watchworthy presents

The Best Action TV Shows Of All Time 

Reference
Originally by
Updated November 21, 2019 26.6k votes 3.6k voters 183.1k views 103 items

List Rules Only TV shows (or miniseries) that heavily feature action sequences in every episode.

The very best action shows on television, ranked from best to worst. Popular action TV shows have been a staple of television for years, so what do you think is the most entertaining action show of all time is. Trust us, it's debated.  Don't let your favorite action television programs in history get to the bottom of the list- be sure to vote them up so they have the chance to reach the top spot. The list of action television shows below includes information like the program's cast, creator and premiere date when available. What are the best action shows? All of them? Probably. Certainly there have been a lot of great action shows in the past decade.

List shows include everything from 24 to Arrow, and many other shows that are nothing but full-throttle adrenaline forever!

Looking for some good action TV shows to watch? You're in the right spot, my friend. It's time for a serious bro-down.

This list answers the questions, "What is the best action show of all time?" and "What are the greatest action TV series?"

Data-driven recommendations based on voting from over 40 million monthly visits to Ranker. Try the free app
list ordered by
1
24 is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Action TV Shows Of All Time
Kiefer Sutherland, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Carlos Bernard

Premiered: 2001

Number of Seasons: 9

Number of Episodes: 204

Network: Fox Broadcasting Company

24 (Fox, 2001) is an American drama television series created by Joel Surnow and Robert Cochran. Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland), Director of Field Ops for the Counter-Terrorist Unit of Los ...more

More 24 

#54 of 383 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years Ranking The Best Seasons of '24'listed on Longest Running US Drama Shows

2
Arrow is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Action TV Shows Of All Time
Stephen Amell, Katie Cassidy, Colin Donnell

Premiered: 2012

Number of Seasons: 8

Number of Episodes: 170

Network: The CW Television Network

Arrow (The CW, 2012) is an American superhero television series developed by Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, and Andrew Kreisberg, based on the DC Comics character. Five years after being ...more

More Arrow 

#104 of 383 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years #400 of 590 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time The Coolest Characters from CW's Arrow

3
Daredevil is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Action TV Shows Of All Time
MarioArley added Charlie Cox, Deborah Ann Woll, Elden Henson

Premiered: 2015

Network: Netflix

If you like Daredevil, check out the other best action shows on Netflix.

Daredevil (Netflix, 2015) is an American web television series created for Netflix by Drew Goddard, based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. Blind lawyer Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) ...more

More Daredevil 

#494 of 590 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time #52 of 312 The Best Sci Fi Television Series of All Time

4
Prison Break is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Action TV Shows Of All Time
Dominic Purcell, Wentworth Miller, Amaury Nolasco

Premiered: 2005

Number of Seasons: 4

Number of Episodes: 81

Network: Fox Broadcasting Company

Prison Break is an American television serial drama created by Paul Scheuring, that was broadcast on Fox for four seasons, from 2005 until 2009. The series revolves around two brothers; one has ...more

More Prison Break 

#39 of 802 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #490 of 590 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time The Best Seasons of Prison Break

5
Band of Brothers is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Action TV Shows Of All Time
Scott Grimes, Damian Lewis, Ron Livingston

Premiered: 2001

Number of Episodes: 10

Network: British Broadcasting Corporation, HBO

Band of Brothers is a 2001 American WWII drama miniseries based on historian Stephen E. Ambrose's 1992 non-fiction book of the same name. The executive producers were Steven Spielberg and Tom ...more

More Band of Brothers 

#59 of 802 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #49 of 391 TV Shows That Only Smart People Appreciate

6
The Blacklist is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Action TV Shows Of All Time
Mazen Nasser added James Spader, Megan Boone, Diego Klattenhoff

Premiered: 2013

Network: NBC

The Blacklist is an American crime drama television series that premiered on NBC on September 23, 2013. Raymond "Red" Reddington, a former U.S Navy officer turned high-profile ...more

More The Blacklist 

#30 of 391 TV Shows That Only Smart People Appreciate #7 of 132 The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows Ranking the Best Seasons of 'The Blacklist'

7
The A-Team is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Action TV Shows Of All Time
George Peppard, Mr. T, Dwight Schultz

Premiered: 1983

Number of Seasons: 5

Number of Episodes: 98

Network: NBC

The A-Team is an American action-adventure television series, running from 1983 to 1987, about a fictional group of ex–U.S. Army personnel who escape and, while still on the run from the army, ...more

More The A-Team 

#33 of 590 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time #91 of 154 The All-Time Greatest TV Pilots

