Outstanding Drama Series Winners

by coastergeek93 | created - 20 Jan 2014 | updated - 23 Sep 2017 | Public
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1. Pulitzer Prize Playhouse (1950–1952)

60 min | Drama

Dramatic anthology series presenting plays adopted from Pulitzer Prize winning stories, plays, novels, et cetera.

Stars: Elmer Davis, Charles Dingle, Richard Bishop, Joan Chandler

Votes: 20

2. Studio One in Hollywood (1948–1958)

60 min | Drama

A pinnacle of the Golden Age of Television, "Studio One" presented a wide range of memorable dramas and received eighteen Emmy nominations and five wins during its prestigious nine-year run... See full summary »

Stars: Betty Furness, Paul Brinson, Paul Branson, Mary Sinclair

Votes: 186

3. Robert Montgomery Presents (1950–1957)

60 min | Drama

Actor, Producer, and Director Robert Montgomery introduced each telecast, sometimes interviewing one of the stars, and sometimes appearing in the play.

Stars: Robert Montgomery, John Newland, Vaughn Taylor, Elizabeth Montgomery

Votes: 76

4. The United States Steel Hour (1953–1963)

60 min | Comedy, Drama

In this live drama series, over two hundred live plays, covering all aspects of society, were shown.

Stars: Richard Kiley, Betsy Palmer, Mona Freeman, Hans Conried

Votes: 106

5. Producers' Showcase (1954–1957)

90 min | Drama, Musical, Comedy

This program aired once every fourth week, and was one of the most costly live shows of the 1950s. Many stars appeared on this show.

Stars: Cyril Ritchard, Claire Bloom, Mary Martin, Heller Halliday

Votes: 81

6. Gunsmoke (1955–1975)

TV-PG | 60 min | Western

Marshal Matt Dillon keeps the peace in rough and tumble Dodge City.

Stars: James Arness, Milburn Stone, Amanda Blake, Ken Curtis

Votes: 4,578

7. Playhouse 90 (1956–1961)

90 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

Of the many anthology series, Playhouse 90 is considered the most ambitious with outstanding talent in front of the camera. Attracting top ranked directors and scripts it was often filmed live including the entire first season.

Stars: Richard Joy, Charles Bickford, Kim Hunter, Malcolm Atterbury

Votes: 248

9. Macbeth (III) (1960 TV Movie)

108 min | Drama

Hallmark Hall of Fame's second version of Shakespeare's classic play, with the same two stars and the same director as its first version, but a different supporting cast.

Director: George Schaefer | Stars: Maurice Evans, Judith Anderson, Michael Hordern, Ian Bannen

Votes: 41

10. The Defenders (1961–1965)

60 min | Drama

A father and son lawyer duo take a variety of cases that often deal with the important issues of the day.

Stars: E.G. Marshall, Robert Reed, Polly Rowles, Ossie Davis

Votes: 312

11. The Fugitive (1963–1967)

51 min | Adventure, Crime, Drama

A doctor, wrongly convicted for a murder he didn't commit, escapes custody and must stay ahead of the police to find the real killer.

Stars: David Janssen, William Conrad, Barry Morse, Paul Birch

Votes: 2,999

12. Mission: Impossible (1966–1973)

TV-PG | 50 min | Action, Adventure, Crime

An elite covert operations unit carries out highly sensitive missions subject to official denial in the event of failure, death or capture.

Stars: Peter Graves, Barbara Bain, Greg Morris, Peter Lupus

Votes: 7,256

13. NET Playhouse (1964–1972)

90 min | Biography, Drama, History

American television anthology series of wide range of genres, from history and drama, to fantasy, and science fiction. Fiction novels, stories, stage plays, fairytales, and historic events are dramatized in each episode.

Stars: Rene Auberjonois, Irene Dailey, George Voskovec, Richard Dysart

Votes: 19

14. Marcus Welby, M.D. (1969–1976)

TV-PG | 60 min | Drama

The show is about doctors Marcus Welby, a general practitioner and Steven Kiley, Welby's young assistant. The two try to treat people as individuals in an age of specialized medicine and ... See full summary »

Stars: Robert Young, James Brolin, Elena Verdugo, Pamela Hensley

Votes: 1,233

15. The Bold Ones: The Senator (1970–1971)

60 min | Drama

Hays Stowe is a new senator who comes to Washington DC with his wife Erin and daughter Norma. He arrives full of optimism that being on the side of justice can help him change things for ... See full summary »

Stars: Hal Holbrook, Michael Tolan, Kate Hawley, Sharon Acker

Votes: 57

16. Elizabeth R (1971– )

85 min | Biography, Drama, History

When Elizabeth Tudor comes to the throne, her (male) advisers know she has to marry. Doesn't she? Thus starts a decades-long political/ matrimonial game, during an age of high passions and high achievement.

Stars: Glenda Jackson, Ronald Hines, Robert Hardy, Stephen Murray

Votes: 1,423

17. The Waltons (1971–1981)

TV-G | 60 min | Drama, Family, Romance

The life and trials of a 1930s and 1940s Virginia mountain family through financial depression and World War II.

