These are the best urban fantasy TV shows on Amazon Prime Video right now. From classics to contemporary series.
Urban fantasy is one of my favorite genres, and yet, it often remains misunderstood outside of the publishing world. Numerous popular urban fantasy shows exist, but many don’t even know what it is they’re watching. From Moonlight to Lucifer and even Supernatural, urban fantasy is a genre that continues to attract viewers and loyal fans.
Urban Fantasy Definition:
So, what then is an urban fantasy TV show? A simple definition from Merriam-Webster defines it as “a genre of imaginative fiction featuring supernatural characters or elements in an urban setting.” Straightforward enough.
In short, if you find these elements in a show/movie/book, it’s likely an urban fantasy:
- The setting itself is a significant character in the story – often taking place in a city.
- Fantastical worldbuilding.
- From the paranormal to fairytales to technology and mythology, look for magic elements mixed with the real world.
- Most urban fantasies have an aspect of mystery – and are influenced by the noir genre.
- Expect there to be romance in the story. Urban fantasy is a close sibling to paranormal romance. The difference? If you take the romance out, a story will still exist in urban fantasy.
All in all, it’s a compelling genre and translates well to television.
While looking for urban fantasy series to watch, I discovered Amazon Prime Video has numerous offerings right now. So, I thought it would be fun to list the best available choices on the streaming service.
As a bonus, I also researched which series are available to watch on IMDB TV (a channel automatically added to all Prime subscribers).
So, enjoy! While the list includes some popular choices, some lesser-known ones on the list are also worth watching.
Note: These titles are available to watch on Amazon Prime Video in the U.S. as of February 2021. Availability is subject to change.
URBAN FANTASY TV SHOWS ON AMAZON PRIME VIDEO (2021)
(In Alphabetical Order)
#1 ANGEL (1999-2004)
Amazon Prime Video Synopsis: Newly arrived in Los Angeles, Angel is befriended by a half-demon named Doyle whose visions lead him to a powerful vampire whose next victim may just be Cordelia Chase.
Why You Should Check This Out: Despite current controversies with Joss Whedon, this is one of the best urban fantasy shows ever made. David Boreanaz stars as Angel, the vampire with a soul, in search of redemption.
While season one is my favorite season, the entire series is funny, sad, romantic, and full of heroes fighting the good fight.
Content: TV-14 for moderate violence, mild language, and mild sensuality.
#2 BEING HUMAN – U.K. (2009-2013)
Amazon Prime Video Synopsis: Deciding to turn over a new leaf, a group of friends who also happen to be vampires and werewolves move into a house together, only to find that it is haunted by ghosts of people who have been killed under mysterious circumstances.
As they deal with the challenges of being supernatural creatures, their desire to be human bonds them. A BBC series.
Why You Should Check This Out: Yes, Poldark fans, that is Aidan Turner playing a Byronic and romantic vampire! If that isn’t enough to convince you to watch, it’s one of the best-written series I’ve ever seen.
While the premise sounds like a setup for a joke, the show is excellent. The three main stars excel in their parts. And the romance between Mitchell (Aidan Turner) and Annie (Lenora Crichlow) is must-watch entertainment if you like paranormal romance.
Content: TV-MA. There are a few explicit scenes in the series, some strong language (especially in season two), and moderate violence.
Update: Being Human is now available on IMDB TV.
#3 BLOOD TIES (2007)
Amazon Prime Video Synopsis: Vicki Nelson, a former homicide detective turned private investigator, and Henry Fitzroy, a 470-year-old vampire, form a unique team solving cases and dealing with the supernatural world.
Why You Should Check This Out: Blood Ties is one of the “purest” examples of urban fantasy on this list, following the genre’s rules to the letter. It’s also one of the most underrated series in the fantasy genre.
The show is witty with a love triangle you’ll actually enjoy, a snarky heroine, and a fun premise. And the chemistry between Henry and Vicki? Out of this world. It’s good stuff. Just forgive some of the budget constraints.
Content: TV-14 for fantasy violence and sensuality.
Update: Being Human is now available on IMDB TV.
