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The Best Historical Fiction TV Shows

Updated May 7, 2021 13.9k votes 4.1k voters 208.2k views74 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.

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  • 1
    915
    194

    Vikings

    Travis Fimmel, Peter Franzén

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  • 2
    750
    220

    The Tudors

    Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Henry Cavill

    More The Tudors 

    #123 of 320 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years#152 of 397 The Best TV Shows to Rewatch

  • 3
    582
    166

    Downton Abbey

    Hugh Bonneville, Phyllis Logan

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

  • 4
    562
    197

    Rome

    Zuleikha Robinson, Lyndsey Marshal

    More Rome 

    #10 of 54 The Best HBO Dramas of All Time#103 of 112 The Greatest TV Title Sequences Ever

  • 5
    174
    13

    Outlander

    Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan

    More Outlander 

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  • 6
    447
    181

    The Borgias

    Joanne Whalley, Holliday Grainger

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  • 7
    321
    116

    Black Sails

    Jessica Parker Kennedy, Toby Stephens

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  • 8
    622
    261

    Reign

    Anna Popplewell, Rachel Skarsten

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  • 9
    269
    92

    Hell on Wheels

    Anson Mount, Kasha Kropinski

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    The Best Seasons of Hell on Wheels#160 of 325 The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time

  • 10
    257
    107

    The Pillars of the Earth

    Donald Sutherland, Matthew McFadyen

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    #49 of 163 The Best Miniseries in TV History#55 of 94 The Best Miniseries Of The 2010s

  • 11
    261
    144

    Deadwood

    Anna Gunn, Brent Sexton

    More Deadwood 

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  • 12
    213
    97

    John Adams

    Danny Huston, David Morse

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    The Best John Adams Quotes#4 of 52 The Best HBO Miniseries Of All Time

  • 13
    715
    81

    The Last Kingdom

    Alexander Dreymon, David Dawson

    More The Last Kingdom 

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  • 14
    387
    60

    Peaky Blinders

    Cillian Murphy, Helen McCrory

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  • 15
    195
    23

    Turn: Washington's Spies

    Jamie Bell, Angus Macfadyen
  • 16
    257
    64

    Versailles

    George Blagden, Alexander Vlahos

    More 

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  • 17
    236
    57

    Pride and Prejudice

    Marlene Sidaway, Lucy Briers

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  • 18
    279
    82

    Spartacus: Blood and Sand

    Eric McIntire, Daniel Spink

    More Spartacus: Blood and Sand 

    #81 of 158 Shows With The Best Freakin' Series Finales Of All Time#14 of 124 TV Shows with the Hottest Casts

  • 19
    100
    45

    World Without End

    Rupert Evans, Ian Pirie

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    #34 of 40 The Best TV Shows About Disease Outbreaks#11 of 36 The Greatest Period TV Shows Set in Medieval Times

  • 20
    119
    64

    Roots

    Lynda Day George, Georg Stanford Brown

    More Roots 

    #33 of 79 The Best ABC Shows of All Time#165 of 201 The TV Shows with the Best Writing

  • 21
    216
    76

    Marco Polo

    Benedict Wong, Olivia Cheng

    More Marco Polo 

    #20 of 20 The 20 Most Disappointing Netflix Original Shows#32 of 113 The Best Historical Drama TV Shows

  • 22
    161
    52

    The Musketeers

    Tom Burke, Luke Pasqualino
  • 23
    81
    7

    Call The Midwife

    Jessica Raine, Miranda Hart

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    #81 of 227 The Greatest TV Shows for Women#8 of 29 20+ Recent British TV Shows You've Been Missing This Whole Time

  • 24
    95
    25

    Poldark

    Paul Curran, Ralph Bates

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    #142 of 191 The Best 2010s Drama Series#22 of 92 The Best Period Piece TV Shows

  • 25
    95
    27

    The Man in the High Castle

    Alexa Davalos, Rupert Evans

    More The Man in the High Castle 

    #5 of 113 The Best Amazon Original Series#21 of 24 Current TV Shows You Totally Lie About Watching To Sound Smart