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The Greatest Period TV Shows Set in the Regency Era

Updated June 3, 2021 11.3k votes 2.2k voters 18.4k views35 items

List RulesVote up the best shows set in the Regency Era (from about 1795 to 1837).

Generally considered the years between 1795 and 1837, the Regency era spans more than just English empire waists and tales of manners. The same set of years that contains most Jane Austen adaptations also includes the French Restoration - meaning while Emma was happening in one country Les Misérables was happening in another . Television series set in the Regency Era is just as full of social intrigue, drama, and beautiful fashions as the era itself. Even though the Regency period sometimes gets overshadowed by a dozen novel adaptations, the best television series look beyond the books and delve into the social issues of the era.

The late 1700s into the early 19th century was full of big changes all over the world. While politely tense tales were played out in Britan with stories such as Little Dorrit and Northanger Abbey and in France Napoleon Bonaparte was rising to power (and falling from it), the United States was creating the stories that would later fuel the idea of the "wild west" - including vigilantes such as Zorro.

Which of these top TV shows set in the Regency era are the best? Vote up your choices for the best shows set in the Regency era, and see where your favorite Regency TV shows rank.

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  • 1
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    182

    Sanditon

    Rose Williams, Crystal Clarke

    Premiered2020

    Sanditon (ITV, 2020) is a British historical period drama television series adapted by Andrew Davies from an unfinished manuscript by Jane Austen. Set in the Regency era, the story follows Charlotte...  more

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  • 2
    890
    181

    Pride and Prejudice

    Colin Firth, Jennifer Ehle

    PremieredSeptember 24, 1995

    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 Bennet...  more

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  • 3
    1,007
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    Bridgerton

    Phoebe Dynevor, Regé-Jean Page

    PremieredDecember 25, 2020

    Bridgerton (Netflix, 2020) is an American period drama television series created by Shonda Rhimes and based on the Bridgerton book series by Julia Quinn. Wealth, lust, and betrayal set in the...  more

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  • 4
    344
    188

    Sense and Sensibility

    Hattie Morahan, Charity Wakefield

    PremieredJanuary 1, 2008

    Sense and Sensibility is a 2008 British television drama adaptation of Jane Austen's 1811 eponymous novel. The screenplay was written by Andrew Davies, who revealed that the aim of the series was to...  more

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  • 5
    Northanger Abbey is a 1986 made-for-television film adaptation of Jane Austen's novel Northanger Abbey, and was originally broadcast on the A&E Network and the BBC....  more
  • 6
    148
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    Les Misérables

    John Malkovich, Gérard Depardieu

    Premiered2000

    Les Misérables is a 2000 French television miniseries based on the novel of the same name by Victor Hugo. The miniseries was broadcast in four parts. A three hour English version was also released....  more

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  • 7
    175
    198

    Death Comes to Pemberley

    Matthew Rhys, Anna Maxwell Martin

    PremieredDecember 26, 2013

    Death Comes to Pemberley is a three-part British television drama based on the best-selling P.D. James novel of the same name, a murder mystery continuation of the events of Jane Austen's Pride and...  more
  • 8
    162
    182

    War & Peace

    Paul Dano, Lily James

    Premiered2016

    War & Peace is a 2016 British-American historical period drama television serial, based on Leo Tolstoy's classic novel....  more
  • 9
    145
    169

    Little Dorrit

    Claire Foy, Matthew McFadyen

    PremieredOctober 26, 2008

    Little Dorrit is a 2008 British miniseries based on the serial novel of the same title by Charles Dickens, originally published between 1855 and 1857. The screenplay is by Andrew Davies and the...  more
  • 10
    129
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    Beecham House

    Tom Bateman, Kumiko Kaur Chadha Berges

    Premiered2019

  • 11
    120
    157

    Emma

    Kate Beckinsale, Mark Strong

    Premiered1996

    Jane Austen's Emma is an adaptation of the 1815 novel of the same name. It was adapted for the British television network ITV in 1996, directed by Diarmuid Lawrence and dramatised by Andrew Davies,...  more

