Weird History The Best Historical Drama TV Shows  

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List Rules Only true historical dramas - no fantasy, including dragons or time / space travel.

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. 

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.

list ordered by

1
1,514 340
Vikings is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
MarkWilliams added Vikings Travis Fimmel, Clive Standen, Gustaf Skarsgård

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2
1,023 378
Rome is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Rome Kevin McKidd, Ray Stevenson, Polly Walker

3
1,012 374
The Tudors is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
RazvanPop added The Tudors Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Henry Cavill, Anthony Brophy

4
882 296
Downton Abbey is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Downton Abbey Hugh Bonneville, Phyllis Logan, Elizabeth McGovern

5
713 374
The Borgias is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Victoria Smith added The Borgias Jeremy Irons, François Arnaud, Holliday Grainger - The Borgias is a historical-fiction drama television series, created by Neil Jordan.  This series follows the life of the Borgia family in Rome. 

6
733 247
Band of Brothers is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
sebbzor added Band of Brothers Scott Grimes, Damian Lewis, Ron Livingston

7
445 287
Deadwood is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Chris Abraham added Deadwood Timothy Olyphant, Ian McShane, Molly Parker

8
658 174
Outlander is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Megan Monaco Lanier added Outlander Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, Tobias Menzies

9
519 112
The Last Kingdom is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
1478207789575 added The Last Kingdom Gerard Kearns, Alec Newman, Madeleine Power

10
612 380
Spartacus: Blood and Sand is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Spartacus: Blood and Sand Eric McIntire, Daniel Spink, Matthew Felker

11
602 258
The White Queen is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Chris Abraham added The White Queen Janet McTeer, Rebecca Ferguson

12
428 79
The Crown is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Lauren Alysse Lake added The Crown Matt Smith, John Lithgow, Claire Foy

13
658 422
Reign is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
brianansellers added Reign Adelaide Kane, Megan Follows, Torrance Coombs

14
216 175
Roots is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Roots LeVar Burton, Olivia Cole, Robert Reed

15
411 221
Marco Polo is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Amy Boal added Marco Polo Benedict Wong, Olivia Cheng, Joan Chen

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16
342 173
Mad Men is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Greer Baudreau added Mad Men Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, Vincent Kartheiser

17
341 145
Pride and Prejudice is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Greer Baudreau added Pride and Prejudice Colin Firth, Lucy Davis, Alison Steadman

18
340 219
John Adams is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
John Adams Paul Giamatti, Laura Linney, John Dossett

19
345 150
Versailles is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Rachele Digrazia added Versailles George Blagden, Stuart Bowman, Evan Williams

20
339 205
Spartacus: Vengeance is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Spartacus: Vengeance Brett Tucker, Craig Parker, Viva Bianca

21
364 96
Black Sails is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Robert Berryman added Black Sails Jessica Parker Kennedy, Toby Stephens, Hannah New

22
213 111
Hatfields & McCoys is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Hatfields & McCoys Kevin Costner, Bill Paxton, Matt Barr

23
296 78
Poldark is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Emma Kate Thompson added Poldark Judy Geeson, Ralph Bates, Angharad Rees

24
243 177
North and South is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
VidakovićMarija added North and South Elizabeth Taylor, Kirstie Alley, Johnny Cash

25
256 66
Peaky Blinders is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
1478207789575 added Peaky Blinders

26
262 78
Medici: Masters of Florence is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Kindra Haystacks Markham added Medici: Masters of Florence

27
266 178
Da Vinci's Demons is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Da Vinci's Demons Tom Riley, Gregg Chillin, Eros Vlahos

28
188 53
Hell on Wheels is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
AlissonKolling added Hell on Wheels Anson Mount, Colm Meaney, Robin McLeavy

29
180 57
Call The Midwife is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Bruce Wheeler added Call The Midwife Vanessa Redgrave, Helen George, Laura Main

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30
206 112
Wolf Hall is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
DavidBlauch added Wolf Hall Mark Rylance, Damian Lewis, Claire Foy

31
121 78
The Paradise is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
zoe-krainik added The Paradise

32
88 108
Upstairs, Downstairs is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Greer Baudreau added Upstairs, Downstairs Gordon Jackson, David Langton, Jean Marsh

33
89 77
Foyle's War is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Edom added Foyle's War Michael Kitchen, Honeysuckle Weeks, Anthony Howell

34
91 53
Elizabeth I is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Daniel Martínez Arg added Elizabeth I Helen Mirren, Jeremy Irons, Hugh Dancy

35
119 136
Camelot is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Camelot Joseph Fiennes, Jamie Campbell Bower, Tamsin Egerton

36
94 77
Borgia is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Bethanie Grace Frith added Borgia Mark Ryder, Isolda Dychauk, Diarmuid Noyes

37
133 57
Merlin is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
EvEline added Merlin John Hurt, Colin Morgan, Bradley James

38
101 35
North & South is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Stephanie Garcia added North & South Richard Armitage, Sinéad Cusack, Daniela Denby-Ashe

39
51 62
Bleak House is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Bleak House Gillian Anderson, Carey Mulligan, Charles Dance

40
46 41
War and Peace is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Lauren Alysse Lake added War and Peace Anthony Hopkins, Alan Dobie, Morag Hood

41
47 51
Magnificent Century is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Hamza Qayyum added Magnificent Century Mehmet Günsür, Cansu Dere, Meryem Uzerli

42
40 56
Little Dorrit is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Little Dorrit Andy Serkis, Freema Agyeman, Matthew Macfadyen

43
46 113
Kung Fu is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Greer Baudreau added Kung Fu David Carradine, Keye Luke, Radames Pera

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44
37 43
Murdoch Mysteries is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
MichaelChoi added Murdoch Mysteries Lisa Ray, Paul Rhys, Georgina Reilly

45
38 46
The Forsyte Saga is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Lauren Alysse Lake added The Forsyte Saga Damian Lewis, Ioan Gruffudd, Rupert Graves

46
44 54
Indian Summers is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Robert Berryman added Indian Summers Henry Lloyd-Hughes, Nikesh Patel, Jemima West

47
49 99
Manhattan is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Manhattan Rachel Brosnahan, Michael Chernus, Christopher Denham

48
53 26
I, Claudius is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
1491971760840 added I, Claudius Derek Jacobi, John Hurt, Siân Phillips

49
22 40
Empresses in the Palace is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Lauren Alysse Lake added Empresses in the Palace

50
83 82
Turn is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Historical Drama TV Shows
Lisa Talamantes added Turn Jamie Bell, Angus Macfadyen, Kevin McNally