World War II soldiers stand with their backs to the camera in the HBO miniseries "Band of Brothers"
TV

100 best miniseries of all time

November 15, 2022
Dreamworks

100 best miniseries of all time

There's no better way to unwind than with a little TV. There's just something about slipping into a fictional world that has none of our real-life stressors or demands that puts our minds at ease in a way nothing else can. Unfortunately, those real-world stressors and demands leave us far less time and mental energy to indulge than we would like.

Enter the miniseries. They might be the perfect solution for our "not enough time, not enough brain power" problem. Miniseries offer the same level of escapism and ability to binge-watch as conventional television, but without having to commit to 18 seasons of 30 episodes each. Plus, you've got decades of compelling miniseries to choose from in almost every imaginable genre.

To help narrow down the choices, Stacker collected IMDb data on all miniseries/limited series on October 26, 2022, and ranked them according to their IMDb user rating, breaking ties by the number of votes. Only shows with more than 5,000 votes were considered. The analysis also looks at reviews from The New York Times, Rotten Tomatoes, Forbes, NPR, The Guardian, and other media to see what the critics say.

It may be no surprise that BBC's striking nature documentaries score highly on this list. But also scattered throughout the rankings, you'll discover a mix of historical dramas, shocking true crime documentaries, sci-fi favorites, animated works, shows inspired by comics, and police procedurals that put a new twist on an old-school genre.

Looking for a new miniseries to add to the "must-watch" list, or curious to see if a favorite miniseries made the cut? Read on to learn more about the 100 best miniseries of all time.

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Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman in Long Way Down
1 / 100
Big Earth

#100. Long Way Down (2007)

- IMDb user rating:8.3
- Votes: 6,284
- Rating: null
- Genre(s): Documentary

A follow-up to "Long Way Round," this BBC production follows Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman as they set out on another long-haul motorcycle journey, this time from Scotland to South Africa. Along the way, the men stop at three UNICEF facilities to help bring awareness to the humanitarian organization's invaluable work.

Yuuri and Victor in Yur!!! On Ice
2 / 100
Mappa

#99. Yuri!!! On Ice (2016)

- IMDb user rating:8.3
- Votes: 8,492
- Rating: TV-14
- Genre(s): Animation, Comedy, Drama

In this anime series, a downtrodden figure skater finds his love for the sport again with his idol-turned-coach's help. The miniseries won a slew of awards at the Crunchyroll Anime Awards. It also garnered significant praise for its depiction of same-sex relationships and anxiety.

3 / 100
Yellow Bird,

#98. Millennium (2010)

- IMDb user rating:8.3
- Votes: 9,616
- Rating: Not Rated
- Genre(s): Action, Crime, Mystery

This six-part Swedish TV series is based on the movies drawn from Stieg Larsson's mystery novels about a reporter and a computer hacker. The series strikes a balance between being a thriller and a drama, with lots of suspense.

A still of a play's audience in This Is England '88
4 / 100
Warp Films

#97. This Is England '88 (2011)

- IMDb user rating:8.3
- Votes: 10,722
- Rating: TV-MA
- Genre(s): Comedy, Crime, Drama

A spinoff of the film "This is England" and a sequel to the miniseries "This is England '86," "This is England '88" follows the gang of skinheads—Woody, Lol, Shaun, and Smell—as they wrestle with growing up and breaking up. The show won the BAFTA for Best Mini-Series at the 2012 awards despite only being three episodes long.

Thomas Turgoose, Rosamund Hanson, and Andrew Ellis in This Is England '86
5 / 100
Warp Films

#96. This Is England '86 (2010)

- IMDb user rating:8.3
- Votes: 13,428
- Rating: TV-MA
- Genre(s): Comedy, Crime, Drama

The first follow-up to "This is England," "This is England '86," is set just three years after the original film. Its four episodes (written by the original creators, Shane Meadows and Jack Thorne) see the gang's allegiances shift. Several of its members go from being skinheads to active members of the mod revival scene.

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Haluk Bilginer and Okan Yalabik in Masum
6 / 100
D Production

#95. Masum (2017)

- IMDb user rating:8.3
- Votes: 18,550
- Rating: TV-14
- Genre(s): Crime, Drama, Mystery

In this Turkish drama, a homicide detective returns to his quiet hometown to solve a cold case that seemingly involves his retired mentor. The series is based on a play called "Bayrak" by Berkun Oya, who also wrote the script for this eight-episode TV version.

