vote on everything
Watchworthy
17.5k voters

The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time

Updated October 20, 2020 168.9k votes 17.5k voters 297.8k 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.

 

Photo:
...more
  • 1
    The Sopranos is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
    3,473
    1,821

    The Sopranos

    James Gandolfini, Lorraine Bracco

    Premiered1999

    NetworkHBO

    amazon buy button

    More The Sopranos 

    The Best Characters on The Sopranos16 Small Details That Make 'The Sopranos' That Much Better

  • 2
    Breaking Bad is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
    4,862
    2,720

    Breaking Bad

    Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul

    Premiered2008

    NetworkAMC

    amazon buy button

    More Breaking Bad 

    The Most Plausible Fan Theories About Breaking BadThe Best Breaking Bad Characters of All Time

  • 3
    The Wire is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
    2,702
    1,677

    The Wire

    Dominic West, Lance Reddick

    Premiered2002

    NetworkBBC Four, HBO

    amazon buy button

    More The Wire 

    The Best of The WIRE CharactersThe Best Seasons of 'The Wire'

  • 4
    Game of Thrones is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
    3,909
    2,847

    Game of Thrones

    Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey

    Premiered2011

    NetworkHBO

    amazon buy button

    More Game of Thrones 

    The Most Epic Insults From Game of ThronesReal Historical Figures Who Inspired Game Of Thrones Characters

  • 5
    The Americans is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
    768
    566

    The Americans

    Keri Russell

    Premiered2013

    NetworkFX

    amazon buy button
  • 6
    Homeland is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
    612
    435

    Homeland

    Claire Danes, Mandy Patinkin

    Premiered2011

    NetworkShowtime

    amazon buy button

    More Homeland 

    The Best Characters On 'Homeland'The Best Homeland Characters of All Time

  • 7
    Deadwood is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
    976
    757

    Deadwood

    Timothy Olyphant, Ian McShane

    Premiered2004

    NetworkHBO

    amazon buy button

    More Deadwood 

    #36 of 537 TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time#217 of 399 The Best Western Movies Ever Made

  • 8
    The West Wing is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
    1,120
    938

    The West Wing

    Martin Sheen, Rob Lowe

    Premiered1999

    NetworkNBC

    amazon buy button

    More The West Wing 

    Ranking the Best Seasons of 'The West Wing'#30 of 35 Longest Running US Drama Shows

  • 9
    M*A*S*H is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
    909
    770

    M*A*S*H

    Alan Alda, Wayne Rogers

    Premiered1972

    NetworkCBS

    amazon buy button

    More M*A*S*H 

    #11 of 72 The Longest Running US Sitcoms#52 of 437 The Funniest TV Shows of All Time

  • 10
    Stranger Things is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
    723
    470

    Stranger Things

    Winona Ryder, David Harbour

    Premiered2016

    NetworkNetflix

    amazon buy button

    More Stranger Things 

    Wholesome 'Stranger Things' Moments That Turned Our Hearts Upside Down'Stranger Things' Eleven Memes About Your Favorite Psychic Teen

  • 11
    Star Trek: The Next Generation is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
    642
    549

    Star Trek: The Next Generation

    Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner

    Premiered1987

    NetworkCBS

    amazon buy button

    More Star Trek: The Next Generation 

    14 Small But Fascinating Details Fans Noticed About Star Trek: The Next GenerationFamous People You Didn't Know Were On 'Star Trek: The Next Generation'

  • 12
    Band of Brothers is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
    1,627
    1,071

    Band of Brothers

    Scott Grimes, Damian Lewis

    Premiered2001

    NetworkBritish Broadcasting Corporation, HBO

    amazon buy button

    More Band of Brothers 

    12 Behind The Scenes Stories From The Making Of 'Band Of Brothers'Small But Poignant Details Fans Noticed In 'Band Of Brothers'

  • 13
    Fargo is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
    1,012
    640

    Fargo

    Martin Freeman, Billy Bob Thornton

    Premiered2014

    NetworkFX

    amazon buy button

    More Fargo 

    The Best Characters on Fargo (the TV Show), RankedAll of the Clever Easter Eggs Hiding in Fargo the TV Series

  • 14
    Justified is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
    788
    638

    Justified

    Timothy Olyphant, Nick Searcy

    Premiered2010

    NetworkFX

    amazon buy button
  • 15
    Mad Men is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
    1,841
    1,638

    Mad Men

    Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss

    Premiered2007

    NetworkAMC

    amazon buy button

    More Mad Men 

    The 29 Best Mad Men GIFs on the InternetThe Best Mad Men Characters of All Time

  • 16
    Star Trek: The Original Series is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
    777
    680

    Star Trek: The Original Series

    William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy

    Premiered1966

    NetworkNBC

    amazon buy button
  • 17
    Black Mirror is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
    356
    262

    Black Mirror

    Daniel Kaluuya, Toby Kebbell

    Premiered2011

    NetworkChannel 4, Netflix

    amazon buy button

    More Black Mirror 

    'Black Mirror' Easter Eggs And References You Totally MissedAll The Technology From 'Black Mirror,' Ranked From Terrifying To Useful

  • 18
    Peaky Blinders is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
    499
    304

    Peaky Blinders

    Cillian Murphy, Helen McCrory

    Premiered2013

    NetworkBBC Two

    amazon buy button

    More Peaky Blinders 

    The Fascinating True Story That Inspired BBC's 'Peaky Blinders'The Best Characters On 'Peaky Blinders'

  • 19
    Vikings is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
    677
    449

    Vikings

    Travis Fimmel, Katheryn Winnick

    Premiered2013

    NetworkHistory

    amazon buy button

    More Vikings 

    Turns Out The Real Inspiration For 'Vikings' Lagertha Is Even Tougher Than The TV Version11 Historically Inaccurate Details From History Channel's 'Vikings'

  • 20
    Westworld is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
    309
    222

    Westworld

    Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton

    Premiered2016

    NetworkHBO

    amazon buy button

    More Westworld 

    The Best Characters on Westworld, RankedWhat Would You Do in Westworld?

  • 21
    Sons of Anarchy is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
    1,248
    1,065

    Sons of Anarchy

    Charlie Hunnam, Katey Sagal

    Premiered2008

    NetworkFX

    amazon buy button

    More Sons of Anarchy 

    Here Are All The Things That Sons Of Anarchy Got Totally Wrong About California Motorcycle Gangs12 Small But Savage Details In 'Sons Of Anarchy' That Fans Noticed

  • 22
    The Twilight Zone is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
    1,369
    1,254

    The Twilight Zone

    Rod Serling, Robert McCord

    Premiered1959

    NetworkUPN, CBS

    amazon buy button

    More The Twilight Zone 

    Creepy Parallels Between 'American Horror Story' And 'The Twilight Zone' You Never Even Knew Existed#10 of 11 Longest Running Sci-Fi TV Shows

  • 23
    Better Call Saul is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
    1,015
    405

    Better Call Saul

    Bob Odenkirk, Jonathan Banks

    Premiered2015

    NetworkAMC

    amazon buy button

    More Better Call Saul 

    The Best Characters On 'Better Call Saul,' RankedFan Theories For The Final Season Of 'Better Call Saul' That Just Might Be True

  • 24
    House is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
    1,700
    1,549

    House

    Hugh Laurie, Omar Epps

    Premiered2004

    NetworkFox

    amazon buy button
  • 25
    Lost is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time
    1,744
    1,621

    Lost

    Naveen Andrews, Emilie de Ravin

    Premiered2004

    NetworkAmerican Broadcasting Company

    amazon buy button

    More Lost 

    The Best LOST Characters25 Incredible Tattoos Inspired by Lost

TV ProgramsTVEntertainmentDramapoll