42 Best Vampire TV Series

by Margaret_Nieter | created - 08 Dec 2010 | updated - 3 months ago | Public

We are entering a golden age of television where better production and acting are making for some really interesting serial dramas and supernatural shows have a niche now. Soon there should be even more great vampire shows on the horizon. That being said, here are the best of the genre so far. I have to acknowledge that I am not really a fan of episodic television, preferring serial dramas that have continuing plot lines and story arcs, so some shows rate more highly than others because of this.

Also note, some shows have vampires in them, although vampires may not be central to the overall story of the show (Supernatural is a good example of this). However, they have enough episodes including the vampire trope (or a main character that is a vampire) to have been included on the list, although ranked lower for this than on the quality of the show alone.

Also, please note that this list is not exhaustive. There are a few shows that I know of that could have been included - Vampire Detective and Scholar Who Walks the Night for example - but as they were unavailable for review at the time of this posting, they have not yet been included.

I assure you that not a single show has made it onto this list without me watching it and reviewing it personally, and while I know this is not a completely exhaustive list, it IS a pretty thorough one.*

*Because the original Dark Shadows was over a 1200 episode long serial soap opera, I admit I have not seen it in its entirety, but have in this case included it based on the few episodes that I have seen. This is perhaps unfair to its ordering on this list, so keep that in mind and take its placement here as conditional because of this.

Shows reviewed that did not make the cut: Dracula (2013) The Scholar Who Walks the Night Preacher Shadowhunters Blood V Wars My Babysitter's a Vampire Young Dracula Count Duckula Dracula: The Series Demons Vampire High Valemont Carmilla Trinity Blood Dance in the Vampire Bund Black Blood Brothers Devils Line Orange Marmalade Salem's Lot (while both versions are worthy, they were too short to be considered a series).

Updated: 3/15/20

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1. Penny Dreadful (2014–2016)

TV-MA | 60 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

Explorer Sir Malcolm Murray, American gunslinger Ethan Chandler, scientist Victor Frankenstein and medium Vanessa Ives unite to combat supernatural threats in Victorian London.

Stars: Josh Hartnett, Timothy Dalton, Eva Green, Reeve Carney

Votes: 121,071

Easily one of the darkest shows on the list, Penny Dreadful gets top marks for atmosphere, effects, acting, and writing. It goes to some very dark places, and these places have absolutely no humor or levity to lighten things. This is another mashup series. It gets its name from the 19th century series of pulp fiction stories, often horror in content, that were once sold for a penny and very popular. It is set in Victorian era London and pieces together elements from several classic monster stories, as well as taking a few new directions of its own. My one and only complaint is that I wish the writers would have made the characters slightly more obscure. Too many of them are easily recognizable in their own stories, and that era is ripe with terrific material to draw from. It is fun that despite our familiarity with their stories, however, they are interconnecting in some very unexpected ways. The first three seasons come together to create one of the most outstanding narratives on this list with a full sense of development of the characters and always treating the material with gravity and respect. The third season ended too abruptly. We never got the full treatment we were hoping for and it felt rushed, likely this was because the show was cancelled too soon, but overall, no other shows come close to the quality treatment of the genre as this one does.

2. What We Do in the Shadows (2019– )

TV-MA | 30 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Horror

A look into the daily (or rather, nightly) lives of four vampires, who've lived together for over 100 years, on Staten Island.

Stars: Kayvan Novak, Matt Berry, Natasia Demetriou, Harvey Guillén

Votes: 70,638

Based on the premise of the equally funny 2014 film by the same name, the series is a mockumentary comedy in the style of the Office about a house full of vampires that are roommates together in New York. This show had me laughing harder than I have in a very long time. The characters have quickly endeared themselves because of how absurdly funny their actions are. This first season ended on an interesting high note, and I am hopeful this very funny show will be around a while longer.

3. The Originals (2013–2018)

TV-14 | 45 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

A family of power-hungry thousand-year-old vampires look to take back the city that they built and dominate all those who have done them wrong.

Stars: Joseph Morgan, Daniel Gillies, Claire Holt, Phoebe Tonkin

Votes: 133,849

I love an anti-hero (a villain) that you still want to root for, and this has one of the best of them in the character of Klaus. A spin-off series of The Vampire Diaries focusing on the original vampire family and a rivalry in New Orleans, it has an intriguing back story for the characters, not to mention two rivals in a power struggle for dominance of a city. The original family were a terrific element in the Vampire Diaries and now they are really given a chance to shine here. The writers have really created a very dynamic cityscape of characters and stories, and have shown so much of it through the almost Shakespearean unfolding drama of the Original family and their constant power struggles, bickering, and damaged souls. There is a real wealth of material for the characters to work with here and the show just continues to grow in quality. Now sadly ended, it was without a doubt one of the greatest additions to the genre.

4. A Discovery of Witches (2018–2022)

TV-MA | 60 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance

Diana Bishop, historian and witch, accesses Ashmole 782 and knows she must solve its mysteries. She is offered help by the enigmatic Matthew Clairmont, but he's a vampire and witches should never trust vampires.