#4 BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER (1997-2003)
Amazon Prime Video Synopsis: After moving to Sunnydale, California, Buffy Anne Summers just wants to be a normal teenager. Back in Los Angeles, her first Watcher had died; she inadvertently burned down the gymnasium at her old high school; and her parents got a divorce.
The move to Sunnydale is supposed to give both her and her mother, Joyce, a clean slate. But then she meets the school librarian, Rupert Giles, and quickly learns there is no escaping her destiny.
With Giles as her new Watcher, she reluctantly steps back into her role as the Slayer. But this time she is not fighting alone. She now has an inner circle of special friends– Willow, Xander, Cordelia, and a mysterious young man named Angel– ready to join the fight and drive in a stake or two if need be.
Why You Should Check This Out: Buffy is one of the most groundbreaking shows ever on television and deserves all the praise.
Now, I think it’s necessary to recognize that this series was a collaborative process. Despite the recent allegations against Whedon from numerous cast members, we can still appreciate the series. It would be unfair to condemn the series outright – mainly due to the countless people who worked hard on it.
As a massive fan of the series, it does make me sad that it was an abusive set. But like Sarah Michelle Gellar, I still love Buffy even if I don’t love its creator.
Rant aside, the show is entertaining but emotional; romantic but heartbreaking. And all-around fantastic. So yes, watch it or watch it again!
Content: TV-14 for fantasy violence, sexuality (the latter seasons or more graphic), and an attempted rape scene in season six.
#5 CARNIVAL ROW (2019-)
Amazon Prime Video Synopsis: With a serial killer loose on Carnival Row, and a government that turns a blind eye to the deaths of its lower class citizens, Rycroft Philostrate, a war-hardened investigator, is the only person willing to stop the murders and maintain the fragile peace.
But when Vignette Stonemoss, a faerie refugee, turns up in the Burgue, she forces Philo to reckon with a past he’s tried to forget.
Why You Should Check This Out: Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevingne star in this romantic urban/historical fantasy series. If you appreciate good worldbuilding and don’t mind the explicit content, this series is worth watching.
Content: TV-MA. This show is very explicit in every category, so just be warned.
#6 THE FADES (2011)
Amazon Prime Video Synopsis: A smart, supernatural thriller about two friends fighting to save the world of the living from the spirits of the dead. Paul and his best friend Mac are the unpopular kids at their college.
And now Paul has started to see things – Fades. Soon the fate of humanity rests in the hands of the two friends who already have enough trouble getting through a day in one piece, let alone saving the world.
Why You Should Check This Out: For the cast! Tom Ellis (Lucifer), Iain De Caestecker (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), and Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones) star in this British miniseries. Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, His Dark Materials) wrote the script.
#7 GOOD OMENS (2019)
Amazon Prime Video Synopsis: The End of the World is coming, which means a fussy Angel and a loose-living Demon who’ve become overly fond of life on Earth are forced to form an unlikely alliance to stop Armageddon.
But they have lost the Antichrist, an 11-year-old boy unaware he’s meant to bring upon the end of days, forcing them to embark on an adventure to find him and save the world before it’s too late.
Why You Should Check This Out: David Tennant and Michael Sheen together are pure comedy gold in this Neil Gaiman story! Good Omens was one of my favorite shows from the last few years. Sometimes you just need a good laugh.
Content: TV-MA (very mild) for brief strong language and mild sexuality.
#8 GRIMM (2011-2017)
Amazon Prime Video Synopsis: “Grimm” is a drama series inspired by the classic Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Portland homicide Detective Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli) discovers he is descended from an elite line of criminal profilers known as “Grimms,” charged with keeping balance between humanity and the mythological creatures of the world.
As he tries to hide the dangers of his new found calling from his fiancé, Juliette Silverton, (Bitsie Tulloch), and his partner, Hank Griffin (Russell Hornsby), he becomes ever more entrenched in the ancient rivalries and alliances of the Grimm world.
With help from his confidant, Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell, a reformed Grimm creature himself, Nick must navigate through the forces of a larger-than-life mythology, facing off with Hexenbiests, Blutbads and all manner of ancient evils, including royal lines dating back to the original profilers themselves, The Grimm Brothers. Reggie Lee and Sasha Roiz also star.
