The Best of 2018 The Best Current Period Piece TV Shows  

Ranker TV
Originally by
3.2k votes 553 voters 15.2k views 17 items

List Rules Television series set in a specific historical period. Upvote the best period piece series that have not been cancelled.

List of the best period piece television series, of any genre and from any network, that truly capture the feel of their time. From the Medieval Era, to the Roaring Twenties, to the Cold War, period series often deal with historical events, though some simply use their era as a backdrop. The top period series listed here are those currently on television only, whether period dramas or period comedies.

What are the best period TV shows ever? Period pieces are usually historical dramas and feature period costumes, sets, and dialogue. They tackle issues that would have been relevant in their period's time, such as the many changes faced by Lord Grantham as the world moves into a new age on Downton Abbey, or Peggy's battle to make her way in a male-dominated business on Mad Men.

Period TV shows are known for their success during awards season, often taking home Emmys and Golden Globes for their incredible set design and gorgeous costumes, and are regularly listed among the best television shows of all time.

Whether you love Boardwalk Empire, Masters of Sex, The Americans, or Penny Dreadful, many TV fans agree that period piece TV shows are some of the best. Don't see your favorite period series below? Add it to the list for a truly comprehensive ranking of the best period shows on television right now in 2017-2018 and see if it is one of the best period piece shows of all time.

list ordered by

1
114 35
Fargo is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Current Period Piece TV Shows
LanaYoshii added Billy Bob Thornton, Allison Tolman, Colin Hanks Fargo (FX, 2014) is an American black comedy–crime drama anthology television series created by Noah Hawley, and inspired by the 1996 film. Various chronicles of deception, intrigue and murder ...more

2
105 33
Better Call Saul is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Current Period Piece TV Shows
LanaYoshii added Bob Odenkirk, Jonathan Banks, Rhea Seehorn Better Call Saul (A&E, 2015) is an American television crime drama series created by Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould, and a spinoff prequel of Breaking Bad. The trials and tribulations of ...more

3
154 134
Outlander is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Current Period Piece TV Shows
Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, Tobias Menzies Outlander is a British-American television drama series based on the historical time travel Outlander series of novels by Diana Gabaldon. Created by Ronald D. Moore and produced by Left Bank ...more

4
109 117
Vikings is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Current Period Piece TV Shows
Travis Fimmel, Katheryn Winnick, Clive Standen Vikings (History, 2013) is a historical drama television series created by Michael Hirst. A farmer (Travis Fimmel) rises to fame by successful raids into England, and eventually becomes a ...more

5
78 100
Call The Midwife is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Current Period Piece TV Shows
Vanessa Redgrave, Helen George, Laura Main Call the Midwife is a BBC period drama series about a group of nurse midwives working in the East End of London in the 1950s and 1960s. It stars Jessica Raine, Miranda Hart, Helen George, Bryony ...more

6
56 111
The Crown is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Current Period Piece TV Shows
Claire Foy, Matt Smith, Vanessa Kirby The Crown (Netflix, 2016) is an American-British biographical drama series about the reign of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom. The series begins with the 1947 wedding of young Elizabeth ...more

7
50 46
The Last Kingdom is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Current Period Piece TV Shows
Mads added Alexander Dreymon, David Dawson, Tobias Santelmann The Last Kingdom (BBC America, 2015) is a British historical fiction television series based on Bernard Cornwell's The Saxon Stories series of novels. In 872 England, an unlikely hero (Alexander ...more

8
34 50
The Goldbergs is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Current Period Piece TV Shows
LanaYoshii added Sean Giambrone, Troy Gentile, George Segal The Goldbergs is an American television sitcom that premiered on Tuesday, September 24, 2013 on ABC. The series was created by Adam F. Goldberg and stars Wendi McLendon-Covey and Jeff Garlin. ...more

9
23 22
Peaky Blinders is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Current Period Piece TV Shows
Bere Gutiérrez added Cillian Murphy, Helen McCrory, Paul Anderson Peaky Blinders (BBC Two, 2013) is a British television action crime drama created by Steven Knight, based upon the exploits of the historical criminal gang. In 1919 Birmingham, England, leader ...more

10
21 22
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Current Period Piece TV Shows
Rachel Brosnahan, Michael Zegen, Alex Borstein The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon, 2017) is an American television series, created by Amy Sherman-Palladino and starring Rachel Brosnahan as a housewife in the 1950s who decides to become a ...more

11
31 45
Poldark is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Current Period Piece TV Shows
Todogo added Aidan Turner, Eleanor Tomlinson, Ruby Bentall Poldark (BBC One, 2015) is a British-American drama television series created by Debbie Horsfield, based on the novels by Winston Graham. Ross Poldark (Aidan Turner) returns home after American ...more

12
28 45
Murdoch Mysteries is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Current Period Piece TV Shows
Lisa Ray, Paul Rhys, Georgina Reilly Murdoch Mysteries is a Canadian television drama series aired on both City and CBC Television, titled The Artful Detective in the United States, featuring Yannick Bisson as William Murdoch, a ...more

13
1 0
Victoria is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Current Period Piece TV Shows
Jenna Coleman, Tom Hughes, Peter Bowles Victoria (ITV, 2016) is a drama television series created by Daisy Goodwin. The show depicts first few years of the reign of Queen Victoria (Jenna Coleman), from her accession to the throne at ...more

14
2 2
Damnation is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Current Period Piece TV Shows
gogotabata added Killian Scott, Logan Marshall-Green, Sarah Jones Damnation (USA Network, 2017) is an American period drama television series created by Tony Tost. In 1930s Iowa, a preacher (Killian Scott) with a buried past helps organize a farmers' strike ...more

15
17 47
American Crime Story is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Current Period Piece TV Shows
LanaYoshii added Sterling K. Brown, Kenneth Choi, Christian Clemenson American Crime Story (FX, 2016) is an American true crime anthology television series developed by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski. The first season, The People v. O. J. Simpson, presents ...more

16
25 105
Fresh Off the Boat is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Current Period Piece TV Shows
LanaYoshii added Constance Wu, Randall Park, Hudson Yang Fresh Off the Boat is a comedy series starring Randall Park, Constance Wu, Ian Chen, Hudson Yang, and Forrest Wheeler that is inspired by the life of chef and food personality Eddie Huang and ...more

17
15 109
Another Period is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Current Period Piece TV Shows
LanaYoshii added Natasha Leggero, Riki Lindhome, Lauren Ash Another Period (Comedy Central, 2015) is an American period sitcom directed by Jeremy Konner. At the turn of the 20th century, sisters Lillian (Natasha Leggero) and Beatrice (Riki Lindhome) try ...more