The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time TV Programs

The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time

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66,408 votes 6,437 voters 126,678 views 188 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
Collection Photo: via hbo
  • 67 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
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  • 2 See list ranked by
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  1. 1
    + 2,060
    - 1,361

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

    ;
  2. 2
    + 1,548
    - 1,094

    most listed
    Emilia Clarke, Lena Headey, Natalie Dormer

    ;
  3. 3
    + 1,518
    - 740

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

    ;
  4. 4
    + 1,264
    - 775


    Idris Elba, Bobby Brown, Method Man

    ;
  5. 5
    + 776
    - 683


    Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Andrew Scott

    ;
  6. 6
    + 601
    - 465

    added by gschwayze
    Kevin Spacey, Kate Mara, Robin Wright

    ;
  7. 7
    + 1,038
    - 902


    Sarah Michelle Gellar, Eliza Dushku, Alyson Hannigan

    ;
  8. 8
    + 726
    - 815


    Christina Hendricks, January Jones, Jon Hamm

    ;
  9. 9
    + 967
    - 1,024


    Lauren Cohan, Andrew Lincoln, Laurie Holden

    ;
  10. 10
    + 777
    - 907

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Yvonne Strahovski, Julie Benz, John Lithgow

    ;
  11. 11
    + 693
    - 650


    Olivia Wilde, Jennifer Morrison, Hugh Laurie

    ;
  12. 12
    + 675
    - 785

    often listed
    Gillian Anderson, Lucy Lawless, David Duchovny

    ;
  13. 13
    + 665
    - 522

    ranked low on reranks
    Michael Fassbender, Tom Hardy, James McAvoy

    ;
  14. 14
    + 733
    - 637


    Morgan Freeman, Morgan Brittany, Rod Serling

    ;
  15. 15
    + 512
    - 576

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Michael C. Hall, James Cromwell, Lauren Ambrose

    ;
  16. 16
    + 810
    - 730


    Evangeline Lilly, Ian Somerhalder, Michelle Rodriguez

    ;
  17. 17
    + 546
    - 436

    added by gschwayze
    Matthew McConnahey, Woody Harrelson

    ;
  18. 18
    + 527
    - 547


    Tom Baker, Eric Roberts, Jon Pertwee

    ;
  19. 19
    + 436
    - 450


    Rob Lowe, Mary-Louise Parker, Martin Sheen

    ;
  20. 20
    + 430
    - 480


    Steve Buscemi, Michael Shannon, Gretchen Mol

    ;
  21. 21
    + 446
    - 443


    Kevin McKidd, Ciarán Hinds, Ray Stevenson

    ;
  22. 22
    + 403
    - 504

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

    ;
  23. 23
    + 528
    - 546


    Charlie Hunnam, Ron Perlman, Katey Sagal

    ;
  24. 24
    + 421
    - 442


    Christopher Meloni, J.K. Simmons, Edie Falco

    ;
  25. 25
    + 490
    - 540


    Christina Hendricks, Summer Glau, Morena Baccarin

    ;
  26. 26
    + 219
    - 133

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

    ;
  27. 27
    + 417
    - 424


    Heather Graham, Sherilyn Fenn, Lara Flynn Boyle

    ;
  28. 28
    + 388
    - 488

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Grace Park, Lucy Lawless, Tricia Helfer

    ;
  29. 29
    + 384
    - 511


    George Clooney, Jared Padalecki, Julianna Margulies

    ;
  30. 30
    + 228
    - 179

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

    ;
  31. 31
    + 360
    - 434


    Jeffrey Jones, Timothy Olyphant, Sarah Paulson

    ;
  32. 32
    + 362
    - 357

    ranked low on reranks
    William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, George Takei

    ;
  33. 33
    + 438
    - 552


    Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Misha Collins

    ;
  34. 34
    + 330
    - 387


    Angie Harmon, Jill Hennessy, Dianne Wiest

    ;
  35. 35
    + 328
    - 393


    Glenn Close, Forest Whitaker, Alex O'Loughlin

    ;
  36. 36
    + 138
    - 107

    added by RondaBandy
    Whoopi Goldberg, Patrick Stewart, Wil Wheaton

    ;
  37. 37
    + 382
    - 607

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Elisha Cuthbert, Kiefer Sutherland, Janeane Garofalo

    ;
  38. 38
    + 280
    - 450

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Elisabeth Shue, Marg Helgenberger, Ted Danson

    ;
  39. 39
    + 272
    - 415


    Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, John Noble

    ;
  40. 40
    + 179
    - 157

    ranked low on reranks & added by lilyclaire
    Laura Prepon, Natasha Lyonne, Taylor Schilling

    ;
  41. 41
    + 340
    - 356

    ranked low on reranks & added by bojanthebest
    Jennifer Love Hewitt, Rachel Nichols, A. J. Cook

    ;
  42. 42
    + 287
    - 354


    Cote de Pablo, Pauley Perrette, Mark Harmon

    ;
  43. 43
    + 241
    - 414

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

    ;
  44. 44
    + 299
    - 370


    Alicia Witt, Timothy Olyphant, Natalie Zea

    ;
  45. 45
    + 276
    - 399


    Robin Tunney, Wentworth Miller, Jodi Lyn O'Keefe

    ;
  46. 46
    + 297
    - 260

    ranked low on reranks & added by SibunASeason34
    Nathalia Ramos, Alexandra Shipp, Jade Ramsey

    ;
  47. 47
    + 285
    - 531

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Anna Paquin, Evan Rachel Wood, Deborah Ann Woll

    ;
  48. 48
    + 225
    - 336


    Alfre Woodard, Jeffrey Tambor, Dennis Franz

    ;
  49. 49
    + 74
    - 58

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

    ;
  50. 50
    + 366
    - 461

    added by SafeWordApple
    Stana Katic, Nathan Fillion, Molly Quinn

    ;
189 +

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