Best TV The Best Miniseries in TV History  

Reference
Originally by
15.3k votes 2k voters 138.4k views 129 items

List Rules Shows near the top must be only the best Miniseries TV series.

The very best miniseries shows on television, ranked from best to worst. This list of the greatest miniseries shows also includes pictures from the shows when available. Including TV shows that are currently streaming on Netflix, some of the best HBO original shows are also here. Popular miniseries TV shows have been a staple of television for years, so there's often debate about what the most entertaining miniseries show of all time is. Don't let your favorite miniseries 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 miniseries television shows below includes information like the program's cast, creator and premiere date when available. What do you think is the best mini series that has ever been on TV? Take a look at these TV mini series and see if your favorite is represented.

List features shows like The Shining, John Adams, and more! These are the best miniseries ever!

This list answers the questions, "What is the best miniseries show of all time?" and "What are the greatest miniseries shows?"

list ordered by

1
674 141
Band of Brothers is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Miniseries in TV History
Scott Grimes, Damian Lewis, Ron Livingston Band of Brothers is a 2001 American WWII drama miniseries based on historian Stephen E. Ambrose's 1992 non-fiction book of the same name. The executive producers were Steven Spielberg and Tom ...more

2
337 149
Lonesome Dove is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Miniseries in TV History
Diane Lane, Robert Duvall, Steve Buscemi Lonesome Dove is a 1989 American epic Western adventure television miniseries directed by Simon Wincer. It is a four part adaptation of the 1985 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by ...more

3
226 143
John Adams is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Miniseries in TV History
Paul Giamatti, Laura Linney, John Dossett John Adams is a 2008 American television miniseries chronicling most of U.S. President John Adams' political life and his role in the founding of the United States. Paul Giamatti portrays John ...more

4
200 143
Pride and Prejudice is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Miniseries in TV History
Colin Firth, Lucy Davis, Alison Steadman Pride and Prejudice is a six-episode 1995 British television drama, adapted by Andrew Davies from Jane Austen's 1813 novel of the same name. Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth starred as Elizabeth ...more

5
287 171
Roots is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Miniseries in TV History
LeVar Burton, Olivia Cole, Robert Reed This award-winning six-part historical epic was one of the first examples of the miniseries format and one of the highest-rated television programs in broadcasting history. Based on the ...more

6
233 106
North and South is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Miniseries in TV History
Elizabeth Taylor, Kirstie Alley, Johnny Cash North and South is the title of three American television miniseries broadcast on the ABC network in 1985, 1986, and 1994. Set before, during, and immediately after the American Civil War, they ...more

7
254 131
The Pacific is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Miniseries in TV History
Hugh Ambrose, Ed Tracy The Pacific is a 2010 television series produced by HBO, Seven Network Australia, Sky Movies, Playtone and DreamWorks that premiered in the United States on 14 March 2010. The series is a ...more

8
185 121
V is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Miniseries in TV History
Robert Englund, Michael Ironside, Lane Smith V is a 1983 film directed by Kenneth Johnson.

9
169 113
Jesus of Nazareth is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Miniseries in TV History
James Earl Jones, Laurence Olivier, Christopher Plummer Jesus of Nazareth is a 1977 British-Italian television miniseries directed by Franco Zeffirelli and co-written by Zeffirelli, Anthony Burgess, and Suso Cecchi d'Amico which dramatises the birth, ...more

10
170 99
Shōgun is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Miniseries in TV History
bojanthebest added Orson Welles, Richard Chamberlain, Toshiro Mifune Shōgun is an American television miniseries based on the international bestselling 1975 novel of the same name by James Clavell, who also was the executive producer of the miniseries. It was ...more

11
155 104
Deadwood is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Miniseries in TV History
jrhold6868 added Timothy Olyphant, Ian McShane, Molly Parker Deadwood is an American western television series created, produced, and largely written by David Milch and aired on the premium cable network HBO from March 21, 2004, to August 27, 2006, ...more

12
146 78
The Winds of War is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Miniseries in TV History
Chaim Topol, Charles Lane, David Dukes The Winds of War is Herman Wouk's second book about World War II, the first being The Caine Mutiny. Published in 1971, it was followed up seven years later by War and Remembrance; originally ...more

13
168 97
The Thorn Birds is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Miniseries in TV History
Christopher Plummer, Barbara Stanwyck, Jean Simmons The Thorn Birds is a television mini-series broadcast on ABC between 27 and 30 March 1983. It starred Richard Chamberlain, Rachel Ward, Barbara Stanwyck, Christopher Plummer, Jean Simmons, ...more

14
128 102
I, Claudius is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Miniseries in TV History
Derek Jacobi, John Hurt, Siân Phillips I, Claudius is a 1976 BBC Television adaptation of Robert Graves's I, Claudius and Claudius the God. Written by Jack Pulman, it starred Derek Jacobi as Claudius, with Siân Phillips, Brian ...more

15
136 86
Fargo is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Miniseries in TV History
Billy Bob Thornton, Allison Tolman, Colin Hanks Fargo (FX, 2014) is an American black comedy drama anthology television series created by Noah Hawley, and inspired by the 1996 film. Various chronicles of deception, intrigue and wrong doings ...more

