If you are a fan of the DC Universe, you have probably seen many different DC TV shows over the years. Some of them you quote daily, and for some of them, you probably don’t want to remember anymore. Either way, we have seen many adaptations over the years, and in this article, we will focus on the more successful examples of that. It’s also important to note that we have come a long way since the first DC TV series was released back in the 1950s. TV shows have been slowly taking over our daily viewing habits for the past ten years.
This was, of course, because of the growing popularity of streaming services, so many new projects have been pushed because of this. Around this time, people started to develop the habit of binge-watching TV shows, which was a relatively new phenomenon couple of years back. With that said, we have compiled a list of the most-rated DC TV shows on IMDb, and we will look at some of the highlights. Without further ado, here is our list of 20 best DC shows that are ranked by IMDb score.
20. Arrow (IMDb score: 7.5)
Arrow follows the main character Oliver Queen a young playboy billionaire that has disappeared after a shipwreck on Lian Yu in the North China Sea. Five years later, Oliver returned to America and said he had survived the shipwreck.
In those years, Oliver drastically changed and decided to fight against crime and corruption in Starling City. Oliver decided to do this by taking on a new secret identity; he would call himself “The Hood.” By the time the night would fall, he would go out and fight criminals.
19. Smallville (IMDb score: 7.5)
Smallville follows the adventures of a young Superman. Before he stepped into the superhero role, Superman was living in a fictional small town called Smallville in Texas. He was known as Clark Kent in his hometown, and in the first few seasons, we follow his high school days.
Like any other teenager, Clark has a complicated relationship, which is also explored in the series. Of course, his superpowers sometimes make those relationships and friendships even more difficult. Having a secret like that sometimes makes connecting to his peers meaningfully impossible.
18. The Flash (IMDb score: 7.5)
The Flash follows the main character, Barry Allen, who is a scientist and crime-scene investigator. Barry went through a traumatic event in his childhood; an unknown costumed man killed his mother. This man framed Barry’s father for the death of his mother. This is why he ultimately joined the sime investigation unit.
Barry was working on a project with Dr. Harrison and his team when a massive particle accelerator malfunctioned. This created a freak storm; many people that got caught in it died, and Barry was struck by lightning. Barry was in a coma for nine months after that event, but when he woke up, he discovered he had special powers.
17. Titans (IMDb score: 7.6)
Titans is a series that follows the four members of a superhero team, Dick Grayson, who is Batman’s former partner. We have the extraterrestrial Kory Anders, Rachel Roth, and Gar Logan. In the beginning, each team member fights against evil on their own. Later in the story, they reunite as a team when the original and new members reform the group.
New team members arrive after the Titans group is formed; they are joined by Jason Todd, who was Batman’s newest partner, then the assassin Rose Wilson, and the genetic clone of Superman, Conner Kent. The story starts building when asks Dick for help; it turns out that extremely dangerous forces are chasing after her.
16. Human Target (IMDb score: 7.8)
The Human Target follows a unique private contractor, Christopher Chance, a bodyguard and security expert. This show is, of course, based on a comic book series, but in the show, Christopher integrates himself into his client’s lives. In the comic books, he takes on his client’s identity to become the target of whoever is going after them.
Chance works with his two partners, Winston and Guerrero. Chance is a character that will put himself on the line so the truth can be revealed. This is also why his former client eventually became his benefactor. Although his partners don’t understand Chance’s motivations, this is revealed in the season finale.
15. iZombie (IMDb score: 7.8)
The show iZombie follows the story of Olivia Moore, a medical resident who became a zombie. Olivia was attending a boat party when she became an undead creature. If she wants to survive, she has to keep a healthy diet, eating human brains. This complicates every aspect of her life now that she has a new hunger for her human friends and family.
She decided to end her relationship and her career, after which she started working at a morgue. There she manages to satisfy her new appetite, but one day she is discovered by her boss. Doctor Chakrabarti decided to help Olivia because he was intrigued by her condition and wanted to learn more about that.
14. Gotham (IMDb score: 7.8)
Gotham follows a young Bruce Wayne after the death of his parents, but before he became the vigilante known as Batman. Along with Bruce, we also have other popular characters like Catwoman and Poison Ivy. The two of them are on their own, fighting to survive in the streets of Gotham. Another one of the main characters is James Gordon, a young police officer who we later know as one of Batman’s partners.
Gotham faces all kinds of threats; at the show’s beginning, the most prevalent threat comes from the two main mafia families. The Falcone and Maroni families have been at war for quite some time, and they are the two most powerful mafia families in Gotham.
13. Doom Patrol (IMDb score: 7.8)
Doom Patrol follows the members of a group that the Chief put together. The Chief is a medical doctor who helps out those shunned by society. He helped the members out by treating them and letting them stay at his mansion. He decided to form a group out of the five individuals he stumbled upon.
The first member we are introduced to is Jane, who suffers from a dissociative identity disorder. After that came Rita Farr, whose body turns into a gelatinous state, Larry Trainor, who holds an entity of negative energy inside of him; and finally, Cliff Steele, who was turned into a robot after he survived a car crash.
12. Teen Titans (IMDb score: 7.9)
Teen Titans is an animated series that aired in 2003, and it follows a group of teenage superheroes. Even though their mission is to help save the world from danger, they are still teenagers with ordinary everyday struggles.
The team members are Robin, the group’s leader; Starfire, the alien princess from the planet Tamaran; then we have half-human Cyborg, and half-robot. After that, we have Raven, a mysterious girl from a parallel world, and Beast Boy, who can transform into any kind of animal. In the first season, they are attacked by a supervillain who wants Robin to join him in his endeavors.
