Sponsored
4.0k voters

The Best Historical Fiction TV Shows

Updated February 18, 2021 13.5k votes 4.0k voters 206.0k views70 items

List RulesVote up the best historical fiction shows that tell stories from the past through a new lens.

This is a list of the best historical fiction series on television, ranked from best to worst. Whether historical dramas, comedies, or action shows, TV series set in real history have rich source material and great stories to tell. This list of the greatest historical fiction shows also includes pictures from the shows when available. Popular historical fiction TV series have been a staple of television for years, because we love to learn about our ancestors via a compelling narrative rather than dumb books, so there's often debate about which are the top historical fiction series of all time.

Don't let your favorite historical fiction 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 fiction television shows below includes information like the program's cast, creator and premiere date when available. This list includes historical fiction TV series such as Vikings, The Tudors, Deadwood, and many other history TV shows. Just because every detail in the series isn't textbook-level accurate doesn't mean the show isn't realistic - it's historical fiction, after all. And these are the best historical fiction series of all time!

This list answers the questions, "What is the best historical fiction show of all time?" and "What are the greatest historical fiction shows?" Vote up your favorite historical fiction series and rewrite what history you want to watch.

Photo:
...more
  • Vikings1
    915
    187

    Vikings

    Travis Fimmel, Katheryn Winnick

    Premiered2013

    NetworkHistory

    Amazon buy button

    More Vikings 

    11 Historically Inaccurate Details From History Channel's 'Vikings'#33 of 253 The Best TV Shows Streaming On Hulu

  • The Tudors2
    758
    215

    The Tudors

    Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Henry Cavill

    Premiered2007

    NetworkBritish Broadcasting Corporation, Showtime, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, CBC Television, TV3

    Amazon buy button

    More The Tudors 

    #157 of 397 The Best TV Shows to Rewatch#116 of 339 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years

  • Downton Abbey3
    582
    168

    Downton Abbey

    Hugh Bonneville, Phyllis Logan

    Premiered2010

    NetworkITV, PBS

    Amazon buy button

    More Downton Abbey 

    The Best Downton Abbey Actors#171 of 277 The Most Overrated TV Shows Of All Time

  • Rome4
    568
    203

    Rome

    Kevin McKidd, Ray Stevenson

    Premiered2005

    NetworkHBO

    Amazon buy button

    More Rome 

    #9 of 102 The Best HBO Original Series#106 of 112 The Greatest TV Title Sequences Ever

  • Outlander5
    146
    8

    Outlander

    Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan

    Premiered2014

    NetworkStarz

    Amazon buy button

    More Outlander 

    #56 of 70 Sci-Fi Shows You Should Be Watching Now#27 of 37 Current TV Shows with the Best Writing

  • The Borgias6
    455
    181

    The Borgias

    Jeremy Irons, François Arnaud

    Premiered2011

    NetworkShowtime

    Amazon buy button

    More The Borgias 

    #343 of 538 TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time#91 of 140 The Worst TV Series Finales Ever

  • Black Sails7
    321
    118

    Black Sails

    Jessica Parker Kennedy, Toby Stephens

    Premiered2014

    NetworkStarz

    Amazon buy button

    More Black Sails 

    #169 of 389 TV Shows That Only Smart People Appreciate#58 of 160 The Best TV Shows Based on Books

  • Reign8
    628
    267

    Reign

    Adelaide Kane, Megan Follows

    Premiered2013

    NetworkThe CW

    Amazon buy button
  • Hell on Wheels9
    272
    93

    Hell on Wheels

    Anson Mount, Colm Meaney

    Premiered2011

    NetworkAMC

    Amazon buy button

    More Hell on Wheels 

    The Best Seasons of Hell on Wheels#148 of 403 The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time

  • The Pillars of the Earth10
    263
    107

    The Pillars of the Earth

    Ian McShane, Matthew Macfadyen

    Premiered2010

    NetworkStarz

    Amazon buy button

    More The Pillars of the Earth 

    #51 of 190 The Best Miniseries in TV History#29 of 95 The Best Miniseries Of The 2010s

  • Deadwood11
    264
    145

    Deadwood

    Timothy Olyphant, Ian McShane

    Premiered2004

    NetworkHBO

    Amazon buy button

    More Deadwood 

    #63 of 70 The Best Crime Fighting Duo TV Series#119 of 266 The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time

