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15 TV Shows like Downton Abbey for Fans of Old English Period Pieces

shows like downton abbey

Old English stories can be a guilty pleasure. In actuality, there’s just something comfy about good ole’ period piece series like Downton Abbey. Something relatable, well as relatable as high class English lords and ladies can be. These shows just have the perfect mix between drama, politics, and romance.  And that’s why we’ve created a list of one of the best shows of this genre, Downton Abbey.

Downton Abbey is a British historical drama series that aired on ITV in the UK, and PBS in the United States, between 2010 and 2015. The series centered on a fictional estate of Downton Abbey, Yorkshire, and followed the lives of an aristocratic family known as the Crawleys, as well as their domestic servants, all set in the backdrop of the post-Edwardian era of the 1920s.

It’s been labeled as the most successful British costume drama of all time, and was a regular among Golden Globes and Primetime Emmys Award nominees and winners for the entirety of its time on air. If you’re looking for more shows that scratch this particular itch, then you’ve come to the right place, as here are 15v shows like Downton Abbey for you to watch.

List of TV Shows like Downton Abbey

1. Bridgerton (2020)

Cut from the same cloth as shows like Downton Abbey, Bridgerton is another glamorous and splendid English drama, with a modern twist thrown in the mix in terms of casting a wide range of ethnicities. Bridgerton is set in the Regency era of London’s town, where the nobility and gentry meet and hold balls, dinner parties, and charity events so that the youth can find themselves a partner.

The story primarily focuses on Daphne Bridgerton, the eldest daughter, as she navigates the competitive world of matchmaking and falls in love with the Duke of Hastings, Simon Bassett. Their relationship begins as a ruse to ward off other suitors, but soon evolves into a genuine emotional connection. If you loved Downton Abbey, you’ll definitely enjoy this too

2. The Crown (2016)

What’s even more bourgeoisie than a bunch of lords and ladies, as seen in series like Downton Abbey? The royal family of course. The Crown focuses on the story of Queen Elizabeth starting from her ascent to the throne and her growth into her role as the most powerful monarch in the world. 

Written by the legendary Peter Morgan, we get a thoroughly entertaining biographical period piece, filled with a very talented cast, that changes as the generations go by, but remains up to the task regardless. This show has become something of a cultural phenomenon and is one of the most popular shows on Netflix. You should check it out if you have the chance.

3. Foyle’s War (2002)

One of the English period piece series similar to Downton Abbey, Foyle’s War is set in 1940s England, and follows the story of Chief Superintendent Chris Foyle. Set in the backdrop of the Second World War, there is still crime to be investigated at home, and it’s Foyle’s job to investigate and solve them, bringing their perpetrators to justice.

The show was revived after initially getting canceled in 2007, after getting some really great ratings for its fifth season. Created by Midsomer Mysteries writer and author, it gained rave reviews during its time on air and you should definitely cop a DVD and catch up on it if you’re interested in stories like these.

Also Read: Shows like The Sopranos

4. Call the Midwife (2012)

Call the Midwife follows the story of nurses, nuns and midwives working at Nonnatus House, in the East End of London. Set in the late 50s and 60s, and is centered on the day to day lives of these midwives in a local neighborhood called Poplar. The show deals with various themes like teen pregnancy, abortion, poverty and religion.

Call the Midwife mixes a lot of real historical facts with the soapy drama of the show, a show whose realism is elevated by a swathe of great acting performances by a very talented cast. It has been particularly praised for its sweet and poignant tone, which contrasts well with the gritty post-war setting which the show is set against. If you enjoyed shows similar to Downton Abbey, then you’ll definitely enjoy this one.

5. The Bonfire of Destiny (2019)

In The Bonfire of Destiny we take a bit of a detour from English period piece series like Downton Abbey, and head to France. Set after a fire engulfs Paris in 1897, the show follows the story of three women who find their lives turned upside down, dealing with betrayals, friendships, love and relationship.

Translated from Le Bazar de la Charite for English audiences, it’s an originally French language show that still managed to capture the affections of non-French audiences. It’s a well put together show that melds some historical accuracy with an enthralling story, one which you will fall in love with, should you give it a chance.

