Top 10 Most Violent TV Shows

Script written by Clayton Martino Gruesome deaths aren't just for the movies anymore! Welcome to, and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Most Violent TV Shows. For this list, we're looking at the most violent shows in television history. Special thanks to our users Andrew A. Dennison and Jake Fraser for submitting the idea at WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Top 10 Most Violent TV Shows

Gruesome deaths aren’t just for the movies anymore! Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 most violent TV shows.

For this list, we’re looking at the most violent shows in television history. We’re excluding cartoons, however, so you won’t be seeing “South Park” or “Family Guy” on this list. Also, some of these entries may give away important plot points, so spoiler alert!

#10: “Rome” (2005-07)

Ancient Rome wasn’t the safest place to live, and this HBO historical drama captured the violence of the era perfectly. In just two short seasons, the series covered the rise and fall of Julius Caesar, and the subsequent rise of Octavian, who would later become Augustus, Rome’s first Emperor. Rome wouldn’t become the mostpowerful Empire in the world without a few casualties along the way, however. Famous historical figures such as Pompey Magnus, Cicero, Marcus Brutus, Mark Antony and Cleopatra were just some of the many characters to suffer violent ends in this critically acclaimed series.

#9: “Boardwalk Empire” (2010-14)

As we saw with “Rome”, HBO isn’t afraid to show graphic violence, and “Boardwalk Empire” is no exception. This series is set in Atlantic City in the 1920s during the Prohibition era, which just so happened to coincide with the rise of organized crime. Steve Buscemi starred as Nucky Thompson, the man who essentially ran New Jersey. The show constantly killed off main characters in brutal fashion, and also featured people getting burned alive, throat slitting, and scalping, among other grisly methods of murder.

#8: “Fargo” (2014-)

This series, which was inspired by the classic Coen brothers film of the same name, was met with much critical acclaim as reviewers praised the story, acting, and dark humor. Much like the film, the show didn’t shy away from violence, as several characters meet their end in bloody fashion. Three characters are murdered in the first episode alone, including the town’s police chief and the main character’s wife. Talk about a pilot episode!

#7: “Sons of Anarchy” (2008-14)

Wait, a television series about a motorcycle gang is violent? Talk about a plot twist! Okay seriously, it may be obvious that “Sons of Anarchy” would feature violencethroughout the series, but this show was especially creative. The ways several characters met their ends were just brutal, including being burned alive, and one episode even featured a pot of chili that included a severed head as an extra ingredient.

#6: “Hannibal” (2013-)

Perhaps the most shocking thing about this show isn’t so much the violence, but the fact that it actually airs on network television as opposed to premium cable. While most of the graphic scenes occur when characters are already dead, that doesn’t make it any easier to digest. Based on the Thomas Harris novel “Red Dragon,” the show also features actual violence, including an epic showdown between the titular character and another serial killer.

#5: “Dexter” (2006-13)

A series that follows a police blood analyst by day and a serial killer by night? Of course “Dexter” was going to feature some brutal violence. Almost every episode featured Dexter kidnapping someone, taping them to his killing table, and essentially executing them. Several main characters also died in grizzly fashion, including Rita, Dexter’s wife, who met her end at the hands of the Trinity killer.

#4: “Spartacus” (2010-13)

If we were ranking the list in order of most blood spilled, “Spartacus” would easily take the top spot. While the series mixes in a story here and there, it is essentiallyviolence porn. The fight scenes, particularly in the gladiatorial arena, are incredibly brutal, with gladiators dying in horrific ways. To top it off, the show is extremely stylized, with slow motion being used to make sure you see exactly what is happening. It’s not surprising it was rated TV-MA - meaning for adults only.

#3: “Game of Thrones” (2011-)

According to one study, “Game of Thrones” kills approximately 13 people per episode. And, as fans know, this isn’t restricted to minor characters or set extras. Any character can die at any time, perhaps best exemplified by the horrific Red Wedding, where several major characters are suddenly butchered in brutal fashion. “Game of Thrones” essentially offers the same graphic scenes as “Spartacus” but without the stylized filming, making it all the more real, and all the more horrifying.

#2: “Oz” (1997-2003)

Without “Oz”, shows like “The Sopranos”, “Game of Thrones”, and “Boardwalk Empire” wouldn’t exist. “Oz” paved the way for HBO to become the dominant player in the television industry, and, naturally, featured brutal and graphic violence. Of course, with the show set in a correctional facility, it’s only natural that many episodes would feature nasty fight scenes and gruesome deaths. While “Oz” would fit right in with several shows that are airing today, it was groundbreaking at the time, and was easily the most violent show on television in the late ‘90s and early 2000s.

Before we unveil our number one pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- The Following” (2013-15)
- “Breaking Bad” (2008-13)
- “True Blood” (2008-14)
- “Daredevil” (2015-)
- “Criminal Minds” (2005-)

#1: “The Walking Dead” (2010-)

While several shows on this list are violent just for the sake of being violent, “The Walking Dead” is a series set in a world where violence is not only common, it is necessary to survive. Essentially, it’s kill or be killed. Believe it or not, it is often the humans in the show that are responsible for more of the horrifying scenes, rather than the walkers. The series seems to be getting more and more violent as the seasons progress, and as readers of the comics know, it is only going to get worse.

Do you agree with our list? What is your favorite violent television series? For more great Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to

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