Jesse L. Martin, Dennis Farina

    ;
  36. 36
    + 439
    - 658

    often listed
    Kiefer Sutherland, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Carlos Bernard

    ;
  37. 37
    + 365
    - 436


    Michael Chiklis, Catherine Dent, Walton Goggins

    ;
  38. 38
    + 307
    - 494

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Laurence Fishburne, Marg Helgenberger, George Eads

    ;
  39. 39
    + 220
    - 210

    ranked low on reranks & added by lilyclaire
    Taylor Schilling, Danielle Brooks, Taryn Manning

    ;
  40. 40
    + 313
    - 455

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, Jasika Nicole

    ;
  41. 41
    + 341
    - 407


    Timothy Olyphant, Nick Searcy, Joelle Carter

    ;
  42. 42
    + 343
    - 391


    Mark Harmon, Michael Weatherly, Pauley Perrette

    ;
  43. 43
    + 335
    - 446

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Dominic Purcell, Wentworth Miller, Amaury Nolasco

    ;
  44. 44
    + 121
    - 102

    added by Greer Baudreau
    Mariska Hargitay, Christopher Meloni, Ice-T

    ;
  45. 45
    + 388
    - 387

    added by bojanthebest
    Shemar Moore, Matthew Gray Gubler, Thomas Gibson

    ;
  46. 46
    + 104
    - 81

    added by BenHawkes113
    Charlie Cox, Vincent D'Onofrio, Deborah Ann Woll

    ;
  47. 47
    + 265
    - 456

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Henry Cavill, Anthony Brophy

    ;
  48. 48
    + 99
    - 73

    added by LanaYoshii
    Keri Russell

    ;
  49. 49
    + 310
    - 301

    added by SibunASeason34
    Alex Sawyer, Eugene Simon, Brad Kavanagh

    ;
  50. 50
    + 99
    - 77

    added by BenHawkes113
    Gabriel Macht, Patrick J. Adams, Meghan Markle

    ;
190 +

Something missing? Add it!

L List Options 2 Rerank List B Comments & Embed z Share Next List >