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
    + 139
    - 61

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

    ) open
  2. 2
    + 116
    - 58

    Angie Harmon, Jill Hennessy, Michael Moriarty

    ) open
  3. 3
    + 112
    - 57

    William Shatner, Julie Bowen, Lake Bell

    ) open
  4. 4
    + 73
    - 71

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Susan Dey, Jimmy Smits, Blair Underwood

    ) open
  5. 5
    + 90
    - 56

    Rhona Mitra, James Spader, Lara Flynn Boyle

    ) open
  6. 6
    + 176
    - 55

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

    ) open
  7. 7
    + 119
    - 45

    ranked low on reranks Julianna Margulies, Alan Cumming, Archie Panjabi

    ) open
  8. 8
    + 50
    - 47

    Raymond Burr, Barbara Hale, Richard Anderson

    ) open
  9. 9
    + 73
    - 49

    Catherine Bell, David James Elliott, Trevor Goddard

    ) open
  10. 10
    + 77
    - 67

    Hayden Panettiere, Robert Downey Jr., Lucy Liu

    ) open
  11. 11
    + 40
    - 50

    Brittany Snow, Kathy Bates, Christopher McDonald

    ) open
  12. 12
    + 49
    - 44

    Andy Griffith, Linda Purl, Daniel Roebuck

    ) open
  13. 13
    + 48
    - 45

    Rose Byrne, Glenn Close, Timothy Olyphant

    ) open
  14. 14
    + 53
    - 45

    Jason Alexander, Malcolm McDowell, Garcelle Beauvais

    ) open
  15. 15
    + 26
    - 50

    Amy Brenneman, Columbus Short, Tyne Daly

    ) open
  16. 16
    + 28
    - 40

    Robert Redford, Dustin Hoffman, William Shatner

    ) open
  17. 17
    + 21
    - 33

    added by ScottChupack Don Cheadle, Lauren Holly, Marlee Matlin

    ) open
  18. 18
    + 28
    - 43

    Bebe Neuwirth, Jerry Orbach, Fred Thompson

    ) open
  19. 19
    + 23
    - 40

    Natasha Henstridge, Jonny Lee Miller, Victor Garber

    ) open
  20. 20
    + 33
    - 38

    Kristin Kreuk, Terrence Howard, Danielle Panabaker

    ) open
  21. 21
    + 26
    - 39

    Simon Baker, Dabney Coleman, Alan Rosenberg

    ) open
  22. 22
    + 18
    - 27

    Brittany Murphy, Stanley Tucci, Patricia Clarkson

    ) open
  23. 23
    + 30
    - 47

    Sarah Shahi, Richard Dean Anderson, Michael Trucco

    ) open
  24. 24
    + 15
    - 44

    often listed Eric Balfour, Anson Mount, Stephanie March

    ) open
  25. 25
    + 11
    - 45

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Harry Guardino, Dane Clark, Brett Somers

    ) open
  26. 26
    + 8
    - 5

    new! & added by Rumblefish61 Elijah Wood, Alfre Woodard, Melissa Leo

    ) open
  27. 27
    + 19
    - 27

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

    ) open
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