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The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time

Updated March 2, 2021 177.6k votes 18.3k voters 311.1k views403 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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  • Breaking Bad1
    5,071
    2,800

    Breaking Bad

    Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul

    Premiered2008

    NetworkAMC

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  • The Sopranos2
    3,592
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    The Sopranos

    James Gandolfini, Lorraine Bracco

    Premiered1999

    NetworkHBO

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  • The Wire3
    2,818
    1,755

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    Dominic West, Lance Reddick

    Premiered2002

    NetworkBBC Four, HBO

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  • Game of Thrones4
    3,988
    2,956

    Game of Thrones

    Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey

    Premiered2011-04-17

    NetworkHBO

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  • The Americans5
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    The Americans

    Keri Russell

    Premiered2013

    NetworkFX

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  • Deadwood6
    1,027
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    Timothy Olyphant, Ian McShane

    Premiered2004

    NetworkHBO

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  • Mad Men7
    1,915
    1,687

    Mad Men

    Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss

    Premiered2007

    NetworkAMC

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  • M*A*S*H8
    974
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    M*A*S*H

    Alan Alda, Wayne Rogers

    Premiered1972

    NetworkCBS

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  • The West Wing9
    1,183
    1,041

    The West Wing

    Martin Sheen, Rob Lowe

    Premiered1999

    NetworkNBC

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  • Band of Brothers10
    1,692
    1,122

    Band of Brothers

    Scott Grimes, Damian Lewis

    Premiered2001

    NetworkBritish Broadcasting Corporation, HBO

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  • Stranger Things11
    809
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    Stranger Things

    Winona Ryder, David Harbour

    Premiered2016

    NetworkNetflix

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  • House12
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    House

    Hugh Laurie, Omar Epps

    Premiered2004

    NetworkFox

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  • Homeland13
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    Homeland

    Claire Danes, Mandy Patinkin

    Premiered2011

    NetworkShowtime

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  • Fargo14
    1,065
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    Fargo

    Martin Freeman, Billy Bob Thornton

    Premiered2014

    NetworkFX

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  • Peaky Blinders15
    599
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    Peaky Blinders

    Cillian Murphy, Helen McCrory

    Premiered2013

    NetworkBBC Two

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  • Justified16
    830
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    Justified

    Timothy Olyphant, Nick Searcy

    Premiered2010

    NetworkFX

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  • Vikings17
    732
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    Vikings

    Travis Fimmel, Katheryn Winnick

    Premiered2013

    NetworkHistory

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  • The Twilight Zone18
    1,395
    1,273

    The Twilight Zone

    Rod Serling, Robert McCord

    Premiered1959

    NetworkUPN, CBS

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  • Star Trek: The Original Series19
    805
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    Star Trek: The Original Series

    William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy

    Premiered1966

    NetworkNBC

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  • Sons of Anarchy20
    1,279
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    Sons of Anarchy

    Charlie Hunnam, Katey Sagal

    Premiered2008

    NetworkFX

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  • Star Trek: The Next Generation21
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    Star Trek: The Next Generation

    Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner

    Premiered1987

    NetworkCBS

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  • Black Mirror22
    408
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    Black Mirror

    Daniel Kaluuya, Toby Kebbell

    Premiered2011

    NetworkChannel 4, Netflix

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  • Better Call Saul23
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    Better Call Saul

    Bob Odenkirk, Jonathan Banks

    Premiered2015

    NetworkAMC

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  • Downton Abbey24
    1,006
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    Downton Abbey

    Hugh Bonneville, Phyllis Logan

    Premiered2010

    NetworkITV, PBS

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  • The Crown25
    191
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    The Crown

    Claire Foy, Matt Smith

    Premiered2016

    NetworkNetflix

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