7 / 100
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)

#94. Jane Eyre (2006)

- IMDb user rating:8.3
- Votes: 21,185
- Rating: TV-PG
- Genre(s): Drama, Romance

The BBC's serial adaptation of Charlotte Brontë's "Jane Eyre" vividly portrays an orphan-turned-governess who falls in love with a man with a dark past. The series earned nominations and awards from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, the Emmys, and the Golden Globes, among others.

8 / 100
Home Box Office (HBO)

#93. Olive Kitteridge (2014)

- IMDb user rating:8.3
- Votes: 22,939
- Rating: TV-14
- Genre(s): Drama

This four-part dramatic miniseries looks at 25 years of a middle-school math teacher's life as she navigates complex relationships with her son and husband. Critics pointed to the cinematography, writing, and Frances McDormand's performance as highlights of "Olive Kitteridge."

The character Alucard in Hellsing
9 / 100
G.D.H.

#92. Hellsing Ultimate (2006–2012)

- IMDb user rating:8.3
- Votes: 23,470
- Rating: Not Rated
- Genre(s): Animation, Action, Fantasy

In this anime miniseries, a secret organization called Hellsing fights vampires, ghouls, and all types of supernatural creatures who threaten life in England. The 10-episode story is based on a multi-volume manga written and illustrated by Kouta Hirano.

10 / 100
Red Production Company

#91. Years and Years (2019)

- IMDb user rating:8.3
- Votes: 29,889
- Rating: TV-MA
- Genre(s): Drama, Sci-Fi

"Years and Years," from HBO and the BBC, follows the lives of the Manchester family members that converge on an important night in 2019. Emma Thompson plays the starring role of Vivienne Rook in the six-episode satire with tons of laugh-out-loud humor.

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Jude Law and Diane Keaton in The Young Pope
11 / 100
Wildside

#90. The Young Pope (2016)

- IMDb user rating:8.3
- Votes: 44,105
- Rating: TV-MA
- Genre(s): Drama

Jude Law plays Pope Pius XIII in this fictional tale about an American who becomes the leader of the Catholic Church. Diane Keaton co-stars as the pope's confidant, Sister Mary, and both actors' performances won praise from critics. The series garnered two Emmy Awards for its production values and cinematography.

Kiefer Sutherland and Michelle Fairley in 24: Live Another Day
12 / 100
Imagine Television

#89. 24: Live Another Day (2014)

- IMDb user rating:8.3
- Votes: 45,577
- Rating: TV-14
- Genre(s): Action, Crime, Drama

Set four years after the final season of "24," this miniseries sees Jack Bauer come out of retirement to protect President James Heller from a group of hackers who have threatened his life. Like previous seasons, each episode covers a single hour in the day, except for the finale, which jumps 12 hours.

13 / 100
Netflix

#88. Godless (2017)

- IMDb user rating:8.3
- Votes: 67,372
- Rating: TV-MA
- Genre(s): Action, Drama, Western

A Western drama, "Godless" shows what happens when a ruthless outlaw searches for a former gang member who has made a new life for himself in a community run almost entirely by women. The series, produced by Steven Soderbergh and written and produced by Scott Frank, intrigued viewers with its examination of "dark mythology embedded in the Western genre," according to Sophie Gilbert of The Atlantic.

A family taking a selfie in Samantar
14 / 100
GSEAMS

#87. Samantar (2020)

- IMDb user rating:8.4
- Votes: 6,437
- Rating: null
- Genre(s): Mystery

In this twisty series, a young man realizes he shares the same destiny as a man several years his senior. He must decide whether meeting that other man and discovering how his life is going will help him change his present or only show him a future he doesn't care to know. "Samantar" is a Marathi-language series.

15 / 100
Anne of Green Gables Productions

#86. Anne of Avonlea (1987)

- IMDb user rating:8.4
- Votes: 9,551
- Rating: TV-G
- Genre(s): Drama, Family, Romance

When the beloved novel "Anne of Green Gables" was adapted for the screen in 1985, it was a runaway hit with fans. It should be no surprise that the sequel, "Anne of Avonlea," which reunited the original cast to follow heroine Anne Shirley through early adulthood, proved just as popular with fans when the miniseries was released two years later.

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16 / 100
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)

#85. State of Play (2003)

- IMDb user rating:8.4
- Votes: 9,878
- Rating: TV-14
- Genre(s): Crime, Drama, Mystery

Upon investigating a murder of a teenager, a journalist and his fellow reporters uncover a conspiracy involving high-ranking politicians and the oil industry in "State of Play." The miniseries boasted a talented cast, including David Morrissey, Bill Nighy, and John Simm, and went on to inspire a movie featuring Russell Crowe.

