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The Best NBC Dramas of All Time

Updated September 1, 2020 10.5k votes 1.2k voters 9.5k views52 items

List RulesVote up your favorite drama series that originally aired on NBC.

NBC dramas are some of the most stimulating programs in television history. Dramas on NBC may be high-tech and filled with imaginative stories, but the network itself stemmed from humble beginnings. Shows like Law & Order: SVU, The West Wing, Freaks & Geeks, The Night Shift, and Cheers would not be around today if not for NBC. 

David Sarnoff and NBC presented the first television at New York's World Fair in the late 1930's, and President Franklin D. Roosevelt became the first president to appear on national television in front of the NBC cameras in 1939. NBC was also the first station to introduce color programming to their viewers, beating CBS and DuMont Television Network by only a few days. Today, NBC remains one of the top contenders in network television. 

The transmission of moving images through television has allowed the public to live vicariously through fantasy stories, as well as see themselves reflected in both real and imagined characters.  NBC has a variety of dramas to choose from, and has continued to produce great content since its inception.   

Vote for your favorite NBC drama below! If you don't see your favorite show on the list, feel free to add it. 

 
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  • 1
    Law & Order
    287
    134

    Law & Order

    Jerry Orbach, Jesse L. Martin

    Premiered1990

    Law & Order is an American police procedural and legal drama television series, created by... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 2
    Star Trek: The Original Series
    159
    157

    Star Trek: The Original Series

    William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy

    Premiered1966

    Star Trek is an American science fiction television series created by Gene Roddenberry that... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 3
    ER
    221
    200

    ER

    Anthony Edwards, George Clooney

    Premiered1994

    ER is an American medical drama television series created by novelist Michael Crichton that... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 4
    Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
    272
    207

    Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

    Mariska Hargitay, Christopher Meloni

    Premiered1999

    Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (NBC, 1999) is an American police procedural, legal, crime... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 5
    Columbo
    129
    149

    Columbo

    Peter Falk, Mike Lally

    Premiered1968

    Columbo is an American television series starring Peter Falk as a detective with the Los... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 6
    The Virginian
    126
    63

    The Virginian

    Doug McClure, James Drury

    Premiered1962

    The Virginian is an American Western television series starring James Drury and Doug McClure... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 7
    Friday Night Lights
    262
    196

    Friday Night Lights

    Kyle Chandler, Connie Britton

    Premiered2006

    Friday Night Lights (NBC, 2006) is an American sports drama television series developed by... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 8
    Cheers
    85
    59

    Cheers

    Ted Danson, Rhea Perlman

    Premiered1982

    Cheers is an American sitcom that ran for eleven seasons between 1982 and 1993. The show was... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 9
    Hill Street Blues
    115
    154

    Hill Street Blues

    Daniel J. Travanti, Michael Warren

    Premiered1981

    Hill Street Blues is an American serial police drama that was first aired on NBC in 1981 and... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 10
    St. Elsewhere
    143
    148

    St. Elsewhere

    Ed Begley Jr., William Daniels

    Premiered1982

    St. Elsewhere is an American medical drama black comedy television series that originally ran... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 11
    Quantum Leap
    151
    201

    Quantum Leap

    Scott Bakula, Dean Stockwell

    Premiered1989

    Quantum Leap is an American television series that originally aired on NBC for five seasons,... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 12
    The Rockford Files
    108
    157

    The Rockford Files

    James Garner, Noah Beery Jr.

    Premiered1974

    The Rockford Files is an American television drama series starring James Garner that aired on... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 13
    McMillan & Wife
    63
    66

    McMillan & Wife

    Rock Hudson, Julie Newmar

    Premiered1971

    McMillan & Wife was a lighthearted American police procedural that aired on NBC from September... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 14
    Hannibal
    235
    163

    Hannibal

    Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen

    Premiered2013

    Hannibal (NBC, 2013) is an American psychological thriller–horror television series developed... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 15
    Bonanza
    115
    151

    Bonanza

    Lorne Greene, Michael Landon

    Premiered1959

    Bonanza is an NBC television western series that ran from September 12, 1959, to January 16,... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 16
    Manifest
    16
    22

    Manifest

    Melissa Roxburgh, Josh Dallas

    Premiered2018

    Manifest (NBC, 2018) is an American drama television series created by Jeff Rake and Matthew... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 17
    Alfred Hitchcock Presents
    122
    178

    Alfred Hitchcock Presents

    Alfred Hitchcock, Harry Tyler

    Premiered1955

    Alfred Hitchcock Presents is an American television anthology series hosted by Alfred... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 18
    I Spy
    60
    70

    I Spy

    Robert Culp, Bill Cosby

    Premiered1965

    I Spy is an American television secret-agent adventure series. It ran for three seasons on NBC... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 19
    Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist
    4
    10

    Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist

    Jane Levy, Skylar Astin

    Premiered2020

    Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist (NBC, 2020) is an American musical fantasy dramedy television... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 20
    Timeless
    10
    21

    Timeless

    Abigail Spencer, Matt Lanter

    Premiered2016

    Timeless (NBC, 2016) follows the adventures of an unusual trio; a history professor (Abigail... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 21
    The High Chaparral
    39
    56

    The High Chaparral

    Leif Erickson, Cameron Mitchell

    Premiered1967

    The High Chaparral is an American Western-themed television series starring Leif Erickson and... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 22
    Grimm
    127
    203

    Grimm

    David Giuntoli, Silas Weir Mitchell

    Premiered2011

    Grimm (NBC, 2011) is an American fantasy police procedural drama television series created by... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 23
    The West Wing
    129
    224

    The West Wing

    Martin Sheen, Rob Lowe

    Premiered1999

    The West Wing is an American serial political drama television series created by Aaron Sorkin... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 24
    The Blacklist
    131
    217

    The Blacklist

    James Spader, Megan Boone

    Premiered2013

    The Blacklist (NBC, 2013) is an American crime thriller television series created by Jon... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 25
    This Is Us
    15
    22

    This Is Us

    Milo Ventimiglia, Mandy Moore

    Premiered2016

    This Is Us (NBC, 2016) is an American television series created by Dan Fogelman. Follows a... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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