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The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time

Updated November 24, 2020 171.3k votes 17.7k voters 300.7k views352 items

List RulesVote up the best American and British dramas, whether they're straight dramatic series or a subgenre like fantasy, period pieces, or horror.

The best dramas of all time are the ones that make you feel connected to characters you will never meet in real life to the point where you obsess about their exploits as much as your own. Thanks to their gripping storylines the best TV dramas rank high among the best TV shows of recent memory with many touting characters on the list of best TV characters ever.

Many of these greatest TV drama series, like Lost and The Sopranos, have already come to a close (earning them places on the list of the best TV series finales), while others like Mad Men and Breaking Bad are on the verge of closing up TV shop and leaving us to inevitably wonder about the lives of the surviving characters and what could have happened with the characters that get killed off (I've got even odds on Walter White buying a ticket to the meth lab in the sky in the Breaking Bad finale). Medical TV shows, crime shows, and more grace this list of excellent TV dramas. 

What is the best drama series in TV history? Tough question to answer considering many of the best TV series are dramas (and a lot of them are good!) Use this list of the greatest drama TV shows ever to cast your vote for the top drama series so other real people can get caught up in the fictional lives of your favorite TV drama characters.

 

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  • 1
    The Sopranos
    3,534
    1,871

    The Sopranos

    James Gandolfini, Lorraine Bracco

    Premiered1999

    NetworkHBO

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  • 2
    Breaking Bad
    4,965
    2,747

    Breaking Bad

    Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul

    Premiered2008

    NetworkAMC

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  • 3
    The Wire
    2,751
    1,695

    The Wire

    Dominic West, Lance Reddick

    Premiered2002

    NetworkBBC Four, HBO

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  • 4
    Game of Thrones
    3,956
    2,889

    Game of Thrones

    Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey

    Premiered2011

    NetworkHBO

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  • 5
    The Americans
    787
    589

    The Americans

    Keri Russell

    Premiered2013

    NetworkFX

    Amazon buy button
  • 6
    M*A*S*H
    934
    789

    M*A*S*H

    Alan Alda, Wayne Rogers

    Premiered1972

    NetworkCBS

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  • 7
    The West Wing
    1,156
    959

    The West Wing

    Martin Sheen, Rob Lowe

    Premiered1999

    NetworkNBC

    Amazon buy button
  • 8
    Deadwood
    993
    775

    Deadwood

    Timothy Olyphant, Ian McShane

    Premiered2004

    NetworkHBO

    Amazon buy button
  • 9
    Homeland
    626
    462

    Homeland

    Claire Danes, Mandy Patinkin

    Premiered2011

    NetworkShowtime

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  • 10
    Stranger Things
    754
    503

    Stranger Things

    Winona Ryder, David Harbour

    Premiered2016

    NetworkNetflix

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  • 11
    Mad Men
    1,887
    1,658

    Mad Men

    Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss

    Premiered2007

    NetworkAMC

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  • 12
    Band of Brothers
    1,655
    1,085

    Band of Brothers

    Scott Grimes, Damian Lewis

    Premiered2001

    NetworkBritish Broadcasting Corporation, HBO

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  • 13
    Fargo
    1,035
    651

    Fargo

    Martin Freeman, Billy Bob Thornton

    Premiered2014

    NetworkFX

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  • 14
    Justified
    808
    652

    Justified

    Timothy Olyphant, Nick Searcy

    Premiered2010

    NetworkFX

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  • 15
    Star Trek: The Next Generation
    658
    569

    Star Trek: The Next Generation

    Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner

    Premiered1987

    NetworkCBS

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  • 16
    Black Mirror
    376
    279

    Black Mirror

    Daniel Kaluuya, Toby Kebbell

    Premiered2011

    NetworkChannel 4, Netflix

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  • 17
    Peaky Blinders
    523
    318

    Peaky Blinders

    Cillian Murphy, Helen McCrory

    Premiered2013

    NetworkBBC Two

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  • 18
    Vikings
    693
    462

    Vikings

    Travis Fimmel, Katheryn Winnick

    Premiered2013

    NetworkHistory

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  • 19
    Westworld
    334
    239

    Westworld

    Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton

    Premiered2016

    NetworkHBO

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  • 20
    Star Trek: The Original Series
    789
    697

    Star Trek: The Original Series

    William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy

    Premiered1966

    NetworkNBC

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  • 21
    House
    1,728
    1,565

    House

    Hugh Laurie, Omar Epps

    Premiered2004

    NetworkFox

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  • 22
    Sons of Anarchy
    1,265
    1,089

    Sons of Anarchy

    Charlie Hunnam, Katey Sagal

    Premiered2008

    NetworkFX

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  • 23
    Better Call Saul
    1,057
    414

    Better Call Saul

    Bob Odenkirk, Jonathan Banks

    Premiered2015

    NetworkAMC

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  • 24
    The Twilight Zone
    1,382
    1,264

    The Twilight Zone

    Rod Serling, Robert McCord

    Premiered1959

    NetworkUPN, CBS

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  • 25
    Lost
    1,768
    1,637

    Lost

    Naveen Andrews, Emilie de Ravin

    Premiered2004

    NetworkAmerican Broadcasting Company

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