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The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time

Updated January 19, 2021 178.6k votes 18.1k voters 305.6k views382 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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  • The Sopranos1
    3,630
    1,967

    The Sopranos

    James Gandolfini, Lorraine Bracco

    Premiered1999

    NetworkHBO

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  • Breaking Bad2
    5,109
    2,817

    Breaking Bad

    Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul

    Premiered2008

    NetworkAMC

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  • The Wire3
    2,828
    1,755

    The Wire

    Dominic West, Lance Reddick

    Premiered2002

    NetworkBBC Four, HBO

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  • Game of Thrones4
    4,042
    2,970

    Game of Thrones

    Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey

    Premiered2011

    NetworkHBO

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  • The Americans5
    827
    647

    The Americans

    Keri Russell

    Premiered2013

    NetworkFX

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  • The West Wing6
    1,197
    1,019

    The West Wing

    Martin Sheen, Rob Lowe

    Premiered1999

    NetworkNBC

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  • Homeland7
    665
    508

    Homeland

    Claire Danes, Mandy Patinkin

    Premiered2011

    NetworkShowtime

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  • Deadwood8
    1,024
    828

    Deadwood

    Timothy Olyphant, Ian McShane

    Premiered2004

    NetworkHBO

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  • M*A*S*H9
    971
    839

    M*A*S*H

    Alan Alda, Wayne Rogers

    Premiered1972

    NetworkCBS

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  • Stranger Things10
    803
    568

    Stranger Things

    Winona Ryder, David Harbour

    Premiered2016

    NetworkNetflix

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  • Band of Brothers11
    1,710
    1,118

    Band of Brothers

    Scott Grimes, Damian Lewis

    Premiered2001

    NetworkBritish Broadcasting Corporation, HBO

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  • Mad Men12
    1,937
    1,702

    Mad Men

    Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss

    Premiered2007

    NetworkAMC

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  • Justified13
    841
    689

    Justified

    Timothy Olyphant, Nick Searcy

    Premiered2010

    NetworkFX

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  • Fargo14
    1,069
    687

    Fargo

    Martin Freeman, Billy Bob Thornton

    Premiered2014

    NetworkFX

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  • Star Trek: The Next Generation15
    687
    605

    Star Trek: The Next Generation

    Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner

    Premiered1987

    NetworkCBS

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  • House16
    1,760
    1,595

    House

    Hugh Laurie, Omar Epps

    Premiered2004

    NetworkFox

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  • Vikings17
    730
    501

    Vikings

    Travis Fimmel, Katheryn Winnick

    Premiered2013

    NetworkHistory

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  • Peaky Blinders18
    572
    350

    Peaky Blinders

    Cillian Murphy, Helen McCrory

    Premiered2013

    NetworkBBC Two

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  • Star Trek: The Original Series19
    814
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    Star Trek: The Original Series

    William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy

    Premiered1966

    NetworkNBC

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  • The Twilight Zone20
    1,415
    1,284

    The Twilight Zone

    Rod Serling, Robert McCord

    Premiered1959

    NetworkUPN, CBS

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  • Black Mirror21
    402
    312

    Black Mirror

    Daniel Kaluuya, Toby Kebbell

    Premiered2011

    NetworkChannel 4, Netflix

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  • Sons of Anarchy22
    1,294
    1,129

    Sons of Anarchy

    Charlie Hunnam, Katey Sagal

    Premiered2008

    NetworkFX

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  • Better Call Saul23
    1,114
    447

    Better Call Saul

    Bob Odenkirk, Jonathan Banks

    Premiered2015

    NetworkAMC

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  • Westworld24
    357
    285

    Westworld

    Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton

    Premiered2016

    NetworkHBO

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  • Lost25
    1,804
    1,668

    Lost

    Naveen Andrews, Emilie de Ravin

    Premiered2004

    NetworkAmerican Broadcasting Company

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