NBC dramas have left an indelible mark on the television landscape, weaving captivating tales that ignite our imagination and transport us to new realms. These shows are renowned for their brilliance and originality, embodying the network’s unwavering dedication to delivering top-notch entertainment. From the legendary Law & Order: SVU and The West Wing to the beloved gems like Freaks & Geeks, The Night Shift, and Cheers, NBC has been the mastermind behind these extraordinary creations.
The NBC saga began humbly, with David Sarnoff and his team unveiling the very first television at New York’s World Fair in the late 1930s. A groundbreaking moment arrived in 1939 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt graced our screens, becoming the first president to be televised nationwide, all thanks to NBC’s pioneering cameras. Not only that, but NBC also triumphed as the trailblazer, captivating audiences with vivid color programming, beating out rivals CBS and DuMont Television Network by a mere whisker.
Even in the present day, NBC reigns supreme as a prominent force in network television. The magic of moving images beamed into our living rooms has granted us the power to lose ourselves in fantastical narratives and discover fragments of our own lives reflected in both real and fictional characters. NBC continues to delight our senses with an array of mesmerizing dramas, consistently crafting compelling content that leaves us hungering for more.
We warmly invite you to embark on this thrilling journey and share your favorite NBC drama with us! If you don’t spot your cherished show on the list, fear not, simply add it and let your voice be heard. Your unique perspective matters, and we can’t wait to see your choice!
1. Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit has been on the air for over 20 seasons, yet it consistently manages to captivate audiences with its compelling storylines that revolve around the gritty world of crime investigation. This highly acclaimed drama series has received widespread recognition, with an astounding 91 victories and 214 nominations across various prestigious awards. Its thought-provoking narratives and impactful performances have rightfully earned it this well-deserved praise.
At the heart of the show is Detective Olivia Benson, portrayed by the talented Mariska Hargitay. She leads a team of skilled investigators who tackle intricate cases involving sexual assault, child abuse, and domestic violence. With Benson’s leadership, the team delves into these challenging investigations, unraveling the truth and seeking justice for the victims.
What sets Law & Order: Special Victims Unit apart is its ability to strike a delicate balance between character-driven subplots and the procedural aspect of storytelling. This winning combination ensures that viewers are consistently engaged as they witness the personal lives of these complex characters unfold, while also shedding light on important societal issues.
In short, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit is a must-watch series that keeps audiences hooked with its gripping narratives and powerful performances. It has rightfully earned its place among the best in the industry, and it continues to make a significant impact by addressing pressing societal concerns.
Premiered: September 20, 1999
Actors: Mariska Hargitay, Christopher Meloni, Richard Belzer
ER, the long-running medical drama, has captivated audiences for over a decade with its groundbreaking portrayal of the high-stakes world of emergency medicine. In this show, life and death decisions are made in a matter of seconds, adding a thrilling element to the storyline. The ensemble cast, led by the dedicated Dr. John Carter played by Noah Wyle, takes viewers through the chaotic corridors of Chicago’s County General Hospital. Through their resilience, courage, and compassion, they showcase the true essence of healthcare professionals.
With an impressive 23 Primetime Emmy Awards, ER has gained critical acclaim for its ability to seamlessly blend emotion, tension, and humor. This series provides viewers with a gripping glimpse into the lives of these healthcare heroes as they navigate both professional and personal challenges. It offers a unique perspective on the demanding and rewarding nature of emergency medicine.
Premiered: September 19, 1994
Actors: Anthony Edwards, George Clooney, Julianna Margulies
Welcome to Cheers, a beloved sitcom set in the heart of Boston. This cozy bar, with its dim lighting and inviting atmosphere, is where strangers quickly become friends, and laughter fills the air. The show introduces us to a fantastic ensemble cast, led by the amiable bartender Sam Malone, played by the talented Ted Danson, and the witty waitress Diane Chambers, portrayed by the brilliant Shelley Long. Through its episodes, Cheers takes us on a journey of endearing camaraderie and hilarious antics among its diverse group of patrons.
With an impressive run of 11 years, Cheers has earned critical acclaim and a special place in television history. It has been honored with an incredible 28 Emmy Awards, a testament to its exceptional quality. This timeless classic not only delivers heartfelt humor but also creates genuine connections between its characters. Audiences are left with a warm feeling inside and an insatiable thirst for more of the show’s magic.
Premiered: September 30, 1982
Actors: Ted Danson, Rhea Perlman, George Wendt
4. Law & Order
Law & Order is a popular crime drama that takes a deep dive into the inner workings of the criminal justice system. It skillfully intertwines the stories of police officers and district attorneys who tirelessly collaborate to solve cases and bring criminals to justice. The show has received numerous accolades, including multiple Emmy nominations, and boasts a talented ensemble cast that includes characters like Detective Lennie Briscoe (Jerry Orbach) and District Attorney Jack McCoy (Sam Waterston). Each episode presents a fresh case, inspired by real-life events, which keeps viewers hooked until the very end. Law & Order’s impactful storytelling and compelling performances have cemented its status as a classic in the television world.
Premiered: September 13, 1990
Actors: Hugh Dancy, Jeffrey Donovan, Odelya Halevi
5. Star Trek: The Original Series
Star Trek: The Original Series is a pioneering classic in science fiction television. It holds a special place in the hearts of fans, showcasing the power of storytelling and human imagination. The show features a talented ensemble cast, led by the iconic Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner) and the logical Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy).
What sets this groundbreaking series apart is its ability to explore uncharted territory. Star Trek boldly ventured where no show had gone before, taking viewers to new worlds and challenging them with thought-provoking social issues and moral dilemmas. The show’s impact was recognized with multiple Emmy nominations, a testament to its quality and relevance.
The influence of Star Trek extends far beyond its original run. It has inspired generations of fans and sparked a vast universe of spin-offs, films, and cultural phenomena. The Star Trek franchise continues to captivate audiences worldwide, proving that its enduring appeal knows no bounds.
Premiered: September 8, 1966
Actors: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley
6. Quantum Leap
In a thrilling combination of science fiction and drama, Quantum Leap takes us on an unpredictable journey with Dr. Sam Beckett (played by Scott Bakula) as he time-travels by inhabiting the bodies of different people throughout history. This critically acclaimed series has received numerous Emmy nominations and wins for its ability to captivate audiences with a mix of human emotions, historical events, and thought-provoking dilemmas. With each episode, we are taken on a wild ride as Beckett, with the help of his holographic sidekick Al Calavicci (played by Dean Stockwell), tries to correct past mistakes, all the while hoping that his next leap will finally bring him back home.
Premiered: March 26, 1989
Actors: Scott Bakula, Dean Stockwell, Dennis Wolfberg
7. Alfred Hitchcock Presents
Alfred Hitchcock Presents, a beloved anthology series, skillfully blends suspense and intrigue into every episode. With the iconic director leading the way, the show received countless awards and nominations during its remarkable run. Viewers were treated to an impressive lineup of guest stars, including Steve McQueen and Bette Davis, who delivered unforgettable performances in their respective roles. Each story unravels with a captivating twist, leaving viewers on the edge of their seats without giving away too much. From mind-bending psychological thrillers to gripping crime dramas, Alfred Hitchcock Presents offers a diverse collection of tales that continue to captivate and entertain fans of all generations.
Premiered: October 2, 1955
Actors: Alfred Hitchcock, Harry Tyler, John Williams
Let’s talk about a classic TV series that’s got it all: mystery, drama, and a touch of humor. Columbo is a detective show that’s won a ton of awards, including 13 Primetime Emmy Awards. It’s got both the audience and critics hooked.
The secret to its success lies in Lieutenant Columbo, played by Peter Falk. He’s a quirky and brilliant character who catches suspects off guard with his unassuming nature and seemingly chaotic methods. What’s really clever about the show is that it flips the script on traditional whodunit stories. Instead of keeping the culprit’s identity hidden until the end, Columbo reveals it early on. This sets the stage for an intense game of cat and mouse between the detective and the criminal.
Columbo is not just about solving crimes though. It’s got well-developed characters and captivating storylines that keep viewers coming back for more. Even after all these years, it’s still a classic that continues to captivate fans of all ages.
Premiered: September 15, 1971
Actors: Peter Falk, Mike Lally, John Finnegan
9. The A-Team
The A-Team, a classic action-adventure show from the 80s, tells the story of a group of ex-US Army Special Forces members who are wrongly accused of a crime and decide to become mercenaries. The team is led by the mysterious and clever Colonel John “Hannibal” Smith, played by George Peppard. Other members include the charming Templeton “Face” Peck, played by Dirk Benedict, the unpredictable and eccentric H.M. “Howling Mad” Murdock, played by Dwight Schultz, and the tough and formidable Bosco “B.A.” Baracus, played by Mr. T. The show became popular for its famous catchphrases, exciting car chases, and explosive stunts. It gained a loyal following and received numerous award nominations throughout its five seasons.
Premiered: January 23, 1983
Actors: George Peppard, Mr. T, Dirk Benedict
Hannibal is an intense psychological thriller that explores the intricate dynamic between FBI special investigator Will Graham (played by Hugh Dancy) and Dr. Hannibal Lecter (portrayed by Mads Mikkelsen), a psychiatrist with a taste for the unusual and disturbing. This show brilliantly combines elements of crime, horror, and drama to offer a fresh take on the iconic characters created by Thomas Harris. It has received numerous nominations for prestigious awards, including a Saturn Award for Best Network Television Series, and has been praised by critics for its gripping narrative, visually stunning aesthetics, and the chilling performances delivered by the talented lead actors. As the story unfolds, the boundaries between hunter and hunted become increasingly blurred, leaving viewers questioning the true motives and loyalties of the characters.
Premiered: April 4, 2013
Actors: Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, Laurence Fishburne
11. Miami Vice
Miami Vice, a groundbreaking crime drama of the 1980s, expertly combines the gritty underworld of drug trafficking with the vibrant pastel hues of South Florida’s nightlife. This Emmy Award-winning show has an ensemble cast led by Don Johnson (Detective James “Sonny” Crockett) and Philip Michael Thomas (Detective Ricardo “Rico” Tubbs) who play undercover detectives dealing with personal and professional challenges. The series is praised for its innovative use of contemporary music and stylish visuals, taking it beyond a typical procedural drama. Miami Vice captures the essence of a specific time and place, while delving into the complexities of human nature and the blurred boundaries between good and evil.
Premiered: September 16, 1984
Actors: Don Johnson, Philip Michael Thomas, Edward James Olmos