Watchworthy

The Best TV Dramas of 2013 

Ranker TV
Originally by
Updated November 5, 2019 7.4k votes 967 voters 29.4k views 49 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.

Data-driven recommendations based on voting from over 40 million monthly visits to Ranker. Try the free app
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

Genres (Tv): Medieval fantasy, Drama, Adventure film, Epic, Action, + more

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

More Game of Thrones 

The Most Epic Insults From Game of Thrones #1 of 643 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #14 of 395 The Best TV Shows to Rewatch

2
Breaking Bad is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn

Genres (Tv): Crime drama, Thriller, Neo-western, Tragedy

Breaking Bad (AMC, 2008) is an American neo-Western crime drama television series created by Vince Gilligan. After being diagnosed with cancer, a depressed high school chemistry teacher (Bryan ...more

More Breaking Bad 

The Best Breaking Bad Characters of All Time #2 of 643 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #19 of 395 The Best TV Shows to Rewatch

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

Genres (Tv): Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, Suspense, Drama

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

More The Walking Dead 

'Walking Dead' TV Characters Who Are Most Different From Their Comic Book Counterparts #23 of 643 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #1 of 91 The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows

4
House of Cards is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright, Michael Kelly

Genres (Tv): Political drama, Political thriller

House of Cards (Netflix, 2013) is an American political drama television series developed by Beau Willimon, and an adaptation of the BBC mini-series based on the novel by Michael Dobbs. ...more

More House of Cards 

32 Facts You Didn't Know About House of Cards #65 of 643 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #271 of 395 The Best TV Shows to Rewatch

5
Supernatural is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
LauraWhellum added Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Katie Cassidy

Genres (Tv): Supernatural drama, Black comedy, Drama, Horror Film, Mystery, + more

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

More Supernatural 

29 'Supernatural' Memes That Remind Us Why It Remains One Of Our Favorite TV Shows Ever #7 of 643 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watchlisted 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

Genres (Tv): Historical drama, Action-adventure

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

More Vikings 

11 Historically Inaccurate Details From History Channel's 'Vikings' #3 of 91 The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows #168 of 395 The Best TV Shows to Rewatch

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

Genres (Tv): Crime drama, Action, Thriller, Mystery

The Blacklist (NBC, 2013) is an American crime thriller television series created by Jon Bokenkamp. In exchange for immunity from prosecution, a high-profile criminal (James Spader) volunteers ...more

More The Blacklist 

Ranking the Best Seasons of 'The Blacklist' #25 of 643 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #4 of 91 The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows

8
True Detective is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
Elise Hennigan added Mahershala Ali, Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson

Genres (Tv): Crime Fiction, Drama

True Detective (HBO, 2014) is an American anthology drama television series created by Nic Pizzolatto. Each season focuses on detectives investigating violent offences.

More True Detective 

The Best Seasons of True Detective #30 of 643 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #14 of 91 The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows

9
Downton Abbey is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
Hugh Bonneville, Phyllis Logan, Elizabeth McGovern

Genres (Tv): Period drama

Downton Abbey (PBS, 2010) is a British historical drama television series created by Julian Fellowes. A chronicle of the lives of the British aristocratic Crawley family and their servants in ...more

More Downton Abbey 

The Best Downton Abbey Actors #43 of 643 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #144 of 200 The TV Shows with the Best Writing

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

Genres (Tv): Crime drama, Neo-western

Sons of Anarchy (FX, 2008) is an American crime neo-Western television series created by Kurt Sutter. As vice president of an outlaw motorcycle club involved with all sorts of illegal activity, ...more

More Sons of Anarchy 

'Sons Of Anarchy' Fan Theories #8 of 643 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #90 of 395 The Best TV Shows to Rewatch

11
Justified is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
Timothy Olyphant, Nick Searcy, Joelle Carter

Genres (Tv): Crime drama, Neo-Western

Justified (FX, 2010) is an American crime drama television series developed by Graham Yost, based on the short story "Fire in the Hole" by Elmore Leonard. US Marshal Raylan Givens ...more

More Justified 

The Best Seasons of 'Justified' #68 of 643 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #56 of 62 The Best Crime Fighting Duo TV Series

12
Homeland is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
Claire Danes, Mandy Patinkin, Rupert Friend

Genres (Tv): Suspense, Drama, Thriller

Homeland (Showtime, 2011) is an American political drama thriller series developed by Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa based on the Israeli series Hatufim, which was created by Gideon Raff. A CIA ...more

More Homeland 

The Best Characters On 'Homeland' #40 of 643 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #159 of 200 The TV Shows with the Best Writing

13
NCIS is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
ChangesDownClub added Mark Harmon, Michael Weatherly, Pauley Perrette

Genres (Tv): Crime Fiction, Action/Adventure, Police procedural, Drama, Thriller, + more

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

More NCIS 

The Greatest Guest Stars on NCIS, Ranked #98 of 643 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #6 of 91 The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows

14
Sleepy Hollow is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
Tom Mison, Nicole Beharie, Lyndie Greenwood

Genres (Tv): Drama, Horror, Action, Procedural

Sleepy Hollow (Fox, 2013) is an American supernatural drama television series created by Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Phillip Iscove, and Len Wiseman, and loosely based on the short story by ...more

More Sleepy Hollow 

#230 of 643 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #265 of 334 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years #429 of 507 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time

15
Dexter is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, David Zayas

Genres (Tv): Crime drama, Psychological thriller, Mystery, Dark comedy, Police procedural

Dexter (Showtime, 2006) is an American crime drama mystery series developed by James Manos Jr., based on the 2004 novel Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay. When he's not doing forensic work ...more

More Dexter 

Dexter Morgan’s Infamous ‘Work’ Rooms, Ranked By Practicality #12 of 643 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #25 of 395 The Best TV Shows to Rewatch

16
Once Upon a Time is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
ManningFranks added Ginnifer Goodwin, Jennifer Morrison, Lana Parrilla

Genres (Tv): Drama, Mystery, Fairy tale, Comedy-drama, Fantasy

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

More Once Upon a Time 

The Best Once Upon a Time Characters #55 of 643 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #114 of 395 The Best TV Shows to Rewatch

17
The Good Wife is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
Julianna Margulies, Chris Noth, Josh Charles

Genres (Tv): Drama, Legal drama

The Good Wife (CBS, 2009) is an American television legal and political drama created by Robert King and Michelle King. Alicia has been a good wife to her husband, a former state's attorney. ...more

More The Good Wife 

The Best Seasons of The Good Wife #142 of 643 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #216 of 395 The Best TV Shows to Rewatch

18
Mad Men is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, Vincent Kartheiser

Genres (Tv): Period drama, Serial drama

Mad Men (AMC, 2007) is an American period drama television series created by Matthew Weiner. Womanizing advertising executive Don Draper (Jon Hamm) balances work and pleasure, while harboring ...more

More Mad Men 

The 29 Best Mad Men GIFs on the Internet #62 of 643 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #205 of 395 The Best TV Shows to Rewatch

19
Boardwalk Empire is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
Steve Buscemi, Stephen Graham, Vincent Piazza

Genres (Tv): Period drama, Crime drama

Boardwalk Empire (HBO, 2010) is an American period crime drama television series created by Terence Winter, based on the non-fiction book by Nelson Johnson. During the 1920s Prohibition era, a ...more

More Boardwalk Empire 

The Best Seasons of 'Boardwalk Empire' #84 of 643 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #143 of 200 The TV Shows with the Best Writing

20
Suits is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
Gabriel Macht, Patrick J. Adams, Meghan Markle

Genres (Tv): Drama, Comedy-drama, Legal drama

Suits (USA, 2011) is an American legal drama created by Aaron Korsh. On the run from a drug deal gone bad, brilliant college dropout Mike Ross, finds himself working with Harvey Specter, one of ...more

More Suits 

All the Top Suits Characters, Ranked by Fans #34 of 643 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #197 of 395 The Best TV Shows to Rewatch

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

Genres (Tv): Crime drama, Action, Sci-fi

Person of Interest (CBS, 2011) is an American science fiction drama television series created by Jonathan Nolan. An ex-CIA agent (Jim Caviezel) and a wealthy programmer (Michael Emerson) save ...more

More Person of Interest 

The Best Seasons of Person of Interest #149 of 643 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #50 of 302 The Best Sci-Fi Television Series Of All Time

22
Sherlock is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
PhoenixRainbowSky added Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Una Stubbs

Genres (Tv): Crime drama, Mystery

Sherlock (BBC One, 2010) is a British crime television series created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, based on stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The brilliant yet insensitive detective ...more

More Sherlock 

Ranking the Best Seasons of 'Sherlock' #4 of 643 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #16 of 395 The Best TV Shows to Rewatch

23
Grimm is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
Umberhaven added David Giuntoli, Silas Weir Mitchell, Sasha Roiz

Genres (Tv): Drama, Horror Film, Mystery, Fantasy

Grimm (NBC, 2011) is an American fantasy police procedural drama television series created by Stephen Carpenter, Jim Kouf, and David Greenwalt, inspired by stories from The Brothers Grimm. ...more

More Grimm 

Shocking, R-Rated Details Found In The Original Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales #106 of 643 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #24 of 62 The Best Crime Fighting Duo TV Series

24
Elementary is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
Jonny Lee Miller, Lucy Liu, Jon Michael Hill

Genres (Tv): Crime Fiction, Drama, Mystery

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

More Elementary 

The Best Characters On 'Elementary' #137 of 643 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #7 of 62 The Best Crime Fighting Duo TV Series

25
American Horror Story is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best TV Dramas of 2013
PhoenixRainbowSky added Connie Britton, Dylan McDermott, Evan Peters

Genres (Tv): Anthology, Horror, Supernatural

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

More American Horror Story 

All Of Evan Peters's Roles In 'American Horror Story,' Ranked By Fans #16 of 643 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #8 of 91 The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows