Entertainment The Greatest Suspense TV Shows  

Ranker TV
541 votes 95 voters 3.3k 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!

list ordered by
1
29 14
Breaking Bad is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Suspense TV Shows
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
2
22 13
Dexter is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Suspense 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
3
19 14
True Detective is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Suspense TV Shows
Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, Michelle Monaghan
True Detective (HBO, 2014) is an American anthology drama television series created by Nic Pizzolatto. Each season focuses on detectives investigating violent offences.
4
7 4
American Horror Story is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Suspense TV Shows
Connie Britton, Dylan McDermott, Evan Peters
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
5
4 2
Sherlock is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Suspense TV Shows
Vigtam added Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Una Stubbs
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
12 11
The Mentalist is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Suspense TV Shows
Simon Baker, Robin Tunney, Tim Kang
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
7
18 18
Criminal Minds is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Suspense TV Shows
Shemar Moore, Matthew Gray Gubler, Thomas Gibson
Criminal Minds is an American police-procedural television program that premiered September 22, 2005, on CBS. The series follows a team of profilers from the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit based ...more
8
15 15
The Killing is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Suspense TV Shows
Mireille Enos, Joel Kinnaman, Billy Campbell
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
11 11
The Originals is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Suspense TV Shows
Joseph Morgan, Daniel Gillies, Claire Holt
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
10
7 8
La Femme Nikita is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Suspense 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
11
0 0
Too Old to Die Young is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Suspense TV Shows
Miles Telle, Billy Baldwin, Jena Malone
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
12
12 15
Homeland is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Suspense TV Shows
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
13
6 8
Oz is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Suspense 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
14
11 14
Bates Motel is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Suspense TV Shows
Vera Farmiga, Freddie Highmore, Max Thieriot
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
15
4 6
Lost is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Suspense TV Shows
Naveen Andrews, Matthew Fox, Jorge Garcia
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
16
12 16
The Walking Dead is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Suspense TV Shows
Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies
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
17
5 9
Kojak is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Suspense TV Shows
Telly Savalas, Dan Frazer, Kevin Dobson
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
18
2 6
Miracles is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Suspense TV Shows
Skeet Ulrich, Angus Macfadyen, Marisa Ramirez
Miracles is an American drama television program starring Skeet Ulrich and Angus Macfadyen. Created by Richard Hatem and Michael Petroni, the series has sometimes been dubbed a "spiritual ...more
19
2 6
Storm of the Century is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Suspense TV Shows
Stephen King, Spencer Breslin, Colm Feore
Storm of the Century, alternatively known as Stephen King's Storm of the Century, is a 1999 horror TV miniseries written by Stephen King and directed by Craig R. Baxley. Unlike many other King ...more
20
5 10
Twisted is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Suspense TV Shows
Avan Jogia, Maddie Hasson, Ashton Moio
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
21
8 14
Twin Peaks is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Suspense TV Shows
Kyle MacLachlan, Russ Tamblyn, Sherilyn Fenn
Twin Peaks (Showtime, 2017) is a miniseries that follows FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) in a continuation of the original 1990 series, created by David Lynch.
22
3 8
Witches of East End is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Suspense TV Shows
Julia Ormond, Jenna Dewan Tatum, Rachel Boston
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
23
3 8
Goosebumps is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Suspense TV Shows
R.L. Stine, Kathryn Short, Cody Jones
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
24
2 7
The Dead Zone is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Suspense TV Shows
This series is an American–Canadian science fiction/suspense series starring Anthony Michael Hall as Johnny Smith, who discovers he has developed psychic abilities after a coma. The show, ...more
25
2 7
Fillmore! is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Suspense TV Shows
Orlando Brown, Tara Strong, Horatio Sanz
Fillmore! is an American animated television series created by Scott M. Gimple for ABC and, later, Toon Disney. Based on popular police dramas of the 1970s, Fillmore! is centered on reformed ...more