Entertainment

The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made 

Ranker TV
Updated January 2, 2020 431 votes 83 voters 4k views 59 items

List Rules Only thriller television series that have historically kept you caught up in the action and excitement.

The best thriller TV shows ever aired are some of the most exciting and... well, thrilling series to watch on television, but which are truly the most exciting thriller series of all time? Determining which thriller TV series is the most exciting isn't an easy task given the plethora of options available, but this list might make it just a bit easier. These days, with the use of digital streaming, more and more shows people have forgotten are being rewatched, checked out for the first time, or even remade into new classics for new generations to enjoy, but which of these thrilling shows is the best of them all?

Would something newer like I Am The Night land higher on the list than a classic crime thriller series like Columbo? For a series to be truly thrilling, it has to be the kind that excites the viewer through masterful storytelling, unbearable suspense, and horrific consequences for the people on the screen. The only way to find out which is the most exciting is to vote up your favorite thriller series below, but remember, this list is all about excitement! Which series is more exciting and thrilling than the one below it?

Don't forget to add your favorite thrilling thriller show to the list if it's missing and vote for your favorite below!

list ordered by
1
Sherlock is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Una Stubbs

Premiered: 2010

Number of Seasons: 3

Number of Episodes: 8

Network: British Broadcasting Corporation

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

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
2
Breaking Bad is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn

Premiered: 2008

Number of Seasons: 5

Number of Episodes: 54

Network: AMC

Genres (Tv): Black comedy, Crime Fiction, Crime, Suspense, Drama, + more

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
Prison Break is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Dominic Purcell, Wentworth Miller, Amaury Nolasco

Premiered: 2005

Number of Seasons: 4

Number of Episodes: 81

Network: Fox Broadcasting Company

Genres (Tv): Crime Fiction, Drama, Mystery, Thriller

Prison Break is an American television serial drama created by Paul Scheuring, that was broadcast on Fox for four seasons, from 2005 until 2009. The series revolves around two brothers; one has ...more
4
Dark is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Louis Hofmann, Oliver Masucci, Jördis Triebel

Genres (Tv): Sci-fi, Drama

Dark (Netflix, 2017) is a German science fiction thriller web series created by Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese. The disappearance of two young children in the German town of Winden brings light ...more
5
Person of Interest is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Jim Caviezel, Taraji P. Henson, Kevin Chapman

Premiered: 2011

Number of Seasons: 2

Number of Episodes: 31

Network: CBS

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

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
6
Stranger Things is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard

Premiered: 2016

Number of Seasons: 3

Network: Netflix

Genres (Tv): Sci-fi, Horror, Supernatural, Period drama

Stranger Things (Netflix, 2016) is an American science fiction-horror web television series created by The Duffer Brothers. When a young boy (Noah Schnapp) disappears, his mother (Winona Ryder), ...more
7
Hannibal is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, Caroline Dhavernas

Premiered: 2013

Number of Seasons: 1

Number of Episodes: 13

Network: NBC

Genres (Tv): Police procedural, Crime, Drama, Psychological thriller, Thriller

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
8
The Feed is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Guy Burnet, Nina Toussaint-White, David Thewlis

Premiered: 2019

Network: Amazon Video

Genres (Tv): Drama, Psychological Thriller

The Feed (Amazon Video, 2019) is a British psychological thriller drama television series based on the novel of the same name by Nick Clark Windo. In a near future London, people’s minds are ...more
9
Messiah is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Tomer Sisley, Michelle Monaghan, Mehdi Dehbi

Premiered: 2020

Network: Netflix

Genres (Tv): Drama, Thriller

Messiah (Netflix, 2020) is an American drama-thriller television series created by Michael Petroni. The world reacts to a man in the Middle East claiming to be the Messiah.
10
Hanna is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Esme Creed-Miles, Mireille Enos, Joel Kinnaman

Premiered: 2019

Network: Amazon Video

Genres (Tv): Drama, Action

Hanna (Amazon Video, 2019) is an American action drama television series, based on the 2011 film of the same name. The story follows the journey of an extraordinary young girl, Hanna (Esme ...more
11
Truth Be Told is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Octavia Spencer, Lizzy Caplan, Aaron Paul

