drama The Best TV Dramas of 2013  

Ranker TV
Originally by
7.3k votes 953 voters 28.6k views 42 items Embed

List Rules Only serial dramas - no procedurals

Drama television shows often get a lot of attention from viewers and critics because they have a bit of everything. There is suspense,romance, bits of comedy, and tons of other elements that keep viewers coming back for more, counting the days until a new episode airs. Dramas are also usually the shows that get the most attention during award season because they attract the best actors and top writers in the television industry. These shows stand the test of time because they tell human stories that are relatable to people all over the world.

This list features the best dramatic shows that aired during 2013. Shows like Breaking Bad and Dexter had their final seasons, which garnered a lot of critical and media attention. Amazing, underrated shows like The Good Wife and Justified had their best seasons yet during 2013, while other dramas like Game of Thrones and Downton Abbey continued to grab headlines. New shows like Elementary, The Blacklist, and Nashville grabbed the attention of millions of viewers to become the biggest hits of 2013.

What are the best drama shows of 2013? This list features shows from cable, network TV, and online streaming that had their top critical seasons in 2013.

list ordered by

1
382 156
Game of Thrones is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
Game of Thrones 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

2
298 124
Breaking Bad is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
Breaking Bad Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn Breaking Bad is an American crime 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 ...more

3
243 146
The Walking Dead is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
The Walking Dead 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

4
141 105
Supernatural is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
LauraWhellum added Supernatural Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Katie Cassidy Supernatural (The CW, 2005) is an American fantasy horror television series created by Eric Kripke. Two brothers, Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles), follow their father's ...more

5
145 111
House of Cards is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
House of Cards Kevin Spacey, Michel Gill, Robin Wright House of Cards is an American political drama television series developed and produced by Beau Willimon. It is an adaptation of the BBC's mini-series of the same name and is based on the novel ...more

6
125 121
Downton Abbey is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
Downton Abbey 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

7
127 112
The Blacklist is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
The Blacklist James Spader, Megan Boone, Diego Klattenhoff 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

8
106 122
NCIS is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
ChangesDownClub added NCIS Mark Harmon, Michael Weatherly, Pauley Perrette NCIS is an American police procedural drama television series, revolving around a fictional team of special agents from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which conducts criminal ...more

9
96 137
Elementary is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
Elementary Jonny Lee Miller, Lucy Liu, Aidan Quinn Elementary is an American crime drama series that presents a contemporary update of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's character Sherlock Holmes. The series was created by Robert Doherty and stars Jonny ...more

10
96 100
Justified is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
Justified Timothy Olyphant, Nick Searcy, Joelle Carter Justified is an American television drama series developed by Graham Yost. It is based on Elmore Leonard's short story "Fire in the Hole". Timothy Olyphant portrays Raylan Givens, a ...more

11
110 94
Sons of Anarchy is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
Sons of Anarchy Charlie Hunnam, Katey Sagal, Mark Boone Junior Sons of Anarchy is an American crime drama television series created by Kurt Sutter, about the lives of a close-knit outlaw motorcycle club operating in Charming, a fictional town in ...more

12
96 108
Person of Interest is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
Person of Interest Jim Caviezel, Taraji P. Henson, Kevin Chapman Person of Interest is an American science fiction crime drama television series created by Jonathan Nolan that premiered on September 22, 2011, on CBS. The series revolves around John Reese, a ...more

The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time

13
74 37
Vikings is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
cmrising8 added Vikings Travis Fimmel, Katheryn Winnick, Clive Standen Vikings (History, 2013) is a historical drama television series created by Michael Hirst. A farmer (Travis Fimmel) rises to fame by successful raids into England, and eventually becomes a ...more

14
88 102
Boardwalk Empire is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
Boardwalk Empire Steve Buscemi, Stephen Graham, Vincent Piazza Boardwalk Empire is an American period crime 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

15
112 124
Homeland is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
Homeland 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

16
97 106
The Good Wife is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
The Good Wife 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

17
76 58
True Detective is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
Elise Hennigan added True Detective Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, Michelle Monaghan True Detective (HBO, 2014) is an American anthology crime drama television series created by Nic Pizzolatto. Each season focuses on detectives investigating violent crimes.

The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch

18
96 117
Sleepy Hollow is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
Sleepy Hollow Tom Mison, Nicole Beharie, Lyndie Greenwood Sleepy Hollow is an American supernatural drama television series that premiered on Fox on September 16, 2013, that aired on Mondays at 9:00 pm ET. The series is considered a "modern-day ...more

19
82 102
Mad Men is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
Mad Men 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

20
95 82
Once Upon a Time is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
ManningFranks added Once Upon a Time Ginnifer Goodwin, Jennifer Morrison, Lana Parrilla 3 Once Upon a Time is an American fairy tale drama series that premiered on October 23, 2011, on ABC. The show takes place in the fictional seaside town of Storybrooke, Maine, whose residents are ...more

21
110 117
Dexter is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
Dexter 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

22
75 114
Grimm is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
Umberhaven added Grimm David Giuntoli, Silas Weir Mitchell, Sasha Roiz Grimm is an American police procedural fantasy television drama series. It debuted in the U.S. on NBC on October 28, 2011. The show has been described as "a cop drama—with a twist... a dark ...more