Stars: Jon Walmsley, Mary Beth McDonough, Eric Scott, Judy Norton

Votes: 5,034

18. Upstairs, Downstairs (1971–1975)

60 min | Drama

The trials of the British aristocratic Bellamy family and their household staff.

Stars: Gordon Jackson, David Langton, Jean Marsh, Angela Baddeley

Votes: 2,439

19. Police Story (1973–1987)

120 min | Action, Crime, Drama

Classic anthology series, which details the personal lives of the men and women of the Los Angeles Police Department. The stories ranged from highly dramatic to extremely funny. Even though... See full summary »

Stars: Scott Brady, Mel Scott, Don Meredith, Joe Santos

Votes: 713

20. The Rockford Files (1974–1980)

TV-PG | 60 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

The cases of an easy going ex-convict turned private investigator.

Stars: James Garner, Noah Beery Jr., Joe Santos, Luis Delgado

Votes: 6,180

21. Lou Grant (1977–1982)

TV-PG | 60 min | Drama

The trials of a former television station manager, turned newspaper city editor, and his journalist staff.

Stars: Edward Asner, Robert Walden, Mason Adams, Jack Bannon

Votes: 1,549

22. Hill Street Blues (1981–1987)

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

The lives and work of the staff of an inner city police precinct.

Stars: Daniel J. Travanti, Michael Warren, Bruce Weitz, James Sikking

Votes: 6,607

23. Cagney & Lacey (1981–1988)

TV-PG | 60 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Two female police detectives cooperate with each other both in their professions and in their personal lives.

Stars: Tyne Daly, Sharon Gless, Al Waxman, John Karlen

Votes: 2,960

24. L.A. Law (1986–1994)

TV-PG | 46 min | Drama

The lives and work of the staff of a major Los Angeles law firm.

Stars: Corbin Bernsen, Jill Eikenberry, Alan Rachins, Michael Tucker

Votes: 4,011

25. Thirtysomething (1987–1991)

60 min | Drama, Romance

Seven thirtysomethings living in Philadelphia struggle with everyday adult angst.

Stars: Timothy Busfield, Polly Draper, Mel Harris, Peter Horton

Votes: 1,994

26. Northern Exposure (1990–1995)

60 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

A newly graduated doctor is required to set up his practice in an eccentric Alaskan town.

Stars: Rob Morrow, Janine Turner, Barry Corbin, John Cullum

Votes: 14,108

27. Picket Fences (1992–1996)

120 min | Crime, Drama, Family

An aging Sheriff tries to keep the peace in Rome, Wisconsin, a small town plagued by bizarre and violent crimes.

Stars: Kathy Baker, Tom Skerritt, Lauren Holly, Costas Mandylor

Votes: 3,575

28. NYPD Blue (1993–2005)

TV-14 | 45 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Detectives from NYPD's 15th Precinct investigate homicides within their precinct.

Stars: Dennis Franz, Jimmy Smits, Gordon Clapp, James McDaniel

Votes: 10,835

29. ER (1994–2009)

TV-14 | 44 min | Drama, Romance

The lives, loves and losses of the doctors and nurses of Chicago's County General Hospital.

Stars: Anthony Edwards, George Clooney, Julianna Margulies, Eriq La Salle

Votes: 46,991

30. Law & Order (1990–2010)

TV-14 | 45 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Follows a crime (usually a murder), usually adapted from current headlines, from two separate vantage points, the police investigation and the prosecution in court.

Stars: Jerry Orbach, Jesse L. Martin, Dennis Farina, S. Epatha Merkerson

Votes: 29,755

31. The Practice (1997–2004)

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

We follow the exploits and cases of defense attorneys of a Boston law firm. Bobby Donnell is the senior defense attorney and founder of the firm.

Stars: Dylan McDermott, Kelli Williams, Lara Flynn Boyle, Steve Harris

Votes: 7,209

32. The West Wing (1999–2006)

TV-14 | 44 min | Drama

Inside the lives of staffers in the West Wing of the White House.

Stars: Martin Sheen, Rob Lowe, Allison Janney, John Spencer

Votes: 57,386

33. 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: 262,654

34. Lost (2004–2010)

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

The survivors of a plane crash are forced to work together in order to survive on a seemingly deserted tropical island.

Stars: Jorge Garcia, Josh Holloway, Yunjin Kim, Evangeline Lilly

Votes: 463,692

35. 24 (2001–2010)

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

Jack Bauer, Director of Field Ops for the Counter-Terrorist Unit of Los Angeles, races against the clock to subvert terrorist plots and save his nation from ultimate disaster.

Stars: Kiefer Sutherland, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Carlos Bernard, Dennis Haysbert

Votes: 164,571

36. 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: 186,044

37. Homeland (2011– )

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

A bipolar CIA operative becomes convinced a prisoner of war has been turned by al-Qaeda and is planning to carry out a terrorist attack on American soil.

Stars: Claire Danes, Mandy Patinkin, Damian Lewis, Rupert Friend

Votes: 284,174

38. 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: 1,268,575

39. 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: 1,596,575

40. The Handmaid's Tale (2017– )

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

Set in a dystopian future, a woman is forced to live as a concubine under a fundamentalist theocratic dictatorship.

Stars: Elisabeth Moss, Yvonne Strahovski, Joseph Fiennes, Ann Dowd

Votes: 139,267



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