6. Belgravia (2020)

We’re back to England, and among the wealthy in Belgravia. Belgravia is a wealthy district in London, and a newly rich family comes into town, and the young daughter of the family catches the eye of one of Edmund Bellas, heir to one of the richest and most powerful families in England.

It’s a period piece centered around the high and mighty, similar to shows like Downton Abbey, and the similarities don’t stop there as the show is made up of the production team behind Downton Abbey. So this is the natural follow up for you if you really enjoyed the show.

7. Rebellion (2016)

Rebellion is a miniseries that follows the story of a set of characters during the 1916 Rising, an armed insurrection during Easter Week of that year. It shows us these events through the eyes of these characters, showing the role that each of them played in securing Ireland their independence from England.

Although it hasn’t been highly rated in terms of historical accuracy, which affected its viewership over its episodes on air, it does showcase some great drama, a bunch of fascinating characters and high stakes that fans of series like Downton Abbey would enjoy.

Also Read: Shows like Seinfeld

8. The English Game (2020)

Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes also worked on Netflix miniseries The English Game. The English Game follows the story of the beautiful game, football. In the 1870s, football was still very much an upper class game, until a working class footballer changed the history of the game forever.

The English Game got favorable reviews upon the miniseries’ release on Netflix, and is a great look at a rarely examined part of English history, which is its sports history, as most shows like Downton Abbey usually focus on the aristocracy, politics and general culture of the times.You have to give this one a watch.

9. Jane Eyre (1983)

In Jane Eyre, we have a new adaptation of the Charlotte Bronte novel of the same name. It centers on the orphaned Jane Eyre, played by Georgie Henley, who is hired by Mrs. Fairfax to act as governess for a young Adele, played by Cosima Littlewood, who is the ward of the master of the house. 

The master of the house is Edward Rochester, who begins to grow a liking for the young Jane Eyre, whom a relationship. It’s a fascinating period piece that doesn’t tamper with the source material in any way, instead choosing to play it straight in terms of its storytelling. If you’re looking for more period pieces like Downton Abbey, there aren’t many better choices.

10. Outlander (2014)

Outlander is another British period piece set around war time. Similar to shows like Downton Abbey. Outlander follows the story of a married nurse named Claire Ranadall who time travels to 18th century Scotland, and finds herself falling in love with a warrior known as Jamie Fraser.

Outlander is based on the Outlander novel series written by Diana Gabaidon. Claire Randall has to survive being thrown into an unfamiliar timeline, and a ruthless forefather-in-law. It’s a faithful adaptation of the source material and a show that remained consistently excellent from start to finish.

11. Victoria (2015)

Similar to shows like Downton Abbey and most especially The Crown. Instead of Queen Victoria, we’re treated to the story about the ascension to the throne of Queen Victoria, the lead up to her marriage to Prince Albert, as well as her political responsibilities ranging from the 1830s to the 1850s.

It has even been compared to Downton Abbey for its soap opera style, and historical accuracy, especially in terms of set and costume design, as well as the strong acting performances by Jenna Coleman and Rufus Sewell, who play Victoria and Lord Melbourne respectively. Go ahead and add this onto your list.

12. The Forsyte Saga (2002)

The Forsyte Saga might just be the original Downton Abbey, well for the slightly upper class. This show follows the story of three generations of an upper middle class family living in England and dealing with their status as “new money” while hoping to keep climbing the social and class ladder.

It features Damian Lewis in one of his first star roles as Soames Forsyte, a solicitor and the breadwinner of the Forsyte family. His performance was a bright spot throughout the show’s runtime and the show did get an overall great reception from fans and critics alike, it’s one that I have no doubt that lovers of series like Downton Abbey will enjoy.

13. Upstairs, Downstairs (1971)

Regarded by some as the original Downton Abbey, Upstairs, Downstairs is a 1971 TV series which, similar to shows like Downton Abbey, follows the lives of an aristocratic family, who live upstairs, and their servants and maids who are accommodated downstairs.

It touches upon the slow decline of the British Aristocracy during the Post-Edwardian era, and deals with other historical storylines like the First World War, women suffrage and the Wall Street Crash. If you’re okay with some grainy visuals, then you will have no problem enjoying Upstairs, Downstairs.

