thriller shows The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History  

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List Rules Shows near the top must be only the best Thriller TV series.

These are the best nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat thriller shows on television, ranked from best to worst. This list of the greatest thriller shows also includes information about the series stars. Popular thriller TV shows have been a staple of television for years, so there's often debate about what the most entertaining thriller show of all time is. Don't let your favorite thriller television programs in history get to the bottom of the list - be sure to vote them up so they have the chance to reach the top spot. The list of thriller television shows below includes information like the program's cast, creator, and premiere date when available.

The list you're viewing is made up of many different newer and older shows, like Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, and even Lost. These are the top rated thriller shows so if you're trying to remember some names of thriller shows this is a great place to start.

This list answers the questions, "What is the greatest thriller show of all time?" and "What are the best thriller shows?"
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1
1,090 442
Breaking Bad is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
Breaking Bad Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn Breaking Bad is an American crime 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 ...more

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2
793 395
Dexter is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
Dexter 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

3
575 252
Sherlock is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
Sherlock 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

4
860 461
Prison Break is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
Prison Break Dominic Purcell, Wentworth Miller, Amaury Nolasco 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

5
981 506
Hannibal is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
Hannibal Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, Caroline Dhavernas 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

6
585 367
Supernatural is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
Supernatural Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Jim Beave Supernatural is an American fantasy horror television series created by Eric Kripke. It was first broadcast on September 13, 2005, on The WB and subsequently became part of successor The CW's ...more

7
504 280
The Walking Dead is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
VivekRaghunathan added The Walking Dead Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies The Walking Dead is an American horror drama television series developed by Frank Darabont. It is based on the comic book series of the same name by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie ...more

8
356 225
The X-Files is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
The X-Files David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi 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

9
493 307
24 is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
24 Kiefer Sutherland, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Carlos Bernard 24 is an American television series produced for the Fox network created by Joel Surnow and Robert Cochran, and starring Kiefer Sutherland as Counter Terrorist Unit agent Jack Bauer. Each ...more

10
384 221
Person of Interest is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
Person of Interest Jim Caviezel, Taraji P. Henson, Kevin Chapman Person of Interest is an American science fiction crime drama television series created by Jonathan Nolan that premiered on September 22, 2011, on CBS. The series revolves around John Reese, a ...more

11
344 200
The Blacklist is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
MajaKadic added The Blacklist 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

12
312 219
Fringe is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
Fringe Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, Jasika Nicole 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

13
182 86
Homeland is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
MarioArley added Homeland 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

14
304 175
Criminal Minds is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
Criminal Minds Shemar Moore, Matthew Gray Gubler, Thomas Gibson Criminal Minds is an American police-procedural television program that premiered September 22, 2005, on CBS. The series follows a team of profilers from the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit based ...more

15
398 261
Lost is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
Lost Naveen Andrews, Matthew Fox, Jorge Garcia 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

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237 134
True Detective is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
goelv2003 added True Detective Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, Michelle Monaghan True Detective (HBO, 2014) is an American anthology crime drama television series created by Nic Pizzolatto. Each season focuses on detectives investigating violent crimes.

17
179 107
American Horror Story is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
aria2000 added American Horror Story Lady Gaga, Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett American Horror Story is an American horror television series created and produced by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk. Described as an anthology series, each season is conceived as a self-contained ...more

18
250 180
The Mentalist is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
The Mentalist Simon Baker, Robin Tunney, Tim Kang The Mentalist is an American police procedural television series that ran from September 23, 2008 until February 18, 2015, broadcasting 151 episodes over seven seasons, on CBS. The show was ...more

19
241 170
Sons of Anarchy is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
Sons of Anarchy Charlie Hunnam, Katey Sagal, Mark Boone Junior Sons of Anarchy is an American crime drama television series created by Kurt Sutter, about the lives of a close-knit outlaw motorcycle club operating in Charming, a fictional town in ...more

20
215 146
Bates Motel is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
MajaKadic added Bates Motel Vera Farmiga, Freddie Highmore, Max Thieriot 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

21
181 135
Orphan Black is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
MajaKadic added Orphan Black Tatiana Maslany, Dylan Bruce, Jordan Gavaris Orphan Black is a Canadian science fiction television series created by screenwriter Graeme Manson and director John Fawcett, starring Tatiana Maslany as several identical people who are, in ...more

22
148 105
Suits is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
Suits 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

23
135 95
The Killing is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
The Killing Mireille Enos, Joel Kinnaman, Billy Campbell The Killing is an American crime 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 ...more

24
141 108
Firefly is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
Firefly Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk Firefly is an American space western science fiction drama television series created by writer and director Joss Whedon, under his Mutant Enemy Productions label. Whedon served as an executive ...more

25
131 136
NCIS is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
NCIS 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 criminal ...more

26
158 142
Arrow is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
Arrow Stephen Amell, Katie Cassidy, David Ramsey After a violent shipwreck, billionaire playboy Oliver Queen was missing and presumed dead for five years before being discovered alive on a remote island in the Pacific. When he returns home to ...more

27
131 117
The Following is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
dalal.karima added The Following Kevin Bacon, James Purefoy, Shawn Ashmore 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

28
73 32
House of Cards is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
OmerA.Hafeez added House of Cards Kevin Spacey, Michel Gill, Robin Wright House of Cards is an 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 novel ...more