Premiered: 2019

Network: Apple TV+

Genres (Tv): Thriller, Drama

Truth Be Told (Apple TV+, 2019) is an American drama television series based on Are You Sleeping: A Novel by Kathleen Barber and created by Nichelle Tramble Spellman. The show provides a unique ...more
12
Straight Forward is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Cecilie Stenspil, Arlo Green, Stephane Garneau-Monten

Premiered: 2019

Network: Acorn

Genres (Tv): Crime, Thriller

Straight Forward (Acorn, 2019) is a New Zealand-Danish crime thriller television series. After a family member is murdered, con woman (Silvia Cecilie Stenspil) decides to get even by robbing the ...more
13
The Dead Zone is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
This series is an American–Canadian science fiction/suspense series starring Anthony Michael Hall as Johnny Smith, who discovers he has developed psychic abilities after a coma. The show, ...more
14
Fringe is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, Jasika Nicole

Premiered: 2008

Number of Seasons: 5

Number of Episodes: 100

Network: Fox Broadcasting Company

Genres (Tv): Drama, Horror Film, Mystery, Thriller, Science Fiction

Fringe is an American science fiction television series created by J. J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci. It premiered on the Fox Broadcasting network on September 9, 2008, and concluded ...more
15
Dexter is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, David Zayas

Premiered: 2006

Number of Seasons: 7

Number of Episodes: 80

Network: Showtime

Genres (Tv): Black comedy, Crime Fiction, Action/Adventure, Police procedural, Suspense, + more

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
16
True Detective is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, Michelle Monaghan

Premiered: 2013

Number of Seasons: 1

Number of Episodes: 8

Network: HBO

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.
17
Homeland is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Claire Danes, Mandy Patinkin, Rupert Friend

Premiered: 2011

Number of Seasons: 3

Network: Showtime

Genres (Tv): Suspense, Drama, Psychological thriller, Mystery, Thriller

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
18
Jack Ryan is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
John Krasinski, Abbie Cornish, Mena Massoud

Genres (Tv): Action, Thriller, Drama

Jack Ryan (Amazon Video, 2018) is an American television series created by Carlton Cuse and Graham Roland, based on the character created by Tom Clancy. When CIA analyst Jack Ryan (John ...more
19
Bates Motel is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Vera Farmiga, Freddie Highmore, Max Thieriot

Premiered: 2013

Number of Seasons: 1

Number of Episodes: 7

Genres (Tv): Drama

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
20
The Walking Dead is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies

Premiered: 2010

Number of Seasons: 3

Number of Episodes: 35

Network: AMC

Genres (Tv): Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, Suspense, Drama, Horror Film, Thriller, + more

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
21
The Blacklist is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
James Spader, Megan Boone, Diego Klattenhoff

Premiered: 2013

Network: NBC

Genres (Tv): Crime Fiction, Drama

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
22
Suits is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Gabriel Macht, Patrick J. Adams, Meghan Markle

Premiered: 2011

Number of Seasons: 9

Number of Episodes: 134

Network: USA Network

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

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
23
The X-Files is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi

Premiered: 1993

Number of Seasons: 9

Number of Episodes: 202

Network: Fox Broadcasting Company

Genres (Tv): Cryptozoology, Supernatural, Crime Fiction, Drama, Live action, + more

The X-Files is an American science fiction horror drama television series created by Chris Carter. The program originally aired from September 10, 1993 to May 19, 2002 on Fox, spanning nine ...more
24
Alias is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Jennifer Garner, Ron Rifkin, Carl Lumbly

Premiered: 2001

Number of Seasons: 5

Number of Episodes: 105

Network: American Broadcasting Company

Genres (Tv): Espionage, Spy-fi, Action/Adventure, Spy film, Drama, + more

Alias is an American spy-action television series created by J. J. Abrams, which was broadcast on ABC for five seasons, from September 30, 2001, to May 22, 2006. It stars Jennifer Garner as ...more
25
Extant is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Extant Halle Berry, Pierce Gagnon, Grace Gummer

Premiered: 2014

Network: CBS

Genres (Tv): Drama, Mystery, Science Fiction

Extant is an American science fiction television drama series created by Mickey Fisher and executive produced by Steven Spielberg. The story revolves around astronaut Molly Woods who returns ...more