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The Best Miniseries Of The 2010s

Updated April 27, 2020 3.3k votes 205 voters 3.7k views95 items

List RulesVote up your favorite limited series that aired on TV or streaming service in the 2010s.

The 2010s wasn't the decade that started the limited series - but it was definitely the decade that perfected it. The best 2010s miniseries were the ones that were envisioned as a limited series from the outset, and they were often so weird, wonderful, and wild that it would be impossible to imagine the story going any further. Shows like Escape at Dannemora and Catch-22 utilized big-name casts and closed-ended stories to create "Event TV," and all the while they challenged audiences' perceptions of what a limited series should be. 

Back in the days before Peak TV, a limited series usually meant that the network didn't have the confidence - or the money - to make a fully-fledged TV show. It also usually meant that a movie wouldn't be profitable, so why not stick it on TV in some down-time and hope that six people see it? Well, some of the top 2010s miniseries changed that with universal appeal that attracted massive audiences, like Chernobyl, while others created something so bold and fearless that nothing that's come before or since will ever be able to match it, like Fargo and Olive Kitteridge.

The best 2010s miniseries on this list all pack a powerful punch in a small number of episodes, but thanks to the sheer number of shows, you have your work cut out for you if you want to get through all of them. So let's watch some A-listers on the big screen, adapt a Pulitzer prize winning book or two, and most likely listen to some British accents, because it's time to rank the best limited series of the 2010s.

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  • Houdini26
    10
    18

    Houdini

    Adrien Brody, Kristen Connolly

    Premiered2014

    Genres (Tv)Biography, Drama

    Houdini is a two-part, four-hour History channel event miniseries written by Nicholas Meyer... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Spartacus27
    24
    41

    Spartacus

    Lucy Lawless, Jaime Murray

    Premiered2010

    Genres (Tv)Drama, Adventure film, Historical drama, Biographical film, Action film

    Spartacus (Starz, 2010) is a British television series produced in New Zealand, inspired by... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann28
    8
    17

    The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann

    Anthony Summers, Gonçalo Amaral

    Premiered2019

    Genres (Tv)Documentary, True crime, Crime, Crime documentary, Miniseries

    The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann (Netflix, 2019) is an American true crime documentary... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • The Pillars of the Earth29
    15
    28

    The Pillars of the Earth

    Ian McShane, Matthew Macfadyen

    Premiered2010

    Genres (Tv)Historical drama

    The Pillars of the Earth (Starz, 2010) is an eight-part TV miniseries based on the 1989 novel... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Prohibition30
    25
    44

    Prohibition

    Tom Hanks, Samuel L. Jackson

    Premiered2011

    Genres (Tv)Documentary

    Prohibition is a 2011 American television documentary miniseries directed by Ken Burns.... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Finding Your Roots31
    12
    24

    Finding Your Roots

    Henry Louis Gates Jr.

    Premiered2012

    Genres (Tv)Special Interest, Documentary

    Finding Your Roots (PBS, 2012) is an American family history and genealogy television... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Escape at Dannemora32
    12
    24

    Escape at Dannemora

    Benicio del Toro, Patricia Arquette

    Premiered2018

    Genres (Tv)Drama, Thriller

    Escape at Dannemora (Showtime, 2018) is an American limited TV series directed by Ben Stiller.... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Texas Rising33
    10
    20

    Texas Rising

    Bill Paxton, Jeffrey Dean Morgan

    Premiered2015

    Genres (Tv)Drama, Western

    Texas Rising (History Channel, 2015) is an American television miniseries. The 10-hour series... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Picnic At Hanging Rock34
    7
    15

    Picnic At Hanging Rock

    Natalie Dormer, Lily Sullivan

    Premiered2018

    Genres (Tv)Drama, Mystery, Romance

    Picnic at Hanging Rock (Showcase, 2018) is an Australian mystery romantic drama television... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Maniac35
    14
    27

