TV The Best Period Piece TV Shows  

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List Rules Shows near the top must be only the best Period Piece TV series.

The very best period piece shows on television, ranked from best to worst. This list of the greatest period piece shows. The most popular period piece TV shows have been an integral part of television programming for years, so there's all kinds of different opinions about what the most entertaining period piece show of all time is.

Don't let your favorite period piece television programs 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 includes information like the program's cast, creator and premiere date when available.

List is made up of a variety of shows, including That '70s Show and Mad Men.

What do you think are the best period pieces in TV history?

This list answers the questions, "What is the best period piece show of all time?" and "What are the greatest period piece shows?"
list ordered by

1
195 15
Poldark is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Period Piece TV Shows
Denise Schult added Poldark Aidan Turner, Eleanor Tomlinson

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

2
203 260
Downton Abbey is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Period Piece TV Shows
cpitre27 added Hugh Bonneville, Phyllis Logan, Elizabeth McGovern Downton Abbey is a British period drama television series created by Julian Fellowes and co-produced by Carnival Films and Masterpiece. It first aired on ITV in the United Kingdom and Ireland on ...more

3
199 258
Outlander is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Period Piece TV Shows
MejaEhrenström added 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
160 273
Mad Men is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Period Piece TV Shows
Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, Vincent Kartheiser Mad Men is an American period drama television series created by Matthew Weiner. The series premiered on July 19, 2007 on the cable network AMC and is produced by Lionsgate Television. The ...more

5
82 236
M*A*S*H is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Period Piece TV Shows
murphycat added Alan Alda, Wayne Rogers, Loretta Swi M*A*S*H is an American television series developed by Larry Gelbart, adapted from the 1970 feature film MASH. The series, which was produced in association with 20th Century Fox Television for ...more

6
121 141
Poldark is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Period Piece TV Shows
Todogo added Judy Geeson, Ralph Bates, Angharad Rees Poldark is the original version of the BBC television series adaptation of the novels of the same title written by Winston Graham. The adaption was first transmitted in the UK between 1975 and

7
77 227
Rome is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Period Piece TV Shows
murphycat added Kevin McKidd, Ray Stevenson, Polly Walker Rome is a British-American-Italian historical drama television series created by Bruno Heller, John Milius and William J. MacDonald. The show's two seasons were broadcast on HBO, BBC Two, and ...more

8
46 242
The Waltons is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Period Piece TV Shows
murphycat added Jon Walmsley, Mary Beth McDonough, Eric Scott The Waltons is an American television series created by Earl Hamner, Jr., based on his book Spencer's Mountain, and a 1963 film of the same name. The show is centered on a family in a rural ...more

9
84 265
That '70s Show is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Period Piece TV Shows
Topher Grace, Laura Prepon, Mila Kunis That '70s Show is an American television period sitcom that originally aired on Fox from August 23, 1998, to May 18, 2006. The series focused on the lives of a group of teenage friends living in ...more

10
69 198
Deadwood is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Period Piece TV Shows
murphycat added Timothy Olyphant, Ian McShane, Molly Parker Deadwood is an American western television series created, produced, and largely written by David Milch and aired on the premium cable network HBO from March 21, 2004, to August 27, 2006, ...more

11
77 215
Call The Midwife is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Period Piece TV Shows
cpitre27 added 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

12
74 165
Pride and Prejudice is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Period Piece TV Shows
Moonpie66 added Colin Firth, Lucy Davis, Alison Steadman Pride and Prejudice is a six-episode 1995 British television drama, adapted by Andrew Davies from Jane Austen's 1813 novel of the same name. Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth starred as Elizabeth ...more

13
64 182
The Wonder Years is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Period Piece TV Shows
peanuts added Fred Savage, Dan Lauria, Daniel Stern The Wonder Years is an American television comedy-drama created by Neal Marlens and Carol Black. It ran on ABC from 1988 through 1993. The pilot aired on January 31, 1988, following ABC's ...more

14
36 186
Upstairs, Downstairs is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Period Piece TV Shows
murphycat added Gordon Jackson, David Langton, Jean Marsh Upstairs, Downstairs is a British television drama series originally produced by London Weekend Television and revived by the BBC. It ran on ITV in 68 episodes divided into five series from 1971 ...more

15
54 167
Blackadder is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Period Piece TV Shows
Rowan Atkinson, Brian Blessed, Elspet Gray Blackadder is the name that encompasses four series of a BBC 1 period British sitcom, along with several one-off instalments. All television episodes starred Rowan Atkinson as the anti-hero ...more

16
87 143
The Tudors is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Period Piece TV Shows
Tangy Tiger added Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Henry Cavill, Anthony Brophy The Tudors is a British-Irish-Canadian historical fiction television series set primarily in sixteenth-century England, created by Michael Hirst and produced for the American premium cable ...more

