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The Best BBC Television TV Shows 

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Updated June 24, 2019 7.5k votes 1.1k voters 54.4k views 183 items

List of popular BBC Television shows, ranked from best to worst. This list of the top current and cancelled BBC Television TV series includes the date when each show first aired, as well as which actors starred in the show. The best BBC Television TV programs of all time include the most viewed shows on BBC Television, as this list covers the entire history of the network. This list is sorted by popularity, so the shows with the most votes are at the top of the list.

This list below has a variety of shows in it, from Smiley's People to Beau Geste.

Although television fans in different locations grew up with BBC Television on different channels, most of us got the same shows, so don't let your favorite BBC Television TV shows sink to the bottom of the list! The list of top BBC Television television shown below includes cast, creator, and premiere date when available. This list contains only TV series on the BBC Television network, even ones that are no longer on the air.

Use this factual list to build a whole new one just like it, then re-rank it to fit your opinion.
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1
Sherlock is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best BBC Television TV Shows
Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Una Stubbs

Premiered: 2010

Number of Seasons: 3

Number of Episodes: 8

Genres (Tv): Crime Fiction, Action/Adventure, Police procedural, Crime, Drama, + more

Sherlock is a British television crime drama that presents a contemporary adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes detective stories. Created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, it ...more

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2
Doctor Who is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best BBC Television TV Shows
Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Matt Smith

Premiered: 1963

Number of Seasons: 26

Number of Episodes: 798

Genres (Tv): Sci-fi, Adventure, Drama

Doctor Who (BBC, 2005) is a British science-fiction television show created by Sydney Newman, C. E. Webber, and Donald Wilson. The further adventures in time and space of the alien adventurer ...more

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#30 of 779 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch The Most Messed Up Things the Doctor Has Done on Doctor Wholisted on Longest Running Sci-Fi TV Shows

3
Merlin is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best BBC Television TV Shows
peter.glover1 added John Hurt, Colin Morgan, Bradley James

Premiered: 2008

Number of Episodes: 65

Genres (Tv): Miniseries, Drama, Adventure film, Action, Science Fiction, + more

Merlin is a British fantasy-adventure television programme, created by Julian Jones, Jake Michie, Julian Murphy and Johnny Capps and starring Colin Morgan in the title role. It was broadcast on ...more

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#659 of 2,298 The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time #196 of 383 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years

4
Luther is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best BBC Television TV Shows
bigcraig added Idris Elba, Warren Brown, Dermot Crowley

Premiered: 2010

Number of Seasons: 1

Number of Episodes: 14

Genres (Tv): Action/Adventure, Police procedural, Drama, Adventure film, Action

Luther is a British drama series starring Idris Elba as the eponymous character DCI John Luther. Written by Neil Cross, the first series, comprising six one-hour long episodes, premiered on 4 ...more

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#439 of 578 TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time #803 of 2,298 The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time

5
Faulty Towers is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best BBC Television TV Shows
TracyLemaster added Faulty Towers
6
Blackadder is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best BBC Television TV Shows
BenNicholson added Rowan Atkinson, Brian Blessed, Elspet Gray

Premiered: 1983

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Military, Period piece, Comedy

Blackadder is the name that encompasses four series of a BBC 1 period British sitcom, along with several one-off instalments. All television episodes starred Rowan Atkinson as the anti-hero ...more

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#155 of 2,298 The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time #92 of 296 The Greatest Sitcoms in Television History

7
Line of Duty is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best BBC Television TV Shows
Line of Duty Keeley Hawes, Lennie James, Martin Compston

Premiered: 2012

Number of Seasons: 1

Number of Episodes: 5

Genres (Tv): Crime Fiction, Action/Adventure, Crime, Drama, Thriller, + more

Line of Duty is a British police drama, created by Jed Mercurio, which aired on BBC Two 26 June 2012. The first series was BBC Two's best-performing drama series in 10 years, with a consolidated ...more

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#665 of 779 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #343 of 396 TV Shows That Only Smart People Appreciate

8
Monty Python's Flying Ci... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best BBC Television TV Shows
Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam

Premiered: 1969

Number of Seasons: 4

Number of Episodes: 45

Genres (Tv): Sketch comedy, Satire, Comedy

Monty Python’s Flying Circus is a British sketch comedy series commissioned by David Attenborough, created by the comedy group Monty Python and broadcast by the BBC from 1969 to 1974. The shows ...more

