The Best Historical Drama TV Shows

10k votes 2.4k voters 107k views 47 items tags f p @

List Criteria: 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.

Collection Photo:  via hbo
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    Travis Fimmel, Clive Standen, Gustaf Skarsgård

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    Kevin McKidd, Ray Stevenson, Polly Walker

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    Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Henry Cavill, Anthony Brophy

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    Hugh Bonneville, Phyllis Logan, Elizabeth McGovern

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    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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    Scott Grimes, Damian Lewis, Ron Livingston

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    Eric McIntire, Daniel Spink, Matthew Felker

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    Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, Tobias Menzies

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    Adelaide Kane, Megan Follows, Torrance Coombs

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    Timothy Olyphant, Ian McShane, Molly Parker

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    Janet McTeer, Rebecca Ferguson

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    Brett Tucker, Craig Parker, Viva Bianca

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    Benedict Wong, Olivia Cheng, Joan Chen

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    LeVar Burton, Olivia Cole, Robert Reed

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    Colin Firth, Lucy Davis, Alison Steadman

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    Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, Vincent Kartheiser

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    George Blagden, Stuart Bowman, Evan Williams

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    Paul Giamatti, Laura Linney, John Dossett

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    Tom Riley, Gregg Chillin, Eros Vlahos

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    Elizabeth Taylor, Kirstie Alley, Johnny Cash

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    Kevin Costner, Bill Paxton, Matt Barr

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    Mark Rylance, Damian Lewis, Claire Foy

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    often listed & added by Greer Baudreau
    Gordon Jackson, David Langton, Jean Marsh

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    added by zoe-krainik
    Joanna Vanderham, Emun Elliott, Stephen Wight

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    ranked low on reranks & added by 1478207789575
    Gerard Kearns, Alec Newman, Madeleine Power

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    often listed & added by Edom
    Michael Kitchen, Honeysuckle Weeks, Anthony Howell

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    Judy Geeson, Ralph Bates, Angharad Rees

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    Joseph Fiennes, Jamie Campbell Bower, Tamsin Egerton

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    ranked low on reranks & added by Robert Berryman
    Jessica Parker Kennedy, Toby Stephens, Hannah New

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    Gillian Anderson, Carey Mulligan, Charles Dance

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    Medici: Masters of Florence is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows

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    Rachel Brosnahan, Michael Chernus, Christopher Denham

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    David Carradine, Keye Luke, Radames Pera

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    Anson Mount, Colm Meaney, Robin McLeavy

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    Andy Serkis, Freema Agyeman, Matthew Macfadyen

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    Matt Smith, John Lithgow, Claire Foy

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    Vanessa Redgrave, Helen George, Laura Main

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    Helen Mirren, Jeremy Irons, Hugh Dancy

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    Mark Ryder, Isolda Dychauk, Diarmuid Noyes

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    new! & added by Lauren Alysse Lake
    Anthony Hopkins, Alan Dobie, Morag Hood

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    new! & added by Lauren Alysse Lake
    Damian Lewis, Ioan Gruffudd, Rupert Graves

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    Lisa Ray, Paul Rhys, Georgina Reilly

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    Empresses in the Palace is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows

    added by Lauren Alysse Lake

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    Henry Lloyd-Hughes, Nikesh Patel, Jemima West

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    Quo Vadis is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows

    added by Daniel Martínez Arg

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    Anno Domini is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows

    added by Daniel Martínez Arg

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