The Best of 2018 The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
131.7k votes 10k voters 206.4k views 61 items

While some of the best drama TV shows are long gone (we'll never forget you, Breaking Bad), others like Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, 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 dramatic series on TV in 2018 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

1
3,238 1,777
Game of Thrones is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
Game of Thrones Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke Game of Thrones (HBO, 2011) is an American fantasy drama television series created by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, based on the series of fantasy novels by George R. R. Martin. Nine noble ...more

2
2,423 1,999
The Walking Dead is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
The Walking Dead 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

3
1,694 1,497
Sherlock is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
IsabelBaker added Sherlock 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

4
1,666 1,944
NCIS is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
NCIS 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 criminal ...more

5
1,485 1,387
Supernatural is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
Supernatural 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

6
1,276 1,308
Orange Is the New Black is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
LeneMadsen added Orange Is the New Black 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

7
1,096 1,553
Law & Order: Special Victims U... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit 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

8
1,282 1,760
Homeland is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
Homeland 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

9
1,228 1,161
Criminal Minds is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
bojanthebest added Criminal Minds 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

10
1,116 1,568
Once Upon a Time is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
Once Upon a Time Ginnifer Goodwin, Jennifer Morrison, Lana Parrilla Once Upon a Time is an American fairy tale drama series that premiered on October 23, 2011, on ABC. The show takes place in the fictional seaside town of Storybrooke, Maine, whose residents are ...more

11
883 756
The Blacklist is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
LanaYoshii added The Blacklist 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

12
930 1,187
House of Cards is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
House of Cards Kevin Spacey, Michel Gill, Robin Wright House of Cards is an American political drama television series developed and produced by Beau Willimon. It is an adaptation of the BBC's mini-series of the same name and is based on the novel ...more

13
1,221 1,456
American Horror Story is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
American Horror Story 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

14
801 787
Vikings is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
draga added Vikings 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

15
538 755
Outlander is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
RondaBandy added Outlander 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

16
625 852
The Americans is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
premesh added The Americans Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Maximiliano Hernández The Americans (FX, 2013) is an American period drama television series created by Joe Weisberg. Elizabeth (Keri Russell) and Philip Jennings (Matthew Rhys) are two Soviet KGB officers posing as ...more

17
914 999
Arrow is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
nicolas.verret added Arrow Stephen Amell, Katie Cassidy, Colin Donnell Arrow (The CW, 2012) 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 ...more

18
706 698
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 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

19
433 455
Mr. Robot is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
Mr. Robot 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

20
910 1,148
Suits is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
Suits 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

21
488 616
Fargo is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
Fargo Joey King, Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman Fargo (FX, 2014) is an American black comedy–crime drama anthology television series created by Noah Hawley, and inspired by the 1996 film. Various chronicles of deception, intrigue and murder ...more

22
802 948
Elementary is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
Elementary Jonny Lee Miller, Lucy Liu, Aidan Quinn Elementary is an American crime drama series that presents a contemporary update of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's character Sherlock Holmes. The series was created by Robert Doherty and stars Jonny ...more

23
486 573
Gotham is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
Gotham Ben McKenzie, Donal Logue, David Mazouz Gotham (Fox, 2014) is an American crime drama television series developed by Bruno Heller, based on the DC Comics characters from the Batman franchise. The story behind Detective James Gordon's ...more

24
777 1,071
Doctor Who is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
Doctor Who 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

25
562 666
True Detective is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
LanaYoshii added True Detective Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, Michelle Monaghan True Detective (HBO, 2014) is an American anthology crime drama television series created by Nic Pizzolatto. Each season focuses on detectives investigating violent crimes.

26
807 1,348
NCIS: Los Angeles is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
cfletcher4956 added NCIS: Los Angeles 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

27
449 397
The 100 is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
The 100 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

28
468 535
The Flash is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
The Flash 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. Crime scene investigator ...more

29
484 422
Daredevil is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
Daredevil Charlie Cox, Deborah Ann Woll, Elden Henson Daredevil (Netflix, 2015) is an American web television series created for Netflix by Drew Goddard, based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. Blind lawyer Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) ...more

30
340 420
Better Call Saul is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
LanaYoshii added Better Call Saul Bob Odenkirk, Jonathan Banks, Rhea Seehorn Better Call Saul (A&E, 2015) is an American television crime drama series created by Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould, and a spinoff prequel of Breaking Bad. The trials and tribulations of ...more

31
734 1,244
Hawaii Five-0 is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
Hawaii Five-0 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

32
345 411
The X-Files is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
clash1977 added The X-Files David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi The X-Files is an American science fiction horror drama television series created by Chris Carter. The program originally aired from September 10, 1993 to May 19, 2002 on Fox, spanning nine ...more

33
166 11
Gypsy is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
lloydc added Gypsy Naomi Watts, Billy Crudup, Sophie Cookson Gypsy is a television drama series created by Lisa Rubin for Netflix. Naomi Watts plays a therapist who begins to develop dangerous and intimate relationships with the people in her patients’

34
590 1,051
Blue Bloods is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
Blue Bloods Donnie Wahlberg, Bridget Moynahan, Will Estes Blue Bloods is an American police procedural drama series shown on CBS in the United States and Canada and on Sky Atlantic in the United Kingdom. The series is filmed on location in New York ...more

35
336 395
Jessica Jones is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
jeff-cosenza added Jessica Jones Krysten Ritter, Mike Colter, Rachael Taylor Jessica Jones (Netflix, 2015) is an American web television series created by Melissa Rosenberg, based on the Marvel Comics character. Following the tragic end of her brief superhero career, ...more

36
260 139
Sense8 is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
voting closed at #36 Feniks added Sense8 Aml Ameen, Doona Bae, Jamie Clayton Sense8 (Netflix, 2015) is an American science fiction drama web television series created by Lana and Lilly Wachowski and J. Michael Straczynski. A group of people around the world are suddenly ...more

37
499 879
Chicago Fire is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
JenniferM.Collins added Chicago Fire Jesse Spencer, Taylor Kinney, Monica Raymund Chicago Fire is an American television drama series that airs on NBC and was created by Michael Brandt and Derek Haas with Dick Wolf serving as an executive producer. The series originally ...more

38
437 582
How to Get Away with Murder is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
How to Get Away With Murder Viola Davis, Billy Brown, Alfred Enoch How to Get Away with Murder (ABC, 2014) is an American drama television series created by Peter Nowalk. A law professor (Viola Davis) at a prestigious Philadelphia university and five of her ...more

39
357 530
Scorpion is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
LanaYoshii added Scorpion Elyes Gabel, Katharine McPhee, Eddie Kaye Thomas Scorpion is an American drama television series loosely based on the life of self-proclaimed genius and computer expert Walter O'Brien. In the series, O'Brien and his genius friends help each ...more

40
364 820
Ray Donovan is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
LeneMadsen added Ray Donovan Liev Schreiber, Paula Malcomson, Eddie Marsan Ray Donovan is an American television crime drama series created by Ann Biderman for Showtime. The twelve-episode first season premiered on June 30, 2013. The pilot episode broke records of ...more

41
369 449
Fear the Walking Dead is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
Fear the Walking Dead Kim Dickens, Cliff Curtis, Elizabeth Rodriguez Fear the Walking Dead (AMC, 2015) is an American post-apocalyptic horror drama television series created by Robert Kirkman and Dave Erickson, and a prequel to The Walking Dead. A dysfunctional, ...more

42
138 72
The Punisher is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
The Punisher Jon Bernthal, Ben Barnes, Ebon Moss-Bachrach Marvel's The Punisher (Netflix, 2017) is an American web television series created for Netflix by Steve Lightfoot. Former Force Recon officer Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal), known throughout New ...more

43
208 370
Supergirl is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
Rakibul Hoque added Supergirl Melissa Benoist, Mehcad Brooks, Chyler Leigh Supergirl (The CW, 2015) is an American superhero action-adventure television series developed by Ali Adler, Greg Berlanti, and Andrew Kreisberg, based on the DC Comics character. The adventures ...more

44
121 67
Mindhunter is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
Mindhunter Jonathan Groff, Holt McCallany, Anna Torv Mindhunter (Netflix, 2017) is an American drama series based on the book Mind Hunter: Inside FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit written by Mark Olshaker and John E. Douglas. Set in 1979, the series ...more

45
131 289
iZombie is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
Alex Farias added iZombie Rose McIver iZombie (The CW, 2015) is an American television series developed by Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggiero-Wright, loosely based on the comic books by Chris Roberson and Michael Allred. A medical ...more

46
446 594
Grey's Anatomy is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
AnnaMarieNewcomer added Grey's Anatomy Ellen Pompeo, Justin Chambers, Chandra Wilson Grey's Anatomy is an American medical soap opera television series that premiered on American Broadcasting Company as a mid-season replacement on March 27, 2005. The series has aired eleven ...more

47
272 490
The Last Ship is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
Ferry73 added The Last Ship Eric Dane, Rhona Mitra, Adam Baldwin The Last Ship (TNT, 2014) is an American action-drama television series created by Hank Steinberg and Steven L Kane, based on the 1988 novel by William Brinkley. After a global viral pandemic ...more

48
310 555
Chicago P.D. is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
Chicago P.D. Jason Beghe^! Jon Seda^! Sophia Bush Chicago P.D. (NBC, 2014) is an American police procedural drama television series created by Dick Wolf and Matt Olmstead. The show follows the Chicago Police Department uniformed cops who patrol ...more

49
275 191
The Good Doctor is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
The Good Doctor Freddie Highmore, Antonia Thomas, Nicholas Gonzalez The Good Doctor (ABC, 2017) is an American medical-drama television series based on the 2013 South Korean series of the same name. Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore) is a young pediatric surgeon ...more

50
109 198
This Is Us is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows
carlybobarly added This Is Us Milo Ventimiglia, Mandy Moore, Sterling K. Brown This Is Us (NBC, 2016) is an American television series created by Dan Fogelman. Follows a unique ensemble, as their paths cross and their life stories interwine, from sharing the same birthday, ...more