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.
  • 40 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 588
    - 480

    most listed Emilia Clarke, Lena Headey, Natalie Dormer

    ) open
  2. 2
    + 778
    - 619

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

    ) open
  3. 3
    + 575
    - 369

    Steve Buscemi, Jamie Lynn Sigler, James Gandolfini

    ) open
  4. 4
    + 422
    - 367

    Idris Elba, Bobby Brown, Method Man

    ) open
  5. 5
    + 480
    - 383

    Sarah Michelle Gellar, Eliza Dushku, Alyson Hannigan

    ) open
  6. 6
    + 281
    - 378

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

    ) open
  7. 7
    + 457
    - 507

    Lauren Cohan, Norman Reedus, Andrew Lincoln

    ) open
  8. 8
    + 343
    - 429

    Yvonne Strahovski, Julie Benz, Mos Def

    ) open
  9. 9
    + 285
    - 388

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Gillian Anderson, Lucy Lawless, David Duchovny

    ) open
  10. 10
    + 316
    - 334

    Morgan Freeman, Rod Serling, John McGiver

    ) open
  11. 11
    + 304
    - 323

    Olivia Wilde, Jennifer Morrison, Hugh Laurie

    ) open
  12. 12
    + 367
    - 377

    Evangeline Lilly, Ian Somerhalder, Michelle Rodriguez

    ) open
  13. 13
    + 262
    - 289

    Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Andrew Scott

    ) open
  14. 14
    + 233
    - 297

    Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Misha Collins

    ) open
  15. 15
    + 220
    - 333

    Michael C. Hall, James Cromwell, Lauren Ambrose

    ) open
  16. 16
    + 197
    - 278

    George Clooney, Jared Padalecki, Julianna Margulies

    ) open
  17. 17
    + 241
    - 285

    Eric Roberts, Tom Baker, Paul McGann

    ) open
  18. 18
    + 273
    - 304

    Charlie Hunnam, Katey Sagal, Ron Perlman

    ) open
  19. 19
    + 258
    - 286

    Michael Fassbender, Tom Hardy, David Schwimmer

    ) open
  20. 20
    + 197
    - 270

    Paul Giamatti, Shirley MacLaine, Maggie Smith

    ) open
  21. 21
    + 175
    - 183

    added by gschwayze Ian Richardson, James Villiers, Damien Thomas

    ) open
  22. 22
    + 204
    - 285

    Steve Buscemi, Michael Shannon, Gretchen Mol

    ) open
  23. 23
    + 147
    - 138

    added by gschwayze Matthew McConaughey, Colin Farrell, Vince Vaughn

    ) open
  24. 24
    + 161
    - 260

    Elisabeth Shue, Laurence Fishburne, Marg Helgenberger

    ) open
  25. 25
    + 196
    - 271

    Kevin McKidd, Ray Stevenson, Ciarán Hinds

    ) open
  26. 26
    + 217
    - 374

    Elisha Cuthbert, Kiefer Sutherland, Lana Parrilla

    ) open
  27. 27
    + 176
    - 308

    Grace Park, Tricia Helfer, Lucy Lawless

    ) open
  28. 28
    + 220
    - 279

    Christopher Meloni, Edie Falco, J.K. Simmons

    ) open
  29. 29
    + 188
    - 282

    Mary-Louise Parker, Rob Lowe, Martin Sheen

    ) open
  30. 30
    + 245
    - 335

    Christina Hendricks, Summer Glau, Morena Baccarin

    ) open
  31. 31
    + 184
    - 238

    Ken Campbell, Alan Ford, Derek Martin

    ) open
  32. 32
    + 234
    - 55

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

    ) open
  33. 33
    + 158
    - 253

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

    ) open
  34. 34
    + 191
    - 205

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

    ) open
  35. 35
    + 153
    - 250

    Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, John Noble

    ) open
  36. 36
    + 187
    - 276

    Heather Graham, Lara Flynn Boyle, Sherilyn Fenn

    ) open
  37. 37
    + 271
    - 289

    ranked low on reranks & added by SafeWordApple Stana Katic, Nathan Fillion, Molly Quinn

    ) open
  38. 38
    + 174
    - 286

    Jeffrey Jones, Timothy Olyphant, Sarah Paulson

    ) open
  39. 39
    + 198
    - 307

    Anna Paquin, Evan Rachel Wood, Deborah Ann Woll

    ) open
  40. 40
    + 159
    - 260

    Glenn Close, Forest Whitaker, Alex O'Loughlin

    ) open
  41. 41
    + 165
    - 205

    Cote de Pablo, Pauley Perrette, Mark Harmon

    ) open
  42. 42
    + 159
    - 226

    William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, George Takei

    ) open
  43. 43
    + 109
    - 174

    added by VanessaNelms Katherine Heigl, Sara Ramirez, Sandra Oh

    ) open
  44. 44
    + 158
    - 245

    Timothy Olyphant, Alicia Witt, Natalie Zea

    ) open
  45. 45
    + 144
    - 252

    Robin Tunney, Wentworth Miller, Jodi Lyn O'Keefe

    ) open
  46. 46
    + 122
    - 214

    Alfre Woodard, Dennis Franz, Jeffrey Tambor

    ) open
  47. 47
    + 34
    - 43

    Alan Alda, David Ogden Stiers, Jamie Farr

    ) open
  48. 48
    + 122
    - 220

    Mark-Paul Gosselaar, David Caruso, Amy Brenneman

    ) open
  49. 49
    + 47
    - 101

    added by onry49 Katheryn Winnick, Gabriel Byrne, Alexander Ludwig

    ) open
  50. 50
    + 61
    - 216

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

    ) open
72 +

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