1.9k voters

The Best Period Piece TV Shows

Updated May 7, 2021 20.1k votes 1.9k voters 40.8k views92 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.

  • 1

    Downton Abbey

    Hugh Bonneville, Phyllis Logan
    Downton Abbey (ITV, 2010) is a British historical drama television series created by Julian...  more

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  • 2

    Mad Men

    Ben Feldman, Jon Hamm
    Mad Men (AMC, 2007) is an American period drama television series created by Matthew Weiner....  more

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  • 3


    Graham McTavish, Tobias Menzies
    Outlander (Starz, 2014) is a historical drama television series developed by Ronald D. Moore,...  more

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  • 4

    The Crown

    Claire Foy, Matt Smith
    The Crown (Netflix, 2016) is an American-British biographical drama series created by Peter...  more

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  • 5


    Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgård
    Chernobyl (HBO, 2019) is an American-British historical drama television miniseries created by...  more

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  • 6

    Peaky Blinders

    Cillian Murphy, Helen McCrory
    Peaky Blinders (BBC Two, 2013) is a British television action drama created by Steven Knight,...  more

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  • 7

    Pride and Prejudice

    Marlene Sidaway, Lucy Briers
    Pride and Prejudice is a six-episode 1995 British television drama, adapted by Andrew Davies...  more

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  • 8


    Aidan Turner, Eleanor Tomlinson

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

    Poldark (BBC One, 2015) is a British-American drama television series created by Debbie...  more


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  • 9

    North & South

    Richard Armitage, Sinéad Cusack
    North & South is a British television drama serial, produced by the BBC and originally...  more

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  • 10

    The Tudors

    Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Henry Cavill
    The Tudors (Showtime, 2007) is a historical fiction television series created by Michael...  more

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  • 11


    Jenna Coleman, Tom Hughes
    Victoria (ITV, 2016) is a drama television series created by Daisy Goodwin. The show depicts ...  more

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  • 12


    Gary Burghoff, Alan Alda
    M*A*S*H is an American television series developed by Larry Gelbart, adapted from the 1970...  more

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  • 13

    Anne with an E

    Amybeth McNulty, Geraldine James
    Anne with an E (Netflix, 2017) is a Canadian television series created by Moira...  more

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  • 14

    Boardwalk Empire

    Domenick Lombardozzi, Stephen Graham
    Boardwalk Empire (HBO, 2010) is an American period crime drama television series created by...  more

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  • 15

    Ripper Street

    Adam Rothenberg, Jerome Flynn
    Ripper Street is a British TV series set in Whitechapel in London's East End in 1889, six...  more

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  • 16


    Anna Gunn, Brent Sexton
    Deadwood (HBO, 2004) is an American Western television series created by David Milch. Set in...  more

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  • 17

    Black Sails

    Jeremy Crutchley, Toby Schmitz
    Black Sails is an American dramatic adventure television series set on New Providence Island...  more

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  • 18

    Call The Midwife

    Jessica Raine, Miranda Hart
    Call the Midwife (BBC, 2012) is a British period drama series created by Heidi Thomas. The...  more

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  • 19


    Alice Eve, Philip Glenister
    Belgravia (Epix, 2020) is a television drama series based on the novel of the same name by...  more
  • 20

    Spartacus: Blood and Sand

    Eric McIntire, Daniel Spink
    Spartacus: Blood and Sand is the title of the first and most critically acclaimed season of...  more

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  • 21

    The Wonder Years

    Josh Saviano, Danica McKellar
    The Wonder Years is an American television comedy-drama created by Neal Marlens and Carol...  more

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  • 22


    Paul Curran, Ralph Bates
    Poldark is the original version of the BBC television series adaptation of the novels of the...  more

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  • 23

    Little House on the Prairie

    Merlin Olsen & Jason Bateman
    Little House on the Prairie (NBC, 1974) is an American western historical drama developed by...  more

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  • 24

    Murdoch Mysteries

    Helene Joy, Lachlan Murdoch
    Murdoch Mysteries (Citytv, 2008) is a Canadian television drama series based on characters...  more

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  • 25


    Lynda Day George, Georg Stanford Brown
    This award-winning six-part historical epic was one of the first examples of the miniseries...  more

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