17 / 100
Warner Bros. Television

#84. Roots (1977)

- IMDb user rating:8.4
- Votes: 17,664
- Rating: TV-14
- Genre(s): Biography, Drama, History

"Roots" traces the story of Kunta Kinte, a teen boy from West Africa who was captured and sold into slavery but refused to use the name his enslavers gave him, and the heirs who kept the memory of his defiance alive. The series won nine out of 37 Emmy nominations and featured notable actors such as LeVar Burton, Cicely Tyson, Louis Gossett Jr., and Ben Vereen.

Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange in Feud
18 / 100
Plan B Entertainment

#83. Feud (2017)

- IMDb user rating:8.4
- Votes: 19,802
- Rating: TV-MA
- Genre(s): Biography, Drama

The first season of this anthology series created by Ryan Murphy focuses on the famous feud between actresses Joan Crawford (Jessica Lange) and Bette Davis (Susan Sarandon). Critically acclaimed, the show racked up 88 award nominations and, in 2022, was renewed for a second season focusing on Truman Capote and the women of NYC's high society.

The charact Violet Evergarden in Violet Evergarden
19 / 100
ABC Animation

#82. Violet Evergarden (2018)

- IMDb user rating:8.4
- Votes: 22,287
- Rating: TV-14
- Genre(s): Animation, Drama, Fantasy

After returning from fighting in a Great War, a young woman helps others write and tell their stories, hoping the practice will help her wrestle with her complicated past. The light anime series won Best Animation at the 2019 Crunchyroll Anime Awards.

20 / 100
Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF)

#81. Generation War (2013)

- IMDb user rating:8.4
- Votes: 29,990
- Rating: TV-MA
- Genre(s): Action, Drama, History

In three 90-minute episodes, "Generation War" looks at five German friends—a war nurse, a Jewish tailor, Eastern Front soldiers, and a singer—during World War II. The controversial miniseries was met with positive reviews, but also and criticism in Germany and abroad for its portrayal of Nazi Germany.

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Neil Patrick Harris in Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog
21 / 100
Mutant Enemy

#80. Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog (2008)

- IMDb user rating:8.4
- Votes: 43,433
- Rating: TV-PG
- Genre(s): Short, Comedy, Musical

Told in three acts, "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog" follows an aspiring supervillain who must find a balance between his evil career and his pursuit of a beautiful young woman. Written by Maurissa Tancharoen and Ben Edlund, the Whedon brothers, the series was intended primarily for internet distribution and won six trophies at the inaugural Streamy Awards.

Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal in Normal People
22 / 100
Element Pictures

#79. Normal People (2020)

- IMDb user rating:8.4
- Votes: 65,605
- Rating: TV-14
- Genre(s): Drama, Romance

Based on the Sally Rooney novel of the same name, "Normal People" follows the relationship between two people from very different backgrounds as they navigate the beginnings of adulthood. Released in the U.S. on Hulu, the show was a huge hit with critics who praised everything from its acting to its visuals.

Rylea Nevaeh Whittet and Margaret Qualley in Maid
23 / 100
John Wells Productions

#78. Maid (2021)

- IMDb user rating:8.4
- Votes: 81,964
- Rating: TV-MA
- Genre(s): Drama

Another miniseries based on a bestseller, "Maid" was inspired by Stephanie Land's memoir. The show follows a young mother who escapes an abusive relationship and becomes a cleaner at wealthy people's homes to support her young daughter. Real-life mother-daughter duo Margaret Qualley and Andie MacDowell star.

24 / 100
CBS Television Studios

#77. Unbelievable (2019)

- IMDb user rating:8.4
- Votes: 101,882
- Rating: TV-MA
- Genre(s): Crime, Drama

Based on a true story, "Unbelievable" examines a case of a teen who survived sexual assault but is accused of lying about the crime committed against her as detectives work to uncover the truth. Rotten Tomatoes said that the series goes beyond the conventions of the true crime genre to tell survivors' stories "with grace and gravity."

Kate Winslet and Angourie Rice in Mare of Easttown
25 / 100
Home Box Office (HBO)

#76. Mare of Easttown (2021)

- IMDb user rating:8.4
- Votes: 154,012
- Rating: TV-MA
- Genre(s): Crime, Drama, Mystery

When "Mare of Easttown" was released on HBO in the spring of 2021, it seemed like everyone was watching it. The drama follows a detective (Kate Winslet) as she simultaneously attempts to solve a murder and keep her life from falling apart in a small Pennsylvania town. The show earned 16 Emmy Award nominations.