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#247 of 779 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #6 of 281 The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time #139 of 594 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time

9
Top Gear is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best BBC Television TV Shows
peter.glover1 added Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson, James May

Premiered: 2002

Number of Seasons: 19

Number of Episodes: 154

Genres (Tv): Entertainment, Special Interest, Television comedy, Talk show, Automotive, + more

Top Gear is a British television series about motor vehicles, primarily cars, and is the most widely watched factual television programme in the world. It began in 1977 as a conventional ...more

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#423 of 2,298 The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time #339 of 594 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time

10
The Fall is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best BBC Television TV Shows
Gillian Anderson, Jamie Dornan, John Lynch

Premiered: 2013

Number of Seasons: 1

Number of Episodes: 5

The Fall is a BBC drama television series set in Northern Ireland and created, written and, in its second series, directed by Allan Cubitt. The series stars Gillian Anderson as Superintendent ...more

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#67 of 396 TV Shows That Only Smart People Appreciate #41 of 97 The Best British Detective Series, Ranked

11
Torchwood is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best BBC Television TV Shows
HenriqueCésarMadeira added John Barrowman, Eve Myles, Kai Owen

Premiered: 2006

Number of Seasons: 3

Number of Episodes: 31

Genres (Tv): Action/Adventure, Crime, Drama, Adventure film, Action, + more

Torchwood is a British science fiction television programme created by Russell T Davies. A spin-off from the 2005 revival of long-running science fiction programme Doctor Who, Torchwood aired ...more

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#18 of 310 The Best Sci Fi Television Series of All Time #59 of 281 The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time

12
The Great British Bake O... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best BBC Television TV Shows
peter.glover1 added Sue Perkins, Mel Giedroyc

Premiered: 2010

Number of Seasons: 9

Number of Episodes: 84

Genres (Tv): Special Interest, Game show, Cooking show, Home improvement

The Great British Bake Off (also called Bake Off or GBBO) is a British television baking competition, produced by Love Productions, in which a group of amateur bakers compete against each other ...more

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#15 of 52 The Best Feel-Good TV Shows #79 of 135 The Best Reality Competition Series Behind-The-Scenes Stories From 'The Great British Bake Off' To Make You Love It Even More

13
The Office is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best BBC Television TV Shows
Ricky Gervais, Martin Freeman, Mackenzie Crook

Premiered: 2001

Number of Seasons: 2

Number of Episodes: 14

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Mockumentary, Satire, Drama, Comedy

The Office is a mockumentary that was first broadcast in the United Kingdom on BBC Two on 9 July 2001. Created, written, and directed by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, the programme is ...more

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#318 of 779 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #222 of 2,298 The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time

14
Death in Paradise is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best BBC Television TV Shows
peter.glover1 added Kris Marshall, Danny John-Jules, Ben Miller

Premiered: 2011

Number of Seasons: 1

Number of Episodes: 16

Genres (Tv): Action/Adventure, Drama, Adventure film, Action

This film is a British-French lighthearted drama television series created by Robert Thorogood, initially starring Ben Miller and Sara Martins, and later starring Kris Marshall and ...more

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#239 of 396 TV Shows That Only Smart People Appreciate #17 of 41 The Very Best British Crime Dramas, Ranked

15
Red Dwarf is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best BBC Television TV Shows
Chris Barrie, Craig Charles, Danny John-Jules

Premiered: 1988

Number of Seasons: 10

Number of Episodes: 61

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Comedy, Science Fiction

Red Dwarf is a British comedy franchise which primarily comprises ten series of a television science fiction sitcom that aired on BBC Two between 1988 and 1993 and from 1997 to 1999, and on Dave ...more

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#28 of 310 The Best Sci Fi Television Series of All Time #85 of 281 The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time

16
The Vicar of Dibley is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best BBC Television TV Shows
Dawn French, Liz Smith, Emma Chambers

Premiered: 1994

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Comedy

The Vicar of Dibley is a BBC television situation comedy created by Richard Curtis and written for actress, Dawn French, by Curtis and Paul Mayhew-Archer, with contributions from Kit ...more

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#39 of 265 The Best Female-Led TV Shows #169 of 296 The Greatest Sitcoms in Television History

17
Shaun the Sheep is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best BBC Television TV Shows
peter.glover1 added John Sparkes, Justin Fletcher, Richard Webber

