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The Greatest TV Shows Set During the '20s 

Ranker TV
Updated October 17, 2019 616 votes 175 voters 8.5k views 50 items

List Rules Vote up the best shows set in the 1920s.

Oh, those Roaring Twenties, offering new heights of fashion and a sense of wild abandon. The best television shows set in the '20s encompass the whole emotional scope of the 1920s - from fancy flappers to the stock market flop of 1929.

Even with WWI past, there was still a lot of life to pick pack up in the 1920s and the best historical dramas touch on the turbulence of the era. Some of the best '20s TV shows are based on organized independent businessmen who were working around the laws of Prohibition, such as Boardwalk Empire; or filling the voids left when the world was changed post-WWI, as in Peaky Blinders or Resistance. Television shows set in the 1920s are also important parts of long, multi-generational dramas that follow a family - including shows such as The Thorn Birds, The Village, and Downton Abbey.

Which of these top TV shows set the 1920s are your favorites? Check out the list below and vote up your choices for the best shows set in the '20s, while voting down others the shows that aren't enjoyable.

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list ordered by
1
Peaky Blinders is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set During the '20s
Cillian Murphy, Helen McCrory, Paul Anderson

Premiered: 2013

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
2
Downton Abbey is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set During the '20s
Hugh Bonneville, Phyllis Logan, Elizabeth McGovern

Premiered: 2010

Downton Abbey (PBS, 2010) is a British historical drama television series created by Julian Fellowes. A chronicle of the lives of the British aristocratic Crawley family and their servants in ...more
3
Miss Fisher's Murder Mys... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set During the '20s
Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries Essie Davis, Nathan Page, Hugo Johnstone-Burt

Premiered: 2012

Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries is an Australian television drama series. It was first broadcast on ABC on 24 February 2012. The series is based on author Kerry Greenwood's novels and was created ...more
4
Boardwalk Empire is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set During the '20s
Steve Buscemi, Stephen Graham, Vincent Piazza

Premiered: 2010

Boardwalk Empire (HBO, 2010) is an American period crime drama television series created by Terence Winter, based on the non-fiction book by Nelson Johnson. During the 1920s Prohibition era, a ...more
5
Babylon Berlin is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set During the '20s
Volker Bruch, Liv Lisa Fries, Peter Kurth
Babylon Berlin (Netflix, 2018) is a German period drama television series based on the novels by Volker Kutscher. In 1921 during the Weimar Republic, police inspector Gereon Rath (Volker Bruch) ...more
6
Houdini is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set During the '20s
Adrien Brody, Kristen Connolly, Evan Jones

Premiered: 2014

Houdini is a two-part, four-hour History channel event miniseries written by Nicholas Meyer and directed by Uli Edel. It premiered on September 1, 2014, at 9 pm EDT. The series stars Adrien ...more
7
American Horror Story: H... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set During the '20s
Kathy Bates, Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters

Premiered: 2015

American Horror Story: Hotel is the fifth season of the FX horror anthology television series American Horror Story. It premiered on October 7, 2015, and concluded January 13, 2016. The plot ...more
8
The Grand is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set During the '20s
The Grand Michael Sheen, Stephen Moyer, Susan Hampshire

Premiered: 1997

The Grand is a British television drama series first broadcast on ITV in 1997–1998. It was written by Russell T Davies and set in a hotel in Manchester in the 1920s. There are two series: eight ...more
9
Brideshead Revisited is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set During the '20s
Jeremy Irons, Laurence Olivier, John Gielgud

Premiered: 1981

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
10
Cable Girls is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set During the '20s
Maggie Civantos, Nadia de Santiago, Ana Fernández
Cable Girls (Netflix, 2017) is a Spanish period drama web television series. In 1928, four young women move to Madrid to work at a modern telecommunications company.
11
Mr Selfridge is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set During the '20s
Ron Cook, Jeremy Piven, Tom Goodman-Hill

Premiered: 2013

Mr Selfridge is a British period television drama series about Harry Gordon Selfridge and his department store, Selfridge & Co, in London, set in the 1910s. It is co-produced by ITV Studios ...more
12
Upstairs, Downstairs is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set During the '20s
Gordon Jackson, David Langton, Jean Marsh