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A dinosaur in Walking with Dinosaurs
26 / 100
BBC Natural History Unit (NHU)

#75. Walking with Dinosaurs (1999)

- IMDb user rating:8.5
- Votes: 6,288
- Rating: TV-14
- Genre(s): Documentary, Animation, History

Shot in the same style as a nature documentary, "Walking with Dinosaurs" tried to show viewers what the world would have been like when dinosaurs and other Mesozoic animals were wandering the Earth. The special effects used to bring these prehistoric creatures to life were insanely costly. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, each minute of the series cost $61,112 to produce, making it the most expensive television documentary of all time.

Rasika Dugal and Vipul Goyal in Humorously Yours
27 / 100
Contagious Online Media Network

#74. Humorously Yours (2016)

- IMDb user rating:8.5
- Votes: 7,135
- Rating: null
- Genre(s): Comedy, Drama, Romance

This Hindi miniseries follows the dramatic off-stage life of a stand-up comedian. Viewers called the series "refreshing" and praised both the writing and musical selection.

Two dinosaurs swimming in Prehistoric Planet
28 / 100
Apple TV+

#73. Prehistoric Planet (2022)

- IMDb user rating:8.5
- Votes: 7,412
- Rating: TV-PG
- Genre(s): Documentary, Animation, History

In the same vein as "Walking with Dinosaurs," "Prehistoric Planet" is a computer-animated nature documentary about dinosaurs. But instead of being set in the Mesozoic era, the miniseries examines what the earth and its inhabitants would have looked like during the late Cretaceous period. Nature documentary fave David Attenborough narrates the show.

Chanel Cresswell in This Is England '90
29 / 100
Warp Films

#72. This Is England '90 (2015)

- IMDb user rating:8.5
- Votes: 8,617
- Rating: null
- Genre(s): Comedy, Crime, Drama

"This is England '90" follows most of the gang as they dabble in rave culture and prepare for the FIFA World Cup. Each episode of the show is set in a different season, meaning significant chunks of time have passed between each installment— a setup the previous series didn't utilize.

Characters talking in Who Killed Jessica?
30 / 100
Harsh Beniwal // YouTube

#71. Who Killed Jessica? (2021)

- IMDb user rating:8.5
- Votes: 8,656
- Rating: null
- Genre(s): Comedy

After getting in a fight with his girlfriend—the titular Jessica—Lokesh finds her murdered in their shared bedroom. This sets off a desperate search for her murderer before he's convicted of killing her. The premise may sound as if "Who Killed Jessica?" is a twisty thriller, but it's actually a laugh-out-loud comedy.

Unable to find production company anywhere, distributed through YouTube

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31 / 100
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)

#70. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (1979)

- IMDb user rating:8.5
- Votes: 8,720
- Rating: TV-14
- Genre(s): Drama, Mystery, Thriller

"Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" is an adaptation of John le Carré's novel about a master spy who's on the hunt for an undercover Soviet embedded in the British intelligence services. The complex spy drama features "one of the greatest performances ever seen on the small screen," according to Paul MacInnes of The Guardian.

32 / 100
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)

#69. House of Cards (1990)

- IMDb user rating:8.5
- Votes: 14,481
- Rating: TV-14
- Genre(s): Drama

This British political thriller follows the manipulative schemes of an ambitious conservative politician who attempts to become the prime minister. The popularity of the miniseries inspired Netflix to create an American version of "House of Cards" in 2013.

33 / 100
Princess Pictures

#68. Summer Heights High (2007)

- IMDb user rating:8.5
- Votes: 14,593
- Rating: TV-MA
- Genre(s): Comedy, Drama, Family

A sitcom shot in mockumentary style, "Summer Heights High" showcases the high school experience through the eyes of a performing arts teacher, exchange student, and disobedient student. The quirky format of the show—similar to "The Office"—earned it favorable reviews.

34 / 100
Home Box Office (HBO)

#67. The Defiant Ones (2017)

- IMDb user rating:8.5
- Votes: 14,799
- Rating: TV-MA
- Genre(s): Documentary, Biography, Crime

Directed by Allen Hughes, this four-part documentary takes a look at the partnership between Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, who together founded Beats Electronics. The filmmakers used a groundbreaking editing technique they dubbed the "empathy cut" to add meaningful depth of imagery over the narrative, according to editor and writer Doug Pray.

