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The 20 Best Streaming Services to Watch Period Dramas (And What to Watch First)

When you’re looking for period dramas to watch, look no further than these streaming sites (with some bonus period drama recommendations included!).

Few genres possess the enduring allure and timeless appeal of period dramas. Period dramas give us a glimpse (romanticized as they often are) into bygone eras, offering a captivating blend of history, romance, and intrigue, transporting viewers to worlds filled with corseted elegance, dashing heroes, and grand ballroom soirees. However, how does one know where to stream period dramas in an over-saturated market of more than 200 streaming services?

Period dramas streaming social image with collage of Miss Fisher, Pride and Prejudice, and Sanditon.
Streaming Period Dramas. Photo Credit: Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries (Every Cloud Productions); Pride and Prejudice (BBC); Sanditon (Courtesy of Joss Barrat).)

Well, if you’ve been pining for petticoats or just craving a little Mr. Darcy in your life, you’ve come to the right place.

We’ve compiled a list of the best streaming services for period drama fans. And as a bonus, we’ve included our top recommendations of what period dramas to watch first from each streaming site. (Although, since there are a lot of crossovers between streaming services, we only mention each period drama once.)

And if you want even more recommendations, we’ve included a link to each of our helpful period drama streaming lists.

So, join us as we delve into the top 20 streaming services for period drama fans (with a bonus list of where to watch period dramas online for free).

Note: The availability of period dramas is for the U.S. and can change anytime. 


The 20 Best Streaming Services to Watch Period Dramas Instagram image with Sanditon, Pride and Prejudice, and Miss Fisher

#1: Netflix

bridgerton season 1 promo image
Bridgerton. Credit: Netflix

Netflix, one of the best streaming services in general, has an extensive, ever-rotating library of period dramas, making it one of the top sites for streaming period dramas.

To help you know what period dramas to watch first, we have some notable period dramas on Netflix to recommend:

  • The Crown – A gripping portrayal of the British Royal family. (TV-MA)
  • Bridgerton and Queen Charlotte (a new series) – Regency-Era romances with an alternative history twist. (TV-MA)
  • Anne With an E – A retelling of the classic story of Anne of Green Gables told through a modern lens.
  • Call the Midwife – It follows the lives of midwives in the 1950s and 1960s in Poplar, London. It has some of the best writing on television.
  • Mr. Sunshine – Set during the late 1800s, this historical Kdrama is an epic love story. (Mild TV-MA)
  • The English Game – It’s a compelling exploration of football’s early days, delving into class divisions, ambition, and camaraderie.

Related Content: 60 Best Sensational Period Dramas On Netflix To Watch 

#2: Amazon Prime Video

Demelza and Ross promo photo from Poldark with sunset
Photo: Poldark with Aidan Turner and Eleanor Tomlinson; Credit: BBC/PBS Masterpiece/Mammoth Screen

Amazon Prime Video has a vast collection of historical dramas and period films. And while Prime Video can be challenging to navigate due to the sheer number of movies and shows to choose from, it’s for that exact reason it’s one of the best sites to stream period dramas.

With regular new incoming content added monthly mixed with familiar favorites and Prime Originals, you’ll never run out of period dramas worth watching.

So here are a few captivating examples to help you get started:

  • The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel – A witty series set in the 1950s by the writing team that brought you Gilmore Girls. (TV-MA)
  • Poldark – An epic tale from Winston Graham set in 18th-century Cornwall about the impassioned Ross Poldark and his love, Demelza.
  • Vanity Fair (2018) – An innovative, gorgeous adaptation of Thackeray’s classic novel.
  • The Paradise – Follows the romance between a shopgirl and a shop owner in a Victorian department store.
  • The Pursuit of Love – A lively adaptation of Nancy Mitford’s novel starring Lily James.

Related Content: 100+ Best Period Dramas on Amazon Prime to Watch 

#3: BritBox

north and south still
Photo: North and South. Credit: BBC

BritBox is a fantastic streaming service with exclusive British content, including some of the most popular period dramas ever produced.

From beloved Jane Austen and Charles Dickens adaptations to award-winning British television shows and more, BritBox is a site full of underrated dramas and adored fan favorites.

