In this article, instead of just dealing with the most recent TV programs, I will countdown our top 20 best tv series of all time. Most Shows have their peaks and valleys. These will be the Television Series we enjoyed the most at their peak.
20 Best Tv Series of All Time
20- Billions (2016 – )
Drama – Published 4 Seasons and Continues
Is a drama that explores the world of high finance in New York City. Premiering on Showtime in 2016, but the fourth season being broadcast in 2019. It stars Paul Giamatti as US attorney Chuck Rhoades as he goes after leading hedge fund manager Bobby Axelrod. Played by Damian Lewis billions has plenty of twists and turns that you won’t see coming.
19- Halt and Catch Fire (2014-2017)
Drama – 4 Seasons, 40 Episodes
Follow a group techies from the personal computer boom of the 1980’s up until the growth of the worldwide web in the early 1990’s. This period drama aired on the AMC Network from 2014 – 2017. Spanning four seasons the viewership numbers were always low despite receiving high scores from both critics and viewers. A good amount of credit goes to AMC for sticking with the show and giving it a proper two hour series finale.
18- Friends (1994-2004)
Comedy, Romance – 10 Seasons, 236 Episodes
Sitcom based in New York City that revolves around six friends in their 20’s and 30’s. It aired for a whopping ten seasons on the NBC Network premiering in 1994 and ending with their series finale in 2004. Relative unknowns prior to their premiere friends featured an excellent ensemble cast. Including Courtney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer.
17- Dexter (2006-2013)
Crime, Drama, Mystery – 8 Seasons, 96 Episodes
Aired on Showtime for eight seasons from 2006 – 2013. The series stars Michael C. Hall as Dexter Morgan working as a blood spatter analyst for the Miami police, while also living a double life as a vigilante serial killer who targets other murderers that have escaped justice. Through it’s four seasons Dexter was truly one of the best shows on TV.
16- Sherlock (2010 – )
Crime, Drama, Mystery – 4 Seasons, 15 Episodes
BBC crime drama, based on the novels of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. This brilliant modern update follow Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes and MArtin Freeman plays his partner Dr.Watson as they solve crimes in 21st century London. The dialogue is sharp and it’s well acted. Four seasons of Sherlock have alreay aired from 2010 – 2017. Along with a one-off christmas special in 2015.
15- The Office (2005-2013)
Comedy – 9 Seasons, 188 Episodes
Cast: Rainn Wilson (Dwight Schrute), John Krasinski (Jim Halpert),
Jenna Fischer (Pam Beesly), Leslie David Baker (Stanley Hudson),
Brian Baumgartner (Kevin Malone), Angela Kinsey (Angela Martin), Phyllis Smith (Pyllis Vance)
American Mockumentary sitcom. Which aired on NBC for nine seasons from 2005 – 2013. It’s based on the BBC Series of same name it. Follows a group of employees of the fictional Dunder Mifflin Paper Company in Scranton Pennsylvania. Some of the notable stars of its main cast include Steve Carell, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer and Rainn Wilson. The Office in one of those rare comedies that is actually funny that did not need the assistance of a studio audience or a laugh track.
14- Lost (2004-2010)
Adventure, Drama, Fantasy – 6 Seasons, 118 Episodes
Cast: Jorge Garcia (Hugo ‘Herley’ Reyes), Josh Holloway (James ‘Sawyer’ Ford), Yunjin Kim (Sun-Hwa Kwon), Evangeline Lilly (Kate Austen),
Terry O’Quinn (John Locke), Naveen Andrews (Sayid Jarrah),
Matthew Fox (Dr. Jack Shephard), Daniel Dae Kim (Jin-Soo Kwon)
Drama that follows 48 survivors of the jet airliner oceanic flight 815, that end up crashing and become stranded on a mysterious island. It was broadcast on the ABC Network from September 2004 – 2010. Over six seasons producers of Lost over the past couple years have hinted at a possible reboot of the series.
