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. 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.
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  1. 1
    Up 458
    Down 360

    most listed Emilia Clarke, Lena Headey, Natalie Dormer

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  2. 2
    Up 608
    Down 452

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

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  3. 3
    Up 479
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    ranked low on reranks Steve Buscemi, Jamie Lynn Sigler, James Gandolfini

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  4. 4
    Up 324
    Down 272

    Idris Elba, Bobby Brown, Method Man

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  5. 5
    Up 365
    Down 272

    Sarah Michelle Gellar, Eliza Dushku, Alyson Hannigan

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  6. 6
    Up 240
    Down 281

    Christina Hendricks, January Jones, Jon Hamm

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  7. 7
    Up 269
    Down 245

    Morgan Freeman, Rod Serling, John McGiver

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  8. 8
    Up 246
    Down 292

    Gillian Anderson, Lucy Lawless, David Duchovny

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  9. 9
    Up 376
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    Lauren Cohan, Norman Reedus, Andrew Lincoln

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  10. 10
    Up 250
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    Olivia Wilde, Jennifer Morrison, Hugh Laurie

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  11. 11
    Up 281
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    Yvonne Strahovski, Julie Benz, Mos Def

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  12. 12
    Up 197
    Down 262

    Michael C. Hall, James Cromwell, Lauren Ambrose

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  13. 13
    Up 280
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    Evangeline Lilly, Ian Somerhalder, Michelle Rodriguez

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  14. 14
    Up 199
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    Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Andrew Scott

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  15. 15
    Up 166
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    George Clooney, Jared Padalecki, Julianna Margulies

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  16. 16
    Up 231
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    Charlie Hunnam, Katey Sagal, Ron Perlman

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  17. 17
    Up 224
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    Michael Fassbender, Tom Hardy, David Schwimmer

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  18. 18
    Up 159
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    Paul Giamatti, Shirley MacLaine, Maggie Smith

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  19. 19
    Up 170
    Down 235

    Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Misha Collins

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  20. 20
    Up 109
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    ranked low on reranks & added by gschwayze Matthew McConaughey, Colin Farrell, Vince Vaughn

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  21. 21
    Up 175
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    Steve Buscemi, Michael Shannon, Gretchen Mol

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  22. 22
    Up 170
    Down 225

    Eric Roberts, Tom Baker, Paul McGann

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  23. 23
    Up 127
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    added by gschwayze Ian Richardson, James Villiers, Damien Thomas

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  24. 24
    Up 160
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    Kevin McKidd, Ray Stevenson, Ciarán Hinds

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  25. 25
    Up 188
    Down 289

    Elisha Cuthbert, Kiefer Sutherland, Lana Parrilla

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  26. 26
    Up 130
    Down 199

    Elisabeth Shue, Laurence Fishburne, Marg Helgenberger

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  27. 27
    Up 149
    Down 251

    Grace Park, Tricia Helfer, Lucy Lawless

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  28. 28
    Up 169
    Down 222

    Christopher Meloni, Edie Falco, J.K. Simmons

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  29. 29
    Up 151
    Down 219

    Mary-Louise Parker, Rob Lowe, Martin Sheen

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  30. 30
    Up 204
    Down 278

    Christina Hendricks, Summer Glau, Morena Baccarin

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  31. 31
    Up 139
    Down 200

    Natalie Dormer, Joss Stone, Henry Cavill

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  32. 32
    Up 138
    Down 182

    Ken Campbell, Alan Ford, Derek Martin

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  33. 33
    Up 160
    Down 234

    Jeffrey Jones, Timothy Olyphant, Sarah Paulson

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  34. 34
    Up 142
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    ranked low on reranks & added by bojanthebest Jennifer Love Hewitt, Rachel Nichols, A. J. Cook

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  35. 35
    Up 114
    Down 199

    Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, John Noble

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  36. 36
    Up 229
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    ranked low on reranks & added by SafeWordApple Stana Katic, Nathan Fillion, Molly Quinn

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  37. 37
    Up 146
    Down 226

    Heather Graham, Lara Flynn Boyle, Sherilyn Fenn

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  38. 38
    Up 136
    Down 215

    Glenn Close, Forest Whitaker, Alex O'Loughlin

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  39. 39
    Up 172
    Down 238

    Anna Paquin, Evan Rachel Wood, Deborah Ann Woll

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  40. 40
    Up 88
    Down 102

    added by VanessaNelms Katherine Heigl, Sara Ramirez, Sandra Oh

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  41. 41
    Up 135
    Down 166

    Cote de Pablo, Pauley Perrette, Mark Harmon

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  42. 42
    Up 133
    Down 182

    William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, George Takei

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  43. 43
    Up 115
    Down 171

    Alfre Woodard, Dennis Franz, Jeffrey Tambor

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  44. 44
    Up 133
    Down 207

    Timothy Olyphant, Alicia Witt, Natalie Zea

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  45. 45
    Up 116
    Down 206

    Robin Tunney, Wentworth Miller, Jodi Lyn O'Keefe

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  46. 46
    Up 105
    Down 180

    Mark-Paul Gosselaar, David Caruso, Amy Brenneman

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  47. 47
    Up 32
    Down 63

    added by onry49 Katheryn Winnick, Gabriel Byrne, Alexander Ludwig

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  48. 48
    Up 56
    Down 167

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

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  49. 49
    Up 10
    Down 25

    added by ashadjareh Charisma Carpenter, David Boreanaz, Amy Acker

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  50. 50
    Up 50
    Down 113

    Jeremy Hotz, Peter Keleghan, Karen Hines

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