Stars: Matthew Goode, Teresa Palmer, Alex Kingston, Gregg Chilingirian

Votes: 51,962

Arguably the easiest binge-worthy show on this list. I devoured this show in one day. It has a fascinating and compelling story that is reminiscent in its intricacies of plot and character arcs of Kindred: The Embraced. Full of beautiful grandiose landscapes, gorgeous characters draped in fantastic attire, it is in every way just extremely lush to watch and enjoy. The story line and characters are all treated with respect here and the plot unfolds at a natural and reserved pace. There is not much fault that we can find in this adaptation, actually. Definitely one worth watching if you are a fan of vampire romance.

5. Being Human (2008–2013)

TV-14 | 60 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

A werewolf, a vampire and a ghost try to live together and get along.

Stars: Lenora Crichlow, Russell Tovey, Aidan Turner, Sinéad Keenan

Votes: 25,300

There is something really offbeat and interesting about this show, maybe it is the unexpected performances by all of its cast, but it is really great, even when it is at times quirky. I sat and watched the entire first series in one night because I just couldn't get enough. The second series (although it is considerably darker) is even better, and the third series really took the characters into an interesting direction. Next to True Blood, this is the show that delivers every time on what it is to be human, even when viewed by characters that are not. The Series went a bit off the rails after Season 3. Can't say I approve of Season 4 or 5, and it has now been cancelled. My suggestion? Watch through season 3 and then quit.

6. True Blood (2008–2014)

TV-MA | 55 min | Drama, Fantasy, Mystery

Telepathic waitress Sookie Stackhouse encounters a strange new supernatural world when she meets the mysterious Bill Compton, a southern Louisiana gentleman and vampire.

Stars: Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Sam Trammell, Ryan Kwanten

Votes: 243,459

For it's production value, acting, and writing alone this is one of the best vampire shows. Add to that several seasons of engrossing plots and even its more outrageous campy moments are still some of the best vampire entertainment around. Eric Northman is a pure delight to watch. Actually, the entire cast is fantastic. Things were beginning to get a little muddled in the third season and became outright crazy in the fourth, but the first two seasons are so good that I raced through them in just a couple days. The quality of later seasons cannot compete with the early seasons, the quality has gone downhill as the show continues, and yet it ended on a strong note (for the most part). This is one of the best of the genre, which is why it has so many rabid fans. However, be forewarned it has a lot of sex, violence, and nudity.

7. Dark Shadows (1991)

TV-PG | 45 min | Drama, Horror, Romance

Victoria Winters comes to Collinwood, an isolated mansion in Maine, to work as a governess, but soon finds herself drawn into a strange world of vampires, ghosts and curses.

Stars: Ben Cross, Barbara Blackburn, Jim Fyfe, Joanna Going

Votes: 2,000

With Ben Cross in the lead, this revision of the classic show could have been a spectacular re-ignition of the series if it had not been doomed by interruptions during the Gulf War. This one has Gothic atmosphere and a pretty smart script to keep it going. In fact, it is that classic Gothic story that has propelled it to the top of this list. It starts off a little slow, but about halfway through the first season it starts to become really compelling, and by the end I was totally engrossed in the story. The acting and writing is all really good and the story is just fantastic. One of the many shows that was tragically short-lived. Worth watching if for no other reason than to see the great horror film queen Barbara Steele and a very young (but talented even then!) Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

8. Death Valley (2011)

TV-14 | 22 min | Comedy, Horror

A mockumentary following a police force as they deal with various perpetrators who are mostly supernatural in nature.

Stars: Texas Battle, Bryce Johnson, Tania Raymonde, Charlie Sanders

Votes: 5,460

This is a reality show parody. It's like watching the series Cops with vampires, werewolves, and zombies, and while I'm not a big fan of comedy shows, or parodies, this one really made me laugh. One of the more original shows I've seen and very funny. Alas another one cancelled too soon, but definitely recommended.

9. NOS4A2 (2019–2020)

TV-14 | 60 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

Charlie Manx, a seductive immortal who feeds off the souls of children, has his whole world threatened when a young woman in New England discovers she has a dangerous gift.

Stars: Ashleigh Cummings, Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, Jahkara Smith, Ebon Moss-Bachrach

Votes: 9,186

Based on the book of the same name by Joe Hill, this series has a strong story behind. With a great cast including the always terrifying Zachary Quinto as the villain Charley Manx. The show has strong character development and so the fates of the characters keep growing more important to the viewer. There are quiet moments of horror that build and sneak up on you. Despite the low IMDB rating this one is one of the most original and best stories on this list. The first season ended strong and on a solid cliffhanger, if they can keep this strength of character up for the next season it may rival Penny Dreadful for the top spot. It's curious that the IMDB score is so low for such a good story. Don't believe it. Give this one a go, you won't be disappointed. It may be the most underrated show on this list.

