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The Best Historical Drama TV Shows

Updated January 15, 2021 74.7k votes 13.0k voters 396.6k views97 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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  • Vikings1
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    Vikings

    Travis Fimmel, Katheryn Winnick

    Premiered2013

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  • Outlander2
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    Outlander

    Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan

    Premiered2014

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  • The Last Kingdom3
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    Alexander Dreymon, David Dawson

    Premiered2015

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  • The Crown4
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    The Crown

    Claire Foy, Matt Smith

    Premiered2016

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    Peaky Blinders

    Cillian Murphy, Helen McCrory

    Premiered2013

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  • Downton Abbey6
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    Downton Abbey

    Hugh Bonneville, Phyllis Logan

    Premiered2010

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  • Band of Brothers7
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    Scott Grimes, Damian Lewis

    Premiered2001

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  • The Tudors8
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    Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Henry Cavill

    Premiered2007

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  • Rome9
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    Kevin McKidd, Ray Stevenson

    Premiered2005

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  • Poldark10
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    Poldark

    Aidan Turner

    Premiered2015

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  • Black Sails11
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    Black Sails

    Jessica Parker Kennedy, Toby Stephens

    Premiered2014

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  • The White Queen12
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    The White Queen

    Rebecca Ferguson, Amanda Hale

    Premiered2013

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  • Medici: Masters of Florence13
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    Medici: Masters of Florence

    Dustin Hoffman, Richard Madden

    Premiered2016

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  • Versailles14
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    Versailles

    George Blagden, Alexander Vlahos

    Premiered2015

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  • Call The Midwife15
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    Call The Midwife

    Jessica Raine, Miranda Hart

    Premiered2012

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  • Pride and Prejudice16
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    Pride and Prejudice

    Colin Firth, Lucy Davis

    Premiered1995

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  • Victoria17
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    Victoria

    Jenna Coleman, Tom Hughes

    Premiered2016

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  • Poldark18
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    Poldark

    Aidan Turner, Eleanor Tomlinson

    Premiered2015

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  • Spartacus: Blood and Sand19
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    Spartacus: Blood and Sand

    Eric McIntire, Daniel Spink

    Premiered2010

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  • Turn20
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    Turn

    Jamie Bell, Angus Macfadyen

    Premiered2014

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  • The White Princess21
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    The White Princess

    Jodie Comer, Rebecca Benson

    Premiered2017

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  • The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel22
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    The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

    Rachel Brosnahan, Michael Zegen

    Premiered2017

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  • The Americans23
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    The Americans

    Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys

    Premiered2013

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  • John Adams24
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    John Adams

    Paul Giamatti, Laura Linney

    Premiered2008

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  • The Borgias25
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    The Borgias

    Jeremy Irons, François Arnaud

    Premiered2011


     

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