8
Burn Notice is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Action TV Shows Of All Time
MarioArley added Jeffrey Donovan, Gabrielle Anwar, Bruce Campbell

Premiered: 2007

Number of Seasons: 6

Number of Episodes: 90

Network: USA Network

Burn Notice is an American television series created by Matt Nix which originally aired on the USA Network from June 28, 2007 to September 12, 2013. The show stars Jeffrey Donovan, Gabrielle ...more

More Burn Notice 

#120 of 802 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #96 of 383 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years The Best Seasons of Burn Notice

9
Justified is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Action TV Shows Of All Time
Timothy Olyphant, Nick Searcy, Joelle Carter

Premiered: 2010

Number of Seasons: 3

Number of Episodes: 52

Network: FX

Justified is an American television drama series developed by Graham Yost. It is based on Elmore Leonard's short story. Timothy Olyphant portrays Raylan Givens, a tough U.S. Marshal enforcing ...more

More Justified 

#77 of 383 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years #354 of 590 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time The Best Seasons of Justified

10
The Flash is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Action TV Shows Of All Time
crazyvamp added Grant Gustin, Candice Patton, Danielle Panabaker

Premiered: 2014

Number of Seasons: 6

Number of Episodes: 114

Network: The CW

The Flash (The CW, 2014) is an American superhero television series developed by Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg, and Geoff Johns, based on the DC Comics character. CSI Barry Allen (Grant ...more

More The Flash 

#44 of 802 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #99 of 383 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years 20 Ways CW's The Flash Is Different from Comics

11
Vikings is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Action TV Shows Of All Time
95hvj added Travis Fimmel, Katheryn Winnick, Clive Standen

Premiered: 2013

Number of Seasons: 6

Number of Episodes: 9

Network: History

Vikings (History, 2013) is a historical drama television series created by Michael Hirst. A farmer (Travis Fimmel) rises to fame by successful raids into England, and eventually becomes a ...more

More Vikings 

#60 of 383 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years #12 of 391 TV Shows That Only Smart People Appreciate Turns Out The Real Inspiration For 'Vikings' Lagertha Is Even Tougher Than The TV Version

12
The Walking Dead is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Action TV Shows Of All Time
Mazen Nasser added Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies

Premiered: 2010

Number of Seasons: 10

Number of Episodes: 144

Network: AMC

The Walking Dead (A&E, 2010) is an American post-apocalyptic horror television series developed by Frank Darabont, based on the comic book series by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie ...more

More The Walking Dead 

#3 of 802 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #12 of 52 Which Nerd Favorite Has The Most Annoying Fans? The Most Brutal Kills on The Walking Dead

13
Magnum, P.I. is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Action TV Shows Of All Time
Brian White added Tom Selleck, John Hillerman, Roger E. Mosley

Premiered: 1980

Number of Seasons: 8

Number of Episodes: 157

Network: CBS

Magnum, P.I. is an American television series starring Tom Selleck as Thomas Magnum, a private investigator living on Oahu, Hawaii. The series ran from 1980 to 1988 in first-run broadcast on the ...more

More Magnum, P.I. 

#52 of 590 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time #4 of 89 The Best 1980s Primetime TV Showslisted on Longest Running US Drama Shows

14
Chuck is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Action TV Shows Of All Time
Zachary Levi, Yvonne Strahovski, Joshua Gomez

Premiered: 2007

Number of Seasons: 5

Number of Episodes: 91

Network: NBC

Chuck (NBC, 2007) is an American action-comedy/spy-drama television series created by Josh Schwartz and Chris Fedak. When a twenty-something computer geek (Zachary Levi) inadvertently downloads ...more

More Chuck 

#93 of 802 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #21 of 571 TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time The Best Seasons of Chuck

15
Star Trek: The Original ... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Action TV Shows Of All Time
Moonpie66 added William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley

Premiered: 1966

Number of Seasons: 3

Number of Episodes: 79

Network: NBC

Star Trek is an American science fiction television series created by Gene Roddenberry that follows the adventures of the starship USS Enterprise and its crew. It later acquired the retronym of ...more

More Star Trek: The Original Series 

#9 of 571 TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time #27 of 590 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time

16
Sons of Anarchy is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Action TV Shows Of All Time
Charlie Hunnam, Katey Sagal, Mark Boone Junior

Premiered: 2008

Number of Seasons: 7

Network: FX

Sons of Anarchy is an American drama television series created by Kurt Sutter, about the lives of a close-knit outlaw motorcycle club operating in Charming, a fictional town in California's ...more

