Entertainment

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.

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
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
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
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
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
6
Downton Abbey is listed (or ranked) 6 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
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
8
NCIS is listed (or ranked) 8 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
9
Elementary is listed (or ranked) 9 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
10
Justified is listed (or ranked) 10 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
11
Sons of Anarchy is listed (or ranked) 11 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
12
Boardwalk Empire is listed (or ranked) 12 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
13
Person of Interest is listed (or ranked) 13 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
14
Vikings is listed (or ranked) 14 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
15
Mad Men is listed (or ranked) 15 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
16
True Detective is listed (or ranked) 16 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.
17
The Good Wife is listed (or ranked) 17 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
18
Homeland is listed (or ranked) 18 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
19
Sleepy Hollow is listed (or ranked) 19 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
20
Dexter is listed (or ranked) 20 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
21
Once Upon a Time is listed (or ranked) 21 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
22
Grimm is listed (or ranked) 22 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
23
Suits is listed (or ranked) 23 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
24
Scandal is listed (or ranked) 24 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
25
Grey's Anatomy is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
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