35 / 100
Cinematograph AB

#66. Scenes from a Marriage (1973)

- IMDb user rating:8.5
- Votes: 16,577
- Rating: TV-PG
- Genre(s): Drama

Ingmar Bergman's 1973 miniseries "Scenes From a Marriage" portrays the 10-year decline of a marriage, in which one spouse is a divorce lawyer and the other a psychology professor. Audiences appreciated the miniseries' realism and dialogue.

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36 / 100
Pig Newton

#65. Horace and Pete (2016)

- IMDb user rating:8.5
- Votes: 16,777
- Rating: TV-MA
- Genre(s): Comedy, Drama

"Horace and Pete" stars Louis C.K. and Steve Buscemi as the titular characters who operate a shabby Brooklyn bar. One of the unique features of this miniseries is its highly topical barroom discussions, which felt extremely current to viewers when the show was released online.

Matthew Holness in Garth Marenghi's Darkplace
37 / 100
Avalon Television

#64. Garth Marenghi's Darkplace (2004)

- IMDb user rating:8.5
- Votes: 18,593
- Rating: TV-MA
- Genre(s): Comedy, Fantasy, Horror

The Guardian's Rachael Healy describes "Garth Marenghi's Darkplace" as a "show within a show." One section of it is presented as a real, low-budget horror series from the 1980s that was lost and is now getting its first airing as a part of a director's commentary series, which is the show's second section. One story takes place in a hospital over the gates of hell, and another unfolds through "cast interviews" interspersed throughout the episode.

Maanvi Gagroo, Amol Parashar, and Sumeet Vyas in TVF Tripling
38 / 100
Contagious Online Media Network

#63. TVF Tripling (2016)

- IMDb user rating:8.5
- Votes: 19,568
- Rating: TV-PG
- Genre(s): Drama

Three siblings at chaotic turning points in their lives (one is jobless, one is freshly divorced, and the other is just hopeless) reconnect and set out on a cross-country road trip, and chaos ensues. The show has a cult following in its native India and won several awards the year it was released, including several at the Asian Television Awards.

39 / 100
Anne of Green Gables Productions

#62. Anne of Green Gables (1985)

- IMDb user rating:8.5
- Votes: 21,113
- Rating: TV-G
- Genre(s): Drama, Family

This Canadian series was an instant hit among fans of the children's novel that inspired the show, which "has sold more than 50 million copies," according to Amazon. "Anne of Green Gables" is a coming-of-age story that centers around Anne Shirley, a red-haired orphan who comes to live on Prince Edward Island in Canada.

40 / 100
ITC Films

#61. Jesus of Nazareth (1977)

- IMDb user rating:8.5
- Votes: 22,646
- Rating: TV-G
- Genre(s): Biography, Drama, History

This miniseries brings the life of Christ to the screen using a blend of the narratives in the New Testament. Robert Powell received accolades for his portrayal of Jesus Christ. Pope Paul VI reportedly endorsed the miniseries when it debuted.

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41 / 100
HBO Films

#60. John Adams (2008)

- IMDb user rating:8.5
- Votes: 33,371
- Rating: TV-14
- Genre(s): Biography, Drama, History

This miniseries brings the Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of founding father John Adams to the screen in seven episodes. "John Adams" earned more than a dozen Emmy awards, including Outstanding Miniseries, Outstanding Lead Actor for Paul Giamatti's work, Outstanding Lead Actress for Laura Linney's portrayal of Abigail Adams, and Outstanding Art Direction.

42 / 100
A-1 Pictures

#59. Erased (2016)

- IMDb user rating:8.5
- Votes: 46,998
- Rating: TV-14
- Genre(s): Animation, Drama, Fantasy

Adapted from a manga series, "Erased" is a Japanese miniseries that's part thriller, mystery, and fantasy. It follows the story of a manga artist who travels back in time to prevent his mother's death.

43 / 100
Home Box Office (HBO)

#58. Generation Kill (2008)

- IMDb user rating:8.5
- Votes: 53,945
- Rating: TV-MA
- Genre(s): Drama, War

"Generation Kill" is an HBO miniseries based on Evan Wright's book about working as an embedded journalist with the Marines during the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The award-winning show balances masterful storytelling and period details while showing viewers the disturbing realities of war.

44 / 100
R&D TV

#57. Battlestar Galactica (2003)

- IMDb user rating:8.5
- Votes: 75,554
- Rating: TV-14
- Genre(s): Action, Adventure, Drama

The most-watched miniseries on cable in 2003, "Battlestar Galactica" updates a 1970s show by the same name that explores the struggles of the last remaining humans in search of a mythical planet Earth. It won awards for its incredible special effects.

