The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time TV Programs

The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time

5 14 of 64
66k votes 6.4k voters 127k views 187 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
  • 67 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
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    • Region
  • 2 See list ranked by
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  1. 1
    + 2,070
    - 1,370

    the people's #1
    Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn

    ;
  2. 2
    + 1,558
    - 1,103

    most listed
    Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Kit Harington

    ;
  3. 3
    + 1,524
    - 744

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

    ;
  4. 4
    + 1,267
    - 779


    Dominic West, Lance Reddick, Sonja Sohn

    ;
  5. 5
    + 783
    - 687


    Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Andrew Scott

    ;
  6. 6
    + 603
    - 467

    added by gschwayze
    Kevin Spacey, Michel Gill, Robin Wright

    ;
  7. 7
    + 1,040
    - 904


    Sarah Michelle Gellar, Eliza Dushku, Alyson Hannigan

    ;
  8. 8
    + 727
    - 820


    Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, Vincent Kartheiser

    ;
  9. 9
    + 972
    - 1,026


    Lauren Cohan, Andrew Lincoln, Laurie Holden

    ;
  10. 10
    + 786
    - 912

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, David Zayas

    ;
  11. 11
    + 696
    - 654


    Olivia Wilde, Jennifer Morrison, Hugh Laurie

    ;
  12. 12
    + 676
    - 789

    often listed
    Gillian Anderson, Lucy Lawless, David Duchovny

    ;
  13. 13
    + 669
    - 524

    ranked low on reranks
    Michael Fassbender, Tom Hardy, James McAvoy

    ;
  14. 14
    + 734
    - 638


    Morgan Freeman, Morgan Brittany, Rod Serling

    ;
  15. 15
    + 817
    - 731


    Evangeline Lilly, Ian Somerhalder, Michelle Rodriguez

    ;
  16. 16
    + 514
    - 578


    Peter Krause, Michael C. Hall, Frances Conroy

    ;
  17. 17
    + 550
    - 438

    added by gschwayze
    Matthew McConnahey, Woody Harrelson

    ;
  18. 18
    + 530
    - 550


    Tom Baker, Eric Roberts, Jon Pertwee

    ;
  19. 19
    + 437
    - 453


    Martin Sheen, Rob Lowe, Allison Janney

    ;
  20. 20
    + 430
    - 483


    Steve Buscemi, Stephen Graham, Vincent Piazza

    ;
  21. 21
    + 447
    - 446


    Kevin McKidd, Ray Stevenson, Polly Walker

    ;
  22. 22
    + 406
    - 506

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Hugh Bonneville, Phyllis Logan, Elizabeth McGovern

    ;
  23. 23
    + 529
    - 548


    Charlie Hunnam, Ron Perlman, Katey Sagal

    ;
  24. 24
    + 423
    - 443


    Ernie Hudson, J.K. Simmons, Lee Tergesen

    ;
  25. 25
    + 493
    - 542


    Christina Hendricks, Summer Glau, Morena Baccarin

    ;
  26. 26
    + 219
    - 135

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

    ;
  27. 27
    + 418
    - 426


    Kyle MacLachlan, Michael Ontkean, Mädchen Amick

    ;
  28. 28
    + 392
    - 489

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Grace Park, Lucy Lawless, Tricia Helfer

    ;
  29. 29
    + 386
    - 513


    Anthony Edwards, George Clooney, Julianna Margulies

    ;
  30. 30
    + 364
    - 358


    William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, George Takei

    ;
  31. 31
    + 362
    - 436


    Timothy Olyphant, Ian McShane, Molly Parker

    ;
  32. 32
    + 230
    - 181

    ranked low on reranks
    Alan Alda, Wayne Rogers, Loretta Swi

    ;
  33. 33
    + 441
    - 553


    Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Misha Collins

    ;
  34. 34
    + 329
    - 394


    Glenn Close, Forest Whitaker, Alex O'Loughlin

    ;
  35. 35
    + 330
    - 390


    Jerry Orbach, Jesse L. Martin, Dennis Farina

    ;
  36. 36
    + 139
    - 108

    added by RondaBandy
    Whoopi Goldberg, Patrick Stewart, Wil Wheaton

    ;
  37. 37
    + 383
    - 609

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Kiefer Sutherland, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Carlos Bernard

    ;
  38. 38
    + 281
    - 451

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Laurence Fishburne, Marg Helgenberger, George Eads

    ;
  39. 39
    + 274
    - 418


    Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, Jasika Nicole

    ;
  40. 40
    + 179
    - 160

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

    ;
  41. 41
    + 341
    - 358

    ranked low on reranks & added by bojanthebest
    Shemar Moore, Matthew Gray Gubler, Thomas Gibson

    ;
  42. 42
    + 288
    - 356


    Mark Harmon, Michael Weatherly, Pauley Perrette

    ;
  43. 43
    + 242
    - 416

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Henry Cavill, Anthony Brophy

    ;
  44. 44
    + 300
    - 371


    Timothy Olyphant, Nick Searcy, Joelle Carter

    ;
  45. 45
    + 280
    - 400


    Robin Tunney, Wentworth Miller, Jodi Lyn O'Keefe

    ;
  46. 46
    + 298
    - 264

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

    ;
  47. 47
    + 286
    - 535

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

    ;
  48. 48
    + 226
    - 337


    Alfre Woodard, Jeffrey Tambor, Dennis Franz

    ;
  49. 49
    + 77
    - 60

    ranked low on reranks
    Gillian Anderson, Laurence Fishburne, Mads Mikkelsen

    ;
  50. 50
    + 366
    - 464

    added by SafeWordApple
    Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic, Susan Sullivan

    ;
188 +

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