10. Kindred: The Embraced (1996)

60 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

Julian Luna, the undead Prince of the City, leads the Vampire Clans as he falls in love with Caitlin, a human reporter.

Stars: Stacy Haiduk, Erik King, Patrick Bauchau, Brigid Brannagh

Votes: 2,786

The pilot is wrought with bad writing and overacting (and steals its music from Interview with the Vampire and Bram Stoker's Dracula, interestingly enough) but the actual show was terrific. Every episode added a new element to this fantastic world and the acting and story lines just kept getting better. This was an awesome concept for a show that was ahead of its time. It could have been a long running fantastic series, but due to some mediocre ratings and the death of its star in a motorcycle accident, it was canceled before it was really given a chance. When it first aired, I was totally blown away by it, and watching it again (even though there are only 8 episodes) I find that it is still one of the best of the genre. I would love to see this concept revamped and redone, it could have been amazing, but as it was, it was still really great.

11. The Passage (2019)

TV-14 | 60 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

When a botched U.S. government experiment turns a group of death row inmates into highly infectious vampires, an orphan girl might be the only person able to stop the ensuing crisis.

Stars: Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Saniyya Sidney, Jamie McShane, Caroline Chikezie

Votes: 11,694

When it comes to book adaptations to screen, you tend to get one of two possibilities, a faithful adaptation, or something that carves out a completely different path. With "A Discovery of Witches" this year, we got a faithful adaptation. The Passage, on the other hand, has gone in a completely different direction. I was a big fan of the book so when the series began with a large amount of exposition and voice over explanation of things that were never revealed in the book until a much later point, I was worried. However, by the end of the first episode, I dropped my expectations and realized that the storytellers decided to tell their own story in their own way and it was actually a very compelling, very mature, and very effective way to tell the story. By the end of episode one, though the material strayed dramatically from its source material, I was hooked. Unlike with the Strain, (a similar story of an impending vampire apocalypse) here we have a story that creates so many dynamic and well developed and human characters, that you cannot help but be drawn in. Easily one of the best of the genre. The first season takes the story about to the mid-point of the first book. I will be interested to see where they go from here.

UPDATE: Alas! Another great vampire series cancelled too early. There won't be a season two which is disappointing because it had all the makings of a very good show.

12. American Horror Story (2011– )

TV-MA | 60 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

An anthology series centering on different characters and locations, including a house with a murderous past, an insane asylum, a witch coven, a freak show circus, a haunted hotel, a possessed farmhouse, a cult, the apocalypse, a slasher summer camp, and a bleak beach town and desert valley.

Stars: Lady Gaga, Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett, Sarah Paulson

Votes: 310,654

This is a show that is hit or miss for me. Some seasons are better than others. Only one has vampires (so far). "American Horror Story: Hotel" is by far one of the best seasons of the series, and is one of the best vampire series. These are classically decadent vampires and it is horror at its best. Outstanding sets, costumes, acting, and story. It is derivative and yet original as so much of the series is. Well worth watching.

13. Ultraviolet (1998)

300 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

The six-episode series, first aired in 1998, stars Jack Davenport as Detective Sergeant Michael Colefield, who discovers a secret government vampire-hunting unit while investigating the disappearance of his partner.

Stars: Jack Davenport, Susannah Harker, Idris Elba, Philip Quast

Votes: 2,671

This show really gets philosophical at times. It really makes you question what is good and what is evil. Are the vampires bad? I am not usually a fan of episodic cop type shows, but the very ambiguous nature of the moral dilemmas in this show really caught my attention, not to mention the unusual sci-fi element that was added to the story. Worthy of its place on this list if for no other reason than for the originality it brings to the genre and the great performances (especially by Stephen Moyer and Idris Elba, who have since proven themselves to be really great actors).

14. The Vampire Diaries (2009–2017)

TV-14 | 43 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

The lives, loves, dangers and disasters in the town, Mystic Falls, Virginia. Creatures of unspeakable horror lurk beneath this town as a teenage girl is suddenly torn between two vampire brothers.

Stars: Nina Dobrev, Paul Wesley, Ian Somerhalder, Kat Graham

Votes: 315,434

Yes, it is sort of a teen drama, but that takes a back seat to the continually engrossing and intricate plots. The writing is smart, the characters are developing and growing (and Damon is just pure enjoyment) and it has its own cinematic style. In my book, that makes this one a winner. Occasionally the plots overwhelm the viewer, interfering with character development (and try not to get too attached to characters, because most characters have a very short lifespan in this show) but overall, it is a very addictive drama. Please don't call it a "Twilight" rip-off. Yes, it has a love triangle (as does Twilight) and yes, it has a teen storyline (somewhat) but this show is more clever and pretty much blows Twilight away. It continues to improve as it endures, with season 2 better than season 1 in many ways and season 3 even better. All subsequent season continued to lessen in quality, but it was still a very entertaining show for the most part. Perhaps this one lasted a bit too long, but the ending was satisfying overall and for those who enjoy the first few seasons, you will likely enjoy it to the end.

