90s The Best '90s TV Dramas

4.3k votes 12k views 34 items Embed

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.

1
+ - 130 83
The X-Files is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas

The Best Cartoons of the '90s The Best Princess Movies

2
+ - 124 68
Buffy the Vampire Slayer is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas

3
+ - 93 58
Charmed is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas
Charmed 1998

4
+ - 70 47
ER is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas
ER 1994

5
+ - 81 64
Law & Order: Special Victims U... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas

6
+ - 79 64
Law & Order is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas

7
+ - 70 82
The Sopranos is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas

8
+ - 62 61
7th Heaven is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas
7th Heaven 1996

9
+ - 66 64
Beverly Hills, 90210 is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas

10
+ - 58 67
Northern Exposure is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas

11
+ - 58 57
Xena: Warrior Princess is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas

12
+ - 55 65
NYPD Blue is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas
NYPD Blue 1993

13
+ - 55 62
Walker, Texas Ranger is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas

14
+ - 48 62
My So-Called Life is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas

15
+ - 49 64
Dawson's Creek is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas

The Best Saturday Morning Cartoons for Mid-80s - 90s Kids The Greatest Characters We Watched Grow Up on TV

16
+ - 51 58
Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas

17
+ - 39 50
JAG is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas
JAG 1995

18
+ - 41 78
The West Wing is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas

19
+ - 51 73
Angel is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas
Angel 1999

20
+ - 46 56
Ally McBeal is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas

21
+ - 43 67
Melrose Place is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas

22
+ - 48 76
Twin Peaks is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas
Twin Peaks 1990

23
+ - 38 66
Oz is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas
Oz 1997

24
+ - 38 58
Homicide: Life on the Street is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas

25
+ - 39 65
Touched by an Angel is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas

26
+ - 30 43
Party of Five is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas

27
+ - 26 39
Felicity is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas
Felicity 1998

28
+ - 30 66
Hercules: The Legendary Journe... is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas

29
+ - 13 36
Highlander: The Series is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas

30
+ - 25 63
The Practice is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas

31
+ - 25 64
Picket Fences is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas

32
+ - 25 64
Roswell is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas
Roswell 1999

33
+ - 20 63
Sisters is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas
Sisters 1991

34
+ - 17 57
New York Undercover is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best '90s TV Dramas