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The Greatest Suspense TV Shows 

Ranker TV
Updated June 14, 2019 678 votes 127 voters 5.7k views 34 items

Of all the many genres represented on television, suspense is easily the most fun to watch. Suspense offers the audience a way to get involved in what's happening on their screens and such shows have a way of pulling you in. Whether you're worried the main character will get away with murder like on Dexter or if the folks from Alexandria will be able to survive whatever horrors are being thrown at them on The Walking Dead, there are plenty of options for fans of suspense TV shows to watch!

Finding the right and most suspenseful TV shows to watch isn't always easy, which is why this list has been put together compiling the very best of the best. Whether your preferences are towards action-thriller series of a suspenseful nature or you prefer more captivating mystery shows, there are some excellent recommendations on this list for you to watch. From top dramas like True Detective to the fun fantasy series Goosebumps, you'll find plenty to try out next.

For more recommendations, browse this list of the best suspense shows and feel free to add any similar series you think are missing!

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list ordered by
1
Breaking Bad is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Suspense TV Shows
Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn

Premiered: 2008

Number of Seasons: 5

Number of Episodes: 54

Network: AMC

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

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2
Dexter is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Suspense 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

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3
True Detective is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Suspense 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.

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4
Sherlock is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Suspense TV Shows
Vigtam 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

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5
Criminal Minds is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Suspense TV Shows
Shemar Moore, Matthew Gray Gubler, Thomas Gibson

Premiered: 2005

Number of Seasons: 15

Number of Episodes: 324

Network: A&E, CBS

Criminal Minds (CBS, 2005) is an American police-procedural television program. The series follows a team of profilers from the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit based in Quantico, Virginia. The ...more

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6
American Horror Story is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Suspense TV Shows
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

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7
The Killing is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Suspense 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

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8
The Walking Dead is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Suspense TV Shows
Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies

Premiered: 2010

Number of Seasons: 10

Number of Episodes: 144

Network: AMC

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

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9
The Originals is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Suspense TV Shows
Joseph Morgan, Daniel Gillies, Claire Holt

Premiered: 2013

Number of Seasons: 1

Number of Episodes: 13

Network: The CW Television Network

The Originals (The CW, 2013) is an American television series created by Julie Plec, and is a spinoff of The Vampire Diaries. Vampire-werewolf hybrid Klaus Mikaelson (Joseph Morgan) and his ...more

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10
Bates Motel is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Suspense TV Shows
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

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11
The Mentalist is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Suspense TV Shows
Simon Baker, Robin Tunney, Tim Kang

Premiered: 2008

Number of Seasons: 5

Number of Episodes: 116

Network: CBS

The Mentalist is an American police procedural television series that ran from September 23, 2008 until February 18, 2015, broadcasting 151 episodes over seven seasons, on CBS. The show was ...more

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12
La Femme Nikita is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Suspense TV Shows
Peta Wilson, Don Francks, Eugene Robert Glazer

Premiered: 1997

Number of Seasons: 5

Number of Episodes: 96

Network: USA Network

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

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13
Homeland is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Suspense 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

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14
Oz is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Suspense TV Shows
Ernie Hudson, J.K. Simmons, Lee Tergesen

Premiered: 1997

Number of Seasons: 6

Number of Episodes: 56

Network: HBO

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

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15
Twin Peaks is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Suspense 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

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16
Witches of East End is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Suspense TV Shows
Julia Ormond, Jenna Dewan Tatum, Rachel Boston

Premiered: 2013

Number of Seasons: 1

Number of Episodes: 8

Network: Lifetime Television

Witches of East End is an American television series based on the book of the same name by Melissa de la Cruz. The series premiered on Lifetime on October 6, 2013. Set in the fictional seaside ...more

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17
Too Old to Die Young is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Suspense TV Shows
Miles Telle, Billy Baldwin, Jena Malone

Premiered: 2019

Network: Amazon Video

Too Old to Die Young (Amazon Video, 2019) is an American thriller crime drama television series. The show follows Martin (Miles Teller), a grieving police officer who, along with the man who ...more
18
Lost is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Suspense TV Shows
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

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19
Kojak is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Suspense TV Shows
Telly Savalas, Dan Frazer, Kevin Dobson

Premiered: 1973

Number of Seasons: 5

Number of Episodes: 125

Network: CBS

Kojak is an American television series starring Telly Savalas as the title character, New York City Police Department Detective Lieutenant Theo Kojak. Taking the time slot of the popular Cannon ...more

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20
Twisted is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Suspense TV Shows
Avan Jogia, Maddie Hasson, Ashton Moio

Premiered: 2013

Number of Seasons: 1

Number of Episodes: 3

Network: ABC Family

Twisted is an American teen drama mystery-thriller television series. The pilot episode aired on March 19, 2013, and the show's next 10 episodes resumed airing on June 18, 2013. On July 30, ...more

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21
Goosebumps is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Suspense TV Shows
R.L. Stine, Kathryn Short, Cody Jones

Premiered: 1995

Number of Seasons: 4

Number of Episodes: 74

Network: Jetix, Vrak.TV, YTV, Fox Kids, Cartoon Network, + more

Goosebumps is a Canadian horror fantasy anthology television series based on R. L. Stine's Goosebumps books. It was one of the two popular television horror anthology children's series in the ...more

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22
Hotel is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Suspense TV Shows
James Brolin, Anne Baxter, Michelle Phillips

Premiered: 1983

Number of Seasons: 5

Number of Episodes: 114

Network: American Broadcasting Company

Hotel is an American prime time drama series which aired on ABC from September 21, 1983, to May 5, 1988, in the timeslot following Dynasty. Based on Arthur Hailey's 1965 novel of the same name, ...more

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23
Midnight DJ is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Suspense TV Shows
Kristine Hermosa, Maui Taylor, Ehra Madrigal

Premiered: 2008

Number of Seasons: 11

Number of Episodes: 138

Network: TV5

Midnight DJ is a Filipino drama-horror television series starring Oyo Boy Sotto, who works as DJ at night and at the same time he works to find solutions to the paranormal problems of his ...more
24
Golden Boy is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Suspense TV Shows
Chi McBride, Bonnie Somerville, Kevin Alejandro

Premiered: 2013

Number of Seasons: 1

Number of Episodes: 13

Network: CBS

As he’s interviewed for a story about his career, Walter William Clark, Jr. flashes back on his hard-fought journey from street kid to the most powerful man in law enforcement. After only three ...more
25
Mystery Woman is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Suspense TV Shows
Mystery Woman Kellie Martin, Clarence Williams III, Nina Siemaszko

Premiered: 2003

Number of Seasons: 1

Number of Episodes: 11

Network: A&E

Mystery Woman is the name of a series of 11 TV movies released by the Hallmark Channel between 2003 and 2007, and now appearing regularly on the Hallmark Movie Channel. While on the Hallmark ...more