15. Blood Ties (2007)

TV-14 | 43 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

Vicki Nelson, a former homicide detective turned private investigator, and Henry Fitzroy, a 470-year-old vampire, form a unique team solving cases and dealing with the supernatural world.

Stars: Christina Cox, Dylan Neal, Kyle Schmid, Gina Holden

Votes: 6,757

Another P.I. type of vampire show, this one focused more on the who-done-it mystery of its weekly supernatural villain much like Buffy before it (or perhaps WHAT-done-it is more appropriate). The characters and writing are frequently more on the nose than I typically like, but after a while of watching it, I began to really enjoy their ongoing banter. In addition to this, there is one thing about this show that makes it irresistible - and that is Henry Fitzroy, one of the most smoldering of TV vamps I have seen yet. The relationship between the P.I. Vicky Nelson and the 500 yr. old vampire Henry Fitzroy are what keep this show interesting. The sexual tension between them is frequently palpable and the intense flirting is always fun to watch. Kyle Schmid makes a fantastic vampire, and by the time the show ended I was really saddened to have to let the characters go.

16. Hellsing (2001–2002)

TV-MA | 23 min | Animation, Action, Fantasy

A British taskforce, lead by the daughter of the vampire hunter Prof. Van Helsing, battles the supernatural with the aid of two vampires.

Stars: Jôji Nakata, Yoshiko Sakakibara, Fumiko Orikasa, Steven Brand

Votes: 16,340

This is a very violent anime series, but I just can't help liking this one for its interesting storyline. I'm not a huge fan of anime, but this has really nice artwork and pacing to go with its story and I found myself caught up in it and wanting to watch more. The dialogue and relationships are all frequently subtle too, which just adds to its appeal. A good series. The story was retold in a video series in 2006 called Hellsing Ultimate, which is also supposed to be really excellent.

17. Blade: The Series (2006)

TV-14 | 60 min | Action, Drama, Fantasy

The adventures of the half human/vampire hunter.

Stars: Sticky Fingaz, Jill Wagner, Nelson Lee, Jessica Gower

Votes: 5,623

As a fan of the Blade movies, I was really skeptical of this show, but I was pleasantly surprised. It seems that fans of the films stayed away because of Wesley Snipes not being in the lead performance, but that is really too bad. The characters, and performances of the actors were so good that I found myself really engaged in the story immediately in the pilot and the show only got better from there. What I found really great about this show is how it does not just include Blade's story, but really has some compelling vampires in the story too. It is sort of a spy show, the "Alias" of vampire shows, if you will, and that is an unusual and fascinating take on things. Another show sadly canceled too early, but definitely one of the best of the genre.

18. Blood+ (2005–2006)

TV-MA | Animation, Action, Adventure

In present day Okinawa, a young amnesiac girl named Saya combats vicious, shape-shifting vampires. Her adoptive family and friends help her track down their source and uncover her past.

Stars: Eri Kitamura, Katsuyuki Konishi, Hiroyuki Yoshino, Akiko Yajima

Votes: 4,572

Occasionally it suffers from some overdramatic dialogue, which is the problem with most anime, but this one has a really fantastic story and interesting characters. Another violent one, it is still one of the most compelling series I have seen. There was a short anime film on the same subject and a live action version of the story a few years back as well, both good, but this is the best of the three as it allows for plenty of opportunity to develop this great story. It loses some of its momentum and mystery in the second part as well as its great pacing, and sometimes the ongoing battle doesn't seem to gain any ground and feels like it is dragging on, but overall, it does a great job of showing the growth and transformation of its characters. A really good series that has a complete story if a slightly bittersweet ending.

19. The Strain (2014–2017)

TV-MA | 43 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

A mysterious viral outbreak with hallmarks of an ancient and evil strain of vampirism ravages the city of New York.

Stars: Corey Stoll, David Bradley, Kevin Durand, Jonathan Hyde

Votes: 80,738

I wanted to love the Strain, and there are things that are really quite great about it. The way the virus spreads, the transformations, and the progression of the plot are all terrific, but it took quite a long time for them to develop characters that captured my interest. Many of the characters do really stupid things, and as sometimes happens with horror, they fall into predictable behavior patterns, and have levels of skepticism and denial that are annoying to watch. Most of the season I found myself irritated with the majority of the characters or otherwise not particularly caring about them or for them one way or another, which is really too bad because this could easily be the Walking Dead of vampire shows, but it never quite got there. It's still a really good horror show, though, and one of the more original shows on this list.

20. Moonlight (2007–2008)

TV-14 | 60 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

A vampire lands work as a private investigator and falls for a mortal woman.