Premiered: 1971

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
13
The Thorn Birds is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set During the '20s
Richard Chamberlain, Rachel Ward, Christopher Plummer

Premiered: 1983

The Thorn Birds is a 1977 best-selling novel by Colleen McCullough, an Australian author. In 1983 it was adapted as a TV mini-series that, during its television run 27–30 March, became the ...more
14
Frankie Drake Mysteries ... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set During the '20s
Lauren Lee Smith, Chantel Riley, Rebecca Liddiard

Premiered: 2017

Frankie Drake Mysteries (CBC, 2017) is a Canadian television drama. The show follows the fictional Frankie Drake (Lauren Lee Smith), the first female private detective in 1920s Toronto, with ...more
15
Rebecca is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set During the '20s
Rebecca Jeremy Brett, Joanna David, Anna Massey

Premiered: 1979

Rebecca (BBC One, 1979) is a British television drama miniseries, based on Daphne du Maurier's 1938 British novel of the same name. A young English girl in Monte Carlo falls in love with a ...more
16
The Forsyte Saga is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set During the '20s
Damian Lewis, Ioan Gruffudd, Rupert Graves

Premiered: 2002

In 2002, the first two books and the first interlude of John Galsworthy's trilogy The Forsyte Saga were adapted by Granada Television for the ITV network. Additional funding for this production ...more
17
Lady Chatterley is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set During the '20s
Sean Bean, Joely Richardson, James Wilby

Premiered: 1993

Lady Chatterley is a 1993 BBC television serial starring Sean Bean and Joely Richardson. It is an adaption of D. H. Lawrence's novel Lady Chatterley's Lover, first broadcast on BBC One in four ...more
18
The Making of the Mob is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set During the '20s
Ray Liotta, Michael Kotsohilis, Paolo Rotondo

Premiered: 2016

The Making of the Mob (AMC, 2015) is a television docu-series detailing the emergence of organized crime in 20th century America. Narrated by actor Ray Liotta, the series also features intercuts ...more
19
Harley and the Davidsons... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set During the '20s
Harley and the Davidsons Michiel Huisman, Bug Hall, Robert Aramayo

Premiered: 2016

20
Underbelly: Squizzy is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set During the '20s
Underbelly: Squizzy

Premiered: 2013

Underbelly: Squizzy, the sixth series of the Nine Network crime drama series Underbelly, originally aired from 28 July 2013 to 2 September 2013. It is an eight-part series based on the life and ...more
21
Rebecca is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set During the '20s
Rebecca is a 1997 British/German television serial directed by Jim O'Brien. The teleplay by Arthur Hopcraft is based on the 1938 novel of the same name by Daphne du Maurier. The serial was ...more
22
Margie is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set During the '20s
Margie Dave Willock, Cynthia Pepper, Tommy Ivo

Premiered: 1961

Margie is an American television situation comedy starring Cynthia Pepper that was broadcast on ABC from October 12, 1961 to April 12, 1962 in the 9:30 Eastern Thursday time slot, sponsored by ...more
23
Resistance is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set During the '20s
Brian Gleeson Aoife Duffin Simone Kirby Natasha O'Keeffe Gavin Drea

Premiered: 2019

Resistance (RTÉ One, 2019) is an Irish historical fiction television miniseries written by Colin Teevan. The five-part limited series dramatizes the events surrounding the Irish War of
24
Reilly, Ace of Spies is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set During the '20s
Sam Neill, Leo McKern, Michael Bryant

Premiered: 1983

Reilly, Ace of Spies is a 1983 television miniseries dramatizing the life of Sidney Reilly, a Russian Jew who became one of the greatest spies ever to work for the British. Among his exploits, ...more
25
Roots: The Next Generati... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set During the '20s
Marlon Brando, James Earl Jones, Henry Fonda

Premiered: 1979

Roots: The Next Generations is a television miniseries, introduced in 1979, continuing, from 1882 to the 1960s, the fictionalized story of the family of Alex Haley and their life in Henning, ...more