Thrillers The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History  

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28.9k votes 5.3k voters 236.9k views 98 items

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?"
list ordered by

1
1,339 588
Breaking Bad is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
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

2
993 513
Dexter is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
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
782 350
Sherlock is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
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
1,061 574
Prison Break is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
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
1,094 599
Hannibal is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
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
597 388
24 is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
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

7
691 464
Supernatural is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
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

8
623 383
The Walking Dead is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
VivekRaghunathan added 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

9
433 313
The X-Files is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
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

10
471 300
Person of Interest is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
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

11
435 284
The Blacklist is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
MajaKadic added 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
258 151
Homeland is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
MarioArley added 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

13
365 275
Fringe is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
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

14
491 329
Lost is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
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

15
375 236
Criminal Minds is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
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

16
310 191
True Detective is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
goelv2003 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
310 234
The Mentalist is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
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

18
232 162
American Horror Story is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
aria2000 added Connie Britton, Dylan McDermott, Evan Peters 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

19
306 219
Sons of Anarchy is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
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

20
228 174
Orphan Black is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
MajaKadic added 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

21
88 12
Gypsy is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
lloydc added Naomi Watts, Billy Crudup, Sophie Cookson Gypsy is a television drama series created by Lisa Rubin for Netflix. Naomi Watts plays a therapist who begins to develop dangerous and intimate relationships with the people in her patients’

22
258 187
Bates Motel is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
MajaKadic added 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

23
184 125
The Killing is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
Mireille Enos, Joel Kinnaman, Billy Campbell 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
105 29
Stranger Things is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
pnd5 added Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard 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

25
204 151
Suits is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
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

26
170 135
Firefly is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
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

27
155 166
NCIS is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
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

28
169 144
The Following is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
dalal.karima added 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

29
115 62
House of Cards is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
OmerA.Hafeez added 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

30
113 89
White Collar is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
MarioArley added 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

31
189 181
Arrow is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
Stephen Amell, Katie Cassidy, Colin Donnell Arrow is an American superhero television series developed by Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, and Andrew Kreisberg, based on the DC Comics character. Five years after being stranded on a hostile ...more

32
94 73
Banshee is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
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

33
139 126
Elementary is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
Jonny Lee Miller, Lucy Liu, Aidan Quinn Elementary is an American 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 Lee ...more

34
83 43
The 100 is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
ceset added Eliza Taylor, Paige Turco, Thomas McDonell The 100 (The CW, 2014) is an American post-apocalyptic science fiction drama television series developed by Jason Rothenberg, loosely based on the book by Kass Morgan. 97 years after a nuclear ...more

35
95 85
Lie to Me is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
MarioArley added Tim Roth, Kelli Williams, Brendan Hines Lie to Me is an American 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 Lightman ...more

36
84 73
Law & Order: Special Victims U... is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
MarioArley added 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
157 165
Heroes is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
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

38
190 208
True Blood is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
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

39
91 125
Columbo is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
Peter Falk, Mike Lally, John Finnegan Columbo is an American television series starring Peter Falk as a detective with the Los Angeles Police Department. The character and show, created by William Link and Richard Levinson, ...more

40
89 96
The Shield is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
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

41
61 39
Justified is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
OmerA.Hafeez added 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

42
167 165
Revenge is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
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
90 104
Burn Notice is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
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

44
30 11
Dark is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
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

45
92 120
Alias is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
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

46
51 76
NCIS: Los Angeles is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
MarioArley added 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

47
41 62
Sleepy Hollow is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
MarioArley added 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

48
25 13
Twin Peaks is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
Kyle MacLachlan, Russ Tamblyn, Sherilyn Fenn Twin Peaks (Showtime, 2017) is a miniseries that follows FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) in a continuation of the original 1990 series, created by David Lynch.

49
93 109
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
Laurence Fishburne, Marg Helgenberger, George Eads This show is an American drama television series that premiered on CBS on October 6, 2000. The show was created by Anthony E. Zuiker and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. It is filmed primarily at ...more

50
73 84
Battlestar Galactica is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Thriller Shows in TV History
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