Stars: Alex O'Loughlin, Sophia Myles, Jason Dohring, Shannyn Sossamon

Votes: 24,428

When I happened upon a random episode of Moonlight while it was on television, I did not really care for it. Going back and starting from the beginning of the series, I've come to discover why so many people fell for this show. This show does a good job of making the investigations of the P.I. vampire secondary to the hero's story line. In this drama, the relationships take the focus and it is very hard not to like Alex O'Laughlin's character (Mick St. John) and care about his growing relationship. Halfway through the season, the focus on the characters' ever growing story lines and less on the weekly cop mysteries was really getting good, (it was almost noir at moments) but in the final few episodes of the season, it really lost a lot of its mystery and its momentum. A show that was at times great and at other times just ok, and like many shows before it, was canceled too early to give us a chance to really appreciate where the relationships and stories could have gone.

21. Shiki (2010–2011)

TV-MA | 24 min | Animation, Drama, Horror

When many deaths occur in the quiet village of Sotoba, Doctor Toshio Ozaki initially suspects an epidemic but soon becomes convinced that something else is causing them.

Stars: Tôru Ohkawa, Koki Uchiyama, Kazuyuki Okitsu, Wataru Takagi

Votes: 3,380

Anime is not always easy to love, but this is a slow burning story akin to Salem's Lot. It has some very creepy moments and tells the story of the taking over of a small village and all the many people of it. It has depth. It deals with weighty themes. Like most anime, it has moments that don't ring true, but there is a lot to like about the story. The moral dilemma of the village as things escalate make for a fantastic story. Overall, definitely worth watching, and one of the more interesting anime series.

22. Gogol (2017–2019)

48 min | Biography, Drama, Mystery

The year 1829. Nikolay Gogol, a young Third Section clerk, is desperate: his own books seem shallow and mediocre, so he keeps buying entire print runs just to burn them all. He is suffering... See full summary »

Stars: Alexander Petrov, Evgeniy Stychkin, Taisiya Vilkova, Yan Tsapnik

Votes: 756

Originally intended as a TV series in Russia and also adapted as a three part theatrical release, this is one of the more interesting series on the list as it uses the life and stories of the author Nikolai Gogol, to tell its detective/horror story. In fact, Gogol is the main character of the series and the episodes pull elements from his works to add to the intricate plot. The focus of the series is more on witchcraft, but vampirism also has a place here, and as his story VIY has been told numerous times (with elements of it here), it has more than earned its place on this list. The series is one season, but has strong acting, nice effects, and overall is very strong. There are moments of absurdity that sometimes pop up, but mostly it is a great gothic tale. Perhaps a bit derivative at times, (it share similarity in both style and overall plot to Tim Burton's Legend of Sleepy Hollow), it is still very good fun.

23. Forever Knight (1992–1996)

Not Rated | 60 min | Crime, Drama, Horror

800-year-old vampire Nick Knight quests for redemption as a cop in Toronto, trying to hide his vampiric nature from the rest of the world.

Stars: Geraint Wyn Davies, Catherine Disher, Nigel Bennett, Deborah Duchene

Votes: 2,738

I find this one hard to fairly judge. Often the production value is low, and I am not much of a fan of episodic television, preferring ongoing storylines, not to mention cop shows are not really my thing, so that is several things against it. All the same, the show had pretty good writing, interesting plots wherein the main character Nick Knight deals with both his past and his present as every episode has the character flashing back to memories of his extensive history (800 years) and paralleling that storyline in the current cop mystery. Also, the lessons learned by the character continue to propel him forward on his quest for humanity and that leads to some quality human drama. Gotta give it props for being groundbreaking in a lot of ways and ahead of its time, since this was the first detective vampire series, a formula that has since been repeated with moderate success. The first season is hit or miss, but the quality of the episodes increase greatly as the show continues. Overall a decent show. One I wouldn't mind at all seeing remade.

24. Supernatural (2005–2020)

TV-14 | 44 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

Two brothers follow their father's footsteps as hunters, fighting evil supernatural beings of many kinds, including monsters, demons and gods that roam the earth.

Stars: Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Jim Beaver, Misha Collins

Votes: 435,640

VAMPIRE ELEMENTS ONLY - Supernatural is a terrific and engrossing show with intricate plots and two great main characters with elaborate and interesting histories. The fact that it has had as many seasons as it has is a testament to the strength of the story. It is mostly episodic, although there is an engrossing long narrative that is interesting as well, the focus here is on demon hunters and the battle between heaven and hell, but vampires and other creatures find their way into the story frequently enough for the show to be considered as relevant to those interested in watching vampire TV. A truly great show worth watching, even if the vampire narrative is not as substantial.

25. Hemlock Grove (2013–2015)

TV-MA | 46 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

Secrets are just part of daily life in the small Pennsylvania town of Hemlock Grove, where the darkest evils hide in plain sight.

