What to Watch The Best Current Period Piece TV Shows  

Ranker TV
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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 2018-2019 and see if it is one of the best period piece shows of all time.

list ordered by

1
122 42
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 drama anthology television series created by Noah Hawley, and inspired by the 1996 film. Various chronicles of deception, intrigue and wrong doings ...more

2
111 44
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 (AMC, 2015) is an American television drama series created by Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould, and a spinoff prequel of Breaking Bad. The trials and tribulations of lawyer, Jimmy ...more

3
168 140
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
129 118
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
64 51
The Last Kingdom is listed (or ranked) 5 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

6
90 108
Call The Midwife is listed (or ranked) 6 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

7
20 4
Victoria is listed (or ranked) 7 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

8
73 119
The Crown is listed (or ranked) 8 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

9
36 28
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 drama created by Steven Knight, based upon the exploits of the historical gang. In 1919 Birmingham, England, leader Tommy Shelby ...more

10
33 31
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
41 58
The Goldbergs is listed (or ranked) 11 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

12
45 52
Poldark is listed (or ranked) 12 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

13
37 53
Murdoch Mysteries is listed (or ranked) 13 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

14
5 5
Medici Masters of Florence is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Current Period Piece TV Shows
Dustin Hoffman, Richard Madden, Stuart Martin
Medici: Masters of Florence is a television drama series about the Medici dynasty set in 15th century Florence. Cosimo the Elder (Richard Madden) was elected head of the Florentine Republic in ...more

15
1 0
Les Misérables is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Current Period Piece TV Shows
Dominic West, David Oyelowo, Lily Collins
Les Misérables (BBC, 2018) is a British television miniseries based on the French historical novel of the same name by Victor Hugo. Set in early 19th-century France, the series follows ...more

16
3 3
Project Blue Book is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Current Period Piece TV Shows
Aidan Gillen, Laura Mennell, Michael Harney
Project Blue Book (History, 2019) is an American historical drama television series created by Robert Zemeckis, David O'Leary, and Sean Jablonski, co-produced by History Channel and A&E ...more

17
0 0
Fosse/Verdon is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Current Period Piece TV Shows
Sam Rockwell, Michelle Williams, Margaret Qualley
Fosse/Verdon (FX, 2019) is an American biographical miniseries, based on the book Fosse by Sam Wasson. The series follows the romantic and creative partnership of filmmaker Bob Fosse (Sam ...more

18
0 0
Warrior is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Current Period Piece TV Shows
Andrew Koji, Olivia Cheng, Jason Tobin
Warrior (Cinemax, 2019) is an American action television series created by Jonathan Tropper and Justin Lin. In late 1800s San Francisco during the Tong Wars, a martial arts prodigy from China ...more

19
0 0
Most Beautiful Thing is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Current Period Piece TV Shows
Maria Casadevall, Leandro Lima, Fernanda Vasconcellos
Most Beautiful Thing (Netflix, 2019), in Portuguese "Coisa Mais Linda," is a Brazilian period drama television series. The show follows young and wealthy Maria Luiza (Maria Casadevall) ...more

20
4 6
The Alienist is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Current Period Piece TV Shows
Daniel Brühl, Luke Evans, Dakota Fanning
The Alienist (TNT, 2018) is an American television period drama event series created by Cary Fukunaga, based on the novel by Caleb Carr. Dr. Laszlo Kreizler (Daniel Bruhl) and newspaper ...more

21
3 5
Frontier is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Current Period Piece TV Shows
Jason Momoa, Alun Armstrong, Landon Liboiron
Frontier (Netflix, 2016) is a Canadian-American historical drama television series co-created by Brad Peyton, Rob Blackie, and Peter Blackie. Declan Harp (Jason Momoa), a part-Irish, part-Cree ...more

22
1 4
Black Monday is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Current Period Piece TV Shows
Don Cheadle, Andrew Rannells, Regina Hall
Black Monday (Showtime, 2019) is an American comedy television series. A rag tag group of Wall Street outsiders take on the financial industry in the wake of the 1987 stock market crash.

23
1 4
I Am the Night is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Current Period Piece TV Shows
Chris Pine, India Eisley, Jefferson Mays
I Am the Night (TNT, 2019) is a six-episode limited television series directed by Patty Jenkins, Victoria Mahoney, and Carl Franklin. Given away as an infant by her teenage mother to a black ...more

24
23 55
American Crime Story is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Current Period Piece TV Shows
LanaYoshii added Sterling K. Brown, Kenneth Choi, Christian Clemenson
This show is an American anthology television series developed by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski.

25
0 6
Kingdom is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Current Period Piece TV Shows
Ju Ji-hoon, Bae Doona, Ryu Seung-ryong
Kingdom (Netflix, 2019) is a South Korean television series based on the webcomic series "Land of the Gods" by Kim Eun-hee. In Korea’s medieval Joseon period, a crown prince (Ju ...more