Entertainment

The Best Espionage TV Shows  

Reference
Originally by
10.9k votes 2k voters 158k views 99 items

List Rules Shows near the top must be only the best Espionage TV series.

Lies! Deception! Betrayal! Romance! Spies! These are the very best espionage shows on television, ranked from best to worst. This list of the greatest spy shows also includes serial dramas like 24 and Alias as well as procedurals like Burn Notice. Popular espionage TV shows have been a staple of television for years, because spies are super cool, so there's often debate about which are the best spy shows of all time. Don't let your favorite espionage television programs in history get to the bottom of the list - be sure to vote them up so they have the chance to reach the top spot.

The list of spy television shows and spy thriller TV series below includes information like the program's cast, creator and premiere date when available. What is the best espionage show of all time? What are the greatest espionage series? If you like spy shows, this list is a decent place to start ranking your favorites and looking for new ideas of shows to marathon.

list ordered by
1
The Americans is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Espionage TV Shows
aspirin2020 added 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
2
Homeland is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Espionage TV Shows
LanaYoshii added 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
3
24 is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Espionage TV Shows
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
4
Burn Notice is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Espionage TV Shows
Jeffrey Donovan, Gabrielle Anwar, Bruce Campbell
Burn Notice is an American television series created by Matt Nix which originally aired on the USA Network from June 28, 2007 to September 12, 2013. The show stars Jeffrey Donovan, Gabrielle ...more
5
Chuck is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Espionage TV Shows
Zachary Levi, Yvonne Strahovski, Joshua Gomez
Chuck (NBC, 2007) is an American action-comedy/spy-drama television series created by Josh Schwartz and Chris Fedak. When a twenty-something computer geek (Zachary Levi) inadvertently downloads ...more
6
Alias is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Espionage TV Shows
Jennifer Garner, Ron Rifkin, Carl Lumbly
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
7
The Night Manager is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Espionage TV Shows
LongIslandIceB added Tom Hiddleston, Hugh Laurie, Olivia Colman
Luxury hotel night manager, and former British soldier, Jonathan Pine (Tom Hiddleston) is recruited by Angela Burr (Olivia Colman), an intelligence operative. He is tasked to navigate Whitehall ...more
8
Covert Affairs is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Espionage TV Shows
Mazen Nasser added 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
9
Spooks is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Espionage TV Shows
Richard Armitage, David Oyelowo, Lara Pulver
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
10
Nikita is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Espionage TV Shows
SheilaHajula added 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
11
Mission: Impossible is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Espionage TV Shows
Peter Graves, Barbara Bain, Greg Morris
Mission: Impossible is an American television series that was created and initially produced by Bruce Geller. It chronicles the missions of a team of secret government agents known as the ...more
12
MacGyver is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Espionage TV Shows
Richard Dean Anderson, Dana Elcar, Bruce McGill
MacGyver is an American action-adventure television series created by Lee David Zlotoff. Henry Winkler and John Rich were the executive producers. The show ran for seven seasons on ABC in the ...more
13
The Unit is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Espionage TV Shows
Dennis Haysbert, Regina Taylor, Audrey Marie Anderson
The Unit is an American action-drama television series that focused on a top-secret military unit modeled after the real-life U.S. Army special operations unit commonly known as Delta Force. The ...more
14
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Espionage TV Shows
Alec Guinness, Ian Richardson, Joss Ackland
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy was a 1979 seven part TV series adaptation of John Le Carre's novel.
15
Agent Carter is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Espionage TV Shows
LanaYoshii added Hayley Atwell, James D'Arcy, Enver Gjokaj
Marvel's Agent Carter, or simply Agent Carter, is an American television series created for ABC. The series features the Marvel Comics character Peggy Carter, with Hayley Atwell reprising her ...more
16
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Espionage TV Shows
Robert Vaughn, David McCallum, Leo G. Carroll
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is an American television series broadcast on NBC from September 22, 1964, to January 15, 1968. It follows secret agents, played by Robert Vaughn and David McCallum, who ...more
17
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Espionage TV Shows
LanaYoshii added Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Brett Dalton
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., or simply Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., is an American television series created for ABC by Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon, and Maurissa Tancharoen, based on the Marvel ...more
18
Get Smart is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Espionage TV Shows
Don Adams, Barbara Feldon, Edward Platt
Get Smart is an American comedy television series that satirizes the secret agent genre. Created by Mel Brooks with Buck Henry, the show stars Don Adams, Barbara Feldon, and Edward Platt. Henry ...more
19
The Equalizer is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Espionage TV Shows
Edward Woodward, Keith Szarabajka, Robert Lansing
The Equalizer was an American drama television series, originally airing on CBS from fall 1985 until late-spring 1989. It starred Edward Woodward as a retired espionage/intelligence officer with ...more
20
Strike Back is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Espionage TV Shows
Mazen Nasser added Sullivan Stapleton, Philip Winchester, Michelle Lukes
Strike Back is a British/American action and military television series, based on a novel of the same name by novelist and former Special Air Service soldier Chris Ryan. The series follows the ...more
21
The Saint is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Espionage TV Shows
Roger Moore, Ivor Dean, Leslie Crawford
The Saint is an ITC mystery spy thriller television series that aired in the UK on ITV between 1962 and 1969. It was based on the literary character Simon Templar created by Leslie Charteris in ...more
22
Quantico is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Espionage TV Shows
LanaYoshii added Josh Hopkins, Priyanka Chopra, Jake McLaughlin
Quantico (ABC, 2015) is an American television drama thriller series created by Joshua Safran. A bright FBI recruit (Priyanka Chopra) who joins the agency after graduating from the FBI Academy ...more
23
The A-Team is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Espionage TV Shows
George Peppard, Mr. T, Dwight Schultz
The A-Team is an American action-adventure television series, running from 1983 to 1987, about a fictional group of ex–U.S. Army personnel who escape and, while still on the run from the army, ...more
24
La Femme Nikita is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Espionage TV Shows
Peta Wilson, Don Francks, Eugene Robert Glazer
La Femme Nikita is a Canadian action/drama television series based on the French film Nikita by Luc Besson. The series was co-produced by Jay Firestone of Fireworks Entertainment and Warner ...more
25
The Avengers is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Espionage TV Shows
Patrick Macnee, Diana Rigg, Honor Blackman
The Avengers is a spy-fi British television series created in the 1960s. The Avengers initially focused on Dr. David Keel and his assistant John Steed. Hendry left after the first series and ...more