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best of 2012 The Best Dramatic TV Shows of 2012  

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List Rules Best dramas that were released on premium cable or network TV in 2012

The best dramatic TV shows of 2012 are those fine television series which kept us wondering what was going to happen next and yearning for more. These shows captivated audiences and wooed critics with dramatic plot lines, stellar acting and enough twists and turns to rival a top roller coaster. Plain and simple, these 2012 top drama shows were arguably some of the best TV shows of recent memory.

Similar to with the best dramatic TV shows of 2011, two networks dominated in the drama category during the year, AMC and HBO. With two nominations each, AMC and HBO nabbed four of the six nominations for Outstanding Drama Series at the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards. PBS, for "Downton Abbey," and Showtime, for "Homeland," took the other two.

AMC continued to lead the pack among basic cable stations with the highly praised series such as "Mad Men" and "Breaking Bad." HBO on the other hand, a pay channel in most cable plans, is right up there too with perennial favorites such as "Game of Thrones," "True Blood" and "Boardwalk Empire."

These fantastic dramatic shows are just a handful of the great drama shows on during 2012. Is your favorite missing? A specific show too high or too low? Simply want to start the list over and make it again your way? Do all of that and more below with the best TV dramas of 2012.

Check out more lists like the top current tv dramas, the greatest comedy-dramas on television, and the best tv shows ever made

1
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Breaking Bad is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Dramatic TV Shows of 2012
Breaking Bad Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn

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2
+ - 105 36
Game of Thrones is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Dramatic TV Shows of 2012
Game of Thrones Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Kit Harington

3
+ - 85 54
The Walking Dead is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Dramatic TV Shows of 2012
The Walking Dead Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies

4
+ - 69 47
Sherlock is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Dramatic TV Shows of 2012
Sherlock Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Una Stubbs

5
+ - 69 47
Homeland is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Dramatic TV Shows of 2012
Homeland Claire Danes, Mandy Patinkin, Rupert Friend

6
+ - 49 34
Suits is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Dramatic TV Shows of 2012
Suits Gabriel Macht, Patrick J. Adams, Meghan Markle

7
+ - 58 52
Mad Men is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Dramatic TV Shows of 2012
Mad Men Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, Vincent Kartheiser

8
+ - 46 41
Doctor Who is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Dramatic TV Shows of 2012
Doctor Who Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman, Matt Smith

9
+ - 24 18
Dexter is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Dramatic TV Shows of 2012
Dexter Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, David Zayas

10
+ - 49 48
Downton Abbey is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Dramatic TV Shows of 2012
Downton Abbey Hugh Bonneville, Phyllis Logan, Elizabeth McGovern

11
+ - 45 44
Boardwalk Empire is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Dramatic TV Shows of 2012
Boardwalk Empire Steve Buscemi, Stephen Graham, Vincent Piazza

12
+ - 46 46
Fringe is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Dramatic TV Shows of 2012
Fringe Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, Jasika Nicole

13
+ - 12 6
House is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Dramatic TV Shows of 2012
House Hugh Laurie, Omar Epps, Robert Sean Leonard

14
+ - 38 38
Sons of Anarchy is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Dramatic TV Shows of 2012
Sons of Anarchy Charlie Hunnam, Katey Sagal, Mark Boone Junior

15
+ - 47 50
Once Upon a Time is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Dramatic TV Shows of 2012
Once Upon a Time Ginnifer Goodwin, Jennifer Morrison, Lana Parrilla

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16
+ - 47 50
Revenge is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Dramatic TV Shows of 2012
Revenge Madeleine Stowe, Emily VanCamp, Gabriel Mann

17
+ - 37 39
The Good Wife is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Dramatic TV Shows of 2012
The Good Wife Julianna Margulies, Chris Noth, Josh Charles

18
+ - 31 40
The Newsroom is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Dramatic TV Shows of 2012
The Newsroom Jeff Daniels, Emily Mortimer, John Gallagher Jr.

19
+ - 38 54
True Blood is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Dramatic TV Shows of 2012
True Blood Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Sam Trammell

20
+ - 0 1
Merhaba Hayat is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Dramatic TV Shows of 2012
Merhaba Hayat Keremcem

21
+ - 0 1
Naber is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Dramatic TV Shows of 2012
Naber

22
+ - 26 40
The Killing is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Dramatic TV Shows of 2012
The Killing Mireille Enos, Joel Kinnaman, Billy Campbell

23
+ - 18 32
The Borgias is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Dramatic TV Shows of 2012
The Borgias Jeremy Irons, François Arnaud, Holliday Grainger

24
+ - 18 34
Damages is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Dramatic TV Shows of 2012
Damages Glenn Close, Rose Byrne, Tate Donovan

25
+ - 17 33
Treme is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Dramatic TV Shows of 2012
Treme Khandi Alexander, Rob Brown, Kim Dickens

26
+ - 20 38
Awake is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Dramatic TV Shows of 2012
Awake Jason Isaacs, Laura Allen, Steve Harris

27
+ - 15 31
Girls is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Dramatic TV Shows of 2012
Girls Lena Dunham, Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke

28
+ - 13 29
Boss is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Dramatic TV Shows of 2012
Boss Kelsey Grammer, Connie Nielsen, Hannah Ware

29
+ - 11 26
Warehouse 13 is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Dramatic TV Shows of 2012
Warehouse 13 Eddie McClintock, Joanne Kelly, Saul Rubinek

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30
+ - 9 23
Lost Girl is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Dramatic TV Shows of 2012
Lost Girl Anna Silk, Kris Holden-Ried, Zoie Palmer

31
+ - 16 36
Bunheads is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Dramatic TV Shows of 2012
Bunheads Sutton Foster, Kaitlyn Jenkins, Julia Goldani Telles

32
+ - 16 37
Smash is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Dramatic TV Shows of 2012
Smash Debra Messing, Jack Davenport, Katharine McPhee

33
+ - 12 35
Alphas is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Dramatic TV Shows of 2012
Alphas David Strathairn, Ryan Cartwright, Warren Christie

34
+ - 7 26
Enlightened is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Dramatic TV Shows of 2012
Enlightened Laura Dern, Diane Ladd, Sarah Burns

35
+ - 9 31
Whitechapel is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Dramatic TV Shows of 2012
Whitechapel Rupert Penry-Jones, Philip Davis, Steve Pemberton

36
+ - 5 23
Dance Moms is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Dramatic TV Shows of 2012

37
+ - 3 19
The Man is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Dramatic TV Shows of 2012
The Man LL Cool J, Melinda Clarke, Mía Maestro