The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time TV Programs

The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time

68k votes 6.5k voters 129k views 188 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
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  • 2 See list ranked by
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  1. 1
    + 2,103
    - 1,385

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

    ;
  2. 2
    + 1,593
    - 1,115

    most listed
    Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Kit Harington

    ;
  3. 3
    + 1,549
    - 754

    ranked low on reranks
    James Gandolfini, Lorraine Bracco, Edie Falco

    ;
  4. 4
    + 1,286
    - 787


    Dominic West, Lance Reddick, Sonja Sohn

    ;
  5. 5
    + 616
    - 480

    added by gschwayze
    Kevin Spacey, Michel Gill, Robin Wright

    ;
  6. 6
    + 795
    - 699


    Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Una Stubbs

    ;
  7. 7
    + 1,051
    - 917


    Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco

    ;
  8. 8
    + 744
    - 831


    Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, Vincent Kartheiser

    ;
  9. 9
    + 989
    - 1,038


    Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies

    ;
  10. 10
    + 802
    - 922

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

    ;
  11. 11
    + 713
    - 662


    Hugh Laurie, Omar Epps, Robert Sean Leonard

    ;
  12. 12
    + 682
    - 531

    ranked low on reranks
    Scott Grimes, Damian Lewis, Ron Livingston

    ;
  13. 13
    + 690
    - 795

    often listed
    David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi

    ;
  14. 14
    + 745
    - 641


    Rod Serling, Robert McCord, Jay Overholts

    ;
  15. 15
    + 826
    - 737


    Naveen Andrews, Matthew Fox, Jorge Garcia

    ;
  16. 16
    + 523
    - 585


    Peter Krause, Michael C. Hall, Frances Conroy

    ;
  17. 17
    + 558
    - 444

    ranked low on reranks & added by gschwayze
    Matthew McConnahey, Woody Harrelson

    ;
  18. 18
    + 538
    - 555


    Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman, Matt Smith

    ;
  19. 19
    + 446
    - 456


    Martin Sheen, Rob Lowe, Allison Janney

    ;
  20. 20
    + 451
    - 449


    Kevin McKidd, Ray Stevenson, Polly Walker

    ;
  21. 21
    + 433
    - 485


    Steve Buscemi, Stephen Graham, Vincent Piazza

    ;
  22. 22
    + 536
    - 552


    Charlie Hunnam, Katey Sagal, Mark Boone Junior

    ;
  23. 23
    + 412
    - 510

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

    ;
  24. 24
    + 427
    - 447


    Ernie Hudson, J.K. Simmons, Lee Tergesen

    ;
  25. 25
    + 227
    - 139

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

    ;
  26. 26
    + 501
    - 548


    Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk

    ;
  27. 27
    + 240
    - 183


    Alan Alda, Wayne Rogers, Loretta Swi

    ;
  28. 28
    + 426
    - 429


    Kyle MacLachlan, Michael Ontkean, Mädchen Amick

    ;
  29. 29
    + 401
    - 491


    Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell, Jamie Bamber

    ;
  30. 30
    + 374
    - 362


    William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley

    ;
  31. 31
    + 393
    - 515


    Anthony Edwards, George Clooney, Julianna Margulies

    ;
  32. 32
    + 366
    - 439


    Timothy Olyphant, Ian McShane, Molly Parker

    ;
  33. 33
    + 452
    - 556


    Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Jim Beave

    ;
  34. 34
    + 339
    - 392


    Jerry Orbach, Jesse L. Martin, Dennis Farina

    ;
  35. 35
    + 148
    - 112

    ranked low on reranks & added by RondaBandy
    Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes

    ;
  36. 36
    + 333
    - 397


    Michael Chiklis, Catherine Dent, Walton Goggins

    ;
  37. 37
    + 394
    - 612

    often listed
    Kiefer Sutherland, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Carlos Bernard

    ;
  38. 38
    + 287
    - 454

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

    ;
  39. 39
    + 283
    - 422

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, Jasika Nicole

    ;
  40. 40
    + 185
    - 165

    ranked low on reranks & added by lilyclaire
    Taylor Schilling, Danielle Brooks, Taryn Manning

    ;
  41. 41
    + 302
    - 360

    ranked low on reranks
    Mark Harmon, Michael Weatherly, Pauley Perrette

    ;
  42. 42
    + 348
    - 362

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

    ;
  43. 43
    + 246
    - 421

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

    ;
  44. 44
    + 303
    - 376


    Timothy Olyphant, Nick Searcy, Joelle Carter

    ;
  45. 45
    + 287
    - 405


    Dominic Purcell, Wentworth Miller, Amaury Nolasco

    ;
  46. 46
    + 301
    - 267

    ranked low on reranks & added by SibunASeason34
    Alex Sawyer, Eugene Simon, Brad Kavanagh

    ;
  47. 47
    + 293
    - 540

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Sam Trammell

    ;
  48. 48
    + 233
    - 340


    Daniel J. Travanti, Michael Warren, Bruce Weitz

    ;
  49. 49
    + 83
    - 62

    ranked low on reranks
    Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, Caroline Dhavernas

    ;
  50. 50
    + 72
    - 77

    added by Greer Baudreau
    Mariska Hargitay, Christopher Meloni, Ice-T

    ;
189 +

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