Best TV Dramas & Mini Series of All Time

by smay-stjohn | created - 15 Feb 2018 | updated - 1 month ago | Public

*Still in Progress* - Ongoing List of the Best TV Dramas in History

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1. The Sopranos (1999–2007)

TV-MA | 55 min | Crime, Drama

New Jersey mob boss Tony Soprano deals with personal and professional issues in his home and business life that affect his mental state, leading him to seek professional psychiatric counseling.

Stars: James Gandolfini, Lorraine Bracco, Edie Falco, Michael Imperioli

Votes: 256,840

2. Breaking Bad (2008–2013)

TV-MA | 49 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

A high school chemistry teacher diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer turns to manufacturing and selling methamphetamine in order to secure his family's future.

Stars: Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn, Betsy Brandt

Votes: 1,234,091

3. Game of Thrones (2011–2019)

TV-MA | 57 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

Nine noble families fight for control over the mythical lands of Westeros, while an ancient enemy returns after being dormant for thousands of years.

Stars: Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Kit Harington, Lena Headey

Votes: 1,566,719

4. The Wire (2002–2008)

TV-MA | 59 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

Baltimore drug scene, seen through the eyes of drug dealers and law enforcement.

Stars: Dominic West, Lance Reddick, Sonja Sohn, Wendell Pierce

Votes: 249,196

5. Mad Men (2007–2015)

TV-14 | 47 min | Drama

A drama about one of New York's most prestigious ad agencies at the beginning of the 1960s, focusing on one of the firm's most mysterious but extremely talented ad executives, Donald Draper.

Stars: Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, Vincent Kartheiser, January Jones

Votes: 182,551

6. Deadwood (2004–2006)

TV-MA | 55 min | Crime, Drama, History

A show set in the late 1800s, revolving around the characters of Deadwood, South Dakota; a town of deep corruption and crime.

Stars: Timothy Olyphant, Ian McShane, Molly Parker, Brad Dourif

Votes: 85,430

7. Dexter (2006–2013)

TV-MA | 53 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

By day, mild-mannered Dexter is a blood-spatter analyst for the Miami police. But at night, he is a serial killer who only targets other murderers.

Stars: Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, David Zayas, James Remar

Votes: 602,411

8. The Leftovers (2014–2017)

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

Three years after the disappearance of two percent of the global population, a group of people in a small New York community try to continue their lives while coping with the tragedy of the unexplained nature of the event.

Stars: Justin Theroux, Amy Brenneman, Christopher Eccleston, Liv Tyler

Votes: 66,234

9. Fargo (2014– )

TV-MA | 53 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

Various chronicles of deception, intrigue and murder in and around frozen Minnesota. Yet all of these tales mysteriously lead back one way or another to Fargo, North Dakota.

Stars: Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman, Allison Tolman, Colin Hanks

Votes: 277,427

10. Justified (2010–2015)

TV-MA | 44 min | Action, Crime, Drama

Old-school U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens is reassigned from Miami to his childhood home in the poor, rural coal mining towns in eastern Kentucky.

Stars: Timothy Olyphant, Nick Searcy, Joelle Carter, Jacob Pitts

Votes: 77,692

11. The Walking Dead (2010– )

TV-MA | 44 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller

Sheriff Deputy Rick Grimes wakes up from a coma to learn the world is in ruins, and must lead a group of survivors to stay alive.

Stars: Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Melissa McBride, Lauren Cohan

Votes: 792,155

12. Sons of Anarchy (2008–2014)

TV-MA | 45 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

A biker struggles to balance being a father and being involved in an outlaw motorcycle club.

Stars: Charlie Hunnam, Katey Sagal, Mark Boone Junior, Kim Coates

Votes: 232,390

13. Treme (2010–2013)

TV-MA | 59 min | Drama, Music

Life after Hurricane Katrina as the residents of New Orleans try to rebuild their lives, their homes, and their unique culture in the aftermath of one of the worst natural disasters in the USA.

Stars: Khandi Alexander, Rob Brown, Kim Dickens, Melissa Leo

Votes: 12,548

14. Peaky Blinders (2013– )

TV-MA | 60 min | Crime, Drama

A gangster family epic set in 1919 Birmingham, England; centered on a gang who sew razor blades in the peaks of their caps, and their fierce boss Tommy Shelby.