17
47 166
Roots is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Period Piece TV Shows
peanuts added LeVar Burton, Olivia Cole, Robert Reed This award-winning six-part historical epic was one of the first examples of the miniseries format and one of the highest-rated television programs in broadcasting history. Based on the ...more

18
56 151
The Americans is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Period Piece TV Shows
MejaEhrenström added Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Maximiliano Hernández The Americans (FX, 2013) is an American period drama television series created by Joe Weisberg. Elizabeth (Keri Russell) and Philip Jennings (Matthew Rhys) are two Soviet KGB officers posing as ...more

19
34 172
Star Trek: The Original Series is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Period Piece TV Shows
murphycat added William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley Star Trek is an American science fiction television series created by Gene Roddenberry that follows the adventures of the starship USS Enterprise and its crew. It later acquired the retronym of ...more

20
46 144
Little House on the Prairie is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Period Piece TV Shows
Maryellen Elizabeth added Melissa Gilbert, Michael Landon, Lindsay Greenbush Little House on the Prairie, also known as Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House on the Prairie, is a five-hour miniseries which was broadcast on ABC as part of The Wonderful World of Disney ...more

21
36 148
Star Trek: The Next Generation is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Period Piece TV Shows
murphycat added Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes Star Trek: The Next Generation is an American science fiction television series created by Gene Roddenberry twenty-one years after the original Star Trek series debuted in 1966. Roddenberry, ...more

22
38 156
Happy Days is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Period Piece TV Shows
peanuts added Ron Howard, Henry Winkler, Marion Ross Happy Days is an American television sitcom that aired first-run from January 15, 1974, to September 24, 1984, on ABC. Created by Garry Marshall, the series presents an idealized vision of life ...more

23
55 106
The Crown is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best 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

24
55 153
Freaks and Geeks is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Period Piece TV Shows
Linda Cardellini, John Francis Daley, James Franco Freaks and Geeks is an American teen comedy-drama television series, created by Paul Feig with Judd Apatow as executive producer, that aired on NBC during the 1999–2000 television season. ...more

25
33 128
Blackadder the Third is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Period Piece TV Shows
Rowan Atkinson, Tony Robinson, Hugh Laurie Blackadder the Third is the third series of the BBC sitcom Blackadder, written by Richard Curtis and Ben Elton, which aired from 17 September to 22 October 1987. The series was set during the ...more

26
23 153
Gunsmoke is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Period Piece TV Shows
murphycat added James Arness, Milburn Stone, Amanda Blake Gunsmoke is an American radio and television Western drama series created by director Norman Macdonnell and writer John Meston. The stories take place in and around Dodge City, Kansas, during ...more

27
18 163
The Big Valley is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Period Piece TV Shows
murphycat added Richard Long, Peter Breck, Lee Majors The Big Valley is an American western television series which ran on ABC from September 15, 1965, to May 19, 1969. The show stars Barbara Stanwyck, as the widow of a wealthy nineteenth century ...more

28
18 135
The Wild Wild West is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Period Piece TV Shows
murphycat added Agnes Moorehead, Robert Conrad, Ross Martin The Wild Wild West is an American television series that ran on CBS for four seasons from September 17, 1965 to April 4, 1969. Two television movies were made with the original cast in 1979 and ...more

29
50 124
Spartacus: Blood and Sand is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Period Piece TV Shows
Jason S. added Eric McIntire, Daniel Spink, Matthew Felker Spartacus: Blood and Sand is the title of the first and most critically acclaimed season of Spartacus, a television series that premiered on Starz on January 22, 2010. The series was inspired by ...more

30
25 121
The Black Adder is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Period Piece TV Shows
Rowan Atkinson, Brian Blessed, Elspet Gray The Black Adder is the first series of the BBC sitcom Blackadder, written by Richard Curtis and Rowan Atkinson, directed by Martin Shardlow and produced by John Lloyd. The series was originally ...more

31
13 145
Here Come the Brides is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Period Piece TV Shows
murphycat added Bruce Lee, Joan Blondell, David Soul Here Come the Brides is an American comedy Western series from Screen Gems that aired on the ABC television network from September 25, 1968 to April 3, 1970. The series was loosely based upon ...more

32
36 131
Little House on the Prairie is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Period Piece TV Shows
murphycat added Little House on the Prairie is an American Western drama television series, starring Michael Landon, Melissa Gilbert, and Karen Grassle, about a family living on a farm in Walnut Grove, ...more

33
31 120
Blackadder Goes Forth is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Period Piece TV Shows
Rowan Atkinson, Tony Robinson, Stephen Fry Blackadder Goes Forth is the fourth and final series of the BBC sitcom Blackadder, written by Richard Curtis and Ben Elton, which aired from 28 September to 2 November 1989 on BBC One. The ...more