Stars: Famke Janssen, Bill Skarsgård, Landon Liboiron, Joel de la Fuente

Votes: 40,079

What's interesting about Hemlock Grove is that the supernatural elements sneak up on you a little bit. I went into this series not really knowing anything about it, just hearing comparisons to Twin Peaks (a not altogether bad comparison), and having low expectations, but was happily surprised. The first season revolves around the murder of a girl. The season takes some unexpected and interesting turns, and unlike most of the shows on this list (except perhaps True Blood and Being Human), I went through this series in one day, it was that compelling. This one definitely carved out a niche for itself in that the first season was one well constructed storyline and by the end the story felt pretty complete. Subsequent seasons lost focus and a clear storyline and continued to dwindle in quality, but overall a pretty good series, with the first season well worth watching.

26. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997–2003)

TV-14 | 44 min | Action, Drama, Fantasy

A young woman, destined to slay vampires, demons and other infernal creatures, deals with her life fighting evil, with the help of her friends.

Stars: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Nicholas Brendon, Alyson Hannigan, Anthony Head

Votes: 144,957

There is no denying it, Buffy is one of the best and most successful TV shows and certainly one of the best vampire shows. I have two problems with it: #1, Sarah Michelle Gellar is not very likeable (in my opinion) although she does improve as the show gains momentum in later seasons and #2, the whole "Scooby's gang" tag along characters frequently was more annoying to me than enjoyable, which, again, got better as the show continued. Overall, a decent show though, and without question it paved the way for many shows that have followed it. For me personally, however, a little too much on the goofy side for it to be one of my favorites.

27. Angel (1999–2004)

TV-14 | 44 min | Action, Drama, Fantasy

The vampire Angel, cursed with a soul, moves to Los Angeles and aids people with supernatural-related problems while questing for his own redemption.

Stars: David Boreanaz, Charisma Carpenter, Alexis Denisof, J. August Richards

Votes: 70,174

Much darker than Buffy and without so much of the annoying Scooby-Doo type storylines, this show, which lasted 5 seasons, was in some ways a much better show than its predecessor. Angel is a compelling character and is often presented as a sort of Batman superhero type of character (even occasionally overtly referencing these qualities in script), and while again I am not such a fan of the more episodic style of television shows, nor the detective type of shows, this was one that I enjoyed because of the excellent writing and because David Boreanaz does such a great job as Angel. Also, it wins over Buffy because it did not have Sarah Michelle Gellar. A very good show overall.

28. Dark Shadows (1966–1971)

TV-PG | 30 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

The rich Collins family of Collinsport, Maine is tormented by strange occurrences.

Stars: Jonathan Frid, Grayson Hall, Alexandra Isles, Nancy Barrett

Votes: 4,785

Dark Shadows was a daytime soap opera that ran every day from 1966 until 1971 with 30 minute long episodes, and has been extremely influential on the genre. This was the first time vampires were presented in a serious Gothic horror manner on television, in an ongoing storyline, and its success was a shock to many. This was a show, that while overly dramatic at times, was a serious frontrunner for vampires in television, and its significance cannot be overestimated. It presented a strong character whose story has endured and set him amidst many strange and supernatural circumstances during the course of the show. It has spawned a couple of revivals, has rabid fans, and is about to have a feature film remake. This is one that any vampire fan should at least watch a few episodes of. All that considered, it is not the best show, it is a bit dated and since it is a soap opera (as already indicated) a bit overly dramatic sometimes, but it is still good fun. Extra points for originality and an enduring legacy, though.

29. The Gates (2010)

TV-14 | 60 min | Crime, Drama, Fantasy

A metropolitan police officer becomes chief of police in a gated suburban neighborhood where vampires, werewolves, witches, and other supernatural entities reside.

Stars: Rhona Mitra, Frank Grillo, Marisol Nichols, Luke Mably

Votes: 8,240

The Gates started out kind of slow as a strange combination of cop mystery and soap opera supernatural drama, but about halfway through the season, it amped up it's supernatural storyline and started taking on a bit of a darker note which made it much edgier. Not the most brilliantly acted or written of the vampire shows I've seen (although I loved every scene with Luke Mably and/or Rhona Mitra), but it is one with a serious tone and interesting dilemmas, which make it a pretty good show overall, and with so many different supernatural story lines (there are much more than vampires here) it makes for an interesting collage of characters. It was really just beginning to hit its stride when it was canceled too early (again).

30. Vampire Detective (2016– )

Crime, Fantasy

Yoon San (Lee Joon) a private detective suddenly becomes a vampire. He tries to solve various cases while also trying to uncover the mystery surrounding himself.

Stars: Joon Lee, Oh Jeong-Se, Se-yeong Lee, Bok-rae Jo

Votes: 214

This one is all about the characters. There is an over arcing plot line that runs through the series as well, but this is more of a story of the week detective series similar to its predecessor series Vampire Prosecutor. Tied together by the three main characters' intersecting stories, I found myself liking this one, even though it wasn't very original, because the characters were all so enjoyable and had a great dynamic together. If you are looking for lighthearted detective story of the week fluff, this is a good one to pick. Disappointingly there was no second season, because I could have watched these three together much longer.

31. Heartless (2014–2015)

60 min | Drama, Mystery

Twin brother and sister suffer from a curse that requires that they survive by drawing life sustaining energy from humans victims. The plot surrounds the twins quest for answers to the origins of their curse and how to reverse it.