  • North and South – A romance set against the backdrop of the industrial revolution. It may be the closest to perfection a period drama will ever get!
  • Pride and Prejudice (1995) – The definitive adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic with Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy and Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth Bennet. As proof of its continued relevance, watch the new Barbie movie!
  • Little Dorrit – Based on Dickens’ novel about a young woman’s struggles.
  • Lark Rise to Candleford – Chronicles the people’s lives in neighboring towns in the late 19th century. The heartwarming series is full of romance and memorable characters.
  • Jane Eyre (2006) – A (mostly) faithful, swoony adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s gothic novel.
  • Emma (2009) – The best adaptation of Austen’s classic novel. It stars Romola Garai and Jonny Lee Miller.

Related Content: 76 Period Dramas on BritBox

#4: PBS Passport

Roger Allam and Shaun Evans in final season of Endeavour
Roger Allam as Fred Thursday and Shaun Evans as Endeavour Morse. Credit: Courtesy of Mammoth Screen and MASTERPIECE

As an exclusive streaming service that PBS offers donors (for as little as $5 a month), Passport unlocks a vault of period dramas that bring history to life.

You’ll find numerous Masterpiece period dramas and hidden foreign gems from Walter Presents.

Check out a few of our top recommended period dramas on PBS Passport:

  • All Creatures Great and Small – Heartwarming PBS series about a veterinarian in 1930s Yorkshire.
  • Miss Scarlet & The Duke – A Victorian-era female detective takes the lead and spars with a handsome, moody detective.
  • Around the World in 80 Days – A new adaptation of Jules Verne’s classic. David Tennant stars in this tale full of adventure and romance.
  • Endeavour – Follows a young Inspector Morse in 1960s Oxford. It’s one of the best-written series we’ve ever seen.
  • Sanditon – Jane Austen’s unfinished novel brought to life in a seaside town. It stars Rose Williams. 
  • Seaside Hotel – The Danish period piece follows the guests and staff at a seaside resort. (TV-MA)

Related Content: 50 of the Best PBS Passport Shows to Watch 

#5: PBS Masterpiece Amazon Channel

Victoria promo image
Victoria starring Jenna Coleman. Credit: Mammoth Screen/Masterpiece/ITV

Experience the best of Masterpiece period dramas not just through PBS Passport but also via the PBS Masterpiece Amazon Channel. While these platforms might seem interchangeable, they harbor subtle distinctions.

While there is an overlap of many Masterpiece dramas between the two, variations exist. Some period dramas exclusively reside on only one of the platforms.

Here are a few entertaining period dramas on the PBS Masterpiece Amazon Channel:

  • Victoria – A portrayal of Queen Victoria’s early reign and romance with Prince Albert.
  • My Mother & Other Strangers – Drama set in a Northern Irish village during WWII.
  • The Crimson Field – Follows volunteer nurses on the frontlines of WWI.
  • The Forsyte Saga – It chronicles the lives of an upper-middle-class British family through three generations.
  • The Woman in White – A Victorian romantic thriller based on Wilkie Collins’ novel.

Related Content: 27 New and Returning Shows to Watch on PBS and PBS’ Masterpiece in 2023

#6: Acorn TV

miss fisher and jack in a near kiss
Miss Fisher. Credit: Every Cloud Productions

Acorn TV focuses on British and international dramas and offers a curated collection of lesser-known yet exceptional period pieces. We’ve found many excellent period dramas and entertaining mysteries over the years.

These are our top recommendations:

  • Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries – A witty 1920s detective series full of style and romance.
  • A Place to Call Home – A brilliant Australian period drama about a mysterious woman moving to a small town and her interactions with a wealthy family. (Some episodes are TV-MA.)
  • And Then There Were None – A thrilling adaptation of Agatha Christie’s novel starring Aidan Turner. (TV-MA)
  • Dalgliesh – Detective mysteries based on P.D. James’ novels. (A couple of episodes are TV-MA.)
  • The Larkins – Follows the comical lives of a family in 1950s Britain. It’s a quirky, fun series from the writer of The Durrells.
  • The Hour – A romantic period drama set within a 1950s BBC newsroom. Fans of Mad Men will enjoy this intelligent series.

Related Content: 35 Period Dramas to Watch on Acorn TV (Or Find on DVD!) – Needs Updating, so be Warned!

#7: HBO Max (Now Max)

Louisa Jacobson and Denée Benton in The Gilded Age.
Louisa Jacobson and Denée Benton in The Gilded Age. Photo: HBO/Alison Cohen Rosa

Max includes a diverse range of period dramas, from serious award-winning historical dramas to fun shows and movies for the entire family.

So, whatever your mood, you’re bound to find a decent period drama here – mainly due to their massive library of choices of engaging historical series and feature films.

These are our top picks of period dramas to stream on Max:

  • Chernobyl – A gripping account of the Chernobyl disaster in the 1980s. (TV-MA)
  • The Gilded Age – Explores the glitz and glamour of 19th-century New York. From Downton Abbey’s Julian Fellowes. (Mild TV-MA)
  • Julia – A charming drama about Julia Child! (Very mild TV-MA)
  • Doctor Who – Iconic sci-fi series for the entire family featuring time-traveling adventures (many to the past).
  • John Adams – Chronicles the life of the second U.S. President during the American Revolution.

Related Content: 100+ Best Period Dramas on HBO Max to Watch

#8: Hulu

daniel deronda 2002 promo art
Daniel Deronda. Credit: BBC/WGBH

Hulu, as a streaming service, carves a unique path by focusing more on curated period dramas than a heavy emphasis on originals. So, expect Hulu’s choices to often be in flux.

Below, we’ve listed a few of the finest (or most entertaining) period dramas currently available on Hulu.

  • A Small Light – A historical drama about Miep Gies.
  • Daniel Deronda – Adaptation of George Eliot’s brilliant novel exploring unrequited love and identity.
  • Timeless – Time-traveling adventures and conspiracies through history.
  • This Is Us – A multigenerational family drama full of twists with episodes set in various time periods.
  • Sense and Sensibility (2008) – A classic Austen adaptation about two sisters done right.

Related Content: 50 Romantic Period Dramas To Watch On Hulu (This one needs a significant update – so stay tuned!)

#9: Disney+

ever after 1998 movie still with Danielle and Prince Henry
Ever After. Credit: 20th Century Fox

History and imagination collide on Disney+, a streaming platform renowned for its diverse content that caters to families.

From enchanting adaptations of classic tales to thought-provoking narratives set against historical backdrops, Disney+ offers an excellent selection of period dramas (and historical fantasies) suitable for viewers of all ages.

Here are our top choices:

  • Ever After – An iconic Cinderella retelling set in Renaissance France.
  • Agent Carter – Marvel series following Peggy Carter’s post-WWII adventures. It’s so much fun!
  • Pirates of the Caribbean Movies – Swashbuckling adventures in the Caribbean about the independent Elizabeth (period drama favorite, Keira Knightley), the pirate Captain Jack Sparrow, and the romantic Will Turner.
  • Hidden Figures – The inspiring story of women mathematicians at NASA and their mark on history.
  • West Side Story – Steven Spielberg’s interpretation of the classic musical.
  • Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken – A family period drama about a diving horse act in the 1930s. Based on real-life events.

Related Content: 35 Best Romantic Period Dramas on Disney Plus to Watch

#10: Paramount+ with Showtime

Penny Dreadful cast photo HD
Photo: Penny Dreadful. Credit: Neal Street Productions/Showtime

Paramount+ (with Showtime) includes popular films and original narratives primarily catering to adult audiences. Paramount+ and Showtime set themselves apart by delivering period dramas with grit. Just be warned about the strong language, violence, and explicit content.

Here are a few of the period dramas currently available:

  • Penny Dreadful – Melds classic literary characters with supernatural horror and gothic romance. (TV-MA)
  • 1883 – A prequel to the television series, Yellowstone, set in the American West. (TV-MA)
  • 1923 – Another prequel to Yellowstone – starring Helen Mirren and Harrison Ford. (TV-MA)
  • Freaks and Geeks – A coming-of-age comedy set in the 1980s.
  • The Offer – Chronicles the making of The Godfather. (TV-MA)

#11: Peacock Premium

Mary and Matthew in Downton Abbey Season 2
Photo: Downton Abbey with Dan Stevens and Michelle Dockery. Credit: Carnival Films/WGBH-TV/ITV

Peacock is a streaming platform with a lot of variety. Instead of originals, you’ll mostly find a diverse collection of period films and dramas from other networks and studios.

Check out these intriguing period drama shows available on Peacock Premium:

  • The Chosen – It follows the life of Jesus Christ and his disciples in this indie hit.
  • Downton Abbey – Chronicles the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants.
  • The Bletchley Circle – Former female WWII codebreakers solve crimes in the 1950s.
  • Bramwell – A medical drama about a woman doctor set in late 19th-century London.
  • Little House on the Prairie – Adaptation of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s classic books. It’s a sweet show for the entire family.