14. Harlots (2017)

We move deep into the underbelly of English society in the show Harlots. We are given a look into the world of city brothels, and a lifestyle which characters in shows like Downton Abbey would no doubt turn their noses as. Harlots follows the story of Margaret Wells, who runs a brothel in 18th century London, to make ends meet for herself and her daughters.

Harlots does away with all the romanticism of shows usually set around this era, and gives us a gritty look into how the common man lived and made ends meet at the time. It’s a sometimes uncomfortable show that cuts deep in terms of its themes while not neglecting to keep things light and fun from time to time.

15. Gilded Age (2022)

Gilded Age is the final series similar to Downton Abbey, and for quite a number of reasons. It centers on Carrie Coon’s Bertha Russell who has married into a newly rich family and is trying to navigate her way through her new social class, environment and her marriage.

It’s a show with an outstanding cast of characters, and with some great set and costume design. It’s a good portrayal of the lives of the rich and powerful in the English society at the time, and just like all the other shows on this list, it comes highly recommended for you. 

Honorable Mentions:

Here are some more great series like Downton Abbey that is full of dramatic storylines, romance, and comedy:

1.      Parade’s End (2012)

2.      Mr. Selfridge (2013)

3.      Vanity Fair (2018)

When Lost aired over a decade ago, its successful narrative created a pop culture impact and changed the landscape of television. If you are a fan and want to watch shows like Lost then you can have a look at this list we made just for you.


The hugely successful television series Lost aired in 2004. The premise, as we know, deals with a group of people surviving a commercial passenger plane crash on a remote island. The show masterfully explores supernatural and sci-fi elements on this mysterious south Pacific island.

The use of cliffhangers at the end of each episode of Lost kept the viewers on the edge of their seats, desperately craving for the next episode to come. Even though it's a large ensemble cast, most of the characters receive a justifiable personal arch. Lost was inspired by the movie Castaway and became one of the most expensive pilots to be shot at the time! Lost continues to be appreciated for its originality in storytelling and dynamic character arcs. 

List of TV Shows Like Lost

  1. The Leftovers
  2. Manifest
  3. Lost Room
  4. Twin Peaks
  5. The Prisoners
  6. Battlestar Galactica
  7. The New People
  8. Flight 29 Down
  9. Fringe
  10. Alcatraz
  11. Under the Dome
  12. Dark

1. The Leftovers (2014)

IMDB ratings: 8.3/10

Cast: Carrie Coon, Justin Theroux, Amy Brenneman and Margaret Qualley

Creator: Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta

The director of Lost, Damon Lindel also created a supernatural drama series called The Leftovers. The show begins 3 years after an unexplainable global event called ‘Sudden Departure’  where almost 2 per cent of the population, nearly 140 million people, disappear. The Leftovers isn't about WHY people are gone, it's about how the ones who remain dealt with their loss, people often try to comfort themselves with dreams, angels, gods, or even death.

The Leftovers will leave you with so many questions but beyond words, you have to feel it and savour its unanswered questions to find peace. The Leftovers is an incredible television series that starts incredibly well but loses its way by the series's end. I have to say though, Carrie Coon has brilliant moments in the end. The Leftovers is so weird, fragmented and nonsensical at times that it reminds me of Lost. If you are looking for shows like Lost, I recommend that you give The Leftovers a try.

2. Manifest  (2018) 

IMDB ratings: 7.1/10

Cast: Melissa Roxburgh, Josh Dallas and J.R. Ramirez 

Creator: Jeff Rake

The Manifest is a supernatural drama show about a bunch of people who discover that they lost 5 years of their lives when they landed in New York after their aeroplane faced severe turbulence. All the people on the plane were presumed to be dead. Now, these people have to find a way to adjust themselves to a new life around their loved ones. Mild spoiler! They learn their loved ones and the rest of society is not as they left it.

I found that the show’s premise was very intriguing and the actors give a very convincing performance. The narrative details of the show, however, in my opinion, are a bit sloppy and inconsistent. The writers surely have room for improvement but their concept is incredibly thrilling. Every episode of Manifest keeps you on your toes. Manifest has completed 3 seasons up until now and continues to be on air. Manifest is a pretty good choice if you want to watch TV shows like Lost.

