The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time TV Programs

The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time

5 14 of 64
64,806 votes 6,295 voters 123,592 views 150 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
  • 60 ReRanks
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  • 2 See list ranked by
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  1. 1
    + 2006
    - 1343

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

    ;
  2. 2
    + 1504
    - 1081

    most listed
    Emilia Clarke, Lena Headey, Natalie Dormer

    ;
  3. 3
    + 1489
    - 732

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

    ;
  4. 4
    + 1244
    - 770


    Idris Elba, Bobby Brown, Method Man

    ;
  5. 5
    + 1026
    - 881


    Sarah Michelle Gellar, Eliza Dushku, Alyson Hannigan

    ;
  6. 6
    + 757
    - 667


    Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Andrew Scott

    ;
  7. 7
    + 946
    - 1003


    Lauren Cohan, Andrew Lincoln, Laurie Holden

    ;
  8. 8
    + 713
    - 804


    Christina Hendricks, January Jones, Jon Hamm

    ;
  9. 9
    + 755
    - 902

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

    ;
  10. 10
    + 727
    - 626

    ranked low on reranks
    Morgan Freeman, Morgan Brittany, Rod Serling

    ;
  11. 11
    + 683
    - 642


    Olivia Wilde, Jennifer Morrison, Hugh Laurie

    ;
  12. 12
    + 658
    - 775

    often listed
    Gillian Anderson, Lucy Lawless, David Duchovny

    ;
  13. 13
    + 653
    - 515


    Michael Fassbender, Tom Hardy, James McAvoy

    ;
  14. 14
    + 579
    - 457

    added by gschwayze
    Kevin Spacey, Kate Mara, Robin Wright

    ;
  15. 15
    + 505
    - 568

    often listed
    Michael C. Hall, James Cromwell, Lauren Ambrose

    ;
  16. 16
    + 792
    - 718


    Evangeline Lilly, Ian Somerhalder, Michelle Rodriguez

    ;
  17. 17
    + 534
    - 426

    added by gschwayze
    Matthew McConnahey, Woody Harrelson

    ;
  18. 18
    + 518
    - 533


    Tom Baker, Eric Roberts, Jon Pertwee

    ;
  19. 19
    + 440
    - 437


    Kevin McKidd, Ciarán Hinds, Ray Stevenson

    ;
  20. 20
    + 392
    - 498


    Paul Giamatti, Maggie Smith, Shirley MacLaine

    ;
  21. 21
    + 424
    - 469


    Steve Buscemi, Michael Shannon, Gretchen Mol

    ;
  22. 22
    + 518
    - 539


    Charlie Hunnam, Ron Perlman, Katey Sagal

    ;
  23. 23
    + 423
    - 443


    Rob Lowe, Mary-Louise Parker, Martin Sheen

    ;
  24. 24
    + 377
    - 506

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    George Clooney, Jared Padalecki, Julianna Margulies

    ;
  25. 25
    + 415
    - 438


    Christopher Meloni, J.K. Simmons, Edie Falco

    ;
  26. 26
    + 431
    - 546


    Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Misha Collins

    ;
  27. 27
    + 378
    - 483


    Grace Park, Lucy Lawless, Tricia Helfer

    ;
  28. 28
    + 482
    - 533


    Christina Hendricks, Summer Glau, Morena Baccarin

    ;
  29. 29
    + 355
    - 428


    Jeffrey Jones, Timothy Olyphant, Sarah Paulson

    ;
  30. 30
    + 210
    - 127

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

    ;
  31. 31
    + 408
    - 420


    Heather Graham, Sherilyn Fenn, Lara Flynn Boyle

    ;
  32. 32
    + 356
    - 352


    William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, George Takei

    ;
  33. 33
    + 218
    - 170


    Alan Alda, Jamie Farr, Harry Morgan

    ;
  34. 34
    + 323
    - 380


    Angie Harmon, Jill Hennessy, Dianne Wiest

    ;
  35. 35
    + 276
    - 441

    often listed
    Elisabeth Shue, Marg Helgenberger, Ted Danson

    ;
  36. 36
    + 323
    - 387


    Glenn Close, Forest Whitaker, Alex O'Loughlin

    ;
  37. 37
    + 372
    - 601

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

    ;
  38. 38
    + 262
    - 411

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, John Noble

    ;
  39. 39
    + 131
    - 102

    ranked low on reranks & added by RondaBandy
    Whoopi Goldberg, Patrick Stewart, Wil Wheaton

    ;
  40. 40
    + 337
    - 346

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

    ;
  41. 41
    + 176
    - 151

    added by lilyclaire
    Laura Prepon, Natasha Lyonne, Taylor Schilling

    ;
  42. 42
    + 297
    - 253

    added by SibunASeason34
    Nathalia Ramos, Alexandra Shipp, Jade Ramsey

    ;
  43. 43
    + 236
    - 408


    Natalie Dormer, Henry Cavill, Joss Stone

    ;
  44. 44
    + 282
    - 344


    Cote de Pablo, Pauley Perrette, Mark Harmon

    ;
  45. 45
    + 221
    - 329


    Alfre Woodard, Jeffrey Tambor, Dennis Franz

    ;
  46. 46
    + 282
    - 523

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

    ;
  47. 47
    + 266
    - 394


    Robin Tunney, Wentworth Miller, Jodi Lyn O'Keefe

    ;
  48. 48
    + 55
    - 66

    added by Greer Baudreau
    Sharon Stone, Mariska Hargitay, Ann-Margret

    ;
  49. 49
    + 66
    - 52


    Gillian Anderson, Laurence Fishburne, Mads Mikkelsen

    ;
  50. 50
    + 296
    - 363


    Alicia Witt, Timothy Olyphant, Natalie Zea

    ;
151 +

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