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The Best Psychological Thriller TV Shows 

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Updated January 30, 2020 36.7k votes 7.1k voters 314.4k views 66 items

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

The very best psychological thriller shows incorporate elements of suspense, drama, and intrigue to keep characters - and viewers - guessing. This list of the top psychological thrillers on television is ranked from best to worst, and it includes pictures from the shows when available. A sneaky criminal on the loose? A clever killer outwitting victims and detectives alike? Get a forensic psychologist on the case. Popular psychological thriller TV shows have been a staple of television for years, so there's often debate about which are the most entertaining psychological thriller shows of all time. Don't let your favorite psychological thriller 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 psychological thriller television shows below includes information like the program's cast, creator and premiere date when available.

Examples of shows on this list include Twin Peaks and Hannibal. There are many psychological shows on streaming services as well, such as The Haunting of Hill House on Netflix and Homecoming on Amazon Video. Many of these psychological thrillers are the most exciting thriller series of all time.

This list answers the questions, "What is the best psychological thriller show of all time?" and "What are the greatest thriller shows with elements of psychology??"

Data-driven recommendations based on voting from over 40 million monthly visits to Ranker. Try the free app
list ordered by
1
Hannibal is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Psychological Thriller TV Shows
Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, Caroline Dhavernas

Premiered: 2013

Number of Seasons: 1

Number of Episodes: 13

Network: NBC

Hannibal is an American psychological thriller–horror television series developed by Bryan Fuller for NBC. The series is based on characters and elements appearing in the novel Red Dragon by ...more
2
Dexter is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Psychological Thriller TV Shows
Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, David Zayas

Premiered: 2006

Number of Seasons: 8

Number of Episodes: 96

Network: Showtime

Dexter (Showtime, 2006) is an American television drama series. Set in Miami, the series centers on Dexter Morgan, a blood spatter pattern analyst for Miami Metro Police Department who also ...more
3
Black Mirror is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Psychological Thriller TV Shows
Luke Albright added Daniel Kaluuya, Toby Kebbell, Rory Kinnear

Premiered: 2011

Number of Seasons: 5

Number of Episodes: 22

Network: Channel 4

Black Mirror is a British television anthology series created by Charlie Brooker that features speculative fiction with dark and sometimes satirical themes that examine modern society, ...more
4
The Haunting of Hill Hou... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Psychological Thriller TV Shows
Michiel Huisman, Carla Gugino, Henry Thomas
The Haunting of Hill House (Netflix, 2018) is an American supernatural horror television series created by Mike Flanagan, based on the novel by Shirley Jackson. The first season, The Haunting of ...more
5
Sherlock is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Psychological Thriller TV Shows
TobuscusHolmes added Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Una Stubbs

Premiered: 2010

Number of Seasons: 3

Number of Episodes: 13

Network: British Broadcasting Corporation

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
6
American Horror Story is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Psychological Thriller TV Shows
nicolas.verret added Connie Britton, Dylan McDermott, Evan Peters

Premiered: 2011

Number of Seasons: 9

Number of Episodes: 103

Network: FX

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
7
Bates Motel is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Psychological Thriller TV Shows
LoreAlfaro added Vera Farmiga, Freddie Highmore, Max Thieriot

Premiered: 2013

Number of Seasons: 1

Number of Episodes: 7

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
8
The Killing is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Psychological Thriller TV Shows
Mireille Enos, Joel Kinnaman, Billy Campbell

Premiered: 2011

Number of Seasons: 3

Number of Episodes: 28

Network: AMC

This show is an American drama television series that premiered on April 3, 2011, on AMC, based on the Danish television series Forbrydelsen. The American version was developed by Veena Sud and ...more
9
Stranger Things is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Psychological Thriller TV Shows
Luke Albright added Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard

Premiered: 2016

Number of Seasons: 3

Network: Netflix

Stranger Things (Netflix, 2016) is an American science fiction-horror web television series created by The Duffer Brothers. When a young boy (Noah Schnapp) disappears, his mother (Winona Ryder), ...more
10
Mindhunter is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Psychological Thriller TV Shows
Shrey Dhingra added Jonathan Groff, Holt McCallany, Anna Torv
Mindhunter (Netflix, 2017) is an American drama series based on the book written by Mark Olshaker and John E. Douglas. Set in the late '70s and early '80s, the series revolves around two FBI ...more
11
True Detective is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Psychological Thriller TV Shows
Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, Michelle Monaghan