Stars: Sebastian Jessen, Julie Zangenberg, Nicolaj Kopernikus, Allan Hyde

Votes: 922

This has an unusual premise and actually pretty solid acting. The plot was strong and the story good, its biggest shortcomings were some plot holes and unexplained character actions that were disappointing. Overall, a very engrossing story though and worth watching.

32. From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series (2014–2016)

TV-MA | 45 min | Action, Crime, Fantasy

A Texas Ranger is in hot pursuit of the infamous Gecko brothers and their hostages. They all end up trapped in a desert bar secretly run by vampires and discover a vampire conspiracy.

Stars: D.J. Cotrona, Zane Holtz, Jesse Garcia, Eiza González

Votes: 20,521

This was a difficult series for me to fairly judge. It's a great story, excellently written, with a strong cast, and is very different from all the other entries here. The problem, however, in judging this one is that the first part of the show is so similar to the film that it is drawn from (although many aspects of the story and characters are developed in much greater detail here) that it was hard not to occasionally be frustrated with the story progression as the unfolding plot was already pretty well known to me. It is hard to judge a remake fairly, even if it is in a different format (film vs. television), without continually comparing it to the original. Even so, I did enjoy this, and I thought it was very well done, and in many ways superior to the film. The second half of the 1st season amps up the action (as does the film) and also amps up the story taking it into new and unexpected directions. The first season was overall pretty terrific and if you are unfamiliar with the original film, be prepared for a really fun ride. The second and third seasons were weaker. The characters started drifting into unbelievable scenarios and lost their strengths.

33. Being Human (2011–2014)

TV-14 | 44 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

Three twenty-somethings share a house and try to live a normal life despite being a ghost, a werewolf, and a vampire.

Stars: Sam Witwer, Meaghan Rath, Sam Huntington, Kristen Hager

Votes: 25,668

If you started watching this before seeing the BBC version you are probably going to like it much better than a fan of the original version (like me). It has less humor than the original, but with the same premise it is worthy of the list. The real problem I have with it is that somehow it has taken a plot that moved quickly and kept me on the edge of my seat in the original series and expanded it in a way as to make it somewhat boring and cumbersome. Also, I find a lot of the show to be overwhelmed with dialogue and drama in ways that make it almost soap opera like. I have to admit, though, that by the end of the first season they really started breaking away from the original plot and that is a good thing.

34. Vampire Knight (2008)

TV-14 | 24 min | Animation, Action, Drama

Yuki Cross, along with her best friend Zero, attempts to keep the peace between humans and vampires at Cross Academy, but personal issues soon threaten the situation.

Stars: Yui Horie, Mamoru Miyano, Daisuke Kishio, Jun Fukuyama

Votes: 5,267

A little melodramatic, but a fun anime with an interesting plot. Could have been better, but not bad. The story and characters kept me interested more than most other vampire anime and the plot turned out to be fairly intricate, so definitely one worth watching.

35. Vampire Prosecutor (2011– )

58 min | Fantasy, Mystery, Thriller

Head Prosecutor, Min Tae-yeon, was bitten by a vampire. Now he uses his new supernatural powers to solve crime.

Stars: Jeong-hun Yeon, Young-Ah Lee, Won-jong Lee, Joo-Young Kim

Votes: 239

Another vampire as law enforcement/detective series, this one is more episodic, but does have a subtle seasonal and character driven arc. It is an entertaining show, if somewhat random in its stories. The thing that is strongest about this series is the subtle and strong performances by its primary cast and some complimentary supporting characters. The season long arcs were satisfying and in some ways this show reminded one of the measured and sparing character performances in shows like the X-Files. There are also some great moments in the writing where the nature of good vs. evil and what choices define us are examined. Overall a good detective series, but short lived and not as effective or original as some of the other series on this list.

36. The Munsters (1964–1966)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy, Family, Fantasy

A family of friendly monsters have misadventures, never quite understanding why people react to them so strangely.

Stars: Fred Gwynne, Al Lewis, Yvonne De Carlo, Butch Patrick

Votes: 14,808

While Herman Munster was the main character of the Munsters and was not a vampire, Grandpa, Lily, and Eddie all had vampire traits and were meant to be vampires. This show had success largely for recognizing that the outside world considers the Munsters to be freaks, but within their own zany home life, they consider the rest of the world to be rather freakish. They present their life to the audience with a very wholesome ignorance of their own strangeness and this produces some of the best jokes of the show. One of the earliest frontrunners for vampires on television, The Munsters is a very funny show even for today and so it endures. Easily still one of the best.

37. Midnight, Texas (2017–2018)

TV-14 | 60 min | Drama, Fantasy, Mystery

Midnight is a safe haven for those who are different, but with the presence of outsiders, the residents band together and form a strong and unlikely family.

