The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time TV Programs
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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. 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.
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  1. 1
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    most listed Emilia Clarke, Lena Headey, Natalie Dormer

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  2. 2
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    the people's #1 Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Giancarlo Esposito

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  3. 3
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    ranked low on reranks Steve Buscemi, Jamie Lynn Sigler, James Gandolfini

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  4. 4
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    Idris Elba, Bobby Brown, Method Man

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  5. 5
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    Sarah Michelle Gellar, Eliza Dushku, Alyson Hannigan

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  6. 6
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    Christina Hendricks, January Jones, Jon Hamm

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  7. 7
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    Morgan Freeman, Rod Serling, John McGiver

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  8. 8
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    Gillian Anderson, Lucy Lawless, David Duchovny

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  9. 9
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    Lauren Cohan, Norman Reedus, Andrew Lincoln

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  10. 10
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    Olivia Wilde, Jennifer Morrison, Hugh Laurie

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  11. 11
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    Michael C. Hall, James Cromwell, Lauren Ambrose

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  12. 12
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    Yvonne Strahovski, Julie Benz, Mos Def

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  13. 13
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    Charlie Hunnam, Katey Sagal, Ron Perlman

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  14. 14
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    George Clooney, Jared Padalecki, Julianna Margulies

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  15. 15
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    Michael Fassbender, Tom Hardy, David Schwimmer

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  16. 16
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    Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Andrew Scott

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  17. 17
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    Evangeline Lilly, Ian Somerhalder, Michelle Rodriguez

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  18. 18
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    Steve Buscemi, Michael Shannon, Gretchen Mol

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  19. 19
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    Paul Giamatti, Shirley MacLaine, Maggie Smith

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  20. 20
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    Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Misha Collins

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  21. 21
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    ranked low on reranks & added by gschwayze Matthew McConaughey, Colin Farrell, Vince Vaughn

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  22. 22
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    Elisha Cuthbert, Kiefer Sutherland, Lana Parrilla

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  23. 23
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    Elisabeth Shue, Laurence Fishburne, Marg Helgenberger

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  24. 24
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    Kevin McKidd, Ray Stevenson, Ciarán Hinds

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  25. 25
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    added by gschwayze Ian Richardson, James Villiers, Damien Thomas

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  26. 26
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    Eric Roberts, Tom Baker, Paul McGann

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  27. 27
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    Grace Park, Tricia Helfer, Lucy Lawless

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  28. 28
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    Jeffrey Jones, Timothy Olyphant, Sarah Paulson

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  29. 29
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    Christina Hendricks, Summer Glau, Morena Baccarin

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  30. 30
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    Christopher Meloni, Edie Falco, J.K. Simmons

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  31. 31
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    Natalie Dormer, Joss Stone, Henry Cavill

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  32. 32
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    Mary-Louise Parker, Rob Lowe, Martin Sheen

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  33. 33
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    ranked low on reranks & added by bojanthebest Jennifer Love Hewitt, Rachel Nichols, A. J. Cook

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  34. 34
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    ranked low on reranks & added by SafeWordApple Stana Katic, Nathan Fillion, Molly Quinn

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  35. 35
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    Ken Campbell, Alan Ford, Derek Martin

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  36. 36
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    Glenn Close, Forest Whitaker, Alex O'Loughlin

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  37. 37
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    Anna Paquin, Evan Rachel Wood, Deborah Ann Woll

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  38. 38
    Up 84
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    added by VanessaNelms Katherine Heigl, Sara Ramirez, Sandra Oh

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  39. 39
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    Heather Graham, Lara Flynn Boyle, Sherilyn Fenn

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  40. 40
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    Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, John Noble

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  41. 41
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    Cote de Pablo, Pauley Perrette, Mark Harmon

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  42. 42
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    Timothy Olyphant, Alicia Witt, Natalie Zea

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  43. 43
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    William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, George Takei

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  44. 44
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    Alfre Woodard, Dennis Franz, Jeffrey Tambor

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  45. 45
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    Robin Tunney, Wentworth Miller, Jodi Lyn O'Keefe

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  46. 46
    Up 28
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    added by onry49 Katheryn Winnick, Gabriel Byrne, Alexander Ludwig

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  47. 47
    Up 97
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    Mark-Paul Gosselaar, David Caruso, Amy Brenneman

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  48. 48
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    added by bojanthebest John Ritter, Will Geer, Judy Norton Taylor

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  49. 49
    Up 51
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    added by KarynLake Hayden Panettiere, Robert Downey Jr., Lucy Liu

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  50. 50
    Up 44
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    Jeremy Hotz, Peter Keleghan, Karen Hines

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