34
15 132
The High Chaparral is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Period Piece TV Shows
murphycat added Leif Erickson, Cameron Mitchell, Henry Darrow The High Chaparral is an American Western-themed television series starring Leif Erickson and Cameron Mitchell, which aired on NBC from 1967 to 1971. The series, made by Xanadu Productions in ...more

35
21 119
Blackadder: The Cavalier Years is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Period Piece TV Shows
Rowan Atkinson, Tony Robinson, Stephen Fry As the only two loyalists to King Charles (sounding a lot like Prince Charles), it is up to Blackadder and Baldrick to come up with a plan to save the King from Oliver Cromwell's death sentence. ...more

36
28 119
Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Period Piece TV Shows
peanuts added Jane Seymour, Joe Lando, Chad Allen Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman is an American Western drama series created by Beth Sullivan and starring Jane Seymour who plays Dr. Michaela "Mike" Quinn, a physician who leaves Boston in ...more

37
32 110
Hell on Wheels is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Period Piece TV Shows
Anson Mount, Colm Meaney, Robin McLeavy Hell on Wheels is a 2011 TV film directed by David Von Ancken.

38
25 96
The Borgias is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Period Piece TV Shows
Tangy Tiger added Jeremy Irons, François Arnaud, Holliday Grainger The Borgias is an historical-fiction drama television series created by Neil Jordan; it debuted in 2011 and was canceled in 2013. The series is set around the turn of the 16th century and ...more

39
33 102
Doctor Who is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Period Piece TV Shows
Benjamin Dunn added Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Matt Smith Doctor Who (BBC, 2005) is a British science-fiction television show created by Sydney Newman, C. E. Webber, and Donald Wilson. The further adventures in time and space of the alien adventurer ...more

40
22 106
China Beach is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Period Piece TV Shows
murphycat added Dana Delany, Michael Boatman, Robert Picardo China Beach is an American dramatic television series set at an evacuation hospital during the Vietnam War. The title refers to My Khe beach in the city of Đà Nẵng, Vietnam, which was ...more

41
12 122
Farscape is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Period Piece TV Shows
murphycat added Ben Browder, Claudia Black, Anthony Simcoe Farscape is an Australian/American science fiction television series, produced originally for the Nine Network. The series was conceived by Rockne S. O'Bannon and produced by Jim Henson ...more

42
21 104
Lonesome Dove is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Period Piece TV Shows
peanuts added Diane Lane, Robert Duvall, Steve Buscemi Lonesome Dove is a 1989 American epic Western adventure television miniseries directed by Simon Wincer. It is a four part adaptation of the 1985 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by ...more

43
21 106
I, Claudius is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Period Piece TV Shows
peanuts added Derek Jacobi, John Hurt, Siân Phillips I, Claudius is a 1976 BBC Television adaptation of Robert Graves's I, Claudius and Claudius the God. Written by Jack Pulman, it starred Derek Jacobi as Claudius, with Siân Phillips, Brian ...more

44
22 109
Bonanza is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Period Piece TV Shows
peanuts added Lorne Greene, Michael Landon, Dan Blocker Bonanza is an NBC television western series that ran from September 12, 1959, to January 16, 1973. Lasting 14 seasons and 430 episodes, it ranks as the second longest running western series, and ...more

45
19 100
The Paradise is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Period Piece TV Shows
zoe-krainik added Joanna Vanderham, Emun Elliott, Stephen Wight The Paradise is a British television costume drama series co-produced by BBC Worldwide America and Masterpiece. The Paradise premiered in the United Kingdom on BBC One on 25 September 2012 and ...more

46
29 86
Boardwalk Empire is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Period Piece TV Shows
VFBundy13 added Steve Buscemi, Stephen Graham, Vincent Piazza Boardwalk Empire is an American period crime drama television series created by Terence Winter. Airing on premium cable channel HBO, the series is set in Atlantic City, New Jersey, during the ...more

47
23 98
Mr. Selfridge is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Period Piece TV Shows
Mr. Selfridge

48
14 111
Life on Mars is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Period Piece TV Shows
MejaEhrenström added John Simm, Philip Glenister, Liz White Life on Mars is a British television series broadcast on BBC One between January 2006 and April 2007. The series combines elements of science fiction and police procedural, featuring an officer ...more

49
17 100
The Lone Ranger is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Period Piece TV Shows
peanuts added The Lone Ranger is a fictional masked former Texas Ranger who fought outlaws in the American Old West with his native American friend, Tonto. The character has been called an enduring icon of ...more

50
11 98
Brideshead Revisited is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Period Piece TV Shows
peanuts added Jeremy Irons, Laurence Olivier, John Gielgud Brideshead Revisited is a 1981 British television serial produced by Granada Television for broadcast by the ITV network. The serial is an adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's novel Brideshead ...more