Premiered: 2013

Number of Seasons: 1

Number of Episodes: 8

Network: HBO

True Detective (HBO, 2014) is an American anthology drama television series created by Nic Pizzolatto. Each season focuses on detectives investigating violent offences.
12
Twin Peaks is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Psychological Thriller TV Shows
Twin Peaks Kyle MacLachlan, Russ Tamblyn, Sherilyn Fenn

Premiered: 1990

Number of Seasons: 3

Number of Episodes: 48

Network: ABC, Showtime

Twin Peaks (ABC, 1990) is an American mystery horror drama television series created by Mark Frost and David Lynch and, despite being canceled after two seasons, sparked a cult following that ...more
13
The Blacklist is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Psychological Thriller TV Shows
MajaKadic added James Spader, Megan Boone, Diego Klattenhoff

Premiered: 2013

Network: NBC

The Blacklist is an American crime drama television series that premiered on NBC on September 23, 2013. Raymond "Red" Reddington, a former U.S Navy officer turned high-profile ...more
14
Broadchurch is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Psychological Thriller TV Shows
AnneMarijkeDusseljee added David Tennant, Olivia Colman, Jodie Whittaker

Premiered: 2013

Number of Seasons: 1

Number of Episodes: 8

Network: ITV, UTV, STV

Broadchurch is a British television drama broadcast on ITV. It was created and written by Chris Chibnall and produced by Kudos Film and Television, Shine America, and Imaginary Friends. The ...more
15
Lie to Me is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Psychological Thriller TV Shows
muybueno16 added Tim Roth, Kelli Williams, Brendan Hines

Premiered: 2009

Number of Seasons: 3

Number of Episodes: 48

Network: Fox Broadcasting Company

Lie to Me is an American drama television series. It originally ran on the Fox network from January 21, 2009 to January 31, 2011. In the show, Dr. Cal Lightman and his colleagues in The Lightman ...more
16
The Sinner is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Psychological Thriller TV Shows
Darya Valdez added Jessica Biel, Bill Pullman, Christopher Abbott

Premiered: 2017

Network: USA

The Sinner (USA, 2017) is an American anthology drama TV series based on the novel of the same name by Petra Hammesfahr. The series' first season follows the events that happen after a young ...more
17
Penny Dreadful is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Psychological Thriller TV Shows
Luke Albright added Josh Hartnett, Timothy Dalton, Eva Green

Premiered: 2014

Number of Seasons: 3

Network: Showtime

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
18
The Following is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Psychological Thriller TV Shows
PrashantBhati added Kevin Bacon, James Purefoy, Shawn Ashmore

Premiered: 2013

Number of Seasons: 1

Number of Episodes: 15

Network: Fox Broadcasting Company

The Following is an American television drama series created by Kevin Williamson and jointly produced by Outerbanks Entertainment and Warner Bros. Television. The first season follows former FBI ...more
19
Lost is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Psychological Thriller TV Shows
colekaizanejay added Naveen Andrews, Matthew Fox, Jorge Garcia

Premiered: 2004

Number of Seasons: 6

Number of Episodes: 121

Network: American Broadcasting Company

Lost is an American television drama series that originally aired on the American Broadcasting Company from September 22, 2004, to May 23, 2010, over six seasons, comprising a total of 121 ...more
20
The Fall is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Psychological Thriller 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
21
Fargo is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Psychological Thriller TV Shows
Luke Albright added Billy Bob Thornton, Allison Tolman, Colin Hanks

Premiered: 2014

Number of Seasons: 3

Network: AMC

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
22
Homeland is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Psychological Thriller TV Shows
Claire Danes, Mandy Patinkin, Rupert Friend

Premiered: 2011

Number of Seasons: 3

Network: Showtime

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
23
Orphan Black is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Psychological Thriller TV Shows
MajaKadic added Tatiana Maslany, Dylan Bruce, Jordan Gavaris

Premiered: 2013

Number of Seasons: 1

Number of Episodes: 10

Network: BBC America, Space

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
24
Dark is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Psychological Thriller TV Shows
c.spencebell added Louis Hofmann, Oliver Masucci, Jördis Triebel
Dark (Netflix, 2017) is a German science fiction thriller web series created by Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese. The disappearance of two young children in the German town of Winden brings light ...more
25
Fringe is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Psychological Thriller TV Shows
TobuscusHolmes added Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, Jasika Nicole

Premiered: 2008

Number of Seasons: 5

Number of Episodes: 100

Network: Fox Broadcasting Company

Fringe is an American science fiction television series created by J. J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci. It premiered on the Fox Broadcasting network on September 9, 2008, and concluded ...more