Entertainment

The Best Miniseries Of The Decade  

Ranker TV
823 votes 71 voters 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
The Haunting is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Miniseries Of The Decade
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
2
Chernobyl is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Miniseries Of The Decade
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
3
Good Omens is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Miniseries Of The Decade
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
4
Prohibition is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Miniseries Of The Decade
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
5
Roots is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Miniseries Of The Decade
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
6
When They See Us is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Miniseries Of The Decade
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 Decade
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
Fargo is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Miniseries Of The Decade
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
9
Olive Kitteridge is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Miniseries Of The Decade
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
10
Hatfields & McCoys is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Miniseries Of The Decade
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
11
Bag of Bones is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Miniseries Of The Decade
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
12
The Pacific is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Miniseries Of The Decade
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
13
Ascension is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Miniseries Of The Decade
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
14
Catherine the Great is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Miniseries Of The Decade
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.
15
The Night Of is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Miniseries Of The Decade
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
16
John Adams is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Miniseries Of The Decade
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
17
I Know This Much Is True is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Miniseries Of The Decade
Mark Ruffalo
I Know This Much Is True (HBO) is an American TV series based on the novel of the same name by Wally Lamb. The story follows the lives of twins Dominick and Thomas Birdsey (Mark Ruffalo).
18
Waco is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Miniseries Of The Decade
Waco Michael Shannon, Taylor Kitsch, Melissa Benoist
Waco (Paramount Network, 2018) is an American television miniseries created by John Erick Dowdle and Drew Dowdle. Based on the 1993 Waco siege, the show centers on the FBI and ATF seizing the ...more
19
Sharp Objects is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Miniseries Of The Decade
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
20
Finding Your Roots is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Miniseries Of The Decade
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
21
Into the Universe with Stephen... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Miniseries Of The Decade
Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking Benedict Cumberbatch, Melissa Ricci, Christopher Goh
Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking is a 2010 science documentary television mini-series written by British physicist Stephen Hawking. The series was created for Discovery Channel by Darlow ...more
22
Mosaic is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Miniseries Of The Decade
Sharon Stone, Garrett Hedlund, Frederick Weller
Mosaic (HBO, 2018) is an American television murder mystery series directed by Steven Soderbergh. In conjunction with the interactive app that lets users investigate the mystery, the show ...more
23
Texas Rising is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Miniseries Of The Decade
Bill Paxton, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Olivier Martinez
Texas Rising (History Channel, 2015) is an American television miniseries. The 10-hour series is based on the Texas Revolution against Mexico and how the Texas Rangers were created.
24
Rosemary's Baby is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Miniseries Of The Decade
Zoe Saldana, Jason Isaacs, Carole Bouquet
Rosemary's Baby is a 2014 television miniseries adaptation of Ira Levin's best-selling horror novel of the same name. Zoe Saldana stars in the four-hour, two-part NBC miniseries that is directed ...more
25
Manhunt: Unabomber is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Miniseries Of The Decade
Manhunt: Unabomber (Discovery Channel, 2017) is an American drama miniseries created by Andrew Sodroski. The series depicts the true story of the FBI's hunt for the man known as the Unabomber ...more