Entertainment

The Best Dramas on Cable Right Now  

Ranker TV
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12.6k votes 1.5k voters 31.6k views 46 items

List Rules Serial dramas only, no procedurals

The best dramas on cable right now are those serious, captivating dramatic television shows of 2019 that we just cannot miss. While network television drama shows are great too, cable shows are perhaps better with fewer restrictions on what can be said, shown and done, making the shows appear more real and definitely more appealing to watch. These are not just the best dramas on cable, they are also arguably the best current dramatic TV shows on anywhere right now.

While few years ago AMC was an unlikely choice to break out with original drama series, in the recent past it has earned great praise for its work. With headlining shows like Better Call Saul, The Terror, and The Walking Dead, AMC has quickly become a favorite among cable channels. Movie channels like HBO and Showtime are no different with top series like The Chi, Shameless, Westworld, and Big Little Lies keeping viewers on the edges of their seats each week.

That's not to say other networks are not holding their own among original cable drama series. Shows like Doctor WhoAmerican Horror Story, and Outlander are easily among the favorite drama shows on cable right now.

There is little doubt that many of these best cable dramas are not just the best in their category but also the best TV shows in recent memory. Have a favorite drama series on cable TV that you just can't miss? Vote for your selections below!

 

list ordered by
1
The Walking Dead is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Dramas on Cable Right Now
Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies
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
2
Outlander is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Dramas on Cable Right Now
buzzy added Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, Tobias Menzies
Outlander is a British-American television drama series based on the historical time travel Outlander series of novels by Diana Gabaldon. Created by Ronald D. Moore and produced by Left Bank ...more
3
Vikings is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Dramas on Cable Right Now
ghostdragon added Travis Fimmel, Katheryn Winnick, Clive Standen
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
4
Sherlock is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Dramas on Cable Right Now
LanaYoshii added Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Una Stubbs
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
5
Downton Abbey is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Dramas on Cable Right Now
Hugh Bonneville, Phyllis Logan, Elizabeth McGovern
Downton Abbey is a British period drama television series created by Julian Fellowes and co-produced by Carnival Films and Masterpiece. It first aired on ITV in the United Kingdom and Ireland on ...more
6
Doctor Who is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Dramas on Cable Right Now
Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Matt Smith
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
7
Fargo is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Dramas on Cable Right Now
Billy Bob Thornton, Allison Tolman, Colin Hanks
Fargo (FX, 2014) is an American black comedy drama anthology television series created by Noah Hawley, and inspired by the 1996 film. Various chronicles of deception, intrigue and wrong doings ...more
8
American Horror Story is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Dramas on Cable Right Now
Connie Britton, Dylan McDermott, Evan Peters
American Horror Story (FX, 2011) is an American anthology horror television series created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk. An anthology series centering on different characters and locations, ...more
9
Westworld is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Dramas on Cable Right Now
carlybobarly added Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright
Westworld (HBO, 2016) is an American science fiction western thriller television series created by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, and based on the 1973 film. In a technologically advanced Wild ...more
10
Shameless is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Dramas on Cable Right Now
ChrissyBaker added Emmy Rossum, William H. Macy, Ethan Cutkosky
Shameless is an American television comedy-drama which airs on Showtime. This remake of the award-winning British series is set in Chicago's Canaryville neighborhood on the South Side, although ...more
11
True Detective is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Dramas on Cable Right Now
LanaYoshii added Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, Michelle Monaghan
True Detective (HBO, 2014) is an American anthology drama television series created by Nic Pizzolatto. Each season focuses on detectives investigating violent offences.
12
Homeland is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Dramas on Cable Right Now
Claire Danes, Mandy Patinkin, Rupert Friend
Homeland is an American political thriller television series developed by Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa based on the Israeli series Hatufim, which was created by Gideon Raff. The series stars ...more
13
Mr. Robot is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Dramas on Cable Right Now
ghostdragon added Rami Malek, Carly Chaikin, Portia Doubleday
Mr. Robot (USA Network, 2015) is an American drama–thriller television series created by Sam Esmail. Elliot (Rami Malek), a cybersecurity engineer and hacker who suffers from social anxiety ...more
14
Better Call Saul is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Dramas on Cable Right Now
ghostdragon added Bob Odenkirk, Jonathan Banks, Rhea Seehorn
Better Call Saul (AMC, 2015) is an American television drama series created by Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould, and a spinoff prequel of Breaking Bad. The trials and tribulations of lawyer, Jimmy ...more
15
Penny Dreadful is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Dramas on Cable Right Now
CrimsonJohnson added Josh Hartnett, Timothy Dalton, Eva Green
Penny Dreadful (Showtime, 2014) is a British-American horror TV series created for Showtime and Sky by John Logan, who also acts as executive producer alongside Sam Mendes. The title refers to ...more
16
The Americans is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Dramas on Cable Right Now
Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Maximiliano Hernández
The Americans (FX, 2013) is an American period drama television series created by Joe Weisberg. Elizabeth (Keri Russell) and Philip Jennings (Matthew Rhys) are two Soviet KGB officers posing as ...more
17
House of Cards is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Dramas on Cable Right Now
Kevin Spacey, Michel Gill, Robin Wright
House of Cards is a 2013 American political drama television series developed and produced by Beau Willimon. It is an adaptation of the BBC's mini-series of the same name and is based on the ...more
18
Preacher is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Dramas on Cable Right Now
LanaYoshii added Dominic Cooper, Joseph Gilgun, Ruth Negga
Preacher (AMC, 2016) is an American television series developed by Sam Catlin, Evan Goldberg, and Seth Rogen, based on the comic book series created by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon. After a ...more
19
Suits is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Dramas on Cable Right Now
Gabriel Macht, Patrick J. Adams, Meghan Markle
Suits is a USA Network legal drama created by Aaron Korsh that stars Patrick J. Adams as Michael "Mike" Ross and Gabriel Macht as Harvey Specter. The first episode debuted on June 23, ...more
20
Ranker Video
Jamie Bell, Angus Macfadyen, Kevin McNally
TURN: Washington's Spies is a period drama based on Alexander Rose’s book Washington's Spies: The Story of America's First Spy Ring, a history of the Culper Ring. The series debuted on AMC on ...more
21
Peaky Blinders is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Dramas on Cable Right Now
ghostdragon added Cillian Murphy, Helen McCrory, Paul Anderson
Peaky Blinders (BBC Two, 2013) is a British television action drama created by Steven Knight, based upon the exploits of the historical gang. In 1919 Birmingham, England, leader Tommy Shelby ...more
22
Ray Donovan is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Dramas on Cable Right Now
Liev Schreiber, Paula Malcomson, Eddie Marsan
Ray Donovan is an American television drama series created by Ann Biderman for Showtime. The twelve-episode first season premiered on June 30, 2013. The pilot episode broke records of ...more
23
Big Little Lies is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Dramas on Cable Right Now
Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley
Big Little Lies (HBO, 2017) is an American dramatic miniseries created by David E. Kelley, based on the novel by Liane Moriarty. While Madeline (Reese Witherspoon) and Celeste (Nicole Kidman) ...more
24
Billions is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Dramas on Cable Right Now
Damian Lewis, Paul Giamatti, Maggie Siff
Billions (Showtime, 2016) is loosely based on the activities of crusading federal prosecutor Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Bobby "Axe" Axelrod ...more
25
Pose is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Dramas on Cable Right Now
Evan Peters, Kate Mara, James Van Der Beek
Pose (FX, 2018) is an American dance drama television series created by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Steven Canals. Set in the 1980s, the show explores the juxtaposition of several segments of ...more