#12: AMC+

A Discovery of Witches Season 2 - Diana and Matthew in Elizabethan London
A Discovery of Witches. Photo: Courtesy of Sundance Now

AMC+ combines programs from Sundance Now, Shudder, AMC, and IFC Films, providing unique, quality content to viewers.

However, the must-see period drama on AMC+ is the fantasy romance series, A Discovery of Witches. The three-season show follows a modern-day witch and a vampire as they fall in love and try to untangle the mystery of the origins of supernatural creatures.

While some of the show takes place in the contemporary day, the entire second season occurs in Elizabethan England since Diana (the witch) can time travel. It’s rated TV-MA – but it is mild overall.

#13: MGM+

Belgravia 2020 promo image of a couple standing on grass
Photo: Belgravia. Credit: Carnival Films/Epix

MGM+ (previously Epix) is a premium cable channel and a streaming service with content from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and other famous movie studios and production companies.

Period drama fans will particularly appreciate the MGM+ original period drama TV series Belgravia.

The series (from creator Julian Fellowes) unveils secrets of London’s super nouveau riche in the 19th century. It’s a compelling historical drama with a second season on the way.

#14: Gazebo TV

anne of green gables the sequel - anne and gilbert
Anne of Green Gables The Sequel. Credit: Sullivan Entertainment

Gazebo TV is an unusual streaming service in that you don’t pay a monthly fee. Instead, you rent or buy the movies and shows you’d like to see.

The streaming site belongs to Sullivan Entertainment, mainly focusing on their original content and other curated family dramas.

This one’s great for finding quality period dramas for the entire family.

  • Anne of Green Gables Movies – The beloved adaptation of an orphaned girl’s adventures.
  • Road to Avonlea – A spin-off series of Anne of Green Gables continuing stories set in Avonlea. Based on other L.M. Montgomery books.
  • Wind at My Back – Chronicles the struggles of a Canadian family during the Great Depression.

Related Content: Gazebo TV: The Best Way To Watch ‘Anne Of Green Gables’

#15: Hallmark Movies Now

when calls the heart kiss
When Calls the Heart. Photo: Hallmark Media

Hallmark Movies Now is another fantastic streaming site to find family-friendly period dramas to watch! From the original Hallmark series to Hallmark Hall of Fame films, there is a ton of quality entertainment to find. 

Here are a few of our favorite choices:

  • When Calls the Heart – Follows a young teacher’s experiences (and romances) in a 19th-century coal town.
  • Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman – A female doctor navigates life in the Old West, falls in love, and begins a family.
  • Emily of New Moon – A loose adaptation of the L.M. Montgomery novels about a young orphan’s life on Prince Edward Island as she makes friends and reaches for her dreams.
  • The Magic of Ordinary Days – A WWII-era tale of love and resilience about the romance between a pregnant young woman and a farmer.

Related Content: 30 of the Best Movies on Hallmark Movies Now Streaming to Watch

#16: Starz (Lionsgate+ outside of the U.S. and Canada)

Howards End promo image of Matthew Macadyen and Hayley Atwell outside on the grass with a house behind them.
Photo: Howards End. Credit: Playground Television UK/BBC/STARZ

You’ll discover a diverse selection of period dramas on Starz, a streaming platform known for its mix of curated films and flagship originals. Starz offers viewers some excellent choices, from iconic love stories to thrilling historical sagas.

A few period dramas available on Starz:

  • Outlander – A time-traveling romance set in 18th-century Scotland based on the novels by Diana Gabaldon. (TV-MA)
  • The White Queen/The White Princess/The Spanish Princess – Historical drama series centered on Medieval monarchs. (TV-MA)
  • Howards End – A thought-provoking, romantic adaptation of E.M. Forster’s novel starring Matthew Macfadyen and Hayley Atwell.

#17: Apple TV+

Pachinko TV still
Pachinko. Credit: Apple TV+

Apple TV+ is a streaming service focusing on quality over quantity, giving viewers excellent period dramas to explore. Their original period pieces are unique and visually stunning, often with creative interpretations of history.