45 / 100
Starz!

#56. Spartacus: Gods of the Arena (2011)

- IMDb user rating:8.5
- Votes: 137,840
- Rating: TV-MA
- Genre(s): Action, Adventure, Biography

Intended as a prequel to "Spartacus," this miniseries focuses on gladiator Gannicus, who becomes a champion in a time before there was honor in the arena. It has an "apocalyptic video-game look" with ample amounts of sex and violence, according to Ginia Bellafante of The New York Times.

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46 / 100
BBC Drama Productions

#55. The Night Of (2016)

- IMDb user rating:8.5
- Votes: 150,603
- Rating: TV-MA
- Genre(s): Crime, Drama, Mystery

Based on the first season of the 2008 British show "Criminal Justice," "The Night Of" weaves through a complicated murder case in New York City involving a Pakistani American student who must then navigate the twists and turns of an American justice system and its biases. It premiered during an otherwise lackluster summer for TV and had a tense mood that hooked viewers, according to Jesse Schedeen of IGN.

Toy Connor in The Corner
47 / 100
Blown Deadline Productions

#54. The Corner (2000)

- IMDb user rating:8.6
- Votes: 5,106
- Rating: TV-MA
- Genre(s): Crime, Drama

This heavy HBO series follows a singular family on the Baltimore drug epidemic's frontlines. Based on a nonfiction book by David Simon and Ed Burns, Rotten Tomatoes dubbed the show "powerfully performed and authentically written… an unwavering depiction of life under the thumb of addiction and poverty."

Various celestial bodies as depicted in Stephen Hawking's Universe
48 / 100
Discovery UK

#53. Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking (2010)

- IMDb user rating:8.6
- Votes: 5,411
- Rating: null
- Genre(s): Documentary,

Theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking leads viewers through some of the biggest topics in the field—like aliens, time travel, and how the universe began—in this three-episode astronomical documentary. Each episode features lush computer-generated imagery and voiceovers from Stephen Hawking and Benedict Cumberbatch.

Vasiliy Livanov and Vitali Solomin in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson: The Hound of the Baskervilles (1981)
49 / 100
Gosteleradio USSR

#52. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson: The Hound of the Baskervilles (1981)

- IMDb user rating:8.6
- Votes: 6,053
- Rating: TV-PG
- Genre(s): Adventure, Crime, Mystery

As you might have guessed by the title, this series is an adaptation of the classic Sir Arthur Conan Doyle novel of the same name. What you might not have guessed is that it's a Soviet Union production and done entirely in Russian. Fans of the series have said this is one of the best "The Hound of the Baskervilles" adaptions they've ever seen (and there are lots out there) thanks to its writing, pacing, and willingness to make slight alterations to the source material as needed.

50 / 100
Granada Television

#51. Brideshead Revisited (1981)

- IMDb user rating:8.6
- Votes: 7,421
- Rating: null
- Genre(s): Drama, Romance

This drama centers on the life and flings of a man named Charles Ryder for the 20-year period leading up to the 1940s. It received a slew of British Academy Television Craft Awards for editing, music, costume design, sound, and makeup.

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51 / 100
Granada Television

#50. The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (1994)

- IMDb user rating:8.6
- Votes: 7,975
- Rating: TV-PG
- Genre(s): Crime, Drama, Mystery

"The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes" is the last installment of a series about the famous detective and his astute assistant Dr. Watson. Fans of the series appreciated the show's faithfulness to Arthur Conan Doyle's original stories.

Pat Nixon and Richard Nixon in The Untold History of the United States
52 / 100
Ixtlan Productions

#49. The Untold History of the United States (2012–2013)

- IMDb user rating:8.6
- Votes: 9,210
- Rating: TV-MA
- Genre(s): Documentary, History, War

Director Oliver Stone dives into some of the lesser-understood events in American history (think, the Cold War and America's decision to use an atomic bomb in Japan) of the last century. A companion book of the same name was published when the series was released and quickly became a New York Times Bestseller.

53 / 100
Clavius Base

#48. From the Earth to the Moon (1998)

- IMDb user rating:8.6
- Votes: 12,316
- Rating: TV-14
- Genre(s): Action, Drama, History

"From the Earth to the Moon" details the iconic Apollo space program from the creation of NASA to the last lunar mission. The filmmakers and actors worked closely with the real-life astronauts portrayed in the miniseries, which added depth and authenticity to the production.

