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The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made 

Ranker TV
Updated November 13, 2019 637 votes 54 voters 1.9k 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, or horror series such as The Purge, 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.

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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

Premiered: 2017

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
24 is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
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
3
Prison Break is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
Dominic Purcell, Wentworth Miller, Amaury Nolasco

Premiered: 2005

Number of Seasons: 4

Number of Episodes: 81

Network: Fox Broadcasting Company

Prison Break (Fox, 2005) is an American television serial drama created by Paul Scheuring.The series revolves around two brothers; one has been sentenced for a something he did not commit, and ...more
4
Person of Interest is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
Jim Caviezel, Taraji P. Henson, Kevin Chapman

Premiered: 2011

Number of Seasons: 2

Number of Episodes: 31

Network: CBS

Person of Interest (CBS, 2011) is an American science fiction drama television series created by Jonathan Nolan. The series revolves around John Reese, a former CIA officer, who is recruited by ...more
5
The Punisher is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
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
6
NCIS is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
Mark Harmon, Michael Weatherly, Pauley Perrette

Premiered: 2003

Number of Seasons: 17

Number of Episodes: 395

Network: CBS

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
7
Altered Carbon is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
Joel Kinnaman, Renée Elise Goldsberry, James Purefoy

Premiered: 2018

Network: Netflix

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
8
Designated Survivor is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
Kiefer Sutherland, Natascha McElhone, Adan Canto

Network: Netflix

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
Blindspot is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
Sullivan Stapleton, Jaimie Alexander, Rob Brown

Premiered: 2015

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
10
9-1-1 is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
9-1-1 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
11
Nikita is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
Maggie Q, Shane West, Lyndsy Fonseca

Premiered: 2010

Number of Seasons: 4

Number of Episodes: 67

Network: The CW Television Network

Nikita (The CW, 2010) is an American crime drama television series and reboot of the Canadian series La Femme Nikita. The series focuses on Nikita, a woman who escaped from a secret ...more
12
The Last Ship is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
Eric Dane, Rhona Mitra, Adam Baldwin

Premiered: 2014

Network: TNT

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
13
Whiskey Cavalier is listed (or ranked) 13 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
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

Premiered: 2014

Number of Seasons: 1

Number of Episodes: 2

Network: NBC

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
Jack Ryan is listed (or ranked) 15 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
16
Banshee is listed (or ranked) 16 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
17
Daredevil is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
Charlie Cox, Deborah Ann Woll, Elden Henson

Premiered: 2015

Network: 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
18
Luke Cage is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
Mike Colter, Mahershala Ali, Simone Missick
Luke Cage (Netflix, 2016) is an American web television series created by Cheo Hodari Coker, based on the Marvel Comics character. When a sabotaged experiment gives him super strength and ...more
19
Lethal Weapon is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
Lethal Weapon Damon Wayans, Clayne Crawford, Jordana Brewster
Lethal Weapon (Fox, 2016) is an American buddy cop action comedy-drama television series developed by Matt Miller and based on the film series. A slightly unhinged cop (Clayne Crawford) is ...more
20
Primeval is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
Primeval Andrew Lee Potts, Hannah Spearritt, Ben Miller

Premiered: 2007

Number of Episodes: 36

Network: British Broadcasting Corporation, ITV, ITV

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
21
Angel is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
David Boreanaz, Charisma Carpenter, Alexis Denisof

Premiered: 1999

Number of Seasons: 5

Number of Episodes: 110

Network: The WB Television Network

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
22
Jessica Jones is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
Krysten Ritter, Mike Colter, Rachael Taylor

Premiered: 2015

Number of Seasons: 3

Network: Netflix

Jessica Jones (Netflix, 2015) is an American web television series created by Melissa Rosenberg, based on the Marvel Comics character. Following the tragic end of her brief superhero career, ...more
23
Queen of the South is listed (or ranked) 23 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
24
Station 19 is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
Station 19 Jaina Lee Ortiz, Jason George, Grey Damon

Premiered: 2018

Network: ABC

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
25
Alias is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
Jennifer Garner, Ron Rifkin, Carl Lumbly

Premiered: 2001

Number of Seasons: 5

Number of Episodes: 105

Network: American Broadcasting Company

Alias is an American spy-action television series created by J. J. Abrams, which was broadcast on ABC for five seasons, from September 30, 2001, to May 22, 2006. It stars Jennifer Garner as ...more