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The Best Historical Drama TV Shows

Updated November 20, 2020 79.0k votes 12.7k voters 390.0k views123 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 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
    2,265
    604

    The Last Kingdom

    Alexander Dreymon, David Dawson

    Premiered2015

    Amazon buy button
  • 2
    Vikings
    3,238
    1,206

    Vikings

    Travis Fimmel, Katheryn Winnick

    Premiered2013

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  • 3
    Outlander
    2,555
    927

    Outlander

    Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan

    Premiered2014

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  • 4
    The Crown
    1,857
    543

    The Crown

    Claire Foy, Matt Smith

    Premiered2016

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  • 5
    Peaky Blinders
    1,563
    432

    Peaky Blinders

    Cillian Murphy, Helen McCrory

    Premiered2013

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  • 6
    Downton Abbey
    2,419
    983

    Downton Abbey

    Hugh Bonneville, Phyllis Logan

    Premiered2010

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  • 7
    Band of Brothers
    1,812
    666

    Band of Brothers

    Scott Grimes, Damian Lewis

    Premiered2001

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  • 8
    The Tudors
    2,332
    1,019

    The Tudors

    Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Henry Cavill

    Premiered2007

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  • 9
    Poldark
    1,489
    514

    Poldark

    Aidan Turner,

    Premiered2015 - 2nd Adaptation of

    The 2nd adaptation of Poldark premiered in 2015

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  • 10
    Rome
    2,019
    892

    Rome

    Kevin McKidd, Ray Stevenson

    Premiered2005

    Amazon buy button
  • 11
    Black Sails
    1,120
    408

    Black Sails

    Jessica Parker Kennedy, Toby Stephens

    Premiered2014

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  • 12
    The White Queen
    1,459
    624

    The White Queen

    Rebecca Ferguson, Amanda Hale

    Premiered2013

    Amazon buy button
  • 13
    Medici: Masters of Florence
    1,045
    368

    Medici: Masters of Florence

    Dustin Hoffman, Richard Madden

    Premiered2016

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  • 14
    Call The Midwife
    762
    325

    Call The Midwife

    Jessica Raine, Miranda Hart

    Premiered2012

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  • 15
    Versailles
    1,216
    511

    Versailles

    George Blagden, Alexander Vlahos

    Premiered2015

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  • 16
    Pride and Prejudice
    1,010
    555

    Pride and Prejudice

    Colin Firth, Lucy Davis

    Premiered1995

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  • 17
    Spartacus: Blood and Sand
    1,294
    780

    Spartacus: Blood and Sand

    Eric McIntire, Daniel Spink

    Premiered2010

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  • 18
    Anne of Green Gables
    203
    56

    Anne of Green Gables

    Megan Follows, Colleen Dewhurst

    Premiered1985

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  • 19
    The Borgias
    1,389
    854

    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
    651
    274

    Turn

    Jamie Bell, Angus Macfadyen

    Premiered2014

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  • 21
    Reign
    1,727
    1,034

    Reign

    Adelaide Kane, Megan Follows

    Premiered2013

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  • 22
    Hell on Wheels
    597
    313

    Hell on Wheels

    Anson Mount, Colm Meaney

    Premiered2011

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  • 23
    Victoria
    630
    70

    Victoria

    Jenna Coleman, Tom Hughes

    Premiered2016

    Amazon buy button

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  • 24
    John Adams
    817
    468

    John Adams

    Paul Giamatti, Laura Linney

    Premiered2008

    Amazon buy button
  • 25
    Little House on the Prairie
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