Premiered: 2007

Number of Episodes: 87

Genres (Tv): Animation, Children's television series, Comedy

Shaun the Sheep is a British stop-motion animated television series, a spin-off of the Wallace and Gromit franchise. The series stars Shaun, a sheep previously featured in the 1995 short film A ...more

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#359 of 724 The Best Cartoons of All Time #372 of 383 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years #486 of 1,328 The Best Guilty Pleasure TV Shows

18
Father Brown is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best BBC Television TV Shows

Premiered: 2013

Number of Seasons: 1

Number of Episodes: 20

Genres (Tv): Costume drama, Detective fiction

Father Brown is a British television period drama which began airing on BBC One on 14 January 2013. It features Mark Williams as the eponymous crime-solving Roman Catholic priest. The series is ...more

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#326 of 396 TV Shows That Only Smart People Appreciate #4 of 97 The Best British Detective Series, Ranked #10 of 41 The Very Best British Crime Dramas, Ranked

19
Only Fools and Horses is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best BBC Television TV Shows
bigcraig added David Jason, Roger Lloyd-Pack, Paul Barber

Premiered: 1981

Number of Episodes: 64

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Comedy

Only Fools and Horses is a British television situation comedy created and written by John Sullivan. Seven series were originally broadcast on BBC One in the United Kingdom from 1981 to 1991, ...more

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#1,125 of 2,298 The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time #174 of 296 The Greatest Sitcoms in Television History

20
Keeping Up Appearances ... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best BBC Television TV Shows
Patricia Routledge, Geoffrey Hughes, Clive Swift

Premiered: 1990

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Comedy

Keeping Up Appearances is a BBC television sitcom created and written by Roy Clarke for the BBC, centred on the life of eccentric social climber Hyacinth Bucket, who insists that her surname is ...more

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#443 of 779 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #710 of 2,298 The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time #127 of 205 The Most Important TV Sitcoms

21
Spooks is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best BBC Television TV Shows
peter.glover1 added Richard Armitage, David Oyelowo, Lara Pulver

Premiered: 2002

Number of Seasons: 8

Number of Episodes: 86

Genres (Tv): Espionage, Action/Adventure, Spy film, Drama, Thriller, + more

Spooks is a British television drama series that originally aired on BBC One from 13 May 2002 to 23 October 2011, consisting of 10 series. The title is a popular colloquialism for spies, and the ...more

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#823 of 2,298 The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time #9 of 99 The Best Espionage TV Shows #16 of 47 The Best TV Shows Set In London

22
Fleabag is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best BBC Television TV Shows
Fleabag Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Hugh Skinner, Sian Clifford

Premiered: 2016

Genres (Tv): Comedy

Fleabag (BBC Three, 2016) is a British comedy series about Fleabag (Phoebe Waller-Bridge), a young woman attempting to navigate modern life in London.

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#79 of 265 The Best Female-Led TV Shows #55 of 92 The Best Dramedy TV Series The Most Tragically Funny Quotes From 'Fleabag'

23
Blackadder Goes Forth is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best BBC Television TV Shows
Rowan Atkinson, Tony Robinson, Stephen Fry

Premiered: 1989-09-28

Genres (Tv): Comedy, History, Period piece, War

Blackadder Goes Forth is the fourth and final series of the BBC sitcom Blackadder, written by Richard Curtis and Ben Elton, which aired from 28 September to 2 November 1989 on BBC One. The ...more
24
Killing Eve is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best BBC Television TV Shows
Sandra Oh, Jodie Comer, Fiona Shaw

Premiered: 2018

Genres (Tv): Drama

Killing Eve (BBC America, 2018) is a British drama television series developed by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, based on the novels by Luke Jennings. Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh), a desk-bound MI5 Officer, ...more

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#315 of 779 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #43 of 128 The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows The Best Characters On 'Killing Eve', Ranked

25
The Sarah Jane Adventure... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best BBC Television TV Shows
peter.glover1 added Elisabeth Sladen, Daniel Anthony, Alexander Armstrong

Premiered: 2007

Number of Episodes: 23

Genres (Tv): Teen drama, Action/Adventure, Drama, Children's television series, Adventure film, + more

The Sarah Jane Adventures is a British science fiction television programme, that was produced by BBC Cymru Wales for CBBC, created by Russell T Davies starring Elisabeth Sladen. The programme ...more

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#1,631 of 2,298 The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time #69 of 101 The Best TV Spinoffs