historical events The Best Historical Drama TV Shows

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List Rules Only true historical dramas - no fantasy, including dragons or time / space travel.

Learn about real-world history while you binge watch the best historical drama shows on television. Some of the greatest TV dramas feature realistic settings from history and characters who actually existed. This list of the greatest historical drama shows is ranked best to worst, and it also includes information about the cast. Popular historical drama TV shows have been a staple of television for years, so there's often debate about what the most entertaining historical drama show of all time is.

Including Rome and Vikings, the list of good historical series features period dramas and medieval epics. These shows usually have colorful costumes, beautiful set pieces, and even ancient languages. 

This list answers the questions, "What is the best historical drama show of all time?" and "What are the greatest historical drama shows?" Want a little between-wars England with your Downton Abbey? Some Henry VIII with your The Tudors? Don't let your favorite historical drama television programs in history get to the bottom of the list - be sure to vote them up so they have the chance to reach the top spot. The list of historical drama television shows below includes information like the program's cast, creator and premiere date when available.

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Vikings is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Vikings Travis Fimmel, Clive Standen, Gustaf Skarsgård

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The Tudors is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
The Tudors Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Henry Cavill, Anthony Brophy

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Rome is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Rome Kevin McKidd, Ray Stevenson, Polly Walker

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Downton Abbey is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Downton Abbey Hugh Bonneville, Phyllis Logan, Elizabeth McGovern

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The Borgias is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
The Borgias Jeremy Irons, François Arnaud, Holliday Grainger - The Borgias is a historical-fiction drama television series, created by Neil Jordan.  This series follows the life of the Borgia family in Rome. 

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Band of Brothers is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Band of Brothers Scott Grimes, Damian Lewis, Ron Livingston

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Spartacus: Blood and Sand is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Spartacus: Blood and Sand Eric McIntire, Daniel Spink, Matthew Felker

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Outlander is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Outlander Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, Tobias Menzies

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Deadwood is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Deadwood Timothy Olyphant, Ian McShane, Molly Parker

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Reign is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Reign Adelaide Kane, Megan Follows, Torrance Coombs

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Marco Polo is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Marco Polo Benedict Wong, Olivia Cheng, Joan Chen

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The White Queen is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
The White Queen Janet McTeer, Rebecca Ferguson

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Spartacus: Vengeance is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Spartacus: Vengeance Brett Tucker, Craig Parker, Viva Bianca

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The Last Kingdom is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
The Last Kingdom Gerard Kearns, Alec Newman, Madeleine Power

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Versailles is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Versailles George Blagden, Stuart Bowman, Evan Williams

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Roots is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Roots LeVar Burton, Olivia Cole, Robert Reed

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Pride and Prejudice is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Pride and Prejudice Colin Firth, Lucy Davis, Alison Steadman

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Mad Men is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Mad Men Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, Vincent Kartheiser

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Poldark is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Poldark Judy Geeson, Ralph Bates, Angharad Rees

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Black Sails is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Black Sails Jessica Parker Kennedy, Toby Stephens, Hannah New

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The Crown is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
The Crown Matt Smith, John Lithgow, Claire Foy

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Medici: Masters of Florence is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows

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John Adams is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
John Adams Paul Giamatti, Laura Linney, John Dossett

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Da Vinci's Demons is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Da Vinci's Demons Tom Riley, Gregg Chillin, Eros Vlahos

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North and South is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
North and South Elizabeth Taylor, Kirstie Alley, Johnny Cash

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Hatfields & McCoys is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Hatfields & McCoys Kevin Costner, Bill Paxton, Matt Barr

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Peaky Blinders is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows

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The Paradise is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
The Paradise Joanna Vanderham, Emun Elliott, Stephen Wight

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Wolf Hall is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Wolf Hall Mark Rylance, Damian Lewis, Claire Foy

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Upstairs, Downstairs is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Upstairs, Downstairs Gordon Jackson, David Langton, Jean Marsh

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Hell on Wheels is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Hell on Wheels Anson Mount, Colm Meaney, Robin McLeavy

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Foyle's War is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Foyle's War Michael Kitchen, Honeysuckle Weeks, Anthony Howell

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Call The Midwife is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Call The Midwife Vanessa Redgrave, Helen George, Laura Main

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Camelot is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Camelot Joseph Fiennes, Jamie Campbell Bower, Tamsin Egerton

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Bleak House is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Bleak House Gillian Anderson, Carey Mulligan, Charles Dance

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Elizabeth I is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Elizabeth I Helen Mirren, Jeremy Irons, Hugh Dancy

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Borgia is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Borgia Mark Ryder, Isolda Dychauk, Diarmuid Noyes

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The Forsyte Saga is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
The Forsyte Saga Damian Lewis, Ioan Gruffudd, Rupert Graves

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War and Peace is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
War and Peace Anthony Hopkins, Alan Dobie, Morag Hood

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Kung Fu is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Kung Fu David Carradine, Keye Luke, Radames Pera

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Little Dorrit is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Little Dorrit Andy Serkis, Freema Agyeman, Matthew Macfadyen

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Indian Summers is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Indian Summers Henry Lloyd-Hughes, Nikesh Patel, Jemima West

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Manhattan is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Manhattan Rachel Brosnahan, Michael Chernus, Christopher Denham

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Murdoch Mysteries is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Murdoch Mysteries Lisa Ray, Paul Rhys, Georgina Reilly

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Magnificent Century is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Magnificent Century Mehmet Günsür, Cansu Dere, Meryem Uzerli

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Empresses in the Palace is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows

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Merlin is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Merlin John Hurt, Colin Morgan, Bradley James

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Quo Vadis is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows

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North & South is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
North & South Richard Armitage, Sinéad Cusack, Daniela Denby-Ashe

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Anno Domini is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows