tv programs The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time  

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List Rules 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.

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Breaking Bad is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
Breaking Bad Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn

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Game of Thrones is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
Game of Thrones Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Kit Harington

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The Sopranos is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
The Sopranos James Gandolfini, Lorraine Bracco, Edie Falco

4
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The Wire is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
The Wire Dominic West, Lance Reddick, Sonja Sohn

5
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Sherlock is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
Sherlock Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Una Stubbs

6
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House of Cards is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
House of Cards Kevin Spacey, Michel Gill, Robin Wright

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Mad Men is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
Mad Men Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, Vincent Kartheiser

8
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House is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
House Hugh Laurie, Omar Epps, Robert Sean Leonard

9
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Band of Brothers is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
Band of Brothers Scott Grimes, Damian Lewis, Ron Livingston

10
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Dexter is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
Dexter Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, David Zayas

11
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The Walking Dead is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
The Walking Dead Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies

12
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Buffy the Vampire Slayer is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Sarah Michelle Gellar, Nicholas Brendon, Alyson Hannigan

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The Twilight Zone is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
The Twilight Zone Rod Serling, Robert McCord, Jay Overholts

14
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The X-Files is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
The X-Files David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi

15
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True Detective is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
True Detective Matthew McConnahey, Woody Harrelson

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Lost is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
Lost Naveen Andrews, Matthew Fox, Jorge Garcia

17
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Six Feet Under is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
Six Feet Under Peter Krause, Michael C. Hall, Frances Conroy

18
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Fargo is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
Fargo Martin Freeman, Billy Bob Thornton, Colin Hanks

19
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M*A*S*H is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
M*A*S*H Alan Alda, Wayne Rogers, Loretta Swi

20
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Doctor Who is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
Doctor Who Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman, Matt Smith

21
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Sons of Anarchy is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
Sons of Anarchy Charlie Hunnam, Katey Sagal, Mark Boone Junior

22
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The West Wing is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
The West Wing Martin Sheen, Rob Lowe, Allison Janney

23
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Firefly is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
Firefly Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk

24
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Downton Abbey is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
Downton Abbey Hugh Bonneville, Phyllis Logan, Elizabeth McGovern

25
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Boardwalk Empire is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
Boardwalk Empire Steve Buscemi, Stephen Graham, Vincent Piazza

26
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Star Trek: The Original Series is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
Star Trek: The Original Series William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley

27
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Rome is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
Rome Kevin McKidd, Ray Stevenson, Polly Walker

28
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Supernatural is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
Supernatural Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Jim Beave

29
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Oz is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
Oz Ernie Hudson, J.K. Simmons, Lee Tergesen

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Deadwood is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
Deadwood Timothy Olyphant, Ian McShane, Molly Parker

31
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Star Trek: The Next Generation is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
Star Trek: The Next Generation Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes

32
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Twin Peaks is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
Twin Peaks Kyle MacLachlan, Michael Ontkean, M├Ądchen Amick

33
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ER is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
ER Anthony Edwards, George Clooney, Julianna Margulies

34
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Battlestar Galactica is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
Battlestar Galactica Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell, Jamie Bamber

35
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24 is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
24 Kiefer Sutherland, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Carlos Bernard

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Law & Order is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
Law & Order Jerry Orbach, Jesse L. Martin, Dennis Farina

37
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The Shield is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
The Shield Michael Chiklis, Catherine Dent, Walton Goggins

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Justified is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
Justified Timothy Olyphant, Nick Searcy, Joelle Carter

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Orange Is the New Black is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
Orange Is the New Black Taylor Schilling, Danielle Brooks, Taryn Manning

40
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CSI: Crime Scene Investigation is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Laurence Fishburne, Marg Helgenberger, George Eads

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Fringe is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
Fringe Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, Jasika Nicole

42
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Law & Order: Special Victims U... is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Mariska Hargitay, Christopher Meloni, Ice-T

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Prison Break is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
Prison Break Dominic Purcell, Wentworth Miller, Amaury Nolasco

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NCIS is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
NCIS Mark Harmon, Michael Weatherly, Pauley Perrette

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Daredevil is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
Daredevil Charlie Cox, Vincent D'Onofrio, Deborah Ann Woll

46
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The Americans is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
The Americans Keri Russell

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Criminal Minds is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
Criminal Minds Shemar Moore, Matthew Gray Gubler, Thomas Gibson

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The Tudors is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
The Tudors Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Henry Cavill, Anthony Brophy

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Homeland is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
Homeland Claire Danes, Mandy Patinkin, Rupert Friend

50
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Better Call Saul is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
Better Call Saul Bob Odenkirk, Michael Mando, Jonathan Banks