Top recommendations from Apple TV+:

  • Dickinson – A modern take on Emily Dickinson’s life in the 19th century.
  • For All Mankind – Alternate history drama depicting the space race. (TV-MA)
  • Pachinko – Masterpiece based on Min Jin Lee’s novel, following multiple generations of a Korean family. (TV-MA)
  • The Essex Serpent – A gothic romance set in 19th-century England starring Claire Danes and Tom Hiddleston.

#18: Viki Rakuten

The Scholar Who Walks the Night promo photo
The Scholar Who Walks the Night. Credit: Content K/MBC

You’ll find a treasure trove of Asian dramas on Viki, a streaming service that caters to enthusiasts of C-dramas and K-dramas.

We’ve compiled a few of the best historical dramas currently available to watch on Viki: 

  • The Rebel Princess – Chronicles the life of a strong-willed princess forced into an arranged marriage. It stars Zhang Ziyi from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
  • The Scholar Who Walks the Night – A fusion of historical and vampire fantasy. One of our favorites.
  • Moon Embracing the Sun – A romantic historical fantasy set in the Joseon era.
  • Scarlet Heart – A modern woman is transported to the Qing Dynasty and falls in love with a prince.

#19: Kocowa

The Empress Ki Poster

For avid Korean drama enthusiasts, Kocowa is a dedicated streaming service that exclusively offers a variety of Kdramas. Many historical dramas await your exploration within its selection, some exclusive to the platform.

If you’re a period drama aficionado and a fan of Korean narratives, Kocowa presents a fantastic opportunity to enjoy these addictive historical series (often with a swoony romance included).

Here are a few of our top recommendations for period dramas to stream:

  • The Empress Ki – Follows the rise of a woman as she becomes Empress of the Yuan Dynasty.
  • Faith – A surgeon is transported back to the Goryeo time period, treating wounded warriors, and falls in love.
  • The Princess Man – A historical romance during the Joseon Dynasty with a Romeo and Juliet twist.

#20: FilmBox+

Seyit and Sura dancing.
Seyit the Wolf and Sura. Credit: Star TV. 

FilmBox+ is a niche streaming service renowned for its diverse selection of international dramas and classic films. While there isn’t a ton of available content, what makes this streaming site worth its money is for a particular period drama exclusive to FilmBox+.

Kurt Seyit ve Sura is a gorgeous period drama that stands out within their streaming collection.

It’s an epic love story (based on a true story) set against the backdrop of WWI and the Russian Revolution.

For more streaming period drama options, check out YouTube TV, Sling TV, Philo, Passionflix (a romance streaming app that often includes a few British period dramas), and MHZ Choice (for A French Village).

Now, if you’re a period drama aficionado on a budget, no worries; we have a bonus list of the best free streaming services to watch period dramas below.


Reign season 3 publicity still
Reign on CW TV. Credit: Warner Bros. Television/CBS Television Studios
  • Amazon’s Freevee
  • Peacock
  • Viki
  • Asiancrush
  • Kanopy
  • Hoopla
  • CW TV (Reign, The Musketeers, Walker Independence)
  • Roku Channel
  • Pluto TV
  • Tubi
  • Crackle
  • Plex
  • Sling TV Freestream
  • Vudu

That wraps up our list of the best streaming services to watch period dramas. Hopefully, you now have a multitude of options at your disposal.

So, as you navigate through the above streaming sites, remember that the timeless allure of period dramas is just a click away. So, settle in, select your preferred streaming service, and enjoy the drama!

What streaming sites or period dramas do you recommend? Let us know in the comments!

The 20 Best Streaming Services to Watch Period Dramas (And What to Watch First) Pinterest image


By on August 16th, 2023

About Amber Topping

Amber works as a writer and digital publisher full-time and fell in love with stories and imagination at an early age. She has a Humanities and Film Degree from BYU, co-created The Silver Petticoat Review, contributed as a writer to various magazines, and has an MS in Publishing from Pace University, where she received the Publishing Award of Excellence and wrote her thesis on transmedia, Jane Austen, and the romance genre. Her ultimate dreams are publishing books, writing and producing movies, traveling around the world, and forming a creative village of talented storytellers trying to change the world through art.

More posts by this author.

2 thoughts on “The 20 Best Streaming Services to Watch Period Dramas (And What to Watch First)”

  1. From Hallmark I would definitely also recommend “The Way Home”. This is a dual timeline/time-travel story that takes place present day and the 90’s (and, I suspect from some other teases about the story to come, even earlier in history). I really enjoyed this series! and am surprised to have not seen more praise around it. It’s definitely worth checking out!


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