The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time TV Programs
Ultimate List
72  items 22,402 votes 1,879 voters 40,375 views more info

The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time

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. 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.
  • 38 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
    • Age
    • Region
  • See list ranked by
The List
Comment
Embed
Options
rerank list
  1. 1
    Up 428
    Down 343

    most listed Emilia Clarke, Lena Headey, Natalie Dormer

    open
  2. 2
    Up 458
    Down 260

    Steve Buscemi, Jamie Lynn Sigler, James Gandolfini

    open
  3. 3
    Up 574
    Down 426

    the people's #1 Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Giancarlo Esposito

    open
  4. 4
    Up 301
    Down 261

    Idris Elba, Bobby Brown, Method Man

    open
  5. 5
    Up 349
    Down 253

    Sarah Michelle Gellar, Eliza Dushku, Alyson Hannigan

    open
  6. 6
    Up 227
    Down 266

    Christina Hendricks, January Jones, Jon Hamm

    open
  7. 7
    Up 254
    Down 236

    Morgan Freeman, Rod Serling, John McGiver

    open
  8. 8
    Up 236
    Down 276

    Gillian Anderson, Lucy Lawless, David Duchovny

    open
  9. 9
    Up 359
    Down 361

    Lauren Cohan, Norman Reedus, Andrew Lincoln

    open
  10. 10
    Up 269
    Down 298

    Yvonne Strahovski, Julie Benz, Mos Def

    open
  11. 11
    Up 236
    Down 241

    Olivia Wilde, Jennifer Morrison, Hugh Laurie

    open
  12. 12
    Up 193
    Down 252

    Michael C. Hall, James Cromwell, Lauren Ambrose

    open
  13. 13
    Up 219
    Down 229

    Charlie Hunnam, Katey Sagal, Ron Perlman

    open
  14. 14
    Up 265
    Down 300

    Evangeline Lilly, Ian Somerhalder, Michelle Rodriguez

    open
  15. 15
    Up 159
    Down 204

    George Clooney, Jared Padalecki, Julianna Margulies

    open
  16. 16
    Up 220
    Down 219

    Michael Fassbender, Tom Hardy, David Schwimmer

    open
  17. 17
    Up 188
    Down 193

    Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Andrew Scott

    open
  18. 18
    Up 169
    Down 221

    Steve Buscemi, Michael Shannon, Gretchen Mol

    open
  19. 19
    Up 150
    Down 194

    Paul Giamatti, Shirley MacLaine, Maggie Smith

    open
  20. 20
    Up 156
    Down 230

    Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Misha Collins

    open
  21. 21
    Up 94
    Down 64

    ranked low on reranks & added by gschwayze Matthew McConaughey, Colin Farrell, Vince Vaughn

    open
  22. 22
    Up 153
    Down 208

    Kevin McKidd, Ray Stevenson, Ciarán Hinds

    open
  23. 23
    Up 180
    Down 276

    Elisha Cuthbert, Kiefer Sutherland, Lana Parrilla

    open
  24. 24
    Up 127
    Down 190

    Elisabeth Shue, Laurence Fishburne, Marg Helgenberger

    open
  25. 25
    Up 112
    Down 127

    added by gschwayze Ian Richardson, James Villiers, Damien Thomas

    open
  26. 26
    Up 160
    Down 219

    Eric Roberts, Tom Baker, Paul McGann

    open
  27. 27
    Up 142
    Down 246

    Grace Park, Tricia Helfer, Lucy Lawless

    open
  28. 28
    Up 146
    Down 211

    Mary-Louise Parker, Rob Lowe, Martin Sheen

    open
  29. 29
    Up 155
    Down 223

    Jeffrey Jones, Timothy Olyphant, Sarah Paulson

    open
  30. 30
    Up 201
    Down 273

    Christina Hendricks, Summer Glau, Morena Baccarin

    open
  31. 31
    Up 154
    Down 217

    Christopher Meloni, Edie Falco, J.K. Simmons

    open
  32. 32
    Up 133
    Down 194

    Natalie Dormer, Joss Stone, Henry Cavill

    open
  33. 33
    Up 130
    Down 176

    Ken Campbell, Alan Ford, Derek Martin

    open
  34. 34
    Up 136
    Down 142

    added by bojanthebest Jennifer Love Hewitt, Rachel Nichols, A. J. Cook

    open
  35. 35
    Up 226
    Down 232

    ranked low on reranks & added by SafeWordApple Stana Katic, Nathan Fillion, Molly Quinn

    open
  36. 36
    Up 134
    Down 208

    Glenn Close, Forest Whitaker, Alex O'Loughlin

    open
  37. 37
    Up 165
    Down 225

    Anna Paquin, Evan Rachel Wood, Deborah Ann Woll

    open
  38. 38
    Up 139
    Down 222

    Heather Graham, Lara Flynn Boyle, Sherilyn Fenn

    open
  39. 39
    Up 86
    Down 90

    added by VanessaNelms Katherine Heigl, Sara Ramirez, Sandra Oh

    open
  40. 40
    Up 107
    Down 196

    Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, John Noble

    open
  41. 41
    Up 129
    Down 160

    Cote de Pablo, Pauley Perrette, Mark Harmon

    open
  42. 42
    Up 131
    Down 201

    Timothy Olyphant, Alicia Witt, Natalie Zea

    open
  43. 43
    Up 127
    Down 177

    William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, George Takei

    open
  44. 44
    Up 111
    Down 166

    Alfre Woodard, Dennis Franz, Jeffrey Tambor

    open
  45. 45
    Up 112
    Down 200

    Robin Tunney, Wentworth Miller, Jodi Lyn O'Keefe

    open
  46. 46
    Up 99
    Down 175

    Mark-Paul Gosselaar, David Caruso, Amy Brenneman

    open
  47. 47
    Up 28
    Down 57

    added by onry49 Katheryn Winnick, Gabriel Byrne, Alexander Ludwig

    open
  48. 48
    Up 8
    Down 15

    added by bojanthebest John Ritter, Will Geer, Judy Norton Taylor

    open
  49. 49
    Up 53
    Down 160

    added by KarynLake Hayden Panettiere, Robert Downey Jr., Lucy Liu

    open
  50. 50
    Up 45
    Down 107

    Jeremy Hotz, Peter Keleghan, Karen Hines

    open
73 +

Something missing? Add it!

think you can do better?

Rerank This List

got a blog or website?

embed this list

viewers of this list also saw...

more popular lists