Entertainment

The Best Miniseries Of The 2010s  

Ranker TV
1.5k votes 113 voters 1.3k views 96 items

List Rules Vote 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.

list ordered by
1
Chernobyl is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Miniseries Of The 2010s
Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgård, Emily Watson
Chernobyl (HBO, 2019) is an American-British historical drama television miniseries created by Craig Mazin. In April 1986, an explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the USSR becomes ...more
2
Good Omens is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Miniseries Of The 2010s
David Tennant, Michael Sheen, Anna Maxwell Martin
Good Omens (Amazon Video, 2019) is a six-part television serial based on the novel by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. After being accustomed to life on Earth, the demon Crowley (David Tennant) ...more
3
The Haunting is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Miniseries Of The 2010s
Michiel Huisman, Carla Gugino, Henry Thomas
The Haunting (Netflix, 2018) is an American supernatural horror television series created by Mike Flanagan, based on the novel by Shirley Jackson. The first season, The Haunting of Hill House, ...more
4
Roots is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Miniseries Of The 2010s
Roots Malachi Kirby, Forest Whitaker, Anna Paquin
Roots is a 2016 American miniseries and a remake of the 1977 miniseries with the same name, based on Alex Haley's 1976 novel, Roots: The Saga of an American Family. It traces an African-American ...more
5
Fargo is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Miniseries Of The 2010s
Billy Bob Thornton, Allison Tolman, Colin Hanks
Fargo (FX, 2014) is an American black comedy drama anthology television series created by Noah Hawley, and inspired by the 1996 film. Various chronicles of deception, intrigue and wrong doings ...more
6
When They See Us is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Miniseries Of The 2010s
Jharrel Jerome, Jovan Adepo, Chris Chalk
When They See Us (Netflix, 2019) is an American drama web television miniseries created by Ava DuVernay, based on the 1989 Central Park jogger case. The notorious case of five teenagers of ...more
7
Spartacus is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Miniseries Of The 2010s
Spartacus Lucy Lawless, Jaime Murray, Katrina Law
Spartacus (Starz, 2010) is a British television series produced in New Zealand, inspired by the historical figure of Spartacus, a Thracian gladiator who from 73 to 71 BCE led a major slave ...more
8
The Pacific is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Miniseries Of The 2010s
Hugh Ambrose, Ed Tracy
The Pacific is a 2010 television series produced by HBO, Seven Network Australia, Sky Movies, Playtone and DreamWorks that premiered in the United States on 14 March 2010. The series is a ...more
9
The Night Of is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Miniseries Of The 2010s
The Night Of John Turturro, Riz Ahmed, Bill Camp
The Night Of (HBO, 2016) is an American eight-part crime drama television miniseries created by Richard Price and Steven Zaillian, based on the British TV series Criminal Justice. After a night ...more
10
Prohibition is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Miniseries Of The 2010s
Tom Hanks, Samuel L. Jackson, Jeremy Irons
Prohibition is a 2011 American television documentary miniseries directed by Ken Burns. Prohibition describes how the consumption and effect of alcoholic beverages in the United States were ...more
11
Hatfields & McCoys ... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Miniseries Of The 2010s
Kevin Costner, Bill Paxton, Matt Barr
It’s the true American story of a legendary family feud—one that spanned decades and nearly launched a war between Kentucky and West Virginia. Hatfields & McCoys, a three-part miniseries, ...more
12
Sharp Objects is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Miniseries Of The 2010s
Amy Adams, Patricia Clarkson, Eliza Scanlen
Sharp Objects (HBO, 2018) is an American miniseries created by Marti Nixon, based on the novel by Gillian Flynn. Fresh out of a psych hospital for her years of self-harm, crime reporter Camille ...more
13
Olive Kitteridge is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Miniseries Of The 2010s
Frances McDormand, Richard Jenkins, Ken Cheeseman
Olive Kitteridge (HBO, 2018) is an American television miniseries based on Elizabeth Strout's 2008 novel Olive Kitteridge. Olive Kitteridge (Frances McDormand) is a misanthropic and strict, but ...more
14
Ascension is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Miniseries Of The 2010s
Tricia Helfer, Gil Bellows, Brian Van Holt
Ascension (Syfy, 2014) is a Canadian/American science fiction mystery drama television miniseries created by Philip Levens and Adrian A. Cruz. A young woman's murder causes the subjects of a ...more
15
Twin Peaks is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Miniseries Of The 2010s
Twin Peaks Kyle MacLachlan, Russ Tamblyn, Sherilyn Fenn
Twin Peaks (Showtime, 2017) is a miniseries that follows FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) in a continuation of the original 1990 series, created by David Lynch.
16
Bag of Bones is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Miniseries Of The 2010s
Pierce Brosnan, Melissa George, Jason Priestley
Bestselling novelist Mike Noonan, unable to cope after his wife's sudden death, returns to the couple's lakeside retreat in Maine, where he becomes involved in a custody battle between a young ...more
17
John Adams is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Miniseries Of The 2010s
Paul Giamatti, Laura Linney, John Dossett
John Adams is a 2008 American television miniseries chronicling most of U.S. President John Adams' political life and his role in the founding of the United States. Paul Giamatti portrays John ...more
18
Spartacus: Gods of the A... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Miniseries Of The 2010s
John Hannah, Manu Bennett, Peter Mensah
Spartacus: Gods of the Arena is a Starz television miniseries and prequel to Spartacus, which premiered January 21, 2011. The series follows the character Gannicus, the first gladiator ...more
19
The Vietnam War is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Miniseries Of The 2010s
The Vietnam War Bill Hayton
The Vietnam War (PBS, 2017) is an American documentary television miniseries. The ten-part limited series examines the Vietnam War, featuring interviews with 79 witnesses, including many ...more
20
Catherine the Great is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Miniseries Of The 2010s
Helen Mirren, Jason Clarke, Joseph Quinn
Catherine the Great (Sky Atlantic/HBO, 2019) is a British-American television miniseries following the life of Catherine The Great.
21
Les Miserables is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Miniseries Of The 2010s
Dominic West, David Oyelowo, Lily Collins
Les Misérables (2018, BBC) is a miniseries adaptation of Victor Hugo's French historical novel of the same name. The series, adapted by Andrew Davies and directed by Tom Shankland, stars ...more
22
Finding Your Roots is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Miniseries Of The 2010s
Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is a Public Broadcasting Service public television series hosted by Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. The first season originally aired on PBS from ...more
23
Mildred Pierce is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Miniseries Of The 2010s
Kate Winslet, Evan Rachel Wood, Guy Pearce
Mildred Pierce is a five-part miniseries that first aired on HBO on March 27, 2011. Adapted from James M. Cain's 1941 novel of the same name, it was directed by Todd Haynes, and starred Kate ...more
24
The Pillars of the Earth... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Miniseries Of The 2010s
Ian McShane, Matthew Macfadyen, Eddie Redmayne
The Pillars of the Earth is an eight-part 2010 TV miniseries, adapted from Ken Follett's novel of the same name. It debuted in the U.S. on Starz and in Canada on The Movie Network/Movie Central ...more
25
Dead Set is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Miniseries Of The 2010s
Jaime Winstone, Andy Nyman, Riz Ahmed
This show is a critically acclaimed BAFTA-nominated British television horror drama created by Charlie Brooker. The show takes place primarily on the set of a fictional series of the real ...more