The Best Current Procedural Dramas

23
98 95
Suits is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
Suits Gabriel Macht, Patrick J. Adams, Meghan Markle Suits is a USA Network legal drama created by Aaron Korsh that stars Patrick J. Adams as Michael "Mike" Ross and Gabriel Macht as Harvey Specter. The first episode debuted on June 23, ...more

24
91 111
Scandal is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
Scandal 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

25
38 26
Sherlock is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
PhoenixRainbowSky added Sherlock 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

26
88 111
Grey's Anatomy is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
Grey's Anatomy Ellen Pompeo, Justin Chambers, Chandra Wilson Grey's Anatomy is an American medical soap opera television series that premiered on American Broadcasting Company as a mid-season replacement on March 27, 2005. The series has aired eleven ...more

27
29 23
American Horror Story is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
PhoenixRainbowSky added American Horror Story 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

Non-Reality TV Shows That Should Be Canceled

28
77 93
Revenge is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
Revenge Madeleine Stowe, Emily VanCamp, Gabriel Mann Revenge is an American primetime television series that airs on ABC, starring Madeleine Stowe and Emily VanCamp, which debuted on September 21, 2011. During its first season it aired on ...more

29
51 88
The Newsroom is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
Umberhaven added The Newsroom Jeff Daniels, Emily Mortimer, John Gallagher Jr. The Newsroom is an American television political drama series created and principally written by Aaron Sorkin that premiered on HBO on June 24, 2012, and concluded on December 14, 2014, ...more

30
60 72
Hannibal is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
Hannibal Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, Caroline Dhavernas 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

31
50 97
Parenthood is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
Parenthood 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

32
56 104
Chicago Fire is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
Chicago Fire Jesse Spencer, Taylor Kinney, Monica Raymund Chicago Fire is an American television drama series that airs on NBC and was created by Michael Brandt and Derek Haas with Dick Wolf serving as an executive producer. The series originally ...more

The Best Teen Drama TV Shows

33
3 7
Jericho is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
cmrising8 added Jericho Hans Matheson, Clarke Peters, Jessica Raine Jericho is an American post-apocalyptic action-drama series that centers on the residents of the fictionalized post-apocalyptic town of Jericho, Kansas, in the aftermath of a limited nuclear ...more

34
1 5
Treme is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
Treme Khandi Alexander, Rob Brown, Kim Dickens Treme is an American television drama series created by David Simon and Eric Overmyer that aired on HBO. The series premiered on April 11, 2010, and concluded on December 29, 2013, comprising ...more

35
8 8
Arrow is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
JaysonCrawford1 added Arrow Stephen Amell, Katie Cassidy, Colin Donnell Arrow (The CW, 2012) is an American superhero television series developed by Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, and Andrew Kreisberg, based on the DC Comics character. Five years after being ...more

36
34 82
Haven is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
MercyCasanova added Haven Emily Rose, Lucas Bryant, Eric Balfour Small New England town full of troubles, and only a few people to try and deal with them while keeping it quiet from visitors.
  Haven is an American/Canadian supernatural drama television series loosely based on the Stephen King novel The Colorado Kid. The show, which deals with strange events in a fictional town in ...more

37
39 93
Masters of Sex is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
Masters of Sex Michael Sheen, Lizzy Caplan, Caitlin FitzGerald Masters of Sex is an American period drama television series that premiered on September 29, 2013, on Showtime. It was developed by Michelle Ashford and loosely based on Thomas Maier's biography ...more

38
47 109
Nashville is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
Nashville Connie Britton, Clare Bowen, Hayden Panettiere Nashville is an American musical drama television series. It was created by Academy Award winner Callie Khouri and produced by R.J. Cutler, Khouri, Dee Johnson, Steve Buchanan, and Connie ...more

39
14 23
Doctor Who is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
PhoenixRainbowSky added Doctor Who Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Matt Smith Doctor Who (BBC, 2005) is a British science-fiction television show created by Sydney Newman, C. E. Webber, and Donald Wilson. The further adventures in time and space of the alien adventurer ...more

40
1 5
Rectify is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
thatgiantdoodie added Rectify Aden Young, Abigail Spencer, J. Smith-Cameron Rectify is an American television drama series created by Ray McKinnon, and is the first original series from SundanceTV. It stars Aden Young, Abigail Spencer, J. Smith-Cameron, Adelaide ...more

41
5 13
The Bridge is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
liplip added The Bridge Sofia Helin, Rafael Pettersson, Dag Malmberg The Brigde is a 2013 TV program created by Elwood Reid and Meredith Stiehm.

42
5 17
Shameless is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
JaimeCassidy added Shameless US Emmy Rossum, William H. Macy, Ethan Cutkosky An alcoholic man lives in a perpetual stupor while his six children with whom he lives cope as best they can. In the Season 3 premiere, Fiona adapts to living with Jimmy; Frank awakens in a strange place; and Lip gets sentenced to community service. Meanwhile, Jody and Sheila are losing sleep over Baby Hymie’s nocturnal restlessness. Shameless is an American television comedy-drama which airs on Showtime. This remake of the award-winning British series is set in Chicago's Canaryville neighborhood on the South Side, although ...more