The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time TV Programs
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The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time

The best serial legal dramas of all time include some truly outstanding law-related TV shows. Many of the law dramas listed here have been, or were, on the air for many years, thrilling viewers with complicated and compelling legal cases and outcomes. This list includes a lot of fantastic legal dramas, but it is far from complete, so feel free to add your personal favorites. Also, be sure to vote for those legal dramas you believe are worthy of the "best all time" description, and vote down any law TV shows you just can't stand.

What makes for a great serial legal drama? The show needs to have interesting, popular characters, a solid script and excellent, fresh storylines. There's no doubt that TV viewers love their television lawyers -- Perry Mason (Raymond Burr), Patty Hewes (Glenn Close on 'Damages'), Bobby Donnell (Dylan McDermott on 'The Practice') and Ally McBeal (Calista Flockhart) are just a few notable examples.

Legal TV dramas tend to be very popular and long-running series. They may also cross over to include a certain amount of procedural crime drama as well. The best example of this is definitely the tremendously popular and successful 'Law & Order' franchise (think 'Law & Order: SVU' and 'Law & Order: Trial By Jury'). These shows combine both sides of the coin -- the cops who catch the criminals, and the lawyers who either defend, or prosecute them (insert dramatic "dum dum!" sound here).

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  1. 1
    + 146
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    the people's #1 & most listed
    Sharon Stone, Mariska Hargitay, Ann-Margret

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  2. 2
    + 123
    - 59

    Angie Harmon, Jill Hennessy, Michael Moriarty

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  3. 3
    + 77
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Susan Dey, Jimmy Smits, Blair Underwood

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  4. 4
    + 96
    - 57

    Rhona Mitra, James Spader, Lara Flynn Boyle

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  5. 5
    + 119
    - 63

    William Shatner, Julie Bowen, Lake Bell

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  6. 6
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    ranked low on reranks
    Gina Torres, Meghan Markle, Gabriel Macht

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  7. 7
    + 128
    - 47

    Julianna Margulies, Alan Cumming, Archie Panjabi

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  8. 8
    + 54
    - 48

    Raymond Burr, Barbara Hale, Richard Anderson

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  9. 9
    + 77
    - 51

    Catherine Bell, David James Elliott, Trevor Goddard

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  10. 10
    + 79
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    Hayden Panettiere, Robert Downey Jr., Lucy Liu

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  11. 11
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    Brittany Snow, Kathy Bates, Christopher McDonald

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  12. 12
    + 51
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    Andy Griffith, Linda Purl, Daniel Roebuck

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  13. 13
    + 29
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Amy Brenneman, Columbus Short, Tyne Daly

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  14. 14
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    - 48

    Rose Byrne, Glenn Close, Timothy Olyphant

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  15. 15
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    Jason Alexander, Malcolm McDowell, Garcelle Beauvais

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  16. 16
    + 28
    - 44

    Robert Redford, Dustin Hoffman, William Shatner

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  17. 17
    + 22
    - 36

    added by ScottChupack
    Don Cheadle, Lauren Holly, Marlee Matlin

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  18. 18
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    Bebe Neuwirth, Jerry Orbach, Fred Thompson

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  19. 19
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    Natasha Henstridge, Jonny Lee Miller, Victor Garber

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  20. 20
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    Kristin Kreuk, Terrence Howard, Danielle Panabaker

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  21. 21
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    Simon Baker, Dabney Coleman, Alan Rosenberg

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  22. 22
    + 20
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    Brittany Murphy, Stanley Tucci, Patricia Clarkson

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  23. 23
    + 30
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    Sarah Shahi, Richard Dean Anderson, Michael Trucco

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  24. 25
    + 12
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Harry Guardino, Dane Clark, Brett Somers

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  25. 26
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    - 8

    added by Rumblefish61
    Elijah Wood, Alfre Woodard, Melissa Leo

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  26. 27
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    added by d.raphael2011
    Emily VanCamp, Madeleine Stowe, Amber Valletta

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