16
151 85
The Wire is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Miniseries in TV History
jrhold6868 added Dominic West, Lance Reddick, Sonja Sohn The Wire is an American drama television series set and produced in and around Baltimore, Maryland. Created and primarily written by author and former police reporter David Simon, the series was ...more

17
119 80
Centennial is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Miniseries in TV History
Mark Harmon, Timothy Dalton, Andy Griffith Centennial is a 12-episode American television miniseries that aired on NBC from October 1978 to February 1979. It was based on the novel of the same name by James A. Michener, and was produced ...more

18
119 80
Holocaust is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Miniseries in TV History
Meryl Streep, Ian Holm, Michael Moriarty Holocaust is an American television miniseries broadcast in four parts in 1978 on the NBC television network. The series tells the story of the Holocaust from the perspective of the Weiss family ...more

19
77 65
Hornblower is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Miniseries in TV History
Fred Astaire, Peter Arne, David Buck Hornblower is the umbrella title of a series of British television films based on three of C. S. Forester's ten novels about the fictional character Horatio Hornblower, a Royal Navy officer ...more

20
114 81
V: The Final Battle is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Miniseries in TV History
Jane Badler, Michael Durrell, Robert Englund V: The Final Battle is a 1984 American TV miniseries. It is a sequel to the 1983 miniseries written by Kenneth Johnson about aliens known as "The Visitors" trying to take over Earth. ...more

21
124 120
It is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Miniseries in TV History
Tim Curry, Seth Green, John Ritter It is a 1990 psychological horror/drama miniseries based on Stephen King's novel of the same name. The story revolves around an inter-dimensional predatory life-form, which has the ability to ...more

22
117 94
The Stand is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Miniseries in TV History
Gary Sinise, Molly Ringwald, Jamey Sheridan The Stand is a 1994 American television miniseries based on the novel of the same name by Stephen King. King also wrote the teleplay, and has a cameo role in the series. It was directed by Mick ...more

23
75 54
Boardwalk Empire is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Miniseries in TV History
Steve Buscemi, Stephen Graham, Vincent Piazza Boardwalk Empire is an American period drama television series created by Terence Winter. Airing on premium cable channel HBO, the series is set in Atlantic City, New Jersey, during the ...more

24
60 47
Spartacus is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Miniseries in TV History
Lucy Lawless, Jaime Murray, Katrina Law Spartacus (Starz, 2010) is a British television series produced in New Zealand, inspired by the historical figure of Spartacus, a Thracian gladiator who from 73 to 71 BCE led a major slave ...more

25
106 79
Rich Man, Poor Man is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Miniseries in TV History
Nick Nolte, Ed Asner, Talia Shire Rich Man, Poor Man is a 1976 American television miniseries based on the 1969 novel of the same name by Irwin Shaw that aired on ABC in one or two hour episodes mostly on Monday nights over ...more

26
99 94
Spartacus: Gods of the Arena is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Miniseries in TV History
John Hannah, Manu Bennett, Peter Mensah Spartacus: Gods of the Arena is a Starz television miniseries and prequel to Spartacus, which premiered January 21, 2011. The series follows the character Gannicus, the first gladiator ...more

27
63 53
Elizabeth I is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Miniseries in TV History
Helen Mirren, Jeremy Irons, Hugh Dancy Elizabeth I is a two-part 2005 British historical drama television miniseries directed by Tom Hooper, written by Nigel Williams, and starring Helen Mirren as Elizabeth I of England. The ...more

28
104 100
Battlestar Galactica (The Mini... is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Miniseries in TV History
Grace Park, Tricia Helfer, Mary McDonnell Battlestar Galactica is a three-hour miniseries starring Edward James Olmos and Mary McDonnell, written and produced by Ronald D. Moore and directed by Michael Rymer. It was the first part of ...more

29
80 76
From the Earth to the Moon is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Miniseries in TV History
Tom Hanks, Nick Searcy, Lane Smith From the Earth to the Moon is a twelve-part HBO television miniseries co-produced by Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, Tom Hanks, and Michael Bostick, telling the story of the landmark Apollo ...more

30
38 16
The Civil War is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Miniseries in TV History
Adam.Sandler added Morgan Freeman, Jeremy Irons, Sam Waterston The Civil War is a documentary film created by Ken Burns about the American Civil War. It was first broadcast on PBS on five consecutive nights from September 23 to 27, 1990. Approximately 40 ...more

31
71 74
Tin Man is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Miniseries in TV History
Zooey Deschanel, Alan Cumming, Neal McDonough Tin Man is a 2007 four and a half hour miniseries co-produced by RHI Entertainment and Sci Fi Channel original pictures that was broadcast in the United States on the Sci Fi Channel in three ...more

32
52 50
The Odyssey is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Miniseries in TV History
The Odyssey is a 1997 Emmy Award-winning and Golden Globe-nominated British-American fantasy–adventure television miniseries based on the ancient Greek epic poem by Homer, The Odyssey. Directed ...more

