The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time TV Programs
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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 (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.

  • 51 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 1449
    - 1024

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

    ) open buy now
  2. 2
    + 1068
    - 780

    most listed
    Emilia Clarke, Lena Headey, Natalie Dormer

    ) open buy now
  3. 3
    + 1078
    - 547

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

    ) open buy now
  4. 4
    + 889
    - 598

    Idris Elba, Bobby Brown, Method Man

    ) open buy now
  5. 5
    + 796
    - 668

    Sarah Michelle Gellar, Eliza Dushku, Alyson Hannigan

    ) open buy now
  6. 6
    + 534
    - 480

    Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Andrew Scott

    ) open buy now
  7. 7
    + 570
    - 501

    Morgan Freeman, Rod Serling, John McGiver

    ) open buy now
  8. 8
    + 528
    - 604

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Christina Hendricks, January Jones, Jon Hamm

    ) open buy now
  9. 9
    + 487
    - 401

    Michael Fassbender, Tom Hardy, David Schwimmer

    ) open buy now
  10. 10
    + 480
    - 613

    often listed
    Gillian Anderson, Lucy Lawless, David Duchovny

    ) open buy now
  11. 11
    + 497
    - 489

    Olivia Wilde, Jennifer Morrison, Hugh Laurie

    ) open buy now
  12. 12
    + 414
    - 315

    ranked low on reranks & added by gschwayze
    Ian Richardson, James Villiers, Damien Thomas

    ) open buy now
  13. 13
    + 699
    - 788

    Lauren Cohan, Norman Reedus, Andrew Lincoln

    ) open buy now
  14. 14
    + 540
    - 724

    often listed
    Yvonne Strahovski, Julie Benz, Mos Def

    ) open buy now
  15. 15
    + 381
    - 447

    Michael C. Hall, James Cromwell, Lauren Ambrose

    ) open buy now
  16. 16
    + 404
    - 295

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

    ) open buy now
  17. 17
    + 411
    - 417

    Eric Roberts, Tom Baker, Paul McGann

    ) open buy now
  18. 18
    + 596
    - 574

    Evangeline Lilly, Ian Somerhalder, Michelle Rodriguez

    ) open buy now
  19. 19
    + 286
    - 385

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Paul Giamatti, Shirley MacLaine, Maggie Smith

    ) open buy now
  20. 20
    + 337
    - 368

    Steve Buscemi, Michael Shannon, Gretchen Mol

    ) open buy now
  21. 21
    + 349
    - 346

    Kevin McKidd, Ray Stevenson, Ciarán Hinds

    ) open buy now
  22. 22
    + 401
    - 447

    Christina Hendricks, Summer Glau, Morena Baccarin

    ) open buy now
  23. 23
    + 283
    - 405

    George Clooney, Jared Padalecki, Julianna Margulies

    ) open buy now
  24. 24
    + 299
    - 359

    Mary-Louise Parker, Rob Lowe, Martin Sheen

    ) open buy now
  25. 25
    + 309
    - 391

    Grace Park, Tricia Helfer, Lucy Lawless

    ) open buy now
  26. 26
    + 391
    - 437

    Charlie Hunnam, Katey Sagal, Ron Perlman

    ) open buy now
  27. 27
    + 324
    - 448

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Misha Collins

    ) open buy now
  28. 28
    + 330
    - 346

    Heather Graham, Lara Flynn Boyle, Sherilyn Fenn

    ) open buy now
  29. 29
    + 339
    - 355

    Christopher Meloni, Edie Falco, J.K. Simmons

    ) open buy now
  30. 30
    + 280
    - 282

    William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, George Takei

    ) open buy now
  31. 31
    + 268
    - 309

    Ken Campbell, Alan Ford, Derek Martin

    ) open buy now
  32. 32
    + 279
    - 162

    ranked low on reranks & added by SibunASeason34
    Nathalia Ramos, Jade Ramsey, Bobby Lockwood

    ) open buy now
  33. 33
    + 103
    - 48

    added by LanaYoshii
    Martin Freeman, Billy Bob Thornton, Colin Hanks

    ) open
  34. 34
    + 132
    - 97

    Alan Alda, David Ogden Stiers, Jamie Farr

    ) open buy now
  35. 35
    + 222
    - 363

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Elisabeth Shue, Laurence Fishburne, Marg Helgenberger

    ) open buy now
  36. 36
    + 76
    - 27

    added by RondaBandy
    Whoopi Goldberg, Patrick Stewart, Wil Wheaton

    ) open buy now
  37. 37
    + 282
    - 357

    Jeffrey Jones, Timothy Olyphant, Sarah Paulson

    ) open buy now
  38. 38
    + 289
    - 515

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Elisha Cuthbert, Kiefer Sutherland, Lana Parrilla

    ) open buy now
  39. 39
    + 249
    - 326

    Glenn Close, Forest Whitaker, Alex O'Loughlin

    ) open buy now
  40. 40
    + 263
    - 286

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

    ) open buy now
  41. 41
    + 215
    - 331

    Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, John Noble

    ) open buy now
  42. 42
    + 219
    - 284

    Cote de Pablo, Pauley Perrette, Mark Harmon

    ) open buy now
  43. 43
    + 171
    - 272

    Alfre Woodard, Dennis Franz, Jeffrey Tambor

    ) open buy now
  44. 44
    + 197
    - 334

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Natalie Dormer, Joss Stone, Henry Cavill

    ) open buy now
  45. 45
    + 18
    - 11

    added by BenNicholson
    Jeri Ryan, Kate Mulgrew, Robert Picardo

    ) open buy now
  46. 46
    + 243
    - 303

    Timothy Olyphant, Alicia Witt, Natalie Zea

    ) open buy now
  47. 47
    + 310
    - 397

    added by SafeWordApple
    Stana Katic, Nathan Fillion, Molly Quinn

    ) open buy now
  48. 48
    + 39
    - 36

    added by MichelStango
    Terry Farrell, Rene Auberjonois, Nicole de Boer

    ) open buy now
  49. 49
    + 237
    - 437

    Anna Paquin, Evan Rachel Wood, Deborah Ann Woll

    ) open buy now
  50. 50
    + 49
    - 34

    added by RondaBandy
    Emma Roberts, Jessica Lange, Connie Britton

    ) open buy now
111 +

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