29
66 50
Banshee is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
Banshee Antony Starr, Ivana Milicevic, Ulrich Thomsen Banshee is an American action-drama television series created by Jonathan Tropper and David Schickler originally appearing on the Cinemax network beginning on January 11, 2013. Set in the small ...more

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167 176
True Blood is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
True Blood Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Sam Trammell True Blood is an American television drama series produced and created by Alan Ball. It is based on The Southern Vampire Mysteries series of novels by Charlaine Harris, detailing the ...more

31
79 68
White Collar is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
MarioArley added White Collar Matt Bomer, Tim DeKay, Willie Garson White Collar is a USA Network television series created by Jeff Eastin, starring Tim DeKay as FBI Special Agent Peter Burke and Matt Bomer as Neal Caffrey, a highly intelligent and ...more

32
108 105
Elementary is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
Elementary Jonny Lee Miller, Lucy Liu, Aidan Quinn Elementary is an American crime drama series that presents a contemporary update of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's character Sherlock Holmes. The series was created by Robert Doherty and stars Jonny ...more

33
133 141
Heroes is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
Heroes Hayden Panettiere, Jack Coleman, Milo Ventimiglia Heroes is an American science fiction television drama series created by Tim Kring that appeared on NBC for four seasons from September 25, 2006 through February 8, 2010. The series tells the ...more

34
72 103
Columbo is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
Columbo Peter Falk, Mike Lally, John Finnegan Columbo is an American television series starring Peter Falk as a homicide detective with the Los Angeles Police Department. The character and show, created by William Link and Richard Levinson, ...more

35
66 61
Lie to Me is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
MarioArley added Lie to Me Tim Roth, Kelli Williams, Brendan Hines Lie to Me is an American crime drama television series. It originally ran on the Fox network from January 21, 2009 to January 31, 2011. In the show, Dr. Cal Lightman and his colleagues in The ...more

36
53 47
Law & Order: Special Victims U... is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
MarioArley added Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Mariska Hargitay, Christopher Meloni, Ice-T Law & Order: Special Victims Unit is an American police procedural, legal, crime drama television series set in New York City, where it is also primarily produced. In the style of the ...more

37
70 76
The Shield is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
The Shield Michael Chiklis, Catherine Dent, Walton Goggins The Shield is an American drama television series starring Michael Chiklis that premiered on March 12, 2002, on FX, in the United States, and concluded on November 25, 2008, after seven seasons. ...more

38
74 87
Burn Notice is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
Burn Notice Jeffrey Donovan, Gabrielle Anwar, Bruce Campbell Burn Notice is an American television series created by Matt Nix which originally aired on the USA Network from June 28, 2007 to September 12, 2013. The show stars Jeffrey Donovan, Gabrielle ...more

39
82 103
Alias is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
Alias Jennifer Garner, Ron Rifkin, Carl Lumbly 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

40
33 46
Sleepy Hollow is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
MarioArley added Sleepy Hollow 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

41
38 19
The 100 is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
ceset added The 100 Eliza Taylor, Eli Goree, Thomas McDonell The 100 is an American post-apocalyptic drama television series that premiered on The CW during the 2013–14 American television season. The series is based on a book of the same name, the first ...more

42
138 150
Revenge is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
Revenge Madeleine Stowe, Emily VanCamp, Gabriel Mann 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

43
36 57
NCIS: Los Angeles is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
MarioArley added NCIS: Los Angeles Chris O'Donnell, Daniela Ruah, Barrett Foa NCIS: Los Angeles is an American television series combining elements of the military drama and police procedural genres, which premiered on the CBS network on September 22, 2009. NCIS: Los ...more

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36 24
Justified is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
OmerA.Hafeez added Justified 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 "Fire in the Hole". Timothy Olyphant portrays Raylan Givens, a ...more

45
16 3
Stranger Things is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
pnd5 added Stranger Things Winona Ryder, Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard On November 6, 1983, in the town of Hawkins,[12] Indiana, 12-year-old Will Byers vanishes mysteriously. Will's frantic mother, Joyce, searches for him while Police Chief Jim Hopper launches his ...more

46
79 93
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Laurence Fishburne, Marg Helgenberger, George Eads CSI: Crime Scene Investigation is an American crime drama television series that premiered on CBS on October 6, 2000. The show was created by Anthony E. Zuiker and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. ...more

47
87 139
Nip/Tuck is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
Nip/Tuck Dylan Walsh, Julian McMahon, Joely Richardson Nip/Tuck is an American television drama series created by Ryan Murphy; it aired on FX in the United States from July 18, 2003 to March 3, 2010. The series focuses on "McNamara/Troy", ...more

48
60 72
Battlestar Galactica is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
Battlestar Galactica Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell, Jamie Bamber Battlestar Galactica is an American military science fiction television series, and part of the Battlestar Galactica franchise. The show was developed by Ronald D. Moore and executive produced ...more

49
18 17
Grimm is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
Grimm 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

50
25 47
NCIS: New Orleans is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
MarioArley added NCIS: New Orleans Scott Bakula, Lucas Black, Zoe McLellan NCIS: New Orleans is an American television series combining elements of the military drama and police procedural genres that airs on Tuesday nights at 9 p.m. ET on CBS. It premiered on ...more