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  • 12
    118
    164

    Les Miserables

    Dominic West, David Oyelowo

    Premiered2018

    Les Misérables (2018, BBC) is a miniseries adaptation of Victor Hugo's French historical novel of the same name. The series, adapted by Andrew Davies and directed by Tom Shankland, stars Dominic West...  more
  • 13
    94
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    Sense and Sensibility

    Sense and Sensibility is a 1981 BBC television adaptation of Jane Austen's novel. The seven-part series was dramatized by Alexander Baron, and directed by Rodney Bennett. This telling of the tale...  more
  • 14
    106
    156

    Wuthering Heights

    Tom Hardy, Charlotte Riley

    PremieredAugust 30, 2009

    Wuthering Heights is a two-part ITV television serial adaptation of the novel Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. The episodes were adapted for the screen by Peter Bowker and directed by Coky...  more
  • 15
    95
    151

    Pride and Prejudice

    Barbara Shelley, Judy Parfitt

    Premiered1980

    Pride and Prejudice is a 1980 BBC television serial, adapted by British novelist Fay Weldon from Jane Austen's novel of the same name, originally published in 1813. This five-episode dramatisation...  more
  • 16
    110
    178

    Gentleman Jack

    Suranne Jones, Sophie Rundle

    PremieredApril 22, 2019

    Gentleman Jack (HBO, 2019) is a British-American historical drama series created by Sally Wainwright.In 1832, Anne Lister (Suranne Jones) returns to Shibden Hall, her ancestral home in West...  more

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  • 17
    93
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    Taboo

    Tom Hardy, Leo Bill

    PremieredJanuary 7, 2017

    Taboo (FX, 2017) is a British television drama series created by Tom Hardy, Edward "Chips" Hardy, and Steven Knight. James Delaney (Tom Hardy) returns to England after twelve years in Africa with...  more

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  • 18
    83
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    The Count of Monte Cristo

    Gérard Depardieu, Ornella Muti

    Premiered1998

    The Count of Monte Cristo (1998, TF1) is a French four-part miniseries based on the 1844 novel The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas père. Edmond Dantes (Gérard Depardieu) is unjustly sent to...  more
  • 19
    58
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    Vanity Fair

    Natasha Little, Frances Grey

    Premiered1998

    Vanity Fair is a BBC television drama serial adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray's novel of the same name broadcast in 1998. The screenplay was written by Andrew Davies. The BBC previously...  more
  • 20
    48
    119

    Sharpe

    Sean Bean

    PremieredMay 5, 1993

    Sharpe is a British series of historical war television dramas starring Sean Bean as Richard Sharpe, a fictional British soldier in the Napoleonic Wars. Sharpe is the hero of a number of novels by...  more

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  • 21
    65
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    Les Misérables

    Dominic West, David Oyelowo

    Premiered2018

    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 the lives and...  more
  • 22
    53
    132

    Mansfield Park

    Anna Massey, Samantha Bond

    Premiered1983

    Mansfield Park is a 1983 British television drama serial, made by the BBC, and adapted from Jane Austen's novel of the same name, originally published in 1814. The serial was the first screen...  more
  • 23
    35
    125

    Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

    Bertie Carvel, Eddie Marsan

    PremieredJune 13, 2015

    Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (BBC, 2015) is a seven-part British fantasy television series to be shown on BBC One, adapted by Peter Harness from Susanna Clarke's best-selling novel of the same name....  more
  • 24
    21
    94

    To the Ends of the Earth

    Benedict Cumberbatch, Sam Neill

    Premiered2005

    To the Ends of the Earth is a three-part BBC television miniseries adaptation of the trilogy of novels of the same name by William Golding. It premièred in the United Kingdom on BBC Two in July 2005,...  more
  • 25
    Beau Brummell: This Charming Man was a 2006 BBC Television drama in based on the biography of Beau Brummell by Ian Kelly....  more