Why You Should Check This Out: The mythology and worldbuilding are fabulous in this terrific series. The high production quality, intelligent writing, and intriguing characters make this one worth a watch.
#9 PRIMEVAL: NEW WORLD (NO LONGER AVAILABLE)
Amazon Prime Video Synopsis: Primeval: New World follows the story of a North American team that discovers dinosaurs and other dangerous predators emerging onto the streets of modern-day Vancouver through anomalies in time.
The team quickly gain expertise in the prehistoric creatures they hunt, the weapons they need to handle them, and the nature of the Anomalies themselves.
Why You Should Check This Out: It’s a spinoff of the popular BBC series, Primeval. And while not as good, it’s still an entertaining watch. Andrew Lee Potts also makes a couple of cameo appearances!
Update: Primeval: New World is no longer available except for purchase.
#10 SANCTUARY (2008-2011)
Amazon Prime Video Synopsis: Sanctuary follows the adventures of the enigmatic Dr. Helen Magnus, her new recruit, forensic psychiatrist Dr. Will Zimmerman, and her fearless daughter Ashley.
Together they track down, study and protect the strange and often terrifying creatures that secretly populate our world and live among us.
Why You Should Check This Out: Sanctuary is one of my favorite all-time urban fantasy shows, primarily because of Amanda Tapping’s performance as the immortal Dr. Magnus. The mythology is also fun, and Jonathon Young plays Nikola Tesla as a vampire to perfection. He is hilarious.
(Warning: Only seasons one, two, and four are currently available on Prime Video. Hopefully, they add the other season soon.)
Update: Only season 4 of Sanctuary is available now.
#11 TEEN WOLF (2011-2017)
Amazon Prime Video Synopsis: Scott’s a non-athletic, socially awkward high school sophomore…but a single wolf bite changes everything. Now he’s the popular star of his lacrosse team and dating the new girl in town.
But Scott’s “new” abilities also pull him into the middle of a war between werewolves and werewolf hunters.
Why You Should Check This Out: I haven’t watched this series yet, but I’ve heard great things. If you’re in the mood for a teen urban fantasy series with an appealing cast, this series sounds like a good choice.
Content: TV-14 for moderate violence.
#12 ULTRAVIOLET (1998)
Amazon Prime Video Synopsis: The six-episode series, first aired in 1998, stars Jack Davenport as Detective Sergeant Michael Colefield, who discovers a secret government vampire-hunting unit while investigating the disappearance of his partner.
Why You Should Check This Out: This unique British miniseries has a fabulous cast! Besides Jack Davenport, you’ll want to see Susannah Harker (Jane from Pride and Prejudice) and Idris Elba. And there’s even Stephen Moyer (True Blood) playing a vampire.
It’s a stylish miniseries with a clear conclusion and a little-known gem more people should watch.
Content: 13+ (Seems TV-14)
Update: Ultraviolet is now available on IMDB TV.
BONUS: MORE URBAN FANTASY SHOWS (IMDB TV)
Good news! If you have access to Prime Video, you automatically also have access to Freevee (previously called IMDB TV). So, these bonus urban fantasy shows and miniseries are also available to watch on Prime.
There is one downside, however. Freevee comes with commercials. Still, if you don’t mind that, then these urban fantasy series are worth a look.
#1 THE 10TH KINGDOM (2000)
Amazon Prime Video Synopsis: Virginia and Tony, a father and daughter living in Manhattan, find themselves in a parallel universe where Snow White, Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood are struggling to maintain order. Their kingdoms have been fragmented by trolls, giants and goblins.
Why You Should Check This Out: This Emmy-winning miniseries is pure fantasy fun! If you like fairy tales, you’ll enjoy this twist on many familiar stories. Just accept that it’s a little cheesy.
Content: NR but PG-like.
#2 DEAD LIKE ME (2003-2004)
Amazon Prime Video Synopsis: Centers on a disaffected young woman who is suddenly killed when a piece of the MIR space station hurtles to Earth and hits her in the head. Georgia (George) Lass is surprised to discover that an afterlife does exist, and that she’s already been assigned a job.