  • John Adams12
    218
    101

    John Adams

    Paul Giamatti, Laura Linney

    Premiered2008

    NetworkHBO

    Amazon buy button

    More John Adams 

    The Best John Adams Quotes#4 of 48 The Best HBO Miniseries Of All Time

  • The Last Kingdom13
    713
    81

    The Last Kingdom

    Alexander Dreymon, David Dawson

    Premiered2015

    NetworkBBC America

    Amazon buy button

    More The Last Kingdom 

    Facts About Uhtred The Bold: Ealdorman Of Bamburgh And Inspiration For 'The Last Kingdom'#5 of 33 The Best Current TV Shows No One Is Watching

  • Peaky Blinders14
    386
    58

    Peaky Blinders

    Cillian Murphy, Helen McCrory

    Premiered2013

    NetworkBBC Two

    Amazon buy button

    More Peaky Blinders 

    What Was Going On Beyond Birmingham During ‘Peaky Blinders’?#7 of 56 The Best Drama TV Shows Airing Now

  • Turn: Washington's Spies15
    195
    22

    Turn: Washington's Spies

    Jamie Bell, Angus Macfadyen

    Premiered2014

    NetworkAMC

    Amazon buy button
  • Versailles16
    258
    65

    Versailles

    George Blagden, Alexander Vlahos

    Premiered2015

    NetworkCanal+, Ovation

    Amazon buy button

    More 

    #13 of 30 The Best Wardrobes in Television Show History#36 of 39 The Best Political Drama TV Shows

  • World Without End17
    104
    47

    World Without End

    David Bradley, Oliver Maltman

    Premiered2012

    NetworkReelzChannel

    Amazon buy button

    More World Without End 

    #34 of 40 The Best TV Shows About Disease Outbreaks#14 of 35 The Greatest Period TV Shows Set in Medieval Times

  • Pride and Prejudice18
    231
    58

    Pride and Prejudice

    Colin Firth, Lucy Davis

    Premiered1995

    NetworkBritish Broadcasting Corporation

    Amazon buy button

    More Pride and Prejudice 

    The Best Books Inspired by Pride and Prejudice#23 of 114 The Best Dramas On HBO Max

  • Spartacus: Blood and Sand19
    281
    83

    Spartacus: Blood and Sand

    Eric McIntire, Daniel Spink

    Premiered2010

    NetworkStarz!

    Amazon buy button

    More Spartacus: Blood and Sand 

    #80 of 160 Shows With The Best Freakin' Series Finales Of All Time#21 of 124 TV Shows with the Hottest Casts

  • Roots20
    117
    66

    Roots

    LeVar Burton, Olivia Cole

    Premiered1977

    NetworkAmerican Broadcasting Company

    Amazon buy button

    More Roots 

    #162 of 201 The TV Shows with the Best Writing#28 of 91 Great Historical Black Movies Based On True Stories

  • Marco Polo21
    217
    80

    Marco Polo

    Benedict Wong, Olivia Cheng

    Premiered2013

    NetworkStarz

    Amazon buy button

    More Marco Polo 

    #20 of 20 The 20 Most Disappointing Netflix Original Shows#32 of 105 The Best Historical Drama TV Shows

  • The Musketeers22
    167
    54

    The Musketeers

    Tom Burke, Luke Pasqualino

    Premiered2014

    NetworkBBC

    Amazon buy button
  • Call The Midwife23
    72
    7

    Call The Midwife

    Jessica Raine, Miranda Hart

    Premiered2012

    NetworkBBC One

    Amazon buy button

    More Call The Midwife 

    #78 of 220 The Greatest TV Shows for Women#9 of 29 20+ Recent British TV Shows You've Been Missing This Whole Time

  • Poldark24
    93
    26

    Poldark

    Judy Geeson, Ralph Bates

    Premiered1975

    NetworkBBC One

    Amazon buy button

    More Poldark 

    #127 of 191 The Best 2010s Drama Series#20 of 102 The Best Period Piece TV Shows

  • The Man in the High Castle25
    96
    29

    The Man in the High Castle

    Alexa Davalos, Rupert Evans

    Premiered2015

    NetworkAmazon Video

    Amazon buy button

    More The Man in the High Castle 

    #95 of 301 The Best Sci-Fi Television Series Of All Time#5 of 105 The Best Amazon Original Series