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.

list ordered by

1
1,408 311
Vikings is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
MarkWilliams added Vikings Travis Fimmel, Clive Standen, Gustaf Skarsgård

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2
962 358
Rome is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Rome Kevin McKidd, Ray Stevenson, Polly Walker

3
951 345
The Tudors is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
RazvanPop added The Tudors Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Henry Cavill, Anthony Brophy

4
824 270
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
671 349
The Borgias is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Victoria Smith added 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
688 233
Band of Brothers is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
sebbzor added Band of Brothers Scott Grimes, Damian Lewis, Ron Livingston

7
429 270
Deadwood is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Chris Abraham added Deadwood Timothy Olyphant, Ian McShane, Molly Parker

8
577 359
Spartacus: Blood and Sand is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Spartacus: Blood and Sand Eric McIntire, Daniel Spink, Matthew Felker

9
576 160
Outlander is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Megan Monaco Lanier added Outlander Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, Tobias Menzies

10
449 101
The Last Kingdom is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
1478207789575 added The Last Kingdom Gerard Kearns, Alec Newman, Madeleine Power

11
562 243
The White Queen is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Chris Abraham added The White Queen Janet McTeer, Rebecca Ferguson

12
373 62
The Crown is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Lauren Alysse Lake added The Crown Matt Smith, John Lithgow, Claire Foy

13
605 397
Reign is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
brianansellers added Reign Adelaide Kane, Megan Follows, Torrance Coombs

14
201 161
Roots is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Roots LeVar Burton, Olivia Cole, Robert Reed

15
313 156
Mad Men is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Greer Baudreau added Mad Men Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, Vincent Kartheiser

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16
379 204
Marco Polo is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Amy Boal added Marco Polo Benedict Wong, Olivia Cheng, Joan Chen

17
318 137
Pride and Prejudice is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Greer Baudreau added Pride and Prejudice Colin Firth, Lucy Davis, Alison Steadman

18
319 132
Versailles is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Rachele Digrazia added Versailles George Blagden, Stuart Bowman, Evan Williams

19
320 190
Spartacus: Vengeance is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Spartacus: Vengeance Brett Tucker, Craig Parker, Viva Bianca

20
320 210
John Adams is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
John Adams Paul Giamatti, Laura Linney, John Dossett

21
324 82
Black Sails is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Robert Berryman added Black Sails Jessica Parker Kennedy, Toby Stephens, Hannah New

22
202 103
Hatfields & McCoys is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Hatfields & McCoys Kevin Costner, Bill Paxton, Matt Barr

23
266 71
Poldark is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Emma Kate Thompson added Poldark Judy Geeson, Ralph Bates, Angharad Rees

24
230 170
North and South is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
VidakovićMarija added North and South Elizabeth Taylor, Kirstie Alley, Johnny Cash

25
227 61
Peaky Blinders is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
1478207789575 added Peaky Blinders

26
223 69
Medici: Masters of Florence is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Kindra Haystacks Markham added Medici: Masters of Florence

27
250 167
Da Vinci's Demons is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Da Vinci's Demons Tom Riley, Gregg Chillin, Eros Vlahos

28
169 49
Hell on Wheels is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
AlissonKolling added Hell on Wheels Anson Mount, Colm Meaney, Robin McLeavy

29
191 103
Wolf Hall is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
DavidBlauch added Wolf Hall Mark Rylance, Damian Lewis, Claire Foy

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30
162 52
Call The Midwife is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Bruce Wheeler added Call The Midwife Vanessa Redgrave, Helen George, Laura Main

31
114 68
The Paradise is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
zoe-krainik added The Paradise Joanna Vanderham, Emun Elliott, Stephen Wight

32
85 102
Upstairs, Downstairs is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Greer Baudreau added Upstairs, Downstairs Gordon Jackson, David Langton, Jean Marsh

33
84 71
Foyle's War is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Edom added Foyle's War Michael Kitchen, Honeysuckle Weeks, Anthony Howell

34
83 46
Elizabeth I is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Daniel Martínez Arg added Elizabeth I Helen Mirren, Jeremy Irons, Hugh Dancy

35
109 126
Camelot is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Camelot Joseph Fiennes, Jamie Campbell Bower, Tamsin Egerton

36
85 67
Borgia is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Bethanie Grace Frith added Borgia Mark Ryder, Isolda Dychauk, Diarmuid Noyes

37
46 55
Bleak House is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Bleak House Gillian Anderson, Carey Mulligan, Charles Dance

38
88 28
North & South is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Stephanie Garcia added North & South Richard Armitage, Sinéad Cusack, Daniela Denby-Ashe

39
40 34
War and Peace is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Lauren Alysse Lake added War and Peace Anthony Hopkins, Alan Dobie, Morag Hood

40
106 51
Merlin is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
EvEline added Merlin John Hurt, Colin Morgan, Bradley James

41
40 43
Magnificent Century is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Hamza Qayyum added Magnificent Century Mehmet Günsür, Cansu Dere, Meryem Uzerli

42
41 105
Kung Fu is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Greer Baudreau added Kung Fu David Carradine, Keye Luke, Radames Pera

43
34 40
The Forsyte Saga is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Lauren Alysse Lake added The Forsyte Saga Damian Lewis, Ioan Gruffudd, Rupert Graves

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33 50
Little Dorrit is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Little Dorrit Andy Serkis, Freema Agyeman, Matthew Macfadyen

45
39 48
Indian Summers is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Robert Berryman added Indian Summers Henry Lloyd-Hughes, Nikesh Patel, Jemima West

46
29 37
Murdoch Mysteries is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
MichaelChoi added Murdoch Mysteries Lisa Ray, Paul Rhys, Georgina Reilly

47
43 92
Manhattan is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Manhattan Rachel Brosnahan, Michael Chernus, Christopher Denham

48
43 20
I, Claudius is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
1491971760840 added I, Claudius Derek Jacobi, John Hurt, Siân Phillips

49
16 35
Empresses in the Palace is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Lauren Alysse Lake added Empresses in the Palace

50
30 24
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