Her new boss is Rube, a “reaper” — one of the many who pluck the souls of the living and escort them to their eternal reward.
Why You Should Check This Out: Bryan Fuller of Pushing Daisies created this dark comedy fantasy series. While I think the first season is better than the second (and much better than the later film), this is an innovative, exciting series with cool mythology. Watch this if you like weird, quirky shows.
Content: TV-MA for sexuality and strong language. Some episodes are milder than others.
#3 DETECTIVE ANNA (2016-2017)
Amazon Prime Video Synopsis: Nineteen-year-old Anna, living at the end of the nineteenth century in the town of Zatonsk, unexpectedly discovers that she possesses supernatural powers. The spirits of the dead literally haunt her, begging for help.
Aided by her visions, Anna manages to investigate and solve a number of mysterious crimes which have baffled the police.
Why You Should Check This Out: This Russian series is for you if you love international series and historical urban fantasy. The period costumes are gorgeous, and the slow-burn romance is perfect.
Content: 13+ (Pretty clean overall).
#4 THE DRESDEN FILES (2007-2008)
Amazon Prime Video Synopsis: Harry Dresden (Paul Blackthorne) is a regular-guy private detective with extraordinary abilities. Whether consulting for the police on seemingly inexplicable crimes or following his own cases, he battles dark forces with a wry sense of humor.
Why You Should Check This Out: Paul Blackthorne (Arrow) is excellent as Harry Dresden, the wizard detective. The Dresden Files is an enjoyable series that the network canceled too soon. But it is still worth watching.
#5 FRINGE (2008-2013)
Amazon Prime Video Synopsis: J.J. Abrams, the creator of Lost and Alias, teams up with Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman (Mission: Impossible 3, Transformers) to create this highly anticipated drama series.
The first electrifying season of Fringe follows an unlikely trio who uncover a deadly mystery that may be part of a larger and more disturbing pattern that lives somewhere between science fiction and reality.
Why You Should Check This Out: Okay, so this show leans more urban sci-fi than urban fantasy, but it still crosses over into the fantasy genre at times and is close enough to include on the list. If you enjoy shows like Lost and The X-Files, you’ll love this super entertaining series, partly because of the lovable Dr. Bishop played by John Noble.
Plus, the romance between Olivia and Peter is perfect, and the father/son relationship between Dr. Bishop and Peter makes for a memorable series you can watch again and again.
#6 HEROES (2006-2010) – NO LONGER AVAILABLE
Amazon Prime Video Synopsis: Heroes, an epic drama that chronicles the lives of ordinary people: a genetics professor, a hospice nurse, a single mom, a street cop, a small town cheerleader, a tormented artist, a computer geek-coming to grips with newly found remarkable powers.
Why You Should Check This Out: While the show falters after season one, it was an innovative series with many memorable characters and entertaining stories. The brilliant cast (including Milo Ventimiglia) always makes this one worth a watch.
#7 HIGHLANDER: THE SERIES (1992-1998)
Amazon Prime Video Synopsis: Adrian Paul stars as 400-year-old Scotsman Duncan MacLeod, who’s one of the immortals — a group of entities who for centuries have waged a war between good and evil that’s destined to culminate in the Gathering … where only one force can triumph.
Why You Should Check This Out: An immortal Scotsman? That’s enough for me.
#8 WAREHOUSE 13 (2009-2014)
Amazon Prime Video Synopsis: After saving the life of the President, two Secret Service agents find themselves abruptly transferred to Warehouse 13 – a massive, top secret storage facility in windswept South Dakota that houses every strange artifact, mysterious relic, fantastical object and supernatural souvenir ever collected by the U.S. government.
Why You Should Check This Out: It’s a fun series, you know when the Syfy channel used to have “fun” shows.
WHAT URBAN FANTASY TV SHOWS WILL YOU BE WATCHING ON AMAZON PRIME VIDEO? DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE ON THE LIST? SOUND OFF BELOW…
Featured Image Credit: Being Human (BBC).