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The Best Period Piece TV Shows

Updated January 15, 2021 20.0k votes 1.7k voters 36.9k views96 items

List RulesVote up the best television series set in a different time period than when they were filmed.

Set in some earlier time, the very best period TV shows use the framework of another decade to tell their story. Unlike historical fiction shows - which tell dramatized versions of historical events - period piece TV shows use the past like window dressing. This list of the greatest period piece shows of all time, ranked from best to worst, includes shows set in the '50s, medieval shows, series set in the Victorian era and more. The most popular period drama series have been an integral part of television programming for years, so there are all kinds of different opinions about what the most entertaining historical period drama series of all time is.

Don't let your favorite period TV shows 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 period piece television shows below include period series such as Mad Men, Peaky Blinders, and Black Sails. There are even less obvious period piece TV shows such as Freaks amd Geeks and That '70s Show.

This list answers the questions, "What is the best period piece show of all time?" and "What are the greatest period piece shows?" What do you think are the best period pieces in TV history? Vote up your favorite period shows and help determine what shows set in time are the best shows of all time.

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  • Downton Abbey1
    437
    366

    Downton Abbey

    Hugh Bonneville, Phyllis Logan

    Premiered2010

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  • Outlander2
    409
    389

    Outlander

    Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan

    Premiered2014

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  • Peaky Blinders3
    171
    71

    Peaky Blinders

    Cillian Murphy, Helen McCrory

    Premiered2013

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  • Mad Men4
    361
    367

    Mad Men

    Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss

    Premiered2007

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  • The Crown5
    250
    188

    The Crown

    Claire Foy, Matt Smith

    Premiered2016

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  • Pride and Prejudice6
    246
    238

    Pride and Prejudice

    Colin Firth, Lucy Davis

    Premiered1995

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  • Chernobyl7
    90
    25

    Chernobyl

    Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgård

    Premiered2019

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  • Poldark8
    379
    114

    Poldark

    Aidan Turner, Eleanor Tomlinson

    Premiered2013

    2nd Adaptation of Poldark starring Aidan Turner and premiered in 2015

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  • North & South9
    112
    58

    North & South

    Richard Armitage, Sinéad Cusack

    Premiered2004

  • The Tudors10
    254
    249

    The Tudors

    Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Henry Cavill

    Premiered2007

  • Victoria11
    138
    49

    Victoria

    Jenna Coleman, Tom Hughes

    Premiered2016

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  • Anne with an E12
    162
    68

    Anne with an E

    Amybeth McNulty, Geraldine James

    Premiered2017

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  • M*A*S*H13
    229
    292

    M*A*S*H

    Alan Alda, Wayne Rogers

    Premiered1972

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  • Boardwalk Empire14
    135
    130

    Boardwalk Empire

    Steve Buscemi, Stephen Graham

    Premiered2010

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  • Ripper Street15
    59
    42

    Ripper Street

    Matthew Macfadyen, Jerome Flynn

    Premiered2012

  • Black Sails16
    44
    31

    Black Sails

    Jessica Parker Kennedy, Toby Stephens

    Premiered2014

  • Deadwood17
    167
    252

    Deadwood

    Timothy Olyphant, Ian McShane

    Premiered2004

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  • Belgravia18
    40
    14

    Belgravia

    Alice Eve, Philip Glenister

    Premiered2020

  • Poldark19
    173
    242

    Poldark

    Judy Geeson, Ralph Bates

    Premiered1975

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  • Call The Midwife20
    193
    268

    Call The Midwife

    Jessica Raine, Miranda Hart

    Premiered2012

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  • Spartacus: Blood and Sand21
    125
    184

    Spartacus: Blood and Sand

    Eric McIntire, Daniel Spink

    Premiered2010

  • Murdoch Mysteries22
    52
    34

    Murdoch Mysteries

    Lisa Ray, Paul Rhys

    Premiered2008

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  • Roots23
    149
    224

    Roots

    LeVar Burton, Olivia Cole

    Premiered1977

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  • Little House on the Prairie24
    130
    176

    Little House on the Prairie

    Merlin Olsen & Jason Bateman

    Premiered1974

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  • The Wonder Years25
    151
    236

    The Wonder Years

    Fred Savage, Dan Lauria

    Premiered1988