Stars: Cillian Murphy, Helen McCrory, Paul Anderson, Sophie Rundle

Votes: 208,862

15. Boardwalk Empire (2010–2014)

TV-MA | 55 min | Crime, Drama, History

An Atlantic City, New Jersey politician plays both sides of the law, conspiring with gangsters during the Prohibition era.

Stars: Steve Buscemi, Kelly Macdonald, Michael Shannon, Shea Whigham

Votes: 160,660

16. Better Call Saul (2015– )

TV-MA | 46 min | Crime, Drama

The trials and tribulations of criminal lawyer, Jimmy McGill, in the time leading up to establishing his strip-mall law office in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Stars: Bob Odenkirk, Rhea Seehorn, Jonathan Banks, Patrick Fabian

Votes: 252,879

17. The Night Of (2016)

TV-MA | 525 min | Crime, Drama

After a night of partying with a woman he picked up, a man wakes up to find her stabbed to death and is charged with her murder.

Stars: Riz Ahmed, John Turturro, Bill Camp, Amara Karan

Votes: 100,696

18. Rescue Me (2004–2011)

TV-MA | 42 min | Drama, Comedy

Tommy Gavin deals with the fears of his job as a firefighter and seeing his ex-wife dating other men.

Stars: Denis Leary, Michael Lombardi, Steven Pasquale, Andrea Roth

Votes: 23,965

19. Black Mirror (2011– )

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

An anthology series exploring a twisted, high-tech world where humanity's greatest innovations and darkest instincts collide.

Stars: Daniel Lapaine, Hannah John-Kamen, Michaela Coel, Beatrice Robertson-Jones

Votes: 337,115

20. Narcos (2015–2017)

TV-MA | 49 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

A chronicled look at the criminal exploits of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar, as well as the many other drug kingpins who plagued the country through the years.

Stars: Pedro Pascal, Wagner Moura, Boyd Holbrook, Alberto Ammann

Votes: 299,900

21. Ray Donovan (2013– )

TV-MA | 60 min | Crime, Drama

Ray Donovan, a professional "fixer" for the rich and famous in Los Angeles, can make anyone's problems disappear except those created by his own family.

Stars: Liev Schreiber, Eddie Marsan, Dash Mihok, Katherine Moennig

Votes: 68,866

22. Godless (2017)

TV-MA | 60 min | Drama, Western

In the 1880s American West murderous outlaw gang leader Frank Griffin hunts for ex-protege Roy Goode. Frank's chase leads him to La Belle, New Mexico - a town inhabited, after a mining disaster, almost entirely by women.

Stars: Jack O'Connell, Michelle Dockery, Scoot McNairy, Merritt Wever

Votes: 39,512

23. Orphan Black (2013–2017)

TV-MA | 44 min | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi

A streetwise hustler is pulled into a compelling conspiracy after witnessing the suicide of a girl who looks just like her.

Stars: Tatiana Maslany, Dylan Bruce, Jordan Gavaris, Kevin Hanchard

Votes: 93,308

24. Banshee (2013–2016)

TV-MA | 60 min | Action, Crime, Drama

An ex-con assumes the identity of a murdered sheriff in the small town of Banshee, Pennsylvania, where he has some unfinished business.

Stars: Antony Starr, Ivana Milicevic, Ulrich Thomsen, Frankie Faison

Votes: 76,613

My Amazon review - I rated it 4 stars out of 5 simply because this is my type of cable TV entertainment. If I were a professional critic, I would likely give it 3 stars. What it lacks with many plot holes, it makes up with outstanding hand to hand combat, gunfights, explosions, criminal rivalries and partnerships and a pretty decent story foundation. I love the "friendship" between Job and Sugar. It adds some levity to the series. Job and Burton are probably my two favorite characters in the series. Props to the writer(s) who created those characters, but there are other fun characters as well. If you can get past some of the absolutely unbelievable things that take place in this small town with a sheriff department with only four employees (aside from the secretary), this is a fun show. Don't expect everything to make sense and every story arch to be tied up. All in all, if you enjoy crime stories about high level theft and drug dealing, computer hacking, identity theft, lots of bullets and fists flying, then Banshee is well worth your time and money.