11. Preacher (IMDb score: 7.9)
The TV show Preacher premiered in 2016, and its final season was released in 2019. The show was developed by Sam Catlin, Evan Goldberg, and Seth Rogen, who used the original comic book series as the source material. The series follows Jesse Custer, he is not your usual type of preacher.
Jesse is going through a crisis, trying to regain his faith. He has fallen down a path of drinking and chain smoking. After a supernatural event, he gained an unusual power. Along this way, Jesse is accompanied by his ex-girlfriend and an Irish vampire called Cassidy.
10. Superman: The Animated Series (IMDb score: 8.1)
Superman: The Animated Series came out back in 1996, and the show aired on Kids’ WB. The show has received a lot of praise in terms of its writing, voice acting, and the decision to modernize some of the iconic characters from the comic book series. The decision to have this series deal with many complex themes and handle them with a mature perspective was very refreshing.
The show follows one of the most popular superheroes of all time, Superman, also known as Clark Kent. We follow his journey based on the original comic series, but with some modifications. There is a more restrained approach where the focus is placed on the struggle for the superhero to perform certain spectacular feats.
9. Batman Beyond (IMDb score: 8.1)
The Batman Beyond animated series was released in 1999. The story follows Bruce Wayne 20 years after Batman: The Animated Series. Bruce is now in his late 50s and still fighting crime in Gotham. In one instance, he got attacked by one of the criminals he was chasing after. Bruce almost resorted to using a gun after he suffered a mild heart attack.
He was ashamed of himself for having murderous temptations, so he decided to retire. We jump forward again, and Bruce is now 70 years old. All of his enemies are either dead or locked in prison, and his past the point of being able to fight. In one instance, he runs into a young Terry McGinnis, who helps Bruce escape some criminals. Later on in the story, Terry gets his hands on the Batsuit, which takes Bruce some time to accept and let Terry take on this role.
8. Lucifer (IMDb score: 8.1)
Lucifer is a TV series that follows the devil, who has grown tired of ruling hell and decides to take a vacation in Los Angeles. There, he opens a nightclub and becomes entangled in the city’s crime-fighting scene, teaming up with a detective to solve crimes and punish wrongdoers.
He grapples with his identity, relationships with angels and demons, and growing human emotions along the way. The show is based on the DC Comics character of the same name and features a mix of comedy, drama, and supernatural elements. It ran for six seasons from 2016 to 2021.
7. Watchmen (IMDb score: 8.2)
Watchmen is a TV series set in an alternate history where masked vigilantes are outlawed, and the world is on the brink of nuclear war. The story follows diverse characters, including retired vigilantes, police officers, and a mysterious woman with godlike powers. As they navigate political intrigue and personal relationships, they uncover a conspiracy threatening to tear apart their world.
The show is based on the acclaimed graphic novel by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, exploring power, justice, and morality themes. It ran for one season in 2019 and received critical acclaim for its storytelling, performances, and visual style.
6. The New Batman Adventures (IMDb score: 8.5)
The New Batman Adventures is an animated series that follows the adventures of the Caped Crusader in Gotham City. The show features a redesigned Batman and his allies, including Robin and Batgirl, as they battle some of the city’s most notorious villains, including the Joker, Two-Face, and Mr. Freeze.
The series builds on the success of Batman: The Animated Series and features darker, more mature storylines that explore the psychological depths of its characters. It ran for two seasons from 1997 to 1999 and is widely regarded as one of the best-animated adaptations of the Dark Knight.
5. Harley Quinn (IMDb score: 8.5)
The Harley Quinn animated series follows the iconic villainess as she sets out to establish herself as Gotham City’s most notorious criminal. Along the way, she recruits a team of fellow supervillains, including Poison Ivy, to help her achieve her goals. The show features a mix of irreverent humor, action, and character development as Harley navigates the ups and downs of her personal and professional life.
The series explores themes of identity, friendship, and the blurred lines between good and evil. It premiered in 2019 and has received critical acclaim for its writing, voice acting, and animation.
4. Justice League (IMDb score: 8.6)
The Justice League is an animated series that brings together some of DC Comic’s most iconic heroes, including Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and The Flash, to form a team of superpowered beings dedicated to protecting the world from threats too great for any one hero to handle. Together, they face off against various villains, including Darkseid, the Joker, and Lex Luthor.
The show explores teamwork, heroism, and sacrifice themes and is known for its action-packed storylines and larger-than-life characters. It aired from 2001 to 2004 and is considered a classic superhero animation.
3. Young Justice (IMDb score: 8.6)
Young Justice is an animated series that follows a group of teenage sidekicks, including Robin, Aqualad, and Kid Flash. They form their own team of superheroes in the DC Comics universe. The show explores the challenges and adventures these young heroes face as they balance their personal lives with their duties as superheroes.
Along the way, they discover a vast conspiracy involving a shadowy organization and a threat to the entire planet. The series has been praised for its writing, animation, and mature themes and has developed a dedicated fanbase.
2. Justice League Unlimited (IMDb score: 8.7)
Justice League Unlimited is an animated series that expands upon the original Justice League series, featuring an even larger cast of DC Comics superheroes and villains.
The show follows the members of the Justice League as they face new threats to the world and universe, teaming up with allies such as the Green Lantern Corps and the Teen Titans. The series explores the personal lives and motivations of its characters while also featuring epic battles and high-stakes storylines.
1. Batman: The Animated Series (IMDb score: 9.0)
Batman: The Animated Series is a groundbreaking animated series that follows the Caped Crusader as he battles villains in Gotham City. The show features a dark and moody visual style and complex storylines that explore the psychological depths of its characters.
Alongside classic villains like the Joker, Penguin, and Catwoman, the series also introduces original characters, such as the vigilante hero, the Phantasm. The series is widely regarded as a classic of animation and has had a lasting impact on the Batman franchise and the superhero genre as a whole.