Stars: François Arnaud, Dylan Bruce, Parisa Fitz-Henley, Arielle Kebbel

Votes: 13,947

Another show where the vampire elements are minor to the overall storyline, the main character here is a medium who can interact with the dead in a town full of human and non-human misfits. It is a strong concept for the show, a bit more lighthearted and silly than The Gates, but similar in concept, it is an all around fun ride. There is not a lot of substance here, but there are entertaining and widely varying characters in monster of the week type plots that do make this show enjoyable if only as a pointless diversion.

38. Legacies (2018–2022)

TV-14 | 45 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

Hope Mikaelson, a tribrid daughter of a Vampire/Werewolf hybrid, makes her way in the world.

Stars: Danielle Rose Russell, Aria Shahghasemi, Quincy Fouse, Matthew Davis

Votes: 30,912

This series is more akin to Harry Potter than its predecessors. As a follow up story to The Vampire Diaries and The Originals, but not as strong as the previous shows, it has only a few main characters from its predecessor shows, and some random cameos from others. The first season has been enjoyable if not quite up to the level of the other two shows, but it is more interested in focusing on the prep school of the supernaturals and how they learn to live in the world and so it is a bit different than the other shows as well. Entertaining enjoyment, if a bit light on substance.

39. Castlevania (2017–2021)

TV-MA | 23 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

A vampire hunter fights to save a besieged city from an army of otherworldly creatures controlled by Dracula.

Stars: Richard Armitage, James Callis, Alejandra Reynoso, Theo James

Votes: 63,194

The art and concept for this are fantastic. Based on the classic video game, this does a good job of creating a solid story and utilizing characters from the game. The second season is stronger in story than the first, but drags a bit in the middle and perhaps focuses too much on supporting or minor characters and not enough on the main trio. This is a weak spot in the story as it feels a bit like filler to make the plot last the length of the series, but overall a good addition to this list. Worth watching if you can stomach the ongoing vulgarity and expletives of the characters and anti-religious themes.

40. Dracula (2020)

TV-14 | 270 min | Action, Drama, Fantasy

In 1897 Transylvania, the blood-drinking Count draws his plans against Victorian London.

Stars: Claes Bang, Dolly Wells, Morfydd Clark, Jonathan Aris

Votes: 47,245

This has been a difficult one for me to judge. Every new rendition of Dracula can be judged on both its own story and its faithfulness or differences from the Stoker original. I had high hopes for this. The writing duo of Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffatt (the powerhouse behind some of the best of new Doctor Who and Sherlock) turning to one the greatest vampire novel of all time? Everything about this screamed brilliance, but like all things done by Steven Moffatt, the story starts with a bang and ends with a whimper. The first episode of the story is a faithful and frightening rendition of Dracula. Claes Bang makes a very scary Dracula and like Moffatt's best villains, the audience gets caught up in the pure evil he exudes. There is also a very strong new character of Agatha Van Helsing, who while sometimes seems to say shocking things for only the sake of being shocking, she is a nice counter to Dracula's evil in her arrogant righteousness. Again like all things Moffatt however, things start to digress. Episode one is brilliant. Episode two is interesting and entertaining, if a bit too light in tone. Episode three is nothing but a hot mess (despite the amusing cameo by Mark Gatiss). The third act is rushed, with character actions that are not justified, and ends with an idiotic plot twist that undermines the whole storyline and leaves a bitter garlic taste in the mouth. What were our final feelings on this? In a word - disappointing.

41. Van Helsing (2016–2021)

TV-14 | 43 min | Action, Drama, Fantasy

Vanessa Helsing, distant relative of famous vampire hunter Abraham Van Helsing, is resurrected only to find that vampires have taken over the world.

Stars: Kelly Overton, Jonathan Scarfe, Aleks Paunovic, Rukiya Bernard

Votes: 22,234

A vampire apocalypse story with more in common with The Walking Dead than any of the other shows on this list, this had some interesting characters and story twists. It says it is based off of the comic Hellsing, but it is hard to see the correlation between this and that other great anime series. Enjoyable, but lost some of its momentum by the end.

42. Immortals (2018)

TV-MA | 60 min | Drama, Fantasy

The story will begin in Istanbul in the 1800s and stretch daily. Mia will work with young rebels to destroy Dmitry, which will cross the road at a luxurious nightclub in Istanbul.

Stars: Elçin Sangu, Kerem Bürsin, Birkan Sokullu, Selma Ergeç

Votes: 3,250

There was lots to like in this Turkish vampire Netflix original series, but some character motivations did not entirely work for me and I realized the ending twist far before it was revealed.This did have an original element by including the gangs in Istanbul as targets and/or allies of the vampires. In fact, the portrayal of the people of city was one of the strengths of the series, and there were some common vampire tropes about what defines us as human and the curse and appeal of an eternal life that made this a stronger series than many on this list, and it hooked me with the strength of its acting and character arcs, but it felt a bit short in its ending of the first season. I would definitely watch this if there were any more seasons, but they could very easily end it with just this one season. It will be interesting to see if it gets resurrected.



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