The Best TV Dramas of 2013  

Ranker TV
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7.4k votes 961 voters 29k views 51 items

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. When you're done voting, check out the newest dramas of 2019.

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Sherlock is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
PhoenixRainbowSky 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
American Horror Story is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
PhoenixRainbowSky added 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
Revenge is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
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
The Newsroom is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
Umberhaven added 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
Hannibal is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
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
Parenthood is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
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
Chicago Fire is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
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
Arrow is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
JaysonCrawford1 added Stephen Amell, Katie Cassidy, Colin Donnell
Arrow 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 stranded on a hostile ...more
Jericho is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
cmrising8 added 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
Haven is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
MercyCasanova added 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
Treme is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
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
Masters of Sex is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
Michael Sheen, Lizzy Caplan, Caitlin FitzGerald
This series is an American period drama television series that premiered on September 29, 2013, on Showtime. Set in the 1950s and 1960s, the series tells the story of Dr. William Masters and ...more
Doctor Who is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
PhoenixRainbowSky added 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
Nashville is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
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
Rectify is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
thatgiantdoodie added 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
The Bridge is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
liplip added Sofia Helin, Rafael Pettersson, Dag Malmberg
The Bridge (FX, 2013) is an American drama television series developed by Meredith Stiehm and Elwood Reid. Two police detectives try to capture someone who is operating in both the US and Mexico ...more
Shameless is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
JaimeCassidy added 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
Ray Donovan is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
Liev Schreiber, Paula Malcomson, Eddie Marsan
Ray Donovan is an American television drama series created by Ann Biderman for Showtime. The twelve-episode first season premiered on June 30, 2013. The pilot episode broke records of ...more
Hemlock Grove is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
Famke Janssen, Bill Skarsgård, Landon Liboiron
Hemlock Grove is an American Netflix original horror thriller television series. Executive produced by Eli Roth, developed by Brian McGreevy and Lee Shipman, and a production of Gaumont ...more
Bates Motel is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
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
Orphan Black is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
Tatiana Maslany, Dylan Bruce, Jordan Gavaris
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
Broadchurch is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
David Tennant, Olivia Colman, Jodie Whittaker
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
The Fosters is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
Teri Polo, Sherri Saum, Hayden Byerly
The Fosters is an American family drama television series that airs on the ABC Family network in the United States and ABC Spark in Canada. The series follows the lives of the titular Foster ...more
Banshee is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
Antony Starr, Ivana Milicevic, Ulrich Thomsen
Banshee is an American action-drama television series created by Jonathan Tropper and David Schickler originally appearing on the Cinemax network beginning on January 11, 2013. Set in the small ...more
Da Vinci's Demons is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
Tom Riley, Gregg Chillin, Eros Vlahos
Da Vinci's Demons is an historical fantasy drama series that presents a fictional account of Leonardo da Vinci's early life. The series was conceived by David S. Goyer and stars Tom Riley in the ...more