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The Best Miniseries Of The 2010s

Updated April 27, 2020 3.2k votes 194 voters 3.3k 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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  • 1
    Chernobyl
    110
    51

    Chernobyl

    Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgård

    Premiered2019

    Genres (Tv)Historical drama

    Chernobyl (HBO, 2019) is an American-British historical drama television miniseries created by... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 2
    Good Omens
    74
    24

    Good Omens

    David Tennant, Michael Sheen

    Premiered2019

    Genres (Tv)Comedy, Fantasy

    Good Omens (Amazon Video, 2019) is a six-part television serial based on the novel by Terry... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 3
    The Haunting of Hill House
    87
    58

    The Haunting of Hill House

    Michiel Huisman, Carla Gugino

    Premiered2018

    Genres (Tv)Supernatural horror

    The Haunting of Hill House is the first season of the Netflix supernatural anthology... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 4
    The Night Of
    45
    42

    The Night Of

    John Turturro, Riz Ahmed

    Premiered2016

    Genres (Tv)Crime drama

    The Night Of (HBO, 2016) is an American crime drama television miniseries created by Richard... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 5
    Fargo
    47
    48

    Fargo

    Billy Bob Thornton, Allison Tolman

    Premiered2014

    Genres (Tv)Comedy, Drama, Crime

    Fargo (FX, 2014) is an American black comedy drama anthology television series created by Noah... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 6
    When They See Us
    45
    52

    When They See Us

    Jharrel Jerome, Jovan Adepo

    Premiered2019

    Genres (Tv)Crime drama

    When They See Us (Netflix, 2019) is an American drama web television miniseries created by Ava... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 7
    Sharp Objects
    41
    48

    Sharp Objects

    Amy Adams, Patricia Clarkson

    Premiered2018

    Genres (Tv)Thriller

    Sharp Objects (HBO, 2018) is an American miniseries created by Marti Nixon, based on the novel... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 8
    Roots
    35
    41

    Roots

    Malachi Kirby, Forest Whitaker

    Genres (Tv)Historical, Drama

    Roots is a 2016 American miniseries and a remake of the 1977 miniseries with the same name,... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 9
    Twin Peaks
    22
    31

    Twin Peaks

    Kyle MacLachlan, Russ Tamblyn

    Premiered1990

    Genres (Tv)Drama, Crime, Mystery

    Twin Peaks (ABC, 1990) is an American mystery horror drama television series created by Mark... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 10
    Olive Kitteridge
    31
    44

    Olive Kitteridge

    Frances McDormand, Richard Jenkins

    Premiered2014

    Genres (Tv)Drama

    Olive Kitteridge (HBO, 2018) is an American television miniseries based on Elizabeth Strout's... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 11
    The Pacific
    30
    42

    The Pacific

    Hugh Ambrose, Ed Tracy

    Premiered2010

    Genres (Tv)Miniseries, War film, Drama

    The Pacific is a 2010 television series produced by HBO, Seven Network Australia, Sky Movies,... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 12
    The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst
    11
    15

    Premiered2015

    Genres (Tv)Documentary

    The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst (HBO, 2015) is a documentary miniseries directed... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 13
    The Vietnam War
    15
    22

    The Vietnam War

    Bill Hayton

    Premiered2017

    Genres (Tv)Documentary

    The Vietnam War (PBS, 2017) is an American documentary television miniseries. The ten-part... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 14
    Top of the Lake
    12
    20

    Top of the Lake

    Elisabeth Moss, Thomas M. Wright

    Premiered2013

    Genres (Tv)Miniseries, Crime, Drama

    Top of the Lake is a 2013 television miniseries written by Jane Campion and Gerard Lee, and... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 15
    Catch-22
    5
    10

    Catch-22

    Christopher Abbott, Kyle Chandler

    Premiered2019

    Genres (Tv)Drama

    Catch-22 (Hulu, 2019) is an American-Italian drama miniseries, based on the novel of the same... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 16
    The Name of the Rose
    7
    12

    The Name of the Rose

    John Turturro, Damian Hardung

    Premiered2019

    Genres (Tv)Drama, Historical Drama

    The Name of the Rose (Sundance, SBS, BBC, 2019) is an international co-produced English... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 17
    Hatfields & McCoys
    22
    37

    Hatfields & McCoys

    Kevin Costner, Bill Paxton

    Premiered2012

    Genres (Tv)Western, Miniseries, Drama, Action film

    Hatfields & McCoys (History, 2012) is an American three-part Western television miniseries... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 18
    John Adams
    14
    24

    John Adams

    Paul Giamatti, Laura Linney

    Premiered2008

    Genres (Tv)Miniseries, Drama, Historical drama

    John Adams is a 2008 American television miniseries chronicling most of U.S. President John... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 19
    Patrick Melrose
    8
    15

    Patrick Melrose

    Benedict Cumberbatch, Holliday Grainger

    Premiered2018

    Genres (Tv)Drama

    Patrick Melrose (Showtime, 2018) is a five-part drama miniseries directed by Edward Berger,...Amazon buy button
  • 20
    Spartacus: Gods of the Arena
    18
    31

    Spartacus: Gods of the Arena

    John Hannah, Manu Bennett

    Premiered2011

    Genres (Tv)Miniseries, Historical drama

    Spartacus: Gods of the Arena is a Starz television miniseries and prequel to Spartacus, which... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 21
    Houdini
    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
  • 22
    War and Peace
    10
    18

    War and Peace

    Paul Dano, Lily James

    Premiered2016

    Genres (Tv)Historical, Drama

    War & Peace is a 2016 British-American historical period drama television serial, based on Leo... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 23
    Godless
    10
    18

    Godless

    Jeff Daniels, Jack O'Connell

    Premiered2017

    Genres (Tv)Western, Drama

    Godless (Netflix, 2017) is an American drama series created by Scott Frank. Roy Goode (Jack... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 24
    Waco
    20
    34

    Waco

    Michael Shannon, Taylor Kitsch

    Premiered2018

    Genres (Tv)Drama, Crime, Thriller

    Waco (Paramount Network, 2018) is an American television miniseries created by John Erick... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 25
    The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann
    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