TV Drama The Best Serial Drama TV Shows  

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1.3k votes 293 voters 14.1k views 46 items

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

It's no secret America loves drama. Which shows that include over-the-top scenarios and intense characters are the best of the best? Popular serial drama TV shows have been a staple of television for years, so there's often debate about what the most entertaining serial drama show of all time is. Don't let your favorite serial drama 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. 

Featuring shows like Breaking Bad, Dexter, The West Wing, and more, this list will provide some great recommendations for drama programs! 

This list answers the questions, "What is the best serial drama show of all time?" and "What are the greatest serial drama shows?"

list ordered by
1
61 10
Lucifer is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Serial Drama TV Shows
Tom Ellis, Lauren German, Kevin Alejandro
Lucifer (Fox, 2016) is an American fantasy police procedural comedy-drama television series. It features a character created by Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth, and Mike Dringenberg taken from the comic ...more
2
59 50
Breaking Bad is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Serial Drama TV Shows
jackcompton88 added Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn
Breaking Bad is an American drama television series created and produced by Vince Gilligan. The show originally aired on the AMC network for five seasons, from January 20, 2008, to September 29, ...more
3
71 68
Dexter is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Serial Drama TV Shows
Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, David Zayas
Dexter 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 leads a secret life ...more
4
32 32
Gypsy is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Serial Drama TV Shows
lloydc added Naomi Watts, Billy Crudup, Sophie Cookson
Gypsy is a television drama series created by Lisa Rubin for Netflix. Naomi Watts plays a therapist who begins to develop dangerous and intimate relationships with the people in her patientsÂ’
5
15 12
Battlestar Galactica is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Serial Drama TV Shows
Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell, Jamie Bamber
Battlestar Galactica is an American military science fiction television series, and part of the Battlestar Galactica franchise. The show was developed by Ronald D. Moore and executive produced ...more
6
11 13
The Sopranos is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Serial Drama TV Shows
James Gandolfini, Lorraine Bracco, Edie Falco
The Sopranos is an American drama television series created by David Chase. Revolving around the fictional New Jersey-based Italian-American Tony Soprano, the show portrays the difficulties he ...more
7
13 16
The Shield is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Serial Drama TV Shows
Michael Chiklis, Catherine Dent, Walton Goggins
The Shield is an American drama television series starring Michael Chiklis that premiered on March 12, 2002, on FX, in the United States, and concluded on November 25, 2008, after seven seasons. ...more
8
24 32
24 is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Serial Drama 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
9
29 40
The West Wing is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Serial Drama TV Shows
Martin Sheen, Rob Lowe, Allison Janney
The West Wing is an American serial political drama television series created by Aaron Sorkin that was originally broadcast on NBC from September 22, 1999, to May 14, 2006. The series is set ...more
10
15 20
Game of Thrones is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Serial Drama TV Shows
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
11
6 9
Deadwood is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Serial Drama TV Shows
Timothy Olyphant, Ian McShane, Molly Parker
Deadwood is an American western television series created, produced, and largely written by David Milch and aired on the premium cable network HBO from March 21, 2004, to August 27, 2006, ...more
12
8 12
Sons of Anarchy is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Serial Drama TV Shows
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
13
7 11
Scandal is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Serial Drama TV Shows
Kerry Washington, Henry Ian Cusick, Columbus Short
Scandal (ABC, 2012) is an American political thriller television series created by Shonda Rhimes. A former White House Communications Director (Kerry Washington) starts her own crisis management ...more
14
7 11
Mad Men is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Serial Drama TV Shows
Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, Vincent Kartheiser
Mad Men is an American period drama television series created by Matthew Weiner. The series premiered on July 19, 2007 on the cable network AMC and is produced by Lionsgate Television. The ...more
15
5 8
A Million Little Things is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Serial Drama TV Shows
David Giuntoli, Ron Livingston, Romany Malco
A Million Little Things (ABC, 2018) is an American family drama television series created by D. J. Nash. A group of friends intertwined in each other's lives all realize they need to start ...more
16
3 5
Boardwalk Empire is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Serial Drama TV Shows
Steve Buscemi, Stephen Graham, Vincent Piazza
Boardwalk Empire is an American period drama television series created by Terence Winter. Airing on premium cable channel HBO, the series is set in Atlantic City, New Jersey, during the ...more
17
3 6
The OA is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Serial Drama TV Shows
Brit Marling, Emory Cohen, Scott Wilson
The OA (Netflix, 2016) is an American mystery drama web television series, with science fiction, supernatural and fantasy elements. Creator Brit Marling stars as a young woman named Prairie ...more
18
4 8
Downton Abbey is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Serial Drama TV Shows
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
19
4 8
The Crown is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Serial Drama TV Shows
Claire Foy, Matt Smith, Vanessa Kirby
The Crown (Netflix, 2016) is an American-British biographical drama series about the reign of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom. The series begins with the 1947 wedding of young Elizabeth ...more
20
7 13
Friday Night Lights is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Serial Drama TV Shows
Kyle Chandler, Connie Britton, Aimee Teegarden
Friday Night Lights is an American drama television series about a high school football team in the fictional town of Dillon, Texas. It was developed by Peter Berg, and executive produced by ...more
21
7 13
Better Call Saul is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Serial Drama TV Shows
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
22
5 10
The Good Wife is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Serial Drama TV Shows
Julianna Margulies, Chris Noth, Josh Charles
The Good Wife is an American television legal and political drama that premiered on CBS on September 22, 2009. The series was created by Robert King and Michelle King. It stars Julianna ...more
23
5 10
Six Feet Under is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Serial Drama TV Shows
Peter Krause, Michael C. Hall, Frances Conroy
Six Feet Under is an American drama television series created and produced by Alan Ball. It premiered on the premium cable network HBO in the United States on June 3, 2001, and ended on August ...more
24
4 9
Oz is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Serial Drama TV Shows
Ernie Hudson, J.K. Simmons, Lee Tergesen
Oz is an American television drama series created by Tom Fontana, who also wrote or co-wrote all of the series' 56 episodes. It was the first one-hour dramatic television series to be produced ...more
25
2 6
Parenthood is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Serial Drama TV Shows
Peter Krause, Lauren Graham, Dax Shepard
Parenthood is an American television drama series developed by Jason Katims and produced by Imagine Television and Universal Television for NBC. The show tells of the Braverman clan which ...more