20 Best Period Dramas to Consider After Enjoying Bridgerton

The appeal of period dramas lies in their ability to transport the viewer to another time and place. How else to explain the delight of watching a historical show focusing on courtship during the Regency period or a royal family thrown into tumult by scandal.

The most apt example of this may be the delicious third season of Bridgerton, the dishy Regency era series from Shonda Rhimes, the first half of which is now streaming on Netflix, which will no doubt give the ton (and the gentle readers who are watching from home) plenty to talk about with its fantastical costumes, new plot twists, and spicy storylines. Those who eagerly consume the first four episodes and are still looking for a period drama fix are in luck—there’s a plethora of historical shows that deliver thrills, chills, and lots of romance across multiple eras and countries.

From Regency era dramas to Renaissance romances, here are the best period drama TV shows to watch now.

Call the Midwife

Inspired by Jennifer Worth’s memoir of the same name about her time as a nurse and midwife in the East End of London in the 1950s, the show centers on a group of midwives, nurses and nuns who work at Nonnatus House. Drama and hilarious hijinks ensues as the team helps provide care and welcome new lives for the expectant mothers and families of Poplar, England.

Where to watch: PBS Masterpiece, current season on Netflix


The rich inner life of a burgeoning poet is explored in Dickinson, the endearing and hilarious series about the coming of age of a young Emily Dickinson (Hailee Steinfeld). Delving into the mythology surrounding the famously reclusive poet, the show is a charming, absurdist reimagining of one of the literary world’s most beloved voices.

Where to watch: Apple TV+

Downton Abbey

Upstairs-downstairs drama is at its most compelling and addictive in Downton Abbey, a series that centers on the wealthy and titled Crawley family and the crew of servants who maintain their lifestyle at their country estate in Yorkshire. From familial tensions and torrid love affairs to untimely deaths and societal shifts, the Crawleys provide a compelling look at the final days of aristocracy and their dying way of life in post-Edwardian England.

Where to watch: PBS Masterpiece, Peacock


Two warring brothels in 18th century London provide the high stakes drama that fuels the saucy historical drama Harlots. The series centers on Margaret Wells (Samantha Morton,) a tenacious madam and brothel owner, who’s determined to make a better life for her and her two daughters, no matter the cost. Come for the strong female-driven storylines and stay for the truly memorable costumes.

Where to watch: Hulu

Mad Men

The slick glamour of the 1960s advertising world is the backdrop for Mad Men, a dark drama that oscillates around the charismatic, though hard-drinking and philandering executive Don Draper (Jon Hamm). The series, which centers on the tensions in Don’s professional and personal life, as well as the many secrets he keeps, is also a keen observation of the rapidly changing social landscape of America in the 1960s.

Where to watch: Netflix

Mary & George

Based on the novel The King’s Assassin, Mary & George follows a family’s scandalous rise to power and riches thanks to the scheming of an ambitious, status-hungry mother, Mary Villiers (Julianne Moore,) the Countess of Buckingham. In seven episodes, she ascends to influence by helping her son George (Nicholas Galitzine) become the lover of King James I of England, though it soon becomes clear that Mary and George are willing to resort to nefarious tactics to maintain their newfound status.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video