13- Luther (2010 -)
Crime, Drama, Mystery – Published 5 Seasons and Continues
BBC produced crime drama starring Idris Elba as DCI John Luther. He is both brilliant and self-destructive as he hunts down criminals. Luther’s first season premiered in 2010 with it’s fifth being broadcast in January of 2019 on the BBC and June of 2019 on BBC America here in the States.
12- The Americans (2013-2018)
Crime, Drama, Mystery – 6 Seasons, 75 Episodes
Spy thriller set in the 1980’s during the Cold War. It follows Elizabeth and Philip Jennings two Russian spies that he has an American married couple in Washington DC. It’s a suspenseful show with solid performances from the lead actors Keri Russel and Matthew Rhys. The Americans lasted six seasons premiering on the FX Network in 2013 and ended with it’s series finale in 2018.
11- Justified (2010-2015)
Action, Crime, Drama – 6 Seasons, 78 Epsiodes
Crime drama with Tran for six seasons on the FX Network from 2010 – 2015. It stars Timothy Olyphant as US Marshal, Raylan Givens enforcing justice in his hometown of Harlan Kentucky. Justified excelled, with character development with outstanding performances by its cast. Other cast members include Walton Goggins as Boyd Crowder, Margo Martindale as mags Bennett and Damon Harriman as the unforgettable GUI Crowe.
10- Hannibal (2013-2015)
Crime, Drama, Horror – 3 Seasons, 39 Episodes
Psychological horror based on the Thomas Harris novels red dragon and Hannibal. The series focuses on the relationship between FBI Investigator Will Gragam played by Hugh Dancy and Dr. Hannibal LEcter played superbly by Mads Mikkelsen. The series only lasted for three seasons on NBC from 2013-2015. Quite frankly due to it’s subject matter I am surprised that it lasted that long on an over-the-air network like NBC. Season 2 and 3 are an absolute work of genius.
9- Seinfeld (1989-1998)
Comedy – 9 Seasons, 173 Episodes
Sitcom, created by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld. Which aired for nine seasons from 1989-1998 on NBC. It follow stand-up comedian Jerry Seinfeld and his neurotic friends living in New York City. Cop not not driving and an excellent enseble cast has made Seinfeld one of the greates sitcoms of all time. Which is not too bad for a show that was self described as being a show about nothing.
8- Game of Thrones (2011-2019)
Action, Adventure, Drama – 8 Seasons, 73 Episodes
Cast: Kit Harington (Jon Snow), Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen),
Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister), Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister), Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark), Maisie Williams (Arya Stark), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister)
Perhaps the most popular recent show in this list. It’s based on the fantasy novels by George R.R. Martin. Although the series has evolved a lost since his first season this fantasy drama starts out with powerful families vying for control of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. It features a great enseble cast. Game of Thrones premiered on HBO 2011 with it’s eight season closing out the series in 2019.
7- The Sopranos (1999-2007)
Crime, Drama – 6 Seasons, 86 Episodes
Cast: James Gandolfini (Tony Soprano), Lorraine Bracco (Dr. Jennifer Melfi), Edie Falco (Carmelo Soprano), Michael Imperioli (Christopher Moltisanti), Dominic Chianese (Junior Soprano) ,
Steven Van Zandt (Silvio Dante), Tony Sirico (Paulie ‘Walnuts’ Gualtieri), Robert Iler (A.J. Soprano), Jamie-Lynn Sigler (Maedow Soprano)
That appeared on HBO from 1999-2007 over six seasons. The story revolves around New Jersey based Italian-American mobster Tony Soprano. Played by the late James Gandolfini as he deals with personal and professional issues, that lead him to seek professional psychiatric counseling. The colorful characters and solid riding will keep pulling you back in.
