Entertainment

The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made  

Ranker TV
393 votes 36 voters 1k views 93 items

List Rules Vote up the best action thriller shows that have aired on television.

The best action thriller shows are a rush, perfectly pairing the excitement of an action series with the jumps and tension of thrillers. The best action thriller series ever shown on television pulls the audience to the edge of the seat and keeps them there. If you’ve been looking for the best action thrillers to add some excitement to your TV nights, this list of the best action thriller series of all time will help you figure out what needs to go into your queue.

The really good action thrillers basically never let you rest. Not only do you have the edgy anticipation of a great television thriller, but what’s next is probably an intense fight or chase scene. If you’re streaming your shows, their non-stop pace may make you miss commercial breaks. Although more modern action thrillers include comic book shows like Punisher and Legion, older shows such as Prison Break and Alias also provide both action and thrills and some are the most exciting thriller series of all time.

Which shows balance being thrillers and action series the best? Vote up the best action thriller shows, vote down the shows that don't deliver thrills with their adrenaline rush, and add any thrilling action series that are missing.

list ordered by
1
Taken is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
Clive Standen, Gaius Charles, Brooklyn Sudano
Taken (NBC, 2017) is a Franco-American drama series developed by Alexander Cary, based on the film trilogy. Former Green Beret Bryan Mills (Clive Standen) must overcome a personal tragedy, in ...more
2
The Punisher is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
Jon Bernthal, Ben Barnes, Ebon Moss-Bachrach
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
3
Person of Interest is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
Jim Caviezel, Taraji P. Henson, Kevin Chapman
Person of Interest is an American science fiction drama television series created by Jonathan Nolan that premiered on September 22, 2011, on CBS. The series revolves around John Reese, a former ...more
4
Prison Break is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
Dominic Purcell, Wentworth Miller, Amaury Nolasco
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
5
24 is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
Kiefer Sutherland, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Carlos Bernard
24 is an American television series produced for the Fox network created by Joel Surnow and Robert Cochran, and starring Kiefer Sutherland as Counter Terrorist Unit agent Jack Bauer. Each ...more
6
9-1-1 is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
Angela Bassett, Connie Britton, Peter Krause
9-1-1 (Fox, 2018) is an American procedural drama television series created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk. The show explores the high-pressure experiences of police, paramedics and ...more
7
Banshee is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
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
8
Designated Survivor is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
Kiefer Sutherland, Natascha McElhone, Adan Canto
Designated Survivor (ABC, 2016; Netflix, 2019) is an American political conspiracy drama television series. On the night of the State of the Union address, an incident claims the lives of the ...more
9
Nikita is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
Maggie Q, Shane West, Lyndsy Fonseca
Nikita is an American television series that aired on The CW from September 9, 2010 to December 27, 2013 in the United States. The series is a reboot of the popular 1997 TV series La Femme ...more
10
The Last Ship is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
Eric Dane, Rhona Mitra, Adam Baldwin
The Last Ship is an American action-drama television series created by Hank Steinberg and Steven L Kane, based on the 1988 novel by William Brinkley. After a global viral pandemic wipes out over ...more
11
NCIS is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
Mark Harmon, Michael Weatherly, Pauley Perrette
NCIS is an American police procedural drama television series, revolving around a fictional team of special agents from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which conducts investigations ...more
12
Blindspot is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
Sullivan Stapleton, Jaimie Alexander, Rob Brown
Blindspot (NBC, 2015) is an American drama television series created by Martin Gero. When a mysterious tattooed woman (Jaimie Alexander) is found naked inside a travel bag with no recollection ...more
13
Jack Ryan is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
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
14
Chicago P.D. is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
Jason Beghe, Jon Seda, Sophia Bush
Chicago P.D. (NBC, 2014) is an American police procedural drama television series created by Dick Wolf and Matt Olmstead. The show follows the Chicago Police Department uniformed cops who patrol ...more
15
Altered Carbon is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
Joel Kinnaman, Renée Elise Goldsberry, James Purefoy
Altered Carbon is an American science fiction television series created by Laeta Kalogridis, based on the novel by Richard K. Morgan. In a future where human minds are digitized and downloaded ...more
16
Kingdom is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
Ju Ji-hoon, Bae Doona, Ryu Seung-ryong
Kingdom (Netflix, 2019) is a South Korean television series based on the webcomic series "Land of the Gods" by Kim Eun-hee. In Korea’s medieval Joseon period, a crown prince (Ju ...more
17
Queen of the South is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
Alice Braga, Justina Machado, Hemky Madera
Queen of the South (USA, 2016) is an American television drama series adapted from the successful telenovela La Reina del Sur on sister network Telemundo and the book of the same name by Spanish ...more
18
Angel is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
David Boreanaz, Charisma Carpenter, Alexis Denisof
Angel is an American television series, a spin-off from the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The series was created by Buffy's creator, Joss Whedon, in collaboration with David ...more
19
Station 19 is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
Jaina Lee Ortiz, Jason George, Grey Damon
Station 19 (ABC, 2018) is an American action-drama television series created by Stacy McKee, and the second spinoff of Grey's Anatomy. The professional and personal lives of a group of heroic ...more
20
Terminator: The Sarah Connor C... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
Lena Headey, Thomas Dekker, Summer Glau
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles is an American science fiction television series that aired on Fox. The show was produced by 20th Century Fox Television, Warner Bros. Television, and C2 ...more
21
SWAT is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
Shemar Moore, Stephanie Sigman, Alex Russell
S.W.A.T. (CBS, 2017) is an American drama series based on the 1975 series of the same name. Locally born and bred S.W.A.T. lieutenant Hondo Harrelson (Shemar Moore) is torn between loyalty to ...more
22
Primeval is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
Andrew Lee Potts, Hannah Spearritt, Ben Miller
Primeval is a British science fiction drama television programme produced for ITV by Impossible Pictures. Created by Adrian Hodges and Tim Haines, who previously created the Walking with... ...more
23
Covert Affairs is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
Piper Perabo, Christopher Gorham, Kari Matchett
Covert Affairs is a USA Network television series starring Piper Perabo and Christopher Gorham. The one-hour drama premiered on Tuesday, July 13, 2010. The show concluded its first season on ...more
24
Whiskey Cavalier is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
Scott Foley, Lauren Cohan, Ana Ortiz
Whiskey Cavalier (ABC, 2019) is an American drama television series created by Dave Hemingson. Following an emotional break-up, FBI agent Will Chase (Scott Foley) is assigned to work with CIA ...more
25
Legion is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
Dan Stevens, Rachel Keller, Aubrey Plaza
Legion (FX, 2017) is an American cable television series created by Noah Hawley, based on the Marvel Comics character. Diagnosed with schizophrenia at a young age, David Haller (Dan Stevens) ...more