Entertainment

The Best Dramas on Cable Right Now  

Ranker TV
Originally by
12.5k votes 1.5k voters 31.2k views 58 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
Game of Thrones is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Dramas on Cable Right Now
voting closed at #1 Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke
Game of Thrones (HBO, 2011) is an American fantasy drama television series created by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, based on the series of fantasy novels by George R. R. Martin. Nine noble ...more
2
The Walking Dead is listed (or ranked) 2 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
3
Outlander is listed (or ranked) 3 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
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
Vikings is listed (or ranked) 5 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
6
Sons of Anarchy is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Dramas on Cable Right Now
Charlie Hunnam, Katey Sagal, Mark Boone Junior
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
7
Doctor Who is listed (or ranked) 7 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
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
Homeland is listed (or ranked) 9 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
10
Downton Abbey is listed (or ranked) 10 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
11
Shameless is listed (or ranked) 11 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
12
Justified is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Dramas on Cable Right Now
Timothy Olyphant, Nick Searcy, Joelle Carter
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
13
The Americans is listed (or ranked) 13 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
14
Fargo is listed (or ranked) 14 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
15
House of Cards is listed (or ranked) 15 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
16
Penny Dreadful is listed (or ranked) 16 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
17
Suits is listed (or ranked) 17 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
18
True Detective is listed (or ranked) 18 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.
19
Westworld is listed (or ranked) 19 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
20
Mr. Robot is listed (or ranked) 20 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┬ľthriller television series created by Sam Esmail. Elliot (Rami Malek), a cybersecurity engineer and hacker who suffers from social anxiety ...more
21
Hell on Wheels is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Dramas on Cable Right Now
ConstanceWarner added Anson Mount, Colm Meaney, Robin McLeavy
Hell on Wheels is a 2011 TV film directed by David Von Ancken.
22
Orphan Black is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Dramas on Cable Right Now
ghostdragon added Tatiana Maslany, Dylan Bruce, Jordan Gavaris
Orphan Black is a Canadian science fiction television series created by screenwriter Graeme Manson and director John Fawcett, starring Tatiana Maslany as several identical people who are, in ...more
23
Better Call Saul is listed (or ranked) 23 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
24
Ranker Video
Vera Farmiga, Freddie Highmore, Max Thieriot
Bates Motel is an American drama thriller television series developed for television by Carlton Cuse, Kerry Ehrin and Anthony Cipriano, and produced by Universal Television for the cable network ...more
25
Preacher is listed (or ranked) 25 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