GET DIRECTV

The Top 10 Historical Period Dramas to Watch Now

The Top 10 Historical Period Dramas to Watch Now

You can’t spell “history” without “story,” and world history makes great source material for plenty of good ones. Here’s a list of the top 10 best historical period dramas to watch on TV right now.

Keep an eye on this list as it is updated with the latest and greatest historical drama shows so you can be sure you’re in the loop. From The Sympathizer to Carmen Curlers, this list will help lovers of the historical drama stay up to date on the most popular history shows available.


TOP 10 HISTORY SHOWS TO WATCH

Let’s get started. Here are the trending period dramas that TV-watchers are enjoying right now, with all the information you need to check them out for yourself.

1. ‘The Sympathizer’

↔ vs. Prior Week

Promotional image for history show The SympathizerThe Sympathizer is a twisting narrative of espionage, identity and love set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War and its aftermath. Journey with The Captain, a half-French, half-Vietnamese army captain who falls on both sides of an ideological divide, as he navigates tumultuous times of betrayal and shifting alliances.

Based on Viet Thanh Nguyen’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, the series grapples with ideologies, politics and morality as our protagonist sits as a spy in the South Vietnamese Army. This gripping tale delivers an intense blend of drama, romance and spy-thriller, and is sure to leave you at the edge of your seat.


2. ‘Mary & George’

↔ vs. Prior Week

Promotional image for history show Mary & GeorgeDive into the seductive and manipulative world of 17th-century English court in Mary & George, a gripping historical drama starring Julianne Moore and Nicholas Galitzine. This STARZ miniseries reveals the ambitious Mary Villiers as she cunningly molds her son, George, into the lover of King James I, aiming to ascend the heights of power and influence.

Their scandalous rise is marked by strategic marriages, dangerous liaisons and the ultimate gamble for the throne. Each episode is rich with political intrigue, intimate betrayals and a mother’s relentless drive to secure her family’s legacy, set against the backdrop of a sumptuously depicted royal court.


3. ‘Elkhorn’

↑ 1 vs. Prior Week

Promotional image for history show ElkhornElkhorn follows the transformative years of Theodore Roosevelt in the rugged Dakota Territory during the late 19th century. Following the devastating losses of his wife and mother on the same day, a young Roosevelt leaves his burgeoning political career and affluent New York life behind and makes for the American Frontier to establish the Elkhorn Ranch. There, he must face and overcome the myriad challenges of a lawless region populated by thieves and wild animals.

This period dramatically shapes his character, earning him the moniker “The Cowboy President.” Elkhorn promises a mix of historical drama and adventurous Western storytelling, chronicling a rarely seen chapter of Roosevelt’s life that defines his resilience and leadership​.


4. ‘A Gentleman in Moscow’

↓ 1 vs. Prior Week

Promotional image for history show A Gentleman in MoscowImmerse yourself in the enchanting narrative of A Gentleman in Moscow, based on the bestselling novel by Amor Towles. This captivating story takes you back to 1920s Moscow, where the protagonist, Count Alexander Rostov, is under house arrest in a hotel for being an unrepentant aristocrat.

Surrounded by elegance yet confined to his quarters, the Count learns to find purpose and joy within his miniature empire, leading to heartwarming encounters and unexpected friendships. Watch as the charm and resilience of a forgotten era transpire in this outstanding tale of solace amidst confinement.


5. ‘Frankie Drake Mysteries’

↔ vs. Prior Week

Promotional image for history show Frankie Drake MysteriesIndulge in a little 1920s nostalgia with Frankie Drake Mysteries. Glitzy galas, jazz music and daring crimes set the backdrop for this period drama led by the fearless private detective, Frankie Drake. Alongside her ambitious and astute partner, Trudy Clarke, they navigate a world of espionage, radios and fast-changing fashion.

Boasting daring stunts and spirited performances, Frankie Drake Mysteries takes you back to the roaring twenties for a thrilling ride through crime-solving in one of American history’s most dynamic decades.


