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The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time

Updated October 20, 2020 168.2k votes 17.5k voters 297.3k views335 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 is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
    3,458
    1,819

    The Sopranos

    James Gandolfini, Lorraine Bracco

    Premiered1999

    NetworkHBO

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  • 2
    Breaking Bad is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
    4,847
    2,716

    Breaking Bad

    Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul

    Premiered2008

    NetworkAMC

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  • 3
    The Wire is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
    2,688
    1,675

    The Wire

    Dominic West, Lance Reddick

    Premiered2002

    NetworkBBC Four, HBO

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  • 4
    Game of Thrones is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
    3,901
    2,842

    Game of Thrones

    Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey

    Premiered2011

    NetworkHBO

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  • 5
    The Americans is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
    767
    563

    The Americans

    Keri Russell

    Premiered2013

    NetworkFX

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  • 6
    Homeland is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
    612
    431

    Homeland

    Claire Danes, Mandy Patinkin

    Premiered2011

    NetworkShowtime

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  • 7
    Deadwood is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
    972
    755

    Deadwood

    Timothy Olyphant, Ian McShane

    Premiered2004

    NetworkHBO

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  • 8
    Stranger Things is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
    717
    463

    Stranger Things

    Winona Ryder, David Harbour

    Premiered2016

    NetworkNetflix

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  • 9
    The West Wing is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
    1,115
    938

    The West Wing

    Martin Sheen, Rob Lowe

    Premiered1999

    NetworkNBC

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  • 10
    M*A*S*H is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
    909
    766

    M*A*S*H

    Alan Alda, Wayne Rogers

    Premiered1972

    NetworkCBS

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  • 11
    Star Trek: The Next Generation is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
    639
    545

    Star Trek: The Next Generation

    Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner

    Premiered1987

    NetworkCBS

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  • 12
    Band of Brothers is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
    1,624
    1,071

    Band of Brothers

    Scott Grimes, Damian Lewis

    Premiered2001

    NetworkBritish Broadcasting Corporation, HBO

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  • 13
    Fargo is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
    1,009
    638

    Fargo

    Martin Freeman, Billy Bob Thornton

    Premiered2014

    NetworkFX

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  • 14
    Justified is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
    782
    636

    Justified

    Timothy Olyphant, Nick Searcy

    Premiered2010

    NetworkFX

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  • 15
    Mad Men is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
    1,836
    1,636

    Mad Men

    Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss

    Premiered2007

    NetworkAMC

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  • 16
    Star Trek: The Original Series is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
    774
    678

    Star Trek: The Original Series

    William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy

    Premiered1966

    NetworkNBC

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  • 17
    Black Mirror is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
    355
    261

    Black Mirror

    Daniel Kaluuya, Toby Kebbell

    Premiered2011

    NetworkChannel 4, Netflix

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  • 18
    Vikings is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
    676
    447

    Vikings

    Travis Fimmel, Katheryn Winnick

    Premiered2013

    NetworkHistory

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  • 19
    Westworld is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
    309
    219

    Westworld

    Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton

    Premiered2016

    NetworkHBO

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  • 20
    Peaky Blinders is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
    490
    303

    Peaky Blinders

    Cillian Murphy, Helen McCrory

    Premiered2013

    NetworkBBC Two

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  • 21
    Sons of Anarchy is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
    1,244
    1,062

    Sons of Anarchy

    Charlie Hunnam, Katey Sagal

    Premiered2008

    NetworkFX

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  • 22
    House is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
    1,695
    1,549

    House

    Hugh Laurie, Omar Epps

    Premiered2004

    NetworkFox

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  • 23
    Better Call Saul is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
    1,007
    405

    Better Call Saul

    Bob Odenkirk, Jonathan Banks

    Premiered2015

    NetworkAMC

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  • 24
    The Twilight Zone is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
    1,369
    1,252

    The Twilight Zone

    Rod Serling, Robert McCord

    Premiered1959

    NetworkUPN, CBS

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  • 25
    Lost is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
    1,741
    1,620

    Lost

    Naveen Andrews, Emilie de Ravin

    Premiered2004

    NetworkAmerican Broadcasting Company

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