54 / 100
Elixir Films

#47. Long Way Round (2004–2010)

- IMDb user rating:8.6
- Votes: 14,228
- Rating: TV-PG
- Genre(s): Documentary, Adventure

"Long Way Round" follows Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman as they set out on a motorcycle journey from London to New York. The documentary miniseries was called "the ultimate road trip" by The New York Times.

55 / 100
Studio DEEN

#46. Rurouni Kenshin: Trust and Betrayal (1999)

- IMDb user rating:8.6
- Votes: 14,895
- Rating: TV-MA
- Genre(s): Animation, Action, Adventure

Set in the Meiji Restoration era, "Rurouni Kenshin: Trust and Betrayal" is an anime miniseries that follows an assassin as he discovers his humanity and forms a relationship with a young woman. The quality of both the animation and the voice acting captivated viewers and earned the miniseries rave reviews.

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56 / 100
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)

#45. North & South (2004)

- IMDb user rating:8.6
- Votes: 32,765
- Rating: TV-PG
- Genre(s): Drama, Romance

This BBC miniseries explores topical issues like class and gender through the story of a woman and her family who move from southern England and try to readjust to life in the north. While the show was not expected to do well, it became a hit with fans who appreciated the deep portrayal of the working classes.

57 / 100
HBO Documentary Films

#44. The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst (2015)

- IMDb user rating:8.6
- Votes: 46,528
- Rating: TV-14
- Genre(s): Documentary, Biography, Crime

This jaw-dropping miniseries investigates real estate heir Robert Durst and the unsolved crimes in which he was a suspect. It delivers fresh storytelling stemming from a nearly decade-long research project.

Michael Keaton in Dopesick
58 / 100
John Goldwyn Productions

#43. Dopesick (2021)

- IMDb user rating:8.6
- Votes: 55,960
- Rating: TV-MA
- Genre(s): Drama

"Dopesick" may be based on a nonfiction book of the same name, but not all of the stories it tells are true (though some certainly are). The award-winning series examines how folks from all walks of life have been affected by the opioid epidemic sweeping America. Several big stars appeared in the project, including Michael Keaton, Peter Sarsgaard, Rosario Dawson, Kaitlyn Dever, and Will Poulter.

A glowing red house in The Haunting of Hill House
59 / 100
FlanaganFilm

#42. The Haunting of Hill House (2018)

- IMDb user rating:8.6
- Votes: 241,290
- Rating: TV-MA
- Genre(s): Drama, Horror, Mystery

A massive hit for Netflix, "The Haunting of Hill House" is a horror series loosely based on the Shirley Jackson novel of the same name that follows five adult siblings terrorized by the paranormal experiences they had at their childhood home. The series, told in alternating timelines, culminates in the bone-chilling event that finally drove the family from their home. The show is so scary it drove horror icon Stephen King to call it "close to a work of genius."

Anya Taylor-Joy in The Queen's Gambit
60 / 100
Flitcraft

#41. The Queen's Gambit (2020)

- IMDb user rating:8.6
- Votes: 438,789
- Rating: TV-MA
- Genre(s): Drama

Anya Taylor-Joy stars as a chess prodigy who wrestles with drug and alcohol addictions in this Netflix miniseries. The show, set in the '50s and '60s, is based on a novel of the same name by Walter Tevis. At one point, the show, which won 11 Emmy Awards, was the streaming service's most-watched scripted limited series of all time.

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World War II soldiers with a tank
61 / 100
World Media Rights Productions

#40. World War II in Colour (2009)

- IMDb user rating:8.7
- Votes: 7,055
- Rating: TV-MA
- Genre(s): Documentary, History, War

"World War II in Colour" is a history documentary that rehashes WWII through colorized footage. The show goes from the end of WWI to WWII through the dropping of the atomic bomb and the events that set the stage for the Cold War. While it doesn't ever go into too much depth about anything, it offers a perfect overview for those looking to learn a little more about this portion of history.

People standing in a cavern as light shines in
62 / 100
Protozoa Pictures

#39. One Strange Rock (2018)

- IMDb user rating:8.7
- Votes: 7,912
- Rating: TV-PG
- Genre(s): Documentary

Acclaimed director Darren Aronofsky is behind this miniseries that tells the story of how life survives and thrives on earth through the perspective of eight astronauts. Will Smith hosts the 10-part series with astronauts who have spent time in space offering their perspectives, including Chris Hadfield (166 days in space), Nicole Stott (104 days), Jeffrey A. Hoffman (50 days), Mae Jemison (seven days), Leland Melvin (23 days), Mike Massimino (23 days), Jerry Linenger (143 days), and Peggy Whitson (665 days).