6- The Wire (2002-2008)
Crime, Drama, Thriller – 5 Seasons, 60 Episodes
Cast: Dominic West (Det. James ‘Jimmy’ McNulty), John Doman (Dep. Comm. for Operations William A. Rawls), Deirdre Lovejoy (Asst. State’s Atty. Rhonda Pearlman), Wendell Pierce (Det. William ‘Bunk’ Moreland), Lance Reddick (Lt. Cedric Daniels), Sonja Sohn (Det. Shakima ‘Kima’ Greggs), Seth Gilliam (Sgt. Ellis Carver), Domenick Lombardozzi (Det. Thomas ‘Herc’ Hauk)
HBO crime dama, that ran for five seasons from 2002-2008. Set in Baltimore Maryland it explores the city’s drug scene from the perspective of both the drug dealers and law enforcement. The Wire is not one of those showsthat should be judged based on one episode. It takes it is time to fully explore each detail with captivating storytelling that will leave you satisfied at the end of each season.
5- Fargo (2014 -)
Crime, Drama, Thriller – 4 Seasons 40 Episodes
Dark comedy crime drama, inspired by the 1996 Coen Brothers film of the same name. Set in South Dakot and Minesota each season tells a different story with mostly new characters and an all-star cast. If you enjoy bizarre characters with odd story twists, Fargo is the show for you. Three season have already beed broadcast on the FX Network, since its premiere in 2014 and has been renewed for a fourth season.
4- Peaky Blinders (2013 -)
Crime, Drama – 5 Seasons 30 Episodes
BBC produced crime drama set in England. After World War 1. It stars Cillian Murphy as Tommy Shelby an ambitious crime boss that leads the notorious Peaky Blinders Gang. It is a bloody violent show with fantastic writing, acting and outstanding cinematography. Since it is premiere in 2013. Four seasons have already aired with the fifth expected sometime in 2019
3- Westworld (2016 -)
Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi – 2 Seasons, 20 Episodes and 3 Seasons Published 2020.
Science-fiction Western Drama, that has been broadcast on HBO for ttwo seasons. The series premiered in 2016 with the second airing in 2018. It takse place in Wild West themed amusement park populated with Android hosts. It’s known for having complex multi-layered storylines the visuals are stunning and the performances are top-notch. It’s one of those shows that people either love or hate . Westworld has been renewed for a third season with Aaron Paul joining the cacst as a regular it will premiere in 2020.
2- Deadwood (2004-2006)
Crime, Drama, Hystory – 3 Seasons, 36 Episodes
Western drama, that aired on HBO from 2004-2006 for three seasons. It follows the inhabitants of a settlement in Deadwood South Dakota during the late 1800s. The fantastic ensemble cast is led by Ian McShane who plays saloon owner Al Swearengem and Timothy Olyphant who plays a U.S. Marshall and shop owner Seth Bullock. It is a rough and tumble type of show with a good amount of vulgarity depicting the lawlessness of the era. The long awaited Deadwood movie is set to premiere on HBO on May 31st 2019.
1- Breaking Bad (2008-2013)
Crime, Drama, Thriller – 5 Seasons 62 Episodes
Cast: Bryan Cranston (Walter White), Anna Gunn (Skyler White),
Aaron Paul (Jesse Pinkman), Dean Norris (Hank Schrader), Betsy Brandt (Marie Schrader), RJ Mitte (Walter White Jr.) Bob Odenkirk (Saul Goodman)
Is our absolute favorite Tv show of all time. This crime drama thriller aired on the AMC Network for five seasons. From January 2008 to September 2013. Set in Albuquerque New Mexico it stars Bryan Cranston as Walter White. A high school chemistry teacher diagnosed with lung cancer who takes up a new career as a meth producer in the hopes of earning enough money to take care of his family after he dies. The outstanding supporting cast includes Aaron Paul, Bob Odenkirk, Giancarlo Esposito and a gun and many others. The acting, writing, cinematography and the overall production values are superb. If you want more from the Breaking Bad Universe the spin-off prequel Better Call Saul has aired for four seasons on AMC, with season five set to premiere in 2020. And there is a spin-off film of Breaking Bad that is currently in development.