3. Lost Room (2006)

IMDB ratings: 8.1/10

Cast: Peter Krause, Julianna Margulies and Peter Jacobson

Creator: Christopher Leone, Laura Harkcom

This lesser-known show The Lost Room is an American Sci-fi television miniseries which only had 3 episodes of 90 mins each and no follow-up seasons. The show was based on a very unique idea where the room in question (known as the ‘Lost Room’) and the objects in the said room had supernatural powers. This strange room is set in a 1960s motel along the iconic U.S. Route 66.

One day the protagonist (Peter Krause) Joe Miller’s daughter disappears inside the room. Joe, with the help of objects present in the room, tries to find his daughter Anna (Elle Fanning). The story of Lost Room was intensely engaging. I found the direction and the actor’s performances to be absolutely brilliant. It baffles me that the creators did not return to make another short season within the same concept. If you have been searching for TV series like Lost then I can assure you that Lost Room will be worth a watch.

4. Twins Peaks (1990) 

IMDB ratings: 8.8/10

Cast: Kyle MacLachlan, Mädchen Amick, Sherilyn Fenn and David Lynch

Creator: David Lynch

David Lynch, the well-known director of weird and captivating films such as Eraserhead and Blue Velvet created an iconic show called Twin Peaks. It is a hauntingly eccentric show about the investigation of the mysterious murder of a small-town homecoming queen named Laura Palmer. Believe me, as odd as the show may seem at first, you will grow to love it, after all, it is considered to be one of the best mystery shows ever created.

With the mysteries, the supernatural elements and the list of bizarre characters, Twin Peaks has it all. In my opinion, the cinematography of the show was truly ahead of its time. Kyle’s Dale Cooper was especially entertaining. Twin Peaks’ experimental formula of the satirical soap opera is extremely unsettling yet rewarding to watch, I must warn you, it’s not for the faint-hearted!  If you are in search of TV shows like Lost then Twin Peaks won’t disappoint you.

The Prisoners (1967)

IMDB ratings: 8.5/10

Cast: Patrick McGoohan, Angelo Muscat and Geroge Markstien

Creator: Patrick McGoohan

The Prisoner centres around an unnamed British agent (Patrick McGoohan) who tries to flee his country after abruptly quitting his high-ranking government job. He is abducted and held captive in a strange ‘sea-side’ village that is isolated from the rest of the world. This village is a highly secure and monitored place filled with weird technology. There are only 17 episodes to this late 60s show but it manages to bring up such surreal surprises, it's sure to leave a great impact on the viewer.

The Prisoner’s unique concept influenced many popular shows including Lost. The creators of Lost even cited the show. I was very impressed by how ahead of its time The Prisoners proves to be. If you want to watch more shows similar to Lost the Prisoners should definitely be on your list.

6. Battlestar Galactica (2004)

IMDB ratings: 8.7/10

Cast: Katee Sackhoff, Edward James Olmos and Tricia Helfer 

Creator: Glen A. Larson

The 2004 Battlestar Galactica is a reboot of the original 1978 miniseries of the same name. Do not be mistaken by the title, the show is not related to Star Trek.  Battlestar Galactica is set in the 7th millennium AD and follows Cylons, the robot enemy of humanity that resurfaces to destroy the 12 colonies of Mankind. Only a few survive and are able to escape on ships led by a powerful warship called Battlestar Galactica. Mankind struggles to fight the Cylons and work their own political agendas and disputes while finding their long-lost 13th colony Earth.

The show is a dark, intense and gritty socio-political commentary with EPIC cinematic value. The script is especially clever and as a huge fan of sci-fi shows, this show ticks the boxes in all the right categories. When the show was released, it blew the viewers and critics away. As far as an obsessive and gripping story goes, Battlestar Galactica is one of the most similar to shows like Lost. 

7. The New People (1969)

IMDB ratings: 7.3/10

Cast: David Moses, Zooey hall and Tiffany Boiling

Creator: Larry Gordon Aaron Spelling

The New People is an American Tv series that aired only for 1 season and is focused on a couple of college students who survive a plane crash. The incident takes place while they were returning from a trip to Southeast Asia, their plane crashes on an island in the south of the Pacific ocean. 