More Sons of Anarchy 

#26 of 383 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years #351 of 590 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time 'Sons Of Anarchy' Fan Theories

17
Dexter is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Action TV Shows Of All Time
Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, David Zayas

Premiered: 2006

Number of Seasons: 8

Number of Episodes: 96

Network: Showtime

Dexter (Showtime, 2006) is an American television drama series. Set in Miami, the series centers on Dexter Morgan, a blood spatter pattern analyst for Miami Metro Police Department who also ...more

More Dexter 

#7 of 383 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years #133 of 590 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time Dexter Morgan’s Infamous ‘Work’ Rooms, Ranked By Practicality

18
The Punisher is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Action TV Shows Of All Time
Jon Bernthal, Ben Barnes, Ebon Moss-Bachrach

Premiered: 2017

Number of Seasons: 2

Marvel's The Punisher (Netflix, 2017) is an American web television series created for Netflix by Steve Lightfoot. Former Force Recon officer Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal), known throughout New ...more

More The Punisher 

#394 of 802 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #99 of 383 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years #28 of 143 The Best Comic Book & Superhero Shows of All Time

19
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. ... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Action TV Shows Of All Time
Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Brett Dalton

Premiered: 2013

Number of Seasons: 1

Number of Episodes: 13

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., or simply Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., is an American television series created for ABC by Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon, and Maurissa Tancharoen, based on the Marvel ...more

More Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 

#90 of 802 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #134 of 383 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years The Best 'Agents OF S.H.I.E.L.D.' Storylines

20
Banshee is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Action TV Shows Of All Time
95hvj added Antony Starr, Ivana Milicevic, Ulrich Thomsen
Banshee is an American action-drama television series created by Jonathan Tropper and David Schickler originally appearing on the Cinemax network beginning on January 11, 2013. Set in the small ...more

More Banshee 

#203 of 391 TV Shows That Only Smart People Appreciate #209 of 216 The TV Shows with the Best Writing

21
Jack Ryan is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Action TV Shows Of All Time
John Krasinski, Abbie Cornish, Mena Massoud
Jack Ryan (Amazon Video, 2018) is an American television series created by Carlton Cuse and Graham Roland, based on the character created by Tom Clancy. When CIA analyst Jack Ryan (John ...more

More Jack Ryan 

#3 of 160 The Best New Shows That Premiered in 2018 #17 of 132 The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows #19 of 57 TV Shows We've Already Seen (And Loved) As Both Movies And Books

22
Mission: Impossible is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Action TV Shows Of All Time
Greer Baudreau added Peter Graves, Barbara Bain, Greg Morris

Premiered: 1966

Number of Seasons: 7

Number of Episodes: 171

Network: CBS

Mission: Impossible is an American television series that was created and initially produced by Bruce Geller. It chronicles the missions of a team of secret government agents known as the ...more

More Mission: Impossible 

#8 of 590 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time 21 Things You Didn't Know About The 'Mission: Impossible' Filmslisted on Longest Running US Drama Shows

23
Battlestar Galactica is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Action TV Shows Of All Time
Brian White added Lorne Greene, Richard Hatch, Dirk Benedict

Premiered: 1978

Number of Seasons: 1

Number of Episodes: 75

Network: Syfy

Battlestar Galactica is an American military science fiction television series, and part of the Battlestar Galactica franchise. The show was developed by Ronald D. Moore and executive produced ...more

More Battlestar Galactica 

#97 of 802 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #34 of 383 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years The Best Battlestar Galactica Characters

24
Hawaii Five-0 is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Action TV Shows Of All Time
MTahmisian added Leonard Freeman, Alex Kurtzman, Peter M. Lenkov

Premiered: 2010

Number of Seasons: 10

Number of Episodes: 238

Network: CBS

Hawaii Five-0 is an American police procedural drama television series and a remake of the original 1968–80 television series. The series is produced by K/O Paper Products and 101st Street ...more

More Hawaii Five-0 

#211 of 802 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #138 of 158 Shows with the Best Freakin' Series Finales of All Time Best Seasons of Hawaii Five-0

25
Firefly is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Action TV Shows Of All Time
Moonpie66 added Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk

Premiered: 2002

Number of Seasons: 1

Number of Episodes: 14

Network: Fox Broadcasting Company

Firefly is an American space western science fiction drama television series created by writer and director Joss Whedon, under his Mutant Enemy Productions label. Whedon served as an executive ...more

More Firefly 

#33 of 802 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #1 of 571 TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time 13 Crazy Yet Plausible Fan Theories About Firefly