    Maniac

    Jonah Hill, Emma Stone

    Premiered2018

    Genres (Tv)Comedy, Psychological drama

    Maniac (Netflix, 2018) is an American dark comedy television series created by Patrick... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Five Came Back36
    4
    11

    Five Came Back

    Meryl Streep, Steven Spielberg

    Genres (Tv)Documentary

    Five Came Back (2017, Netflix) is a three-part American documentary based on the 2014 book... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Les Miserables37
    11
    22

    Les Miserables

    Dominic West, David Oyelowo

    Premiered2018

    Genres (Tv)Drama

    Les Misérables (2018, BBC) is a miniseries adaptation of Victor Hugo's French historical novel... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Mildred Pierce38
    18
    34

    Mildred Pierce

    Kate Winslet, Evan Rachel Wood

    Premiered2011

    Genres (Tv)Miniseries, Drama

    Mildred Pierce is a five-part miniseries that first aired on HBO on March 27, 2011. Adapted... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Howards End39
    8
    18

    Howards End

    Hayley Atwell, Matthew Macfadyen

    Premiered2017

    Genres (Tv)Period drama

    Howards End (Starz, 2018) is a British-American television miniseries based on the novel by E.... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Looking For Alaska40
    12
    25

    Looking For Alaska

    Charlie Plummer, Kristine Froseth

    Premiered2019

    Genres (Tv)Teen drama

    Looking For Alaska (Hulu, 2019) is an American teen drama television series created by Josh... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Rosemary's Baby41
    14
    28

    Rosemary's Baby

    Zoe Saldana, Jason Isaacs

    Premiered2014

    Rosemary's Baby is a 2014 television miniseries adaptation of Ira Levin's best-selling horror... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story42

    Premiered2018

    Genres (Tv)Biography, Crime, Drama

    The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story (FX, 2018) is the second season of... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • BH9021043
    7
    17

    BH90210

    Gabrielle Carteris, Shannen Doherty

    Premiered2019

    Genres (Tv)Comedy-drama

    BH90210 (Fox, 2019) is an American comedy-drama miniseries, and the sixth series in the... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Lorena44
    11
    24

    Lorena

    Lorena Bobbitt, John Wayne Bobbitt

    Premiered2019

    Genres (Tv)Documentary

    Lorena (Amazon Video, 2019) is an American documentary television series. The limited series... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • The Hot Zone45
    4
    12

    The Hot Zone

    Julianna Margulies, Topher Grace

    Premiered2019

    Genres (Tv)Drama, Thriller

    The Hot Zone (National Geographic, 2019) is an American medical thriller television drama... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Tales of the City46
    4
    12

    Tales of the City

    Ellen Page, Laura Linney

    Premiered2019

    Genres (Tv)Drama, Miniseries

    Tales of the City (Netflix, 2019) is an American drama web television miniseries based on a... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Surviving R. Kelly47
    15
    31

    Surviving R. Kelly

    Andrea Kelly, Tarana Burke

    Premiered2019

    Genres (Tv)Documentary

    Surviving R. Kelly (Lifetime, 2019) is an American six-part documentary from executive... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Mosaic48
    8
    20

    Mosaic

    Sharon Stone, Garrett Hedlund

    Premiered2018

    Genres (Tv)Mystery, Drama, Crime

    Mosaic (HBO, 2018) is an American television murder mystery series directed by Steven... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Bodyguard49
    8
    20

    Bodyguard

    Richard Madden, Keeley Hawes

    Premiered2018

    Genres (Tv)Drama, Political thriller

    Bodyguard (Netflix, 2018) is a British television political thriller drama series created by... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Manhunt50
    12
    27

    Manhunt

    Sam Worthington, Paul Bettany

    Premiered2017

    Genres (Tv)Drama

    Manhunt (Spectrum, 2017) is an American drama miniseries created by Andrew Sodroski. The... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button