The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time TV Programs

The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time

63,276 votes 6,171 voters 122,241 views 160 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.


List Photo: user uploaded image
  • 60 ReRanks
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  • 2 See list ranked by
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  1. 1
    + 1971
    - 1315

    the people's #1
    Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Bob Odenkirk

    ;
  2. 2
    + 1470
    - 1056

    most listed
    Emilia Clarke, Lena Headey, Natalie Dormer

    ;
  3. 3
    + 1459
    - 716

    ranked low on reranks
    Steve Buscemi, Jamie Lynn Sigler, James Gandolfini

    ;
  4. 4
    + 1224
    - 756


    Idris Elba, Bobby Brown, Method Man

    ;
  5. 5
    + 1013
    - 858


    Sarah Michelle Gellar, Eliza Dushku, Alyson Hannigan

    ;
  6. 6
    + 738
    - 653


    Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Andrew Scott

    ;
  7. 7
    + 928
    - 980


    Lauren Cohan, Andrew Lincoln, Laurie Holden

    ;
  8. 8
    + 699
    - 788


    Christina Hendricks, January Jones, Jon Hamm

    ;
  9. 9
    + 740
    - 883

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Yvonne Strahovski, Julie Benz, John Lithgow

    ;
  10. 10
    + 666
    - 628


    Olivia Wilde, Jennifer Morrison, Hugh Laurie

    ;
  11. 11
    + 709
    - 618

    ranked low on reranks
    Morgan Freeman, Morgan Brittany, Rod Serling

    ;
  12. 12
    + 645
    - 764

    often listed
    Gillian Anderson, Lucy Lawless, David Duchovny

    ;
  13. 13
    + 572
    - 442

    added by gschwayze
    Kevin Spacey, Kate Mara, Robin Wright

    ;
  14. 14
    + 638
    - 505


    Michael Fassbender, Tom Hardy, James McAvoy

    ;
  15. 15
    + 779
    - 704


    Evangeline Lilly, Ian Somerhalder, Michelle Rodriguez

    ;
  16. 16
    + 496
    - 555


    Michael C. Hall, James Cromwell, Lauren Ambrose

    ;
  17. 17
    + 524
    - 416

    added by gschwayze
    Matthew McConnahey, Woody Harrelson

    ;
  18. 18
    + 507
    - 522


    Tom Baker, Eric Roberts, Jon Pertwee

    ;
  19. 19
    + 432
    - 426


    Kevin McKidd, Ciarán Hinds, Ray Stevenson

    ;
  20. 20
    + 386
    - 488


    Paul Giamatti, Maggie Smith, Shirley MacLaine

    ;
  21. 21
    + 419
    - 455


    Steve Buscemi, Michael Shannon, Gretchen Mol

    ;
  22. 22
    + 508
    - 527


    Charlie Hunnam, Ron Perlman, Katey Sagal

    ;
  23. 23
    + 408
    - 428


    Christopher Meloni, J.K. Simmons, Edie Falco

    ;
  24. 24
    + 412
    - 433


    Rob Lowe, Mary-Louise Parker, Martin Sheen

    ;
  25. 25
    + 372
    - 494


    George Clooney, Jared Padalecki, Julianna Margulies

    ;
  26. 26
    + 421
    - 536


    Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Misha Collins

    ;
  27. 27
    + 371
    - 474


    Grace Park, Lucy Lawless, Tricia Helfer

    ;
  28. 28
    + 472
    - 527


    Christina Hendricks, Summer Glau, Morena Baccarin

    ;
  29. 29
    + 202
    - 119

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

    ;
  30. 30
    + 345
    - 419


    Jeffrey Jones, Timothy Olyphant, Sarah Paulson

    ;
  31. 31
    + 400
    - 414


    Heather Graham, Sherilyn Fenn, Lara Flynn Boyle

    ;
  32. 32
    + 214
    - 162

    ranked low on reranks
    Alan Alda, Jamie Farr, Harry Morgan

    ;
  33. 33
    + 321
    - 372


    Angie Harmon, Jill Hennessy, Dianne Wiest

    ;
  34. 34
    + 349
    - 350


    William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, George Takei

    ;
  35. 35
    + 272
    - 431

    often listed
    Elisabeth Shue, Marg Helgenberger, Ted Danson

    ;
  36. 36
    + 316
    - 379


    Glenn Close, Forest Whitaker, Alex O'Loughlin

    ;
  37. 37
    + 363
    - 595

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Elisha Cuthbert, Kiefer Sutherland, Janeane Garofalo

    ;
  38. 38
    + 257
    - 401

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, John Noble

    ;
  39. 39
    + 124
    - 98

    ranked low on reranks & added by RondaBandy
    Whoopi Goldberg, Patrick Stewart, Wil Wheaton

    ;
  40. 40
    + 334
    - 339

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

    ;
  41. 41
    + 169
    - 143

    added by lilyclaire
    Laura Prepon, Natasha Lyonne, Taylor Schilling

    ;
  42. 42
    + 297
    - 247

    added by SibunASeason34
    Nathalia Ramos, Alexandra Shipp, Jade Ramsey

    ;
  43. 43
    + 279
    - 338


    Cote de Pablo, Pauley Perrette, Mark Harmon

    ;
  44. 44
    + 234
    - 401


    Natalie Dormer, Henry Cavill, Joss Stone

    ;
  45. 45
    + 217
    - 326


    Alfre Woodard, Jeffrey Tambor, Dennis Franz

    ;
  46. 46
    + 278
    - 516

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Anna Paquin, Evan Rachel Wood, Deborah Ann Woll

    ;
  47. 47
    + 264
    - 389


    Robin Tunney, Wentworth Miller, Jodi Lyn O'Keefe

    ;
  48. 48
    + 54
    - 60

    added by Greer Baudreau
    Sharon Stone, Mariska Hargitay, Ann-Margret

    ;
  49. 49
    + 64
    - 47

    ranked low on reranks
    Gillian Anderson, Laurence Fishburne, Mads Mikkelsen

    ;
  50. 50
    + 291
    - 359


    Alicia Witt, Timothy Olyphant, Natalie Zea

    ;
161 +

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