Watchworthy
3.7k voters

The Best Current Period Piece TV Shows

Updated January 15, 2021 10.5k votes 3.7k voters 30.9k views13 items

List RulesTelevision 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 and see if it is one of the best period piece shows of all time.

Photo:
...more
  • Anne with an E1
    1,034
    480

    Anne with an E

    Amybeth McNulty, Geraldine James

    Premiered2017

    Anne with an E (2017, Netflix) is a Canadian television series created by Moira... more on Wikipedia
  • Outlander2
    1,142
    943

    Outlander

    Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan

    Premiered2014

    Outlander (Starz, 2014) is a historical drama television series developed by Ronald D. Moore,... more on Wikipedia

    More Outlander 

    #58 of 73 Sci-Fi Shows You Should Be Watching Now#115 of 298 The Best Sci-Fi Television Series Of All Time

  • Poldark3
    663
    445

    Poldark

    Aidan Turner, Eleanor Tomlinson

    Premiered2015

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

    More 

    The Best Episodes of 'Poldark'Ranking the Best Seasons of 'Poldark'

  • The Crown4
    600
    538

    The Crown

    Claire Foy, Matt Smith

    Premiered2016

    The Crown (Netflix, 2016) is an American-British biographical drama series created by Peter... more on Wikipedia

    More The Crown 

    Princess Alice of Battenberg's Real Life Was Even More Dramatic Than What You Saw On 'The Crown'#75 of 389 TV Shows That Only Smart People Appreciate

  • Victoria5
    504
    396

    Victoria

    Jenna Coleman, Tom Hughes

    Premiered2016

    Victoria (ITV, 2016) is a drama television series created by Daisy Goodwin. The show depicts ... more on Wikipedia

    More Victoria 

    #18 of 29 20+ Recent British TV Shows You've Been Missing This Whole Time#17 of 97 The Best Historical Drama TV Shows

  • The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel6
    346
    386

    The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

    Rachel Brosnahan, Michael Zegen

    Premiered2017

    The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon Video, 2017) is an American period comedy-drama web... more on Wikipedia

    More 

    The Best Characters On 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel'#205 of 443 The Funniest TV Shows of All Time

  • Peaky Blinders7
    303
    341

    Peaky Blinders

    Cillian Murphy, Helen McCrory

    Premiered2013

    Peaky Blinders (BBC Two, 2013) is a British television action drama created by Steven Knight,... more on Wikipedia

    More Peaky Blinders 

    What Was Going On Beyond Birmingham During ‘Peaky Blinders’?The Fascinating True Story That Inspired BBC's 'Peaky Blinders'

  • Call The Midwife8
    403
    474

    Call The Midwife

    Jessica Raine, Miranda Hart

    Premiered2012

    Call the Midwife (BBC, 2012) is a British period drama series created by Heidi Thomas. The... more on Wikipedia
  • All Creatures Great and Small9
    1
    0

    All Creatures Great and Small

    Nicholas Ralph, Anna Madeley

    Premiered2020

    All Creatures Great and Small (PBS, 2020) is a British comedy drama series based on the book... more on Wikipedia

    More All Creatures Great and Small 

    #131 of 404 The Best New Shows That Have Premiered in the Last Few Years#168 of 647 The Best Original Streaming Shows of the Last Few Years

  • The Last Kingdom10
    348
    425

    The Last Kingdom

    Alexander Dreymon, David Dawson

    Premiered2015

    The Last Kingdom (BBC America, 2015) is a British historical fiction television series based... more on Wikipedia

    More The Last Kingdom 

    Facts About Uhtred The Bold: Ealdorman Of Bamburgh And Inspiration For 'The Last Kingdom'#5 of 33 The Best Current TV Shows No One Is Watching

  • Miss Scarlet and The Duke11
    0
    0

    Miss Scarlet and The Duke

    Kate Phillips, Stuart Martin

    Premiered2021

    Miss Scarlet and The Duke (PBS, 2021) is a British-Irish period crime drama created by Rachael... more on Wikipedia

    More Miss Scarlet and The Duke 

    #62 of 73 The Best Current TV Shows For Women, Ranked#130 of 338 The Best Female-Led TV Shows

  • The Alienist12
    99
    243

    The Alienist

    Daniel Brühl, Luke Evans

    Premiered2018

    The Alienist (TNT, 2018) is an American television period drama event series created by Cary... more on Wikipedia

    More The Alienist 

    The Best Episodes of 'The Alienist'#26 of 46 New TV Shows of the Last Few Years with the Best Overall Acting

  • The English Game13
    135
    227

    The English Game

    Edward Holcroft, Kevin Guthrie

    Premiered2020

    The English Game (Netflix, 2020) is a historical drama series created by Julian Fellowes, Tony... more on Wikipedia

    More The English Game 

    #316 of 437 The Best New Netflix Original Series of the Last Few Years#8 of 28 The Best New Period Piece TV Shows of the Last Few Years