drama shows 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.

1
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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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2
+ - 681 240
Rome is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Rome Kevin McKidd, Ray Stevenson Polly Walker

3
+ - 592 202
The Tudors is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
The Tudors Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Henry Cavill Anthony Brophy

4
+ - 482 144
Downton Abbey is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Downton Abbey Hugh Bonneville, Phyllis Logan Elizabeth McGovern

5
+ - 479 217
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. 

6
+ - 395 161
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

7
+ - 396 238
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

8
+ - 213 178
Deadwood is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Deadwood Timothy Olyphant, Ian McShane Molly Parker

9
+ - 221 46
Outlander is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Outlander Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan Tobias Menzies

10
+ - 364 209
Reign is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Reign Adelaide Kane, Megan Follows Torrance Coombs

11
+ - 247 109
Marco Polo is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Marco Polo Benedict Wong, Olivia Cheng Joan Chen

12
+ - 209 106
Spartacus: Vengeance is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Spartacus: Vengeance Brett Tucker, Craig Parker Viva Bianca

13
+ - 325 163
The White Queen is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
The White Queen Janet McTeer, Rebecca Ferguson

14
+ - 105 82
Roots is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Roots LeVar Burton, Olivia Cole Robert Reed

15
+ - 146 26
The Last Kingdom is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
The Last Kingdom Gerard Kearns, Alec Newman Madeleine Power

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+ - 148 46
Versailles is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Versailles George Blagden, Stuart Bowman Evan Williams

17
+ - 171 72
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

18
+ - 150 88
Mad Men is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Mad Men Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss Vincent Kartheiser

19
+ - 92 11
Medici: Masters of Florence is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows

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+ - 119 22
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

21
+ - 106 18
Poldark is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Poldark Judy Geeson, Ralph Bates Angharad Rees

22
+ - 182 164
John Adams is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
John Adams Paul Giamatti, Laura Linney John Dossett

23
+ - 165 106
Da Vinci's Demons is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Da Vinci's Demons Tom Riley, Gregg Chillin Eros Vlahos

24
+ - 138 124
North and South is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
North and South Elizabeth Taylor, Kirstie Alley Johnny Cash

25
+ - 91 63
Hatfields & McCoys is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Hatfields & McCoys Kevin Costner, Bill Paxton Matt Barr

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+ - 83 14
The Crown is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
The Crown Matt Smith, John Lithgow Claire Foy

27
+ - 82 16
Peaky Blinders is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows

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+ - 55 27
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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+ - 110 65
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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+ - 53 57
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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+ - 53 11
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

32
+ - 44 36
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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+ - 74 75
Camelot is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Camelot Joseph Fiennes, Jamie Campbell Bower Tamsin Egerton

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+ - 35 14
Call The Midwife is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Call The Midwife Vanessa Redgrave, Helen George Laura Main

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+ - 32 18
Borgia is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Borgia Mark Ryder, Isolda Dychauk Diarmuid Noyes

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+ - 22 23
Bleak House is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Bleak House Gillian Anderson, Carey Mulligan Charles Dance

37
+ - 23 13
Elizabeth I is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Elizabeth I Helen Mirren, Jeremy Irons Hugh Dancy

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+ - 11 7
War and Peace is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
War and Peace Anthony Hopkins, Alan Dobie Morag Hood

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+ - 34 56
Manhattan is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Manhattan Rachel Brosnahan, Michael Chernus Christopher Denham

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+ - 26 64
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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+ - 11 9
The Forsyte Saga is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
The Forsyte Saga Damian Lewis, Ioan Gruffudd Rupert Graves

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+ - 14 21
Little Dorrit is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Little Dorrit Andy Serkis, Freema Agyeman Matthew Macfadyen

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+ - 9 7
Magnificent Century is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Magnificent Century Mehmet Günsür, Cansu Dere Meryem Uzerli

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+ - 17 19
Indian Summers is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Indian Summers Henry Lloyd-Hughes, Nikesh Patel Jemima West

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+ - 4 5
Murdoch Mysteries is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Murdoch Mysteries Lisa Ray, Paul Rhys Georgina Reilly

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+ - 5 6
Empresses in the Palace is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows

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+ - 2 8
Quo Vadis is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows

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+ - 2 9
Anno Domini is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows

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+ - 5 1
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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+ - 2 1
Merlin is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Merlin John Hurt, Colin Morgan Bradley James