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.
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  1. 1
    Up 515
    Down 407

    most listed Emilia Clarke, Lena Headey, Natalie Dormer

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  2. 2
    Up 704
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    the people's #1 Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Giancarlo Esposito

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  3. 3
    Up 526
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    Steve Buscemi, Jamie Lynn Sigler, James Gandolfini

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  4. 4
    Up 369
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    Idris Elba, Bobby Brown, Method Man

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  5. 5
    Up 400
    Down 321

    Sarah Michelle Gellar, Eliza Dushku, Alyson Hannigan

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  6. 6
    Up 260
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Christina Hendricks, January Jones, Jon Hamm

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  7. 7
    Up 317
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    Yvonne Strahovski, Julie Benz, Mos Def

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  8. 8
    Up 410
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    Lauren Cohan, Norman Reedus, Andrew Lincoln

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  9. 9
    Up 262
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    Gillian Anderson, Lucy Lawless, David Duchovny

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  10. 10
    Up 288
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    Morgan Freeman, Rod Serling, John McGiver

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  11. 11
    Up 273
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    Olivia Wilde, Jennifer Morrison, Hugh Laurie

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  12. 12
    Up 226
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    Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Andrew Scott

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  13. 13
    Up 310
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    Evangeline Lilly, Ian Somerhalder, Michelle Rodriguez

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  14. 14
    Up 182
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    George Clooney, Jared Padalecki, Julianna Margulies

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  15. 15
    Up 207
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    Michael C. Hall, James Cromwell, Lauren Ambrose

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  16. 16
    Up 253
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    Charlie Hunnam, Katey Sagal, Ron Perlman

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  17. 17
    Up 238
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    Michael Fassbender, Tom Hardy, David Schwimmer

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  18. 18
    Up 177
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    Paul Giamatti, Shirley MacLaine, Maggie Smith

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  19. 19
    Up 190
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    Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Misha Collins

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

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  21. 21
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    Eric Roberts, Tom Baker, Paul McGann

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  22. 22
    Up 191
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    Steve Buscemi, Michael Shannon, Gretchen Mol

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  23. 23
    Up 145
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    added by gschwayze Ian Richardson, James Villiers, Damien Thomas

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  24. 24
    Up 177
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    Kevin McKidd, Ray Stevenson, Ciarán Hinds

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  25. 25
    Up 142
    Down 211

    Elisabeth Shue, Laurence Fishburne, Marg Helgenberger

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  26. 26
    Up 199
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    Elisha Cuthbert, Kiefer Sutherland, Lana Parrilla

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  27. 27
    Up 156
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    Grace Park, Tricia Helfer, Lucy Lawless

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  28. 28
    Up 190
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    Christopher Meloni, Edie Falco, J.K. Simmons

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  29. 29
    Up 164
    Down 229

    Mary-Louise Parker, Rob Lowe, Martin Sheen

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  30. 30
    Up 211
    Down 291

    Christina Hendricks, Summer Glau, Morena Baccarin

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  31. 31
    Up 147
    Down 191

    Ken Campbell, Alan Ford, Derek Martin

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  32. 32
    Up 140
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    Natalie Dormer, Joss Stone, Henry Cavill

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  33. 33
    Up 165
    Down 245

    Jeffrey Jones, Timothy Olyphant, Sarah Paulson

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  34. 34
    Up 152
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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 162
    Down 237

    Heather Graham, Lara Flynn Boyle, Sherilyn Fenn

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  36. 36
    Up 124
    Down 208

    Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, John Noble

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  37. 37
    Up 180
    Down 264

    Anna Paquin, Evan Rachel Wood, Deborah Ann Woll

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  38. 38
    Up 147
    Down 224

    Glenn Close, Forest Whitaker, Alex O'Loughlin

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  39. 39
    Up 240
    Down 256

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

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  40. 40
    Up 144
    Down 175

    Cote de Pablo, Pauley Perrette, Mark Harmon

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  41. 41
    Up 96
    Down 125

    added by VanessaNelms Katherine Heigl, Sara Ramirez, Sandra Oh

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  42. 42
    Up 141
    Down 193

    William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, George Takei

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  43. 43
    Up 117
    Down 180

    Alfre Woodard, Dennis Franz, Jeffrey Tambor

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  44. 44
    Up 143
    Down 214

    Timothy Olyphant, Alicia Witt, Natalie Zea

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  45. 45
    Up 130
    Down 218

    Robin Tunney, Wentworth Miller, Jodi Lyn O'Keefe

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  46. 46
    Up 23
    Down 13

    new! Alan Alda, David Ogden Stiers, Jamie Farr

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  47. 47
    Up 110
    Down 188

    Mark-Paul Gosselaar, David Caruso, Amy Brenneman

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  48. 48
    Up 39
    Down 73

    added by onry49 Katheryn Winnick, Gabriel Byrne, Alexander Ludwig

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  49. 49
    Up 60
    Down 122

    Jeremy Hotz, Peter Keleghan, Karen Hines

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  50. 50
    Up 58
    Down 182

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

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