Watchworthy
17.7k voters

The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time

Updated November 23, 2020 171.2k votes 17.7k voters 300.6k views351 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
    3,525
    1,867

    The Sopranos

    James Gandolfini, Lorraine Bracco

    Premiered1999

    NetworkHBO

    Amazon buy button

    More The Sopranos 

    16 Small Details That Make 'The Sopranos' That Much BetterThe Best Characters on The Sopranos

  • 2
    Breaking Bad
    4,961
    2,742

    Breaking Bad

    Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul

    Premiered2008

    NetworkAMC

    Amazon buy button

    More Breaking Bad 

    Things You Probably Didn't Know About The 'Breaking Bad' CastThe Most Plausible Fan Theories About Breaking Bad

  • 3
    The Wire
    2,746
    1,690

    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
    3,952
    2,883

    Game of Thrones

    Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey

    Premiered2011

    NetworkHBO

    Amazon buy button

    More Game of Thrones 

    The Most Epic Insults From Game of ThronesThe Objectively Worst Decisions Made On ‘Game Of Thrones'

  • 5
    The Americans
    783
    585

    The Americans

    Keri Russell

    Premiered2013

    NetworkFX

    Amazon buy button
  • 6
    Homeland
    625
    458

    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
    The West Wing
    1,150
    955

    The West Wing

    Martin Sheen, Rob Lowe

    Premiered1999

    NetworkNBC

    Amazon buy button
  • 8
    M*A*S*H
    928
    784

    M*A*S*H

    Alan Alda, Wayne Rogers

    Premiered1972

    NetworkCBS

    Amazon buy button

    More M*A*S*H 

    #50 of 451 The Funniest TV Shows of All Time#23 of 201 The TV Shows with the Best Writing

  • 9
    Deadwood
    992
    773

    Deadwood

    Timothy Olyphant, Ian McShane

    Premiered2004

    NetworkHBO

    Amazon buy button

    More Deadwood 

    #214 of 399 The Best Western Movies Ever Made#127 of 266 The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time

  • 10
    Stranger Things
    748
    498

    Stranger Things

    Winona Ryder, David Harbour

    Premiered2016

    NetworkNetflix

    Amazon buy button

    More Stranger Things 

    The Best Characters on 'Stranger Things,' Ranked16 Behind The Scenes Secrets From The Set Of 'Stranger Things'

  • 11
    Mad Men
    1,883
    1,655

    Mad Men

    Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss

    Premiered2007

    NetworkAMC

    Amazon buy button

    More Mad Men 

    The Best Mad Men Characters of All TimeThe 29 Best Mad Men GIFs on the Internet

  • 12
    Star Trek: The Next Generation
    655
    565

    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'

  • 13
    Band of Brothers
    1,650
    1,083

    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'

  • 14
    Fargo
    1,035
    647

    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

  • 15
    Justified
    804
    649

    Justified

    Timothy Olyphant, Nick Searcy

    Premiered2010

    NetworkFX

    Amazon buy button
  • 16
    Star Trek: The Original Series
    783
    694

    Star Trek: The Original Series

    William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy

    Premiered1966

    NetworkNBC

    Amazon buy button
  • 17
    Black Mirror
    376
    276

    Black Mirror

    Daniel Kaluuya, Toby Kebbell

    Premiered2011

    NetworkChannel 4, Netflix

    Amazon buy button

    More Black Mirror 

    'Black Mirror' Easter Eggs And References You Totally MissedWildly Convincing Black Mirror Fan Theories That Somehow Make The Show Even Crazier

  • 18
    Peaky Blinders
    522
    314

    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
    693
    459

    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
    334
    233

    Westworld

    Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton

    Premiered2016

    NetworkHBO

    Amazon buy button

    More Westworld 

    The Best Characters on Westworld, Ranked13 Small Details In 'Westworld' That Make The Show Way Better

  • 21
    House
    1,725
    1,565

    House

    Hugh Laurie, Omar Epps

    Premiered2004

    NetworkFox

    Amazon buy button

    More House 

    Small Details From 'House' That Make The Show Much BetterThe Best Seasons of 'House'

  • 22
    Sons of Anarchy
    1,265
    1,085

    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

  • 23
    Better Call Saul
    1,055
    412

    Better Call Saul

    Bob Odenkirk, Jonathan Banks

    Premiered2015

    NetworkAMC

    Amazon buy button

    More Better Call Saul 

    The Best Characters On 'Better Call Saul,' RankedAll of the Breaking Bad Easter Eggs in Better Call Saul

  • 24
    The Twilight Zone
    1,379
    1,264

    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#42 of 639 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch

  • 25
    Lost
    1,767
    1,637

    Lost

    Naveen Andrews, Emilie de Ravin

    Premiered2004

    NetworkAmerican Broadcasting Company

    Amazon buy button

    More Lost 

    The Best LOST Characters25 Incredible Tattoos Inspired by Lost