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The Best Historical Drama TV Shows

Updated October 20, 2020 77.7k votes 12.5k voters 386.4k views120 items

List RulesVote up the best true historical dramas. No fantasy series that feature overly imaginative elements like space travel or dragons.

Learn about real-world history while you binge watch the best historical drama shows on television. Some of the greatest TV dramas feature realistic settings from history and characters who actually existed. This list of the greatest historical drama shows is ranked best to worst, and it also includes information about the cast. Popular historical drama TV shows have been a staple of television for years, so there's often debate about what the most entertaining historical drama show of all time is.

Including Rome and Vikings, the list of good historical series features period dramas and medieval epics. These shows usually have colorful costumes, beautiful set pieces, and even ancient languages. They can be set at the turn of the 20th century or at the end of it.

This list answers the questions, "What is the best historical drama show of all time?" and "What are the greatest historical drama shows?" Want a little between-wars England with your Downton Abbey? Some Henry VIII with your The Tudors? Don't let your favorite historical drama 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 historical drama television shows below includes information like the program's cast, creator and premiere date when available and also include some of the best historical dramas of the decade.

 

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  • 1
    The Last Kingdom is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
    2,207
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    The Last Kingdom

    Alexander Dreymon, David Dawson

    Premiered2015

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  • 2
    Vikings is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
    3,178
    1,194

    Vikings

    Travis Fimmel, Katheryn Winnick

    Premiered2013

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  • 3
    Outlander is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
    2,503
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    Outlander

    Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan

    Premiered2014

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  • 4
    The Crown is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
    1,818
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    The Crown

    Claire Foy, Matt Smith

    Premiered2016

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  • 5
    Peaky Blinders is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
    1,516
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    Peaky Blinders

    Cillian Murphy, Helen McCrory

    Premiered2013

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  • 6
    Downton Abbey is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
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    Downton Abbey

    Hugh Bonneville, Phyllis Logan

    Premiered2010

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  • 7
    Band of Brothers is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
    1,789
    659

    Band of Brothers

    Scott Grimes, Damian Lewis

    Premiered2001

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  • 8
    The Tudors is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
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    The Tudors

    Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Henry Cavill

    Premiered2007

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  • 9
    Poldark is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
    1,476
    505

    Poldark

    Aidan Turner,

    Premiered2015 - 2nd Adaptation of

    The 2nd adaptation of Poldark premiered in 2015

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  • 10
    Rome is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
    1,984
    889

    Rome

    Kevin McKidd, Ray Stevenson

    Premiered2005

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  • 11
    Black Sails is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
    1,096
    403

    Black Sails

    Jessica Parker Kennedy, Toby Stephens

    Premiered2014

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  • 12
    The White Queen is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
    1,440
    620

    The White Queen

    Rebecca Ferguson, Amanda Hale

    Premiered2013

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  • 13
    Medici: Masters of Florence is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
    1,024
    366

    Medici: Masters of Florence

    Dustin Hoffman, Richard Madden

    Premiered2016

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  • 14
    Call The Midwife is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
    754
    322

    Call The Midwife

    Jessica Raine, Miranda Hart

    Premiered2012

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  • 15
    Versailles is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
    1,202
    507

    Versailles

    George Blagden, Alexander Vlahos

    Premiered2015

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  • 16
    Pride and Prejudice is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
    997
    548

    Pride and Prejudice

    Colin Firth, Lucy Davis

    Premiered1995

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  • 17
    Spartacus: Blood and Sand is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
    1,278
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    Spartacus: Blood and Sand

    Eric McIntire, Daniel Spink

    Premiered2010

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  • 18
    Anne of Green Gables is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
    193
    53

    Anne of Green Gables

    Megan Follows, Colleen Dewhurst

    Premiered1985

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  • 19
    The Borgias is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
    1,377
    851

    The Borgias

    Jeremy Irons, François Arnaud

    Premiered2011

    The Borgias is a historical-fiction drama television series, created by Neil Jordan.  This series follows the life of the Borgia family in Rome.
     
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  • 20
    Turn is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
    636
    270

    Turn

    Jamie Bell, Angus Macfadyen

    Premiered2014

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  • 21
    Reign is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
    1,707
    1,024

    Reign

    Adelaide Kane, Megan Follows

    Premiered2013

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  • 22
    Victoria is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
    618
    63

    Victoria

    Jenna Coleman, Tom Hughes

    Premiered2016

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  • 23
    Hell on Wheels is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
    583
    308

    Hell on Wheels

    Anson Mount, Colm Meaney

    Premiered2011

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  • 24
    John Adams is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
    800
    465

    John Adams

    Paul Giamatti, Laura Linney

    Premiered2008

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  • 25
    Spartacus: Vengeance is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
    746
    497

    Spartacus: Vengeance

    Brett Tucker, Craig Parker

    Premiered2012

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