6. ‘The Chosen’

↔ vs. Prior Week

Promotional image for history show The ChosenStep into the world of the first-ever multi-season show about the life of Jesus, The Chosen. Revel in the compelling and powerful narratives of Jesus and his disciples as they spread love, teaching, and miracles throughout their journey. Jesus will captivate your soul as a savior and friend, with his teachings brought to life in a groundbreaking and deeply human way.

This series will renew your faith, provoke your thoughts, and immerse you in the backdrop of the 1st century AD. Discover the inspiring message of Jesus through the eyes of those that followed him in The Chosen.


7. ‘The Gilded Age’

↔ vs. Prior Week

Promotional image for history show The Gilded AgeWelcome to The Gilded Age, a lavish historical drama series set in 1880s New York, skillfully crafted by Julian Fellowes, the creator of Downton Abbey. Immerse yourself in the dichotomous world of old money versus new, as young Marian Brook moves from rural Pennsylvania to reside with her old-money aunts Agnes van Rhijn and Ada Brook in New York City.

Audiences will watch with awe at the unpredictable landscape of high society, filled with opulence, power plays and family politics. Let The Gilded Age captivate you with the grandeur of the era, brilliant acting and engaging plot lines.


8. ‘The Ipcress File’

↔ vs. Prior Week

Promotional image for history show The Ipcress FileEspionage. That’s what you can expect with The Ipcress File. Set in 1960s Berlin and London, you’ll be drawn into the intricate life of British spy Harry Palmer. This dynamic series is characterized by intense suspense, complex plot twists and the labyrinthine world of international espionage.

Palmer’s character adds a remarkable lens to the intricacies of Cold War-era operations. Get ready to journey through the shadows of grey moralities and the angst of patriotism in this captivating spy thriller.


9. ‘Vienna Blood’

↓ 1 vs. Prior Week

Promotional image for history show Vienna BloodTravel to the beautiful, mysterious and alluring streets of 1900s Vienna with Vienna Blood. Follow the compelling partnership between Inspector Oskar Rheinhardt, a seasoned detective, and Dr. Max Liebermann, a student of Sigmund Freud, who uses his understanding of psychology to help solve gruesome murders.

These unique perspectives merge to create a fresh take on the crime genre, blending intellect, science and danger. The stunning backdrop of Vienna, combined with complex characters and thrilling storylines, makes Vienna Blood an irresistible watch for fans of historical crime dramas.


10. ‘Carmen Curlers’

↓ 1 vs. Prior Week

Promotional image for history show Carmen Curlers

Carmen Curlers is no ordinary beauty salon sitcom; it’s truly a superior comedy loaded with amusing banter, heartwarming characters and lovable storylines. Centered around charismatic hair stylist Carmen and her quirky staff in their small-town salon in 1963 Denmark, each story is a new adventure with hilarious escapades and heartfelt client interactions.

The amusing team dynamics, along with their idiosyncratic client’s demands, make each episode a plethora of laughter. Expect unexpected surprises, as Carmen Curlers promises a whirlwind of emotions, weaving hair, beauty, friendship and comedy into an unforgettable show with a historical twist. Don’t miss the compelling rollercoaster of hilarity and warmth at Carmen Curlers.


And there you have it: the top 10 historical drama shows to stream at home. Stay tuned for updates to come so you can keep up with the best content available right now.

For those who aren’t DIRECTV customers, make the switch today! Get all the best channels, shows, movies and more. And with four unique packages, there’s something for everyone.

And for even more insight into the top shows and movies to watch right now, check out these other lists:

The content is featured on https://www.directv.com/insider/ is editorial content brought to you by DIRECTV. While some of the programming discussed may now or in the future be available affiliates distribution services, the companies and persons discussed and depicted, and the authors and publishers of licensed content, are not necessarily associated with and do not necessarily endorse DIRECTV. When you click on ads on this site you may be taken to DIRECTV marketing pages that display advertising content. Content sponsored or co-created by programmers is identified as "Sponsored Content" or "Promoted Content."