By now this show must already be sounding a lot like Lost to you, and it surely is. The remaining group of people discover an unusual truth about the island: there’s an above-ground unused nuclear test site filled with supplies for the survivors. If you want to see more plane survival stories like Lost then The New People should definitely be on your list.

8. Flight 29 Down (2005)

IMDB ratings: 7.2/10

Cast: Allen Alvarado, Halle Hirsh and Corbin Bleu

Creator:  Stan Rowgow D. J. MacHale

The show Flight 29 Down is a drama series about a group of pre-teens/teens who are stranded on a South Pacific island after their plane crashes in a tropical storm while they were flying from an eco-adventure camping trip in Palau. The show is in many ways a younger version of the Adult-centred show Lost but sans the supernatural elements. I’d say that the show draws inspiration from the show The New People.

Flight 29 Down uses the technique of a video diary as a plot device for the viewers to keep up with the story of these children. It was very engaging to watch young intelligent characters finding their way on the island. The first two seasons of the show are quite engaging but I seemed to lose interest in its 3rd and final season. Regardless, Flight 29 Down is a really good series to watch if you want to see TV shows like Lost.

9. Fringe (2008)

IMDB ratings: 8.4/10

Cast: Anna Torv, John Noble and Joshua Jackson

Creator: J. J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci

Fringe is a popular Sci-fi crime drama television series. It may seem like a standard procedural drama at first, but the show actually explores the parallel universe, alternate versions of people filled with crazy scientific experiments. I personally had a great time watching this show.

Fringe is actually inspired by shows like Lost, The X-files and The Twilight Zone. The 3 main characters of the show work with a special division called Fringe. There are so many brilliant twists and turns in Fringe that in my opinion, the show is at the top of its category. If you are searching for TV series like Lost, I strongly recommend you watch Fringe

10. Alcatraz (2012)

IMDB ratings: 6.9/10

Cast: Sarah Jones, George Garcia and Jonny Coyne 

Creator: Elizabeth Sarnoff, Steven Lilien, Bryan Wynbrandt

This American fiction show is based on the infamous Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary built on Alcatraz island in San Francisco Bay. The prison is now closed but once kept some of the most dangerous criminals of America. The show takes the liberty to make a show around the conspiracies of the place.

In the interesting premise we see that under unknown circumstances, 256 inmates and 46 guards of the prison disappear without a trace. Later the disappeared ones start to appear one by one without ageing a day and resume their criminal activities with no realisation of disappearance. A special government unit is dedicated to finding and putting those criminals back in prison. If you are looking for mystery shows similar to Lost, try watching Alcatraz. 

11. Under the Dome (2013)

IMDB ratings: 6.5/10

Cast: Alexander Koch and Rachelle Lefevre

Creator: Stephen King

Based on a novel written by the sci-fi legend Stephen King, Under the Dome tells the story of the residents of the fictional small town called Chester's Mill, when a huge, transparent and indestructible dome suddenly cuts them off from the rest of the world.

Now the trapped residents try to find a way to discover the truth, origin and purpose of these domes. This journey forces them into situations where they learn more about each other than they ever knew. Under the Dome may not be on the top of this list but it’s quite a decent watch if you’re looking for mystery shows similar to Lost

12. Dark (2017)

IMDB ratings: 8.7/10

Cast: Louis Hofmann, Lisa Vicari and Gina Stiebitz

Creator: Baran bo Odar, Jantje Friese

The German-language Netflix series Dark is an interesting blend of Science fiction and Mystery. Truly a compelling and mind-bending story to watch. At the beginning of Dark, many children suspiciously start disappearing in the German town of Winden. The dark past of generational mysteries of 4 families living in the town namely, Kahnwald, Nielsen, Doppler, and Tiedemann is brought to light.

After the discovery of a wormhole, the lives of the families intertwine more than one can imagine. I believe every element of the show is top-notch, especially Dark’s cinematography, which is a TRUE masterpiece. If you are looking for TV series similar to Lost then the intense and gripping story of Dark is sure to keep you engrossed.

Honourable Mentions

Here are a few TV shows like Lost that didn’t make the list, but you can check them out nonetheless: 

  1. Carnivale
  2. Yellowjackets
  3. Game of Thrones
  4. Black Mirror
  5. Flashforward
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