Entertainment

The Best TV Dramas of 2013 

Ranker TV
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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.

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

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2
Breaking Bad is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
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

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#1 of 259 The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time #1 of 217 The TV Shows with the Best Writingfeaturing The Most Plausible Fan Theories About Breaking Bad

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

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4
House of Cards is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
Kevin Spacey, Michel Gill, Robin Wright
House of Cards is a 2013 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 ...more

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#8 of 779 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #9 of 259 The Greatest TV Dramas of All Timefeaturing House of Cards Plot Points That Happened IRL

5
Supernatural is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
LauraWhellum added
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

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#17 of 779 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watchfeaturing The Greatest Sheriffs In TV Historylisted on Longest Running US Drama Shows

6
Vikings is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
cmrising8 added
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

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7
The Blacklist is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
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

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#7 of 127 The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows #82 of 217 The TV Shows with the Best Writingfeaturing Ranking the Best Seasons of 'The Blacklist'

8
True Detective is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
Elise Hennigan added
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.

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9
Downton Abbey is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
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

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#25 of 779 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #22 of 394 TV Shows That Only Smart People Appreciatefeaturing The Best Downton Abbey Actors

10
Sons of Anarchy is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
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

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11
Justified is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
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. Timothy Olyphant portrays Raylan Givens, a tough U.S. Marshal enforcing ...more

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#34 of 259 The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time #34 of 158 Shows with the Best Freakin' Series Finales of All Timefeaturing The Best Seasons of Justified

12
Homeland is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
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

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13
NCIS is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
ChangesDownClub added
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 investigations ...more

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#8 of 127 The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows #54 of 259 The Greatest TV Dramas of All Timefeaturing The Best Actors On NCIS

14
Suits is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
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

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15
Sleepy Hollow is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
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

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#303 of 579 TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time #137 of 259 The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time

16
Dexter is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
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

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17
Once Upon a Time is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
ManningFranks added
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

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18
The Good Wife is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
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

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#142 of 779 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #84 of 259 The Greatest TV Dramas of All Timefeaturing The Best Seasons of The Good Wife

19
Boardwalk Empire is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
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

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20
Mad Men is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
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

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#6 of 259 The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time #6 of 217 The TV Shows with the Best Writingfeaturing The Best Mad Men Characters of All Time

21
Person of Interest is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
Jim Caviezel, Taraji P. Henson, Kevin Chapman
Person of Interest is an American science fiction drama television series created by Jonathan Nolan that premiered on September 22, 2011, on CBS. The series revolves around John Reese, a former ...more

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22
Sherlock is listed (or ranked) 22 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

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23
Elementary is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
Jonny Lee Miller, Lucy Liu, Jon Michael Hill
Elementary (CBS, 2012) is an American procedural drama series created by Robert Doherty, based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's character Sherlock Holmes. Following his fall from grace in London and ...more

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24
Grimm is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
Umberhaven added
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

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25
Scandal is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
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

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