90s The Best '90s TV Dramas  

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List Rules The greatest drama TV series that aired during the 1990s

The best ‘90s drama shows weighed heavily toward sci-fi premises, but gave equal time to angsty teen dramas and crime procedurals. In fact, we have the 1990s to thank for the exponential growth of the Law and Order franchise. Though some of the greatest TV dramas of the ‘90s might be comedy-drama hybrids rather than straight-up drama, the hour-long format allowed those shows to tackle more serious subjects than a sitcom.

Some of the ‘90s greatest dramas dominated what came to be known as water-cooler viewing, like The X-files, Twin Peaks, and The West Wing. Other shows didn’t quite dominate in the ratings, like Buffy: The Vampire Slayer and The Sopranos, yet they secured a spot in TV history as some of the best ever in the genre.

As the Internet grew in access and popularity, we saw some of the greatest ‘90s dramas draw from the new phenomenon. (Recall Ally McBeal’s use of the dancing baby meme.) Though DVR wasn’t introduced until 1999, VHS recording allowed for delayed viewing, necessitating the rise of the SPOILER ALERT.

Finally, we have to thank a few of the best ‘90s drama shows for launching the careers of Jessica Biel (7th Heaven), Claire Danes (My So-Called Life), and James Van Der Beek (Dawson’s Creek), reviving the careers of James Spader (The Practice), Rob Lowe (The West Wing), and Robert Downey, Jr. (Ally McBeal). And, really, we have to thank Dick Wolf for filling the airwaves end to end with witty banter and weeping victims.
list ordered by

1
+ - 148 80
Buffy the Vampire Slayer is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas

The Best Cartoons of the '90s The Most Annoying TV and Film Characters Ever

2
+ - 148 98
The X-Files is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas

3
+ - 119 68
Charmed is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas
Charmed 1998

4
+ - 82 61
ER is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas
ER 1994

5
+ - 93 77
Law & Order: Special Victims U... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas

6
+ - 91 74
Law & Order is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas

7
+ - 80 73
Beverly Hills, 90210 is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas

8
+ - 78 92
The Sopranos is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas

9
+ - 71 66
Xena: Warrior Princess is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas

10
+ - 70 73
7th Heaven is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas
7th Heaven 1996

11
+ - 64 72
NYPD Blue is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas
NYPD Blue 1993

12
+ - 64 78
Northern Exposure is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas

13
+ - 61 69
Walker, Texas Ranger is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas

14
+ - 59 69
My So-Called Life is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas

15
+ - 63 81
Angel is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas
Angel 1999

The Best Saturday Morning Cartoons for Mid-80s - 90s Kids These Disney Princess Were Absolutely Terrible Role Models

16
+ - 56 62
Ally McBeal is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas

17
+ - 55 73
Dawson's Creek is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas

18
+ - 44 88
The West Wing is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas

19
+ - 44 58
JAG is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas
JAG 1995

20
+ - 55 82
Twin Peaks is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas
Twin Peaks 1990

21
+ - 50 76
Melrose Place is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas

22
+ - 43 63
Homicide: Life on the Street is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas

23
+ - 53 69
Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas

24
+ - 43 73
Touched by an Angel is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas

25
+ - 41 76
Oz is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas
Oz 1997

26
+ - 37 52
Party of Five is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas

27
+ - 36 75
Hercules: The Legendary Journe... is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas

28
+ - 32 49
Felicity is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas
Felicity 1998

29
+ - 17 44
Highlander: The Series is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas

30
+ - 28 71
The Practice is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas

31
+ - 27 72
Picket Fences is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas

32
+ - 28 73
Roswell is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas
Roswell 1999

33
+ - 20 65
New York Undercover is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas

34
+ - 23 72
Sisters is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas
Sisters 1991