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The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made 

Ranker TV
Updated January 2, 2020 431 votes 83 voters 4.1k 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!

Data-driven recommendations based on voting from over 40 million monthly visits to Ranker. Try the free app
list ordered by
1
Breaking Bad is listed (or ranked) 1 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

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
2
Sherlock is listed (or ranked) 2 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

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
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

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
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
Stranger Things is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard

Premiered: 2016

Number of Seasons: 3

Network: Netflix

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
6
Hannibal is listed (or ranked) 6 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

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
7
Dexter is listed (or ranked) 7 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

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
8
True Detective is listed (or ranked) 8 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

True Detective (HBO, 2014) is an American anthology drama television series created by Nic Pizzolatto. Each season focuses on detectives investigating violent offences.
9
Jack Ryan is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
John Krasinski, Abbie Cornish, Mena Massoud
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
10
The Walking Dead is listed (or ranked) 10 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

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
11
Bates Motel is listed (or ranked) 11 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

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
12
Homeland is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Claire Danes, Mandy Patinkin, Rupert Friend

Premiered: 2011

Number of Seasons: 3

Network: Showtime

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
13
Suits is listed (or ranked) 13 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

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
14
The Blacklist is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
James Spader, Megan Boone, Diego Klattenhoff

Premiered: 2013

Network: NBC

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
15
Black Mirror is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Daniel Kaluuya, Toby Kebbell, Rory Kinnear

Premiered: 2011

Number of Seasons: 5

Number of Episodes: 22

Network: Channel 4

Black Mirror is a British television anthology series created by Charlie Brooker that features speculative fiction with dark and sometimes satirical themes that examine modern society, ...more
16
The X-Files is listed (or ranked) 16 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

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
17
Lost is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Naveen Andrews, Matthew Fox, Jorge Garcia

Premiered: 2004

Number of Seasons: 6

Number of Episodes: 121

Network: American Broadcasting Company

Lost is an American television drama series that originally aired on the American Broadcasting Company from September 22, 2004, to May 23, 2010, over six seasons, comprising a total of 121 ...more
18
House of Cards is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Kevin Spacey, Michel Gill, Robin Wright

Premiered: 2013

Number of Seasons: 1

Number of Episodes: 13

Network: Netflix

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
19
The Following is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Kevin Bacon, James Purefoy, Shawn Ashmore

Premiered: 2013

Number of Seasons: 1

Number of Episodes: 15

Network: Fox Broadcasting Company

The Following is an American television drama series created by Kevin Williamson and jointly produced by Outerbanks Entertainment and Warner Bros. Television. The first season follows former FBI ...more
20
Fargo is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Billy Bob Thornton, Allison Tolman, Colin Hanks

Premiered: 2014

Number of Seasons: 1

Network: AMC

Fargo (FX, 2014) is an American black comedy drama anthology television series created by Noah Hawley, and inspired by the 1996 film. Various chronicles of deception, intrigue and wrong doings ...more
21
Supernatural is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Katie Cassidy

Premiered: 2005

Number of Seasons: 8

Number of Episodes: 158

Network: The WB Television Network, The CW Television Network

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
22
Criminal Minds is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Shemar Moore, Matthew Gray Gubler, Thomas Gibson

Premiered: 2005

Number of Seasons: 8

Number of Episodes: 186

Network: A&E, CBS

Criminal Minds (CBS, 2005) is an American police-procedural television program. The series follows a team of profilers from the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit based in Quantico, Virginia. The ...more
23
The Killing is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Mireille Enos, Joel Kinnaman, Billy Campbell

Premiered: 2011

Number of Seasons: 3

Number of Episodes: 28

Network: AMC

This show is an American drama television series that premiered on April 3, 2011, on AMC, based on the Danish television series Forbrydelsen. The American version was developed by Veena Sud and ...more
24
Revenge is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Madeleine Stowe, Emily VanCamp, Gabriel Mann

Premiered: 2011

Number of Seasons: 2

Number of Episodes: 44

Network: American Broadcasting Company

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
25
The Originals is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Joseph Morgan, Daniel Gillies, Claire Holt

Premiered: 2013

Number of Seasons: 1

Number of Episodes: 13

Network: The CW Television Network

The Originals (The CW, 2013) is an American television series created by Julie Plec, and is a spinoff of The Vampire Diaries. Vampire-werewolf hybrid Klaus Mikaelson (Joseph Morgan) and his ...more