25. Atlanta (2016– )

TV-MA | 30 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

Based in Atlanta, Earn and his cousin Alfred try to make their way in the world through the rap scene. Along the way they come face to face with social and economic issues touching on race, relationships, poverty, status, and parenthood.

Stars: Donald Glover, Brian Tyree Henry, LaKeith Stanfield, Zazie Beetz

Votes: 40,369

26. Friday Night Lights (2006–2011)

TV-14 | 44 min | Drama, Sport

In the small town of Dillon, Texas, one night matters: Friday Night. Eric Taylor has recently been hired as the head football coach for the Dillon High School Panthers, the town's pride and... See full summary »

Stars: Kyle Chandler, Connie Britton, Zach Gilford, Aimee Teegarden

Votes: 51,412

27. Goliath (2016– )

TV-MA | 60 min | Drama

A disgraced lawyer, now an ambulance chaser, gets a case that could bring him redemption or at least revenge on the firm which expelled him.

Stars: Billy Bob Thornton, Tania Raymonde, Nina Arianda, Diana Hopper

Votes: 25,452

28. Sneaky Pete (2015– )

TV-MA | 60 min | Crime, Drama

A con man on the run from a vicious gangster takes cover by assuming the identity of his prison cellmate, Pete, reuniting with his estranged family, that threatens to drag him into a world just as dangerous as the one he's escaping.

Stars: Giovanni Ribisi, Marin Ireland, Shane McRae, Libe Barer

Votes: 24,247

29. Lonesome Dove (1989)

TV-14 | 384 min | Adventure, Drama, Western

Two former Texas Rangers renew their spirit of adventure as they and several other residents of a small Texas town join a cattle drive to the Montana Territory.

Stars: Robert Duvall, Tommy Lee Jones, Danny Glover, Diane Lane

Votes: 18,689

30. Chernobyl (2019)

TV-MA | 330 min | Drama, History

In April 1986, an explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics becomes one of the world's worst man-made catastrophes.

Stars: Jessie Buckley, Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgård, Adam Nagaitis

Votes: 311,955

31. Roots (1977)

TV-14 | 588 min | Biography, Drama, History

A dramatization of author Alex Haley's family line from ancestor Kunta Kinte's enslavement to his descendants' liberation.

Stars: LeVar Burton, Robert Reed, John Amos, Louis Gossett Jr.

Votes: 15,112

32. The Shield (2002–2008)

TV-MA | 47 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

Follows the lives and cases of a dirty Los Angeles Police Department cop and the unit under his command.

Stars: Michael Chiklis, Catherine Dent, Walton Goggins, Michael Jace

Votes: 66,373

33. Bloodline (2015–2017)

TV-MA | 60 min | Drama, Thriller

A family finds themselves forced to face their past secrets and scars when the black sheep returns home.

Stars: Kyle Chandler, Ben Mendelsohn, Linda Cardellini, Sissy Spacek

Votes: 39,155

34. Ozark (2017– )

TV-MA | 60 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

A financial adviser drags his family from Chicago to the Missouri Ozarks, where he must launder $500 million in five years to appease a drug boss.

Stars: Jason Bateman, Laura Linney, Julia Garner, Sofia Hublitz

Votes: 109,361

35. True Detective (2014– )

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

Seasonal anthology series in which police investigations unearth the personal and professional secrets of those involved, both within and outside the law.

Stars: Vince Vaughn, Colin Farrell, Rachel McAdams, Taylor Kitsch

Votes: 448,275

36. When They See Us (2019)

TV-MA | 296 min | Biography, Drama, History

Five teens from Harlem become trapped in a nightmare when they're falsely accused of a brutal attack in Central Park. Based on the true story.

Stars: Asante Blackk, Caleel Harris, Ethan Herisse, Marquis Rodriguez

Votes: 33,361

37. Waco (2018)

TV-14 | 47 min | Crime, Drama, History

The FBI and ATF seize religious leader David Koresh's Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas in the spring of 1993.

Stars: Michael Shannon, Taylor Kitsch, Andrea Riseborough, Paul Sparks

Votes: 8,000



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