The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time TV Programs

The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time

5 14 of 64
64,600 votes 6,286 voters 123,592 views 151 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
    + 2003
    - 1341

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

    ;
  2. 2
    + 1500
    - 1080

    most listed
    Emilia Clarke, Lena Headey, Natalie Dormer

    ;
  3. 3
    + 1488
    - 730

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

    ;
  4. 4
    + 1243
    - 767


    Idris Elba, Bobby Brown, Method Man

    ;
  5. 5
    + 1024
    - 879


    Sarah Michelle Gellar, Eliza Dushku, Alyson Hannigan

    ;
  6. 6
    + 754
    - 665


    Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Andrew Scott

    ;
  7. 7
    + 943
    - 1001


    Lauren Cohan, Andrew Lincoln, Laurie Holden

    ;
  8. 8
    + 712
    - 801


    Christina Hendricks, January Jones, Jon Hamm

    ;
  9. 9
    + 753
    - 900

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

    ;
  10. 10
    + 727
    - 623

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

    ;
  11. 11
    + 680
    - 641


    Olivia Wilde, Jennifer Morrison, Hugh Laurie

    ;
  12. 12
    + 655
    - 775

    often listed
    Gillian Anderson, Lucy Lawless, David Duchovny

    ;
  13. 13
    + 652
    - 513


    Michael Fassbender, Tom Hardy, James McAvoy

    ;
  14. 14
    + 579
    - 454

    added by gschwayze
    Kevin Spacey, Kate Mara, Robin Wright

    ;
  15. 15
    + 505
    - 565

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

    ;
  16. 16
    + 791
    - 715


    Evangeline Lilly, Ian Somerhalder, Michelle Rodriguez

    ;
  17. 17
    + 531
    - 425

    added by gschwayze
    Matthew McConnahey, Woody Harrelson

    ;
  18. 18
    + 515
    - 530


    Tom Baker, Eric Roberts, Jon Pertwee

    ;
  19. 19
    + 440
    - 435


    Kevin McKidd, Ciarán Hinds, Ray Stevenson

    ;
  20. 20
    + 391
    - 495


    Paul Giamatti, Maggie Smith, Shirley MacLaine

    ;
  21. 21
    + 424
    - 465


    Steve Buscemi, Michael Shannon, Gretchen Mol

    ;
  22. 22
    + 518
    - 536


    Charlie Hunnam, Ron Perlman, Katey Sagal

    ;
  23. 23
    + 377
    - 503

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

    ;
  24. 24
    + 422
    - 441


    Rob Lowe, Mary-Louise Parker, Martin Sheen

    ;
  25. 25
    + 415
    - 435


    Christopher Meloni, J.K. Simmons, Edie Falco

    ;
  26. 26
    + 429
    - 544


    Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Misha Collins

    ;
  27. 27
    + 377
    - 481


    Grace Park, Lucy Lawless, Tricia Helfer

    ;
  28. 28
    + 480
    - 532


    Christina Hendricks, Summer Glau, Morena Baccarin

    ;
  29. 29
    + 355
    - 426


    Jeffrey Jones, Timothy Olyphant, Sarah Paulson

    ;
  30. 30
    + 408
    - 418


    Heather Graham, Sherilyn Fenn, Lara Flynn Boyle

    ;
  31. 31
    + 207
    - 126

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

    ;
  32. 32
    + 218
    - 168


    Alan Alda, Jamie Farr, Harry Morgan

    ;
  33. 33
    + 354
    - 352


    William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, George Takei

    ;
  34. 34
    + 322
    - 379


    Angie Harmon, Jill Hennessy, Dianne Wiest

    ;
  35. 35
    + 276
    - 439

    often listed
    Elisabeth Shue, Marg Helgenberger, Ted Danson

    ;
  36. 36
    + 322
    - 385


    Glenn Close, Forest Whitaker, Alex O'Loughlin

    ;
  37. 37
    + 371
    - 599

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

    ;
  38. 38
    + 262
    - 409

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

    ;
  39. 39
    + 129
    - 102

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

    ;
  40. 40
    + 336
    - 344

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

    ;
  41. 41
    + 176
    - 149

    added by lilyclaire
    Laura Prepon, Natasha Lyonne, Taylor Schilling

    ;
  42. 42
    + 297
    - 251

    added by SibunASeason34
    Nathalia Ramos, Alexandra Shipp, Jade Ramsey

    ;
  43. 43
    + 235
    - 406


    Natalie Dormer, Henry Cavill, Joss Stone

    ;
  44. 44
    + 282
    - 342


    Cote de Pablo, Pauley Perrette, Mark Harmon

    ;
  45. 45
    + 221
    - 327


    Alfre Woodard, Jeffrey Tambor, Dennis Franz

    ;
  46. 46
    + 282
    - 522

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

    ;
  47. 47
    + 266
    - 393


    Robin Tunney, Wentworth Miller, Jodi Lyn O'Keefe

    ;
  48. 48
    + 66
    - 51


    Gillian Anderson, Laurence Fishburne, Mads Mikkelsen

    ;
  49. 49
    + 54
    - 66

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

    ;
  50. 50
    + 294
    - 363


    Alicia Witt, Timothy Olyphant, Natalie Zea

    ;
152 +

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