Best TV The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows  

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Originally by Ranker Community
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While some of the best drama TV shows are long gone (we'll never forget you, Breaking Bad), others like Vikings and even American Horror Story keep us interested, toy with our emotions, and certainly keep our DVRs busy as we follow along with the dramatic story lines.

Many of the best, most acclaimed series come from networks like CBS, ABC, NBC, and FOX while others were only available from basic cable stations like AMC and FX. Even others were limited to those with the pay channels like HBO and Showtime or streaming providers like Netflix and Hulu - which make it easy to decide which shows to marathon. Regardless of network, these series get us interested and keep us hooked to all the action throughout the year.

The best drama shows of all time provided a bit of something for everyone. Sci-fi and horror lovers had plenty of options like The Strain and American Horror Story while those looking for courtroom dramas could choose from the likes of How to Get Away with Murder and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

Old favorites like Criminal Minds and NCIS continue to hold strong on network TV, but the best dramatic television shows also include Netflix series such as House of Cards and Daredevil, along with cable favorites including Homeland and True Detective.

So whether you're a fan of the warm and fuzzy dramas or the hard-hitting crime shows or any in between, one or another of the best current dramatic series is sure to keep you crying, cheering, or simply entertained.

Check out more lists like the most loved tv shows of all time, the top premium cable series, and the best sci-fi shows. Or, check out the best new and returning drama TV shows in 2019.

list ordered by
1
2,645 2,411
The Walking Dead is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies
The Walking Dead (A&E, 2010) is an American post-apocalyptic horror television series developed by Frank Darabont, based on the comic book series by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie ...more
2
1,949 1,763
Sherlock is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
IsabelBaker added Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Una Stubbs
Sherlock is a British television crime drama that presents a contemporary adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes detective stories. Created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, it ...more
3
1,758 1,629
Supernatural is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Katie Cassidy
Supernatural (The CW, 2005) is an American fantasy horror television series created by Eric Kripke. Two brothers, Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles), follow their father's ...more
4
1,792 2,249
NCIS is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
Mark Harmon, Michael Weatherly, Pauley Perrette
NCIS is an American police procedural drama television series, revolving around a fictional team of special agents from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which conducts investigations ...more
5
1,221 1,787
Law & Order: Special Victims U... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
Mariska Hargitay, Christopher Meloni, Ice-T
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit is an American police procedural, legal, crime drama television series set in New York City, where it is also primarily produced. In the style of the ...more
6
1,385 1,970
Homeland is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
Claire Danes, Mandy Patinkin, Rupert Friend
Homeland is an American political thriller television series developed by Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa based on the Israeli series Hatufim, which was created by Gideon Raff. The series stars ...more
7
1,392 1,579
Orange Is the New Black is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
LeneMadsen added Taylor Schilling, Danielle Brooks, Taryn Manning
Orange Is the New Black is an American comedy-drama series created by Jenji Kohan and first released on Netflix on July 11, 2013. The series, produced by Tilted Productions in association with ...more
8
1,040 915
Vikings is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
draga added Travis Fimmel, Katheryn Winnick, Clive Standen
Vikings (History, 2013) is a historical drama television series created by Michael Hirst. A farmer (Travis Fimmel) rises to fame by successful raids into England, and eventually becomes a ...more
9
1,034 931
The Blacklist is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
LanaYoshii added James Spader, Megan Boone, Diego Klattenhoff
The Blacklist is an American crime drama television series that premiered on NBC on September 23, 2013. Raymond "Red" Reddington, a former U.S Navy officer turned high-profile ...more
10
1,377 1,353
Criminal Minds is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
bojanthebest added Shemar Moore, Matthew Gray Gubler, Thomas Gibson
Criminal Minds is an American police-procedural television program that premiered September 22, 2005, on CBS. The series follows a team of profilers from the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit based ...more
11
1,378 1,621
American Horror Story is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
Connie Britton, Dylan McDermott, Evan Peters
American Horror Story (FX, 2011) is an American anthology horror television series created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk. An anthology series centering on different characters and locations, ...more
12
1,018 1,295
Suits is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
Gabriel Macht, Patrick J. Adams, Meghan Markle
Suits is a USA Network legal drama created by Aaron Korsh that stars Patrick J. Adams as Michael "Mike" Ross and Gabriel Macht as Harvey Specter. The first episode debuted on June 23, ...more
13
628 531
The 100 is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
Eliza Taylor, Paige Turco, Thomas McDonell
The 100 (The CW, 2014) is an American post-apocalyptic science fiction drama television series developed by Jason Rothenberg, loosely based on the book by Kass Morgan. 97 years after a nuclear ...more
14
667 890
Outlander is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
RondaBandy added Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, Tobias Menzies
Outlander is a British-American television drama series based on the historical time travel Outlander series of novels by Diana Gabaldon. Created by Ronald D. Moore and produced by Left Bank ...more
15
793 864
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Brett Dalton
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., or simply Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., is an American television series created for ABC by Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon, and Maurissa Tancharoen, based on the Marvel ...more
16
1,026 1,166
Arrow is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
nicolas.verret added Stephen Amell, Katie Cassidy, Colin Donnell
Arrow is an American superhero television series developed by Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, and Andrew Kreisberg, based on the DC Comics character. Five years after being stranded on a hostile ...more
17
544 594
Mr. Robot is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
Raim Malek, Portia Doubleday, Christian Slater
Mr. Robot (USA Network, 2015) is an American drama–thriller television series created by Sam Esmail. Elliot (Rami Malek), a cybersecurity engineer and hacker who suffers from social anxiety ...more
18
880 1,215
Doctor Who is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Matt Smith
Doctor Who (BBC, 2005) is a British science-fiction television show created by Sydney Newman, C. E. Webber, and Donald Wilson. The further adventures in time and space of the alien adventurer ...more
19
873 1,089
Elementary is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
Jonny Lee Miller, Lucy Liu, Jon Michael Hill
Elementary (CBS, 2012) is an American procedural drama series created by Robert Doherty, based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's character Sherlock Holmes. Following his fall from grace in London and ...more
20
469 536
Better Call Saul is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
LanaYoshii added Bob Odenkirk, Jonathan Banks, Rhea Seehorn
Better Call Saul (AMC, 2015) is an American television drama series created by Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould, and a spinoff prequel of Breaking Bad. The trials and tribulations of lawyer, Jimmy ...more
21
686 766
True Detective is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
LanaYoshii added Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, Michelle Monaghan
True Detective (HBO, 2014) is an American anthology drama television series created by Nic Pizzolatto. Each season focuses on detectives investigating violent offences.
22
622 662
The Flash is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
Grant Gustin, Candice Patton, Danielle Panabaker
The Flash (The CW, 2014) is an American superhero television series developed by Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg, and Geoff Johns, based on the DC Comics character. CSI Barry Allen (Grant ...more
23
356 219
Stranger Things is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard
Stranger Things (Netflix, 2016) is an American science fiction-horror web television series created by The Duffer Brothers. When a young boy (Noah Schnapp) disappears, his mother (Winona Ryder), ...more
24
860 1,489
NCIS: Los Angeles is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
cfletcher4956 added Chris O'Donnell, Daniela Ruah, Barrett Foa
NCIS: Los Angeles is an American television series combining elements of the military drama and police procedural genres, which premiered on the CBS network on September 22, 2009. NCIS: Los ...more
25
800 1,362
Hawaii Five-0 is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
Leonard Freeman, Alex Kurtzman, Peter M. Lenkov
Hawaii Five-0 is an American police procedural drama television series and a remake of the original 1968–80 television series. The series is produced by K/O Paper Products and 101st Street ...more