Vasiliy Chuikov in Greatest Events of WWII in Colour
63 / 100
World Media Rights Productions

#38. Greatest Events of WWII in Colour (2019)

- IMDb user rating:8.7
- Votes: 9,007
- Rating: null
- Genre(s): Documentary, History, War

"Greatest Events of WWII in Colour" rehashes some of the war's biggest events utilizing (colorized) original footage. Some of the topics covered in the 10 episodes include things like Pearl Harbor, D-Day, Hiroshima, and the Liberation of Buchenwald.

Dan Fogler and Miles Teller in The Offer
64 / 100
Paramount Television Studios

#37. The Offer (2022)

- IMDb user rating:8.7
- Votes: 22,636
- Rating: TV-MA
- Genre(s): Biography, Drama

"The Godfather" is a cornerstone of American cinema, and "The Offer"—a biographical drama— tells the story of how the film came to be. Starring Miles Teller, Matthew Goode, Giovanni Ribisi, Colin Hanks, Dan Fogler, Juno Temple, and Burn Gorman, the show chronicles the hurdles the film faced in getting approval, beginning production, and handling all the interpersonal conflicts that arose on set and behind the scenes.

65 / 100
Motown Productions

#36. Lonesome Dove (1989)

- IMDb user rating:8.7
- Votes: 23,339
- Rating: TV-14
- Genre(s): Adventure, Drama, Western

In this Western, a pair of former Texas Rangers embark on a cattle drive to Montana, renewing their sense of adventure along the way. The New York Times credits the show for revitalizing both the Western and miniseries genres.

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Nathaniel Curtis, Omari Douglas, and Lydia West in It's a Sin
66 / 100
Red Production Company

#35. It's a Sin (2021)

- IMDb user rating:8.7
- Votes: 31,432
- Rating: TV-MA
- Genre(s): Comedy, Drama, History

The five episodes of "It's a Sin" chronicle the lives of three gay men over a decade in the U.K. as they navigate their sexuality and life in the big city during the height of the HIV/AIDS crisis. The primary actors were all lesser-known (Olly Alexander, Omari Douglas, Callum Scott Howells). Several bigger names, like Neil Patrick Harris, Stephen Fry, and Tracy-Ann Oberman, fill supporting roles.

Bill Clinton in The Century of the Self
67 / 100
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)

#34. The Century of the Self (2002)

- IMDb user rating:8.8
- Votes: 5,951
- Rating: null
- Genre(s): Documentary,

This documentary series from British director Adam Curtis focuses on how the work of Sigmund Freud, Anna Freud, and "the father of PR," Edward Bernays, was weaponized by governments and those in power. The series illustrates how these revolutionary advances in psychology shifted culture from needs-based to desires-based, which created the consumerist, capitalist societies we live in today.

68 / 100
Cartoon Network Studios

#33. Over the Garden Wall (2014)

- IMDb user rating:8.8
- Votes: 56,015
- Rating: TV-PG
- Genre(s): Animation, Short, Adventure

The plot of this animated miniseries involves two half-brothers who discover peculiar and fantastical things during an adventure through a mysterious forest. Stunning visuals and a surprisingly complex storyline made watching "Over the Garden Wall" a winning experience for audiences.

69 / 100
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)

#32. Pride and Prejudice (1995)

- IMDb user rating:8.8
- Votes: 85,052
- Rating: TV-PG
- Genre(s): Drama, Romance

This cult-favorite miniseries focuses on the love story between Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy as they overcome differences in social standing in high society. A scene featuring Mr. Darcy, played by Colin Firth, in a wet shirt has gone down in history as "one of the most unforgettable moments in British TV," according to Fiachra Gibbons of The Guardian.

70 / 100
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)

#31. I, Claudius (1976)

- IMDb user rating:8.9
- Votes: 17,649
- Rating: Not Rated
- Genre(s): Biography, Drama, History

"I, Claudius" dives into the history of the Roman Empire through the narrations of Emperor Claudius from 24 B.C. to A.D. 54. Jace Lacob of the Daily Beast called it "spellbinding" and "one of the best dramas ever to air on television."

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71 / 100
Bavaria Film

#30. Das Boot (1985)

- IMDb user rating:8.9
- Votes: 30,321
- Rating: TV-MA
- Genre(s): Drama, War

"Das Boot" tells the story of a German U-boat crew on a patrol mission at the beginning of World War II. It captures the claustrophobia of living on a U-boat with intense realism.