33
44 27
The Night Manager is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Miniseries in TV History
Tom Hiddleston, Hugh Laurie, Olivia Colman Luxury hotel night manager, and former British soldier, Jonathan Pine (Tom Hiddleston) is recruited by Angela Burr (Olivia Colman), an intelligence operative. He is tasked to navigate Whitehall ...more

34
49 58
Pride and Prejudice is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Miniseries in TV History
Barbara Shelley, Judy Parfitt, Tessa Peake-Jones Pride and Prejudice is a 1980 BBC television serial, adapted by British novelist Fay Weldon from Jane Austen's novel of the same name, originally published in 1813. This five-episode ...more

35
84 93
The Lost Room is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Miniseries in TV History
Peter Krause, Julianna Margulies, Peter Jacobson The Lost Room is a 2006 science fiction television miniseries that aired on the Sci Fi Channel in the United States. The series revolves around the titular room and some of the everyday items ...more

36
65 70
Storm of the Century is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Miniseries in TV History
Stephen King, Spencer Breslin, Colm Feore Storm of the Century, alternatively known as Stephen King's Storm of the Century, is a 1999 horror TV miniseries written by Stephen King and directed by Craig R. Baxley. Unlike many other King ...more

37
43 43
The Temptations is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Miniseries in TV History
The Temptations is a four-hour television miniseries broadcast in two-hour halves on NBC, based upon the history of one of Motown's longest-lived acts, The Temptations. Executive produced by ...more

38
54 67
Sense and Sensibility is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Miniseries in TV History
David Morrissey, Dominic Cooper, Janet McTeer Sense and Sensibility is a 2008 British television drama adaptation of Jane Austen's 1811 eponymous novel. The screenplay was written by Andrew Davies, who revealed that the aim of the series ...more

39
45 33
The Blue and the Gray is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Miniseries in TV History
Norman Woodcock added Gregory Peck, Robert Vaughn, Rip Torn The Blue and the Gray is a television miniseries that first aired on CBS in three installments on November 14, November 16, and November 17, 1982. Set during the American Civil War, the series ...more

40
39 59
Gulliver's Travels is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Miniseries in TV History
Omar Sharif, Peter O'Toole, Ted Danson Gulliver's Travels is a U.S. TV miniseries based on Jonathan Swift's novel of the same name, produced by Jim Henson Productions and Hallmark Entertainment. This miniseries is notable for being ...more

41
36 23
War and Peace is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Miniseries in TV History
Paul Dano, Lily James, James Norton War & Peace is a 2016 British-American historical period drama television serial, based on Leo Tolstoy's classic novel.

42
33 43
Shackleton is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Miniseries in TV History
Kenneth Branagh, Embeth Davidtz, Kevin McNally Shackleton is a 2002 British television film written and directed by Charles Sturridge and starring Kenneth Branagh as explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton. The film tells the true story of ...more

43
35 25
Masada is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Miniseries in TV History
Peter O'Toole, Barbara Carrera, David Warner Masada is an American television miniseries that aired on ABC in April 1981. Advertised by the network as an "ABC Novel for Television," it was a fictionalized account of the ...more

44
47 54
Bleak House is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Miniseries in TV History
Gillian Anderson, Carey Mulligan, Charles Dance A trio of orphans becomes embroiled in a mysterious and long-running lawsuit in this sprawling BBC adaptation of the Charles Dickens novel. A legend in the legal circles of Victorian London, the ...more

45
68 84
Generation Kill is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Miniseries in TV History
Alexander Skarsgård, James Ransone, Lee Tergesen Generation Kill is a British-American seven-part television miniseries produced for HBO, based on the 2004 book of the same name by Evan Wright about his experience as an embedded reporter with ...more

46
31 42
Elizabeth R is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Miniseries in TV History
Glenda Jackson, Robert Hardy, John Shrapnel Elizabeth R is a BBC television drama serial of six 85-minute plays starring Glenda Jackson in the title role. It was first broadcast on BBC2 from February to March 1971, through the Australian ...more

47
40 56
Little Dorrit is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Miniseries in TV History
Andy Serkis, Freema Agyeman, Matthew Macfadyen Little Dorrit is a 2008 British miniseries based on the serial novel of the same title by Charles Dickens, originally published between 1855 and 1857. The screenplay is by Andrew Davies and the ...more

48
47 57
Salem's Lot is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Miniseries in TV History
Salem's Lot is a 2004 American 2 part tv mini-series which first aired on TNT from June 20–21, 2004. It is the second television adaptation of Stephen King's 1975 vampire novel of the same name. ...more

49
32 24
The Pillars of the Earth is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Miniseries in TV History
Ian McShane, Matthew Macfadyen, Eddie Redmayne The Pillars of the Earth is an eight-part 2010 TV miniseries, adapted from Ken Follett's novel of the same name. It debuted in the U.S. on Starz and in Canada on The Movie Network/Movie Central ...more

50
37 32
Shaka Zulu is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Miniseries in TV History
Christopher Lee, Trevor Howard, Edward Fox Shaka Zulu is a television series directed by William C. Faure and written by Joshua Sinclair for the South African Broadcasting Corporation, based on Sinclair's novel of the same name. It is ...more