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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.

The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time TV Programs
  • 57 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
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    • Region
  • 2 See list ranked by
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  1. 1
    + 1806
    - 1207

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

    ;
  2. 2
    + 1330
    - 951

    most listed
    Emilia Clarke, Lena Headey, Natalie Dormer

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  3. 3
    + 1342
    - 655

    ranked low on reranks
    Steve Buscemi, Jamie Lynn Sigler, James Gandolfini Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

    ;
  4. 4
    + 1116
    - 700


    Idris Elba, Bobby Brown, Method Man Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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  5. 5
    + 648
    - 715

    often listed
    Christina Hendricks, January Jones, Jon Hamm

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  6. 6
    + 661
    - 591


    Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Andrew Scott

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  7. 7
    + 942
    - 800


    Sarah Michelle Gellar, Eliza Dushku, Alyson Hannigan Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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  8. 8
    + 659
    - 573


    Morgan Freeman, Morgan Brittany, Rod Serling

    ; watch now
  9. 9
    + 840
    - 897


    Lauren Cohan, Andrew Lincoln, Laurie Holden

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  10. 10
    + 603
    - 578


    Olivia Wilde, Jennifer Morrison, Hugh Laurie

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  11. 11
    + 586
    - 712

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Gillian Anderson, Lucy Lawless, David Duchovny Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

    ;
  12. 12
    + 671
    - 824

    often listed
    Yvonne Strahovski, Julie Benz, John Lithgow

    ;
  13. 13
    + 586
    - 467


    Michael Fassbender, Tom Hardy, James McAvoy Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

    ;
  14. 14
    + 512
    - 400

    added by gschwayze
    Kevin Spacey, Kate Mara, Robin Wright

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  15. 15
    + 461
    - 517

    often listed
    Michael C. Hall, James Cromwell, Lauren Ambrose Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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  16. 16
    + 715
    - 658


    Evangeline Lilly, Ian Somerhalder, Michelle Rodriguez

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  17. 17
    + 484
    - 385

    added by gschwayze
    Rachel McAdams, Matthew McConaughey, Colin Farrell

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  18. 18
    + 476
    - 487


    Tom Baker, Eric Roberts, Jon Pertwee

    ;
  19. 19
    + 403
    - 397


    Kevin McKidd, Ciarán Hinds, Ray Stevenson Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

    ;
  20. 20
    + 390
    - 421


    Steve Buscemi, Michael Shannon, Gretchen Mol Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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  21. 21
    + 342
    - 458


    Paul Giamatti, Maggie Smith, Shirley MacLaine Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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  22. 22
    + 350
    - 454


    George Clooney, Jared Padalecki, Julianna Margulies

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  23. 23
    + 471
    - 495


    Charlie Hunnam, Ron Perlman, Katey Sagal Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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  24. 24
    + 357
    - 443


    Grace Park, Lucy Lawless, Tricia Helfer

    ; watch now
  25. 25
    + 374
    - 407


    Rob Lowe, Mary-Louise Parker, Martin Sheen

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  26. 26
    + 388
    - 399


    Christopher Meloni, J.K. Simmons, Edie Falco Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

    ;
  27. 27
    + 386
    - 511

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Misha Collins

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  28. 28
    + 453
    - 497


    Christina Hendricks, Summer Glau, Morena Baccarin Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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  29. 29
    + 376
    - 388


    Heather Graham, Sherilyn Fenn, Lara Flynn Boyle Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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  30. 30
    + 329
    - 392


    Jeffrey Jones, Timothy Olyphant, Sarah Paulson Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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  31. 31
    + 325
    - 323


    William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, George Takei

    ; watch now
  32. 32
    + 303
    - 346


    Angie Harmon, Jill Hennessy, Dianne Wiest

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  33. 33
    + 164
    - 93

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

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  34. 34
    + 253
    - 406

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Elisabeth Shue, Marg Helgenberger, Ted Danson

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  35. 35
    + 184
    - 139

    ranked low on reranks
    Alan Alda, Jamie Farr, Harry Morgan

    ; watch now
  36. 36
    + 336
    - 565

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Elisha Cuthbert, Kiefer Sutherland, Janeane Garofalo Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

    ;
  37. 37
    + 297
    - 356


    Glenn Close, Forest Whitaker, Alex O'Loughlin

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  38. 38
    + 293
    - 215

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

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  39. 39
    + 109
    - 73

    added by RondaBandy
    Whoopi Goldberg, Patrick Stewart, Wil Wheaton Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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  40. 40
    + 243
    - 376

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, John Noble Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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  41. 41
    + 310
    - 320

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

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  42. 42
    + 256
    - 316


    Cote de Pablo, Pauley Perrette, Mark Harmon

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  43. 43
    + 209
    - 304


    Alfre Woodard, Jeffrey Tambor, Dennis Franz

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  44. 44
    + 141
    - 113

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

    ;
  45. 45
    + 239
    - 365


    Robin Tunney, Wentworth Miller, Jodi Lyn O'Keefe

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  46. 46
    + 221
    - 377

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Natalie Dormer, Henry Cavill, Joss Stone Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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  47. 47
    + 267
    - 482

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Anna Paquin, Evan Rachel Wood, Deborah Ann Woll Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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  48. 48
    + 272
    - 342


    Alicia Witt, Timothy Olyphant, Natalie Zea Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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  49. 49
    + 85
    - 73

    ranked low on reranks & added by RondaBandy
    Emma Roberts, Jessica Lange, Connie Britton Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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  50. 50
    + 343
    - 433

    added by SafeWordApple
    Stana Katic, Nathan Fillion, Molly Quinn

    ;
162 +

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