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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.

The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time TV Programs
  • 57 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
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    • Region
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  1. 1
    + 1812
    - 1210

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

    ;
  2. 2
    + 1333
    - 956

    most listed
    Emilia Clarke, Lena Headey, Natalie Dormer

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  3. 3
    + 1346
    - 659

    ranked low on reranks
    Steve Buscemi, Jamie Lynn Sigler, James Gandolfini Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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  4. 4
    + 1121
    - 702


    Idris Elba, Bobby Brown, Method Man Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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  5. 5
    + 651
    - 716

    often listed
    Christina Hendricks, January Jones, Jon Hamm

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  6. 6
    + 664
    - 593


    Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Andrew Scott

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  7. 7
    + 942
    - 803


    Sarah Michelle Gellar, Eliza Dushku, Alyson Hannigan Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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  8. 8
    + 660
    - 575


    Morgan Freeman, Morgan Brittany, Rod Serling

    ; watch now
  9. 9
    + 843
    - 898


    Lauren Cohan, Andrew Lincoln, Laurie Holden

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  10. 10
    + 605
    - 582


    Olivia Wilde, Jennifer Morrison, Hugh Laurie

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  11. 11
    + 588
    - 714

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Gillian Anderson, Lucy Lawless, David Duchovny Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

    ;
  12. 12
    + 672
    - 827

    often listed
    Yvonne Strahovski, Julie Benz, John Lithgow

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  13. 13
    + 587
    - 468


    Michael Fassbender, Tom Hardy, James McAvoy Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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  14. 14
    + 514
    - 401

    added by gschwayze
    Kevin Spacey, Kate Mara, Robin Wright

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  15. 15
    + 462
    - 518

    often listed
    Michael C. Hall, James Cromwell, Lauren Ambrose Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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  16. 16
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    - 662


    Evangeline Lilly, Ian Somerhalder, Michelle Rodriguez

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  17. 17
    + 484
    - 387

    added by gschwayze
    Rachel McAdams, Matthew McConaughey, Colin Farrell

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  18. 18
    + 477
    - 488


    Tom Baker, Eric Roberts, Jon Pertwee

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  19. 19
    + 405
    - 398


    Kevin McKidd, Ciarán Hinds, Ray Stevenson Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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  20. 20
    + 391
    - 424


    Steve Buscemi, Michael Shannon, Gretchen Mol Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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  21. 21
    + 342
    - 460


    Paul Giamatti, Maggie Smith, Shirley MacLaine Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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  22. 22
    + 353
    - 457


    George Clooney, Jared Padalecki, Julianna Margulies

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  23. 23
    + 474
    - 496


    Charlie Hunnam, Ron Perlman, Katey Sagal Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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  24. 24
    + 376
    - 409


    Rob Lowe, Mary-Louise Parker, Martin Sheen

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  25. 25
    + 357
    - 443


    Grace Park, Lucy Lawless, Tricia Helfer

    ; watch now
  26. 26
    + 390
    - 399


    Christopher Meloni, J.K. Simmons, Edie Falco Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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  27. 27
    + 387
    - 513

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Misha Collins

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  28. 28
    + 454
    - 498


    Christina Hendricks, Summer Glau, Morena Baccarin Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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  29. 29
    + 379
    - 388


    Heather Graham, Sherilyn Fenn, Lara Flynn Boyle Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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  30. 30
    + 329
    - 393


    Jeffrey Jones, Timothy Olyphant, Sarah Paulson Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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  31. 31
    + 326
    - 324


    William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, George Takei

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  32. 32
    + 305
    - 348


    Angie Harmon, Jill Hennessy, Dianne Wiest

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  33. 33
    + 166
    - 93

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

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  34. 34
    + 256
    - 407

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Elisabeth Shue, Marg Helgenberger, Ted Danson

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  35. 35
    + 187
    - 140

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

    ; watch now
  36. 36
    + 338
    - 567

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Elisha Cuthbert, Kiefer Sutherland, Janeane Garofalo Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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  37. 37
    + 298
    - 356


    Glenn Close, Forest Whitaker, Alex O'Loughlin

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  38. 38
    + 111
    - 73

    added by RondaBandy
    Whoopi Goldberg, Patrick Stewart, Wil Wheaton Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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  39. 39
    + 293
    - 216

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

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  40. 40
    + 243
    - 376

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, John Noble Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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  41. 41
    + 313
    - 320

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

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  42. 42
    + 259
    - 316


    Cote de Pablo, Pauley Perrette, Mark Harmon

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  43. 43
    + 210
    - 304


    Alfre Woodard, Jeffrey Tambor, Dennis Franz

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  44. 44
    + 143
    - 113

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

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  45. 45
    + 239
    - 366


    Robin Tunney, Wentworth Miller, Jodi Lyn O'Keefe

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  46. 46
    + 222
    - 378

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Natalie Dormer, Henry Cavill, Joss Stone Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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  47. 47
    + 267
    - 484

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Anna Paquin, Evan Rachel Wood, Deborah Ann Woll Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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  48. 48
    + 87
    - 73

    ranked low on reranks & added by RondaBandy
    Emma Roberts, Jessica Lange, Connie Britton Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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  49. 49
    + 272
    - 343


    Alicia Witt, Timothy Olyphant, Natalie Zea Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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  50. 50
    + 344
    - 433

    added by SafeWordApple
    Stana Katic, Nathan Fillion, Molly Quinn

    ;
162 +

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