The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time TV Programs

The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time

original ranker
13,249 views 60 items 12,651 votes 907 voters 32 followers 21reranks
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. 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 Criteria: American/British shows only; fantasy/sci-fi's included; live action only; mini-series included

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  Name
Score
  1. 1
    Up 292
    Down 186

    the people's #1
    Breaking Bad

    2008 More
    93
  2. 2
    Up 212
    Down 181

    most listed &ranked high on reranks
    Game of Thrones

    2011 More
    87
  3. 3
    Up 241
    Down 168

    ranked low on reranks
    The Sopranos

    1999 More
    86
  4. 4
    Up 240
    Down 160

    ranked low on reranks
    The Walking Dead

    2010 More
    71
  5. 5
    Up 144
    Down 161

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    The Wire

    2002 More
    68
  6. 6
    Up 160
    Down 119

    ranked low on reranks
    Buffy the Vampire Slayer

    1997 More
    67
  7. 7
    Up 137
    Down 166

    often listed
    The X-Files

    1993 More
    67
  8. 8
    Up 119
    Down 142

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Six Feet Under

    2001 More
    65
  9. 9
    Up 130
    Down 139
    2001 More
    63
  10. 10
    Up 121
    Down 156

    often listed
    Mad Men

    2007 More
    63
  11. 11
    Up 160
    Down 187

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Lost

    2004 More
    62
  12. 12
    Up 158
    Down 167

    controversial &ranked low on reranks
    Dexter

    2006 More
    61
  13. 13
    Up 141
    Down 152
    1959 More
    61
  14. 14
    Up 123
    Down 134
    2004 More
    57
  15. 15
    Up 127
    Down 130

    ranked low on reranks
    Sons of Anarchy

    2008 More
    57
  16. 16
    Up 98
    Down 142

    often listed &controversial
    Deadwood

    2004 More
    53
  17. 17
    Up 97
    Down 130

    controversial
    Boardwalk Empire

    2010 More
    53
  18. 18
    Up 127
    Down 168
    2002 More
    53
  19. 19
    Up 93
    Down 105

    ranked low on reranks
    The Tudors

    2007 More
    53
  20. 20
    Up 83
    Down 116

    controversial
    ER

    1994 More
    53
  21. 21
    Up 105
    Down 151

    controversial
    24

    2001 More
    52
  22. 22
    Up 97
    Down 157

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Battlestar Galactica

    2004 More
    52
  23. 23
    Up 75
    Down 109
    2000 More
    50
  24. 24
    Up 97
    Down 132

    ranked low on reranks
    Oz

    1997 More
    50
  25. 25
    Up 74
    Down 113
    2005 More
    50
  26. 26
    Up 78
    Down 105
    1966 More
    49
  27. 27
    Up 85
    Down 135

    often listed
    The Shield

    2002 More
    48
  28. 28
    Up 73
    Down 114
    2010 More
    48
  29. 29
    Up 77
    Down 131

    often listed
    Rome

    2005 More
    48
  30. 30
    Up 84
    Down 132

    ranked low on reranks
    The West Wing

    1999 More
    47
  31. 31
    Up 79
    Down 107
    1978 More
    46
  32. 32
    Up 81
    Down 134

    often listed
    Doctor Who

    1963 More
    45
  33. 33
    Up 113
    Down 103

    ranked low on reranks
    True Blood

    2008 More
    44
  34. 34
    Up 82
    Down 141

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Twin Peaks

    1990 More
    44
  35. 35
    Up 80
    Down 131

    ranked low on reranks
    Justified

    2010 More
    43
  36. 36
    Up 62
    Down 114

    ranked high on reranks
    Fringe

    2008 More
    42
  37. 37
    Up 64
    Down 103

    ranked low on reranks
    Hill Street Blues

    1981 More
    41
  38. 38
    Up 57
    Down 108

    ranked high on reranks
    NYPD Blue

    1993 More
    40
  39. 39
    Up 81
    Down 117

    ranked low on reranks
    Sherlock

    2010 More
    39
  40. 40
    Up 102
    Down 89

    ranked low on reranks
    Castle

    2009 More
    38
    added by: SafeWordApple
  41. 41
    Up 32
    Down 64

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    House of Cards

    1990 More
    36
    added by: gschwayze
  42. 42
    Up 55
    Down 138

    often listed
    Prison Break

    2005 More
    36
  43. 43
    Up 31
    Down 87

    ranked high on reranks
    Ally McBeal

    1997 More
    35
    added by: KarynLake
  44. 44
    Up 61
    Down 60

    ranked low on reranks
    Pretty Little Liars

    2010 More
    35
    added by: KarynLake
  45. 45
    Up 63
    Down 68

    ranked low on reranks
    90210

    2008 More
    34
    added by: KarynLake
  46. 46
    Up 24
    Down 97

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Homicide: Life on the Street

    1993 More
    32
  47. 47
    Up 26
    Down 73

    ranked high on reranks
    Xena: Warrior Princess

    1995 More
    32
  48. 48
    Up 64
    Down 82
    2005 More
    32
    added by: bojanthebest
  49. 49
    Up 76
    Down 100
    2003 More
    32
  50. 50
    Up 41
    Down 121

    often listed
    Carnivàle

    2003 More
    32
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