Top 10 Best TV Series of All Time

TV Series are the little brother of movies. But that doesn’t mean they’re any less popular or valued. In fact, many believe that we’re living in the ‘golden age of drama series’ which will subsequently lead to the complete replacement of the “big screen” in favor of the “small screen”. TV Series today are of course not necessarily watched on television but increasingly streamed on popular streaming services such as Netflix or Prime. And these platforms bring out several new series and shows to watch on a weekly basis. But what are the best TV Series of all time? Our updated Top 10 ranking of the best TV Series in history will show you just that.

Note: The ranking is based on the average ratings a finished series has received on the leading critics websites (IMDb, Metacritic & Rotten Tomatoes). The same system is used as for our Top 10 Ranking of the Best Movies of all Time. A series has to have concluded at least two full seasons to be considered for this all-time best TV Series ranking.

the best tv series of all time

The 10 Best TV Series of All Time

(as of February 2020)

1. BREAKING BAD
Average Rating: 9.7/10
2. PLANET EARTH
Average Rating: 9.5/10
3. THE BLUE PLANET
Average Rating: 9.5/10
4. THE SOPRANOS
Average Rating: 9.3/10
5. THE WIRE
Average Rating: 9.3/10
6. FARGO
Average Rating: 9.2/10
7. RICK AND MORTY
Average Rating: 9.1/10
8. GAME OF THRONES
Average Rating: 8.9/10
9. BETTER CALL SAUL
Average Rating: 8.9/0
10. BOARDWALK EMPIRE
Average Rating: 8.8/10

Tiebreaker: More episodes

1. Breaking Bad

breaking bad - best tv series of all time

Created by: Vince Gilligan
Original network: AMC
Running period: 2008 – 2013
Number of Seasons: 5
Number of Episodes: 62
Genre: Crime Drama

Breaking Bad is the best rated TV Series of all time. The show follows an underachieving high school chemistry teacher (played by Bryan Cranston) who receives a lung cancer diagnosis around his 50th birthday. Not wanting to leave behind his family in debt, he turns to cooking meth.

2. Planet Earth

planet earth - second best tv show in history

Created by: David Attenborough
Original network: BBC
Running period: 2006 & 2016
Number of Seasons: 2
Number of Episodes: 17
Genre: Nature Documentary

British filmmaker David Attenborough’s nature documentary “Planet Earth” is the second best rated TV show in history. In 17 episodes, the show shows the beauty and wonders provided by our planet.

3. The Blue Planet

the blue planet - third best tv show in history

Created by: David Attenborough
Original network: BBC
Running period: 2001 & 2017
Number of Seasons: 2
Number of Episodes: 15
Genre: Nature Documentary

The Blue Planet is another nature documentary about our planet created by David Attenborough. Just as fascinating and interesting as “Planet Earth”, the 15-episodes long The Blue Planet lands at third place in the Top 10 of best TV series of all time.

4. The Sopranos

the sopranos - fourth best tv series of all time

Created by: David Chase
Original network: HBO
Running period: 1999 – 2007
Number of Seasons: 6
Number of Episodes: 86
Genre: Crime Drama

The HBO series The Sopranos is the fourth best overall and second best crime drama series in history. The show follows New Jersey mafia boss Tony Soprano (played by James Gandolfini) in his daily family and mob life. The show is praised for its realistic depiction of life in the American mafia.

5. The Wire

the wire - fifth best tv series of all time

Created by: David Simon
Original network: HBO
Running period: 2002 – 2008
Number of Seasons: 5
Number of Episodes: 60
Genre: Crime Drama

The Top 5 is completed by The Wire. Another crime drama series, The Wire is set in Baltimore and shows different perspectives on the crime epidemic that the American city is unfortunately known for.

6. Fargo

Fargo (TV logo).png

Created by: Noah Hawley
Original network: FX
Running period: 2014 – ongoing
Number of Seasons: 3
Number of Episodes: 30
Genre: Anthological Crime Drama

7. Rick and Morty

Title card

Created by: Daniel Harmon & Justin Roiland
Original network: Adult Swim
Running period: 2013 – ongoing
Number of Seasons: 4
Number of Episodes: 41
Genre: Animated Sitcom

8. Game of Thrones

Main title card for Game of Thrones

Created by: David Benioff & Daniel Weiss
Original network: HBO
Running period: 2011 – 2019
Number of Seasons: 8
Number of Episodes: 73
Genre: Fantasy

9. Better Call Saul

Text "Better Call Saul" with drawn set of balance scales to the right

Created by: Vince Gilligan & Peter Gould
Original network: AMC
Running period: 2015 – ongoing
Number of Seasons: 4
Number of Episodes: 40
Genre: Crime Drama

10. Boardwalk Empire

Boardwalk Empire 2010 Intertitle.png

Created by: Terence Winter
Original network: HBO
Running period: 2010 – 2014
Number of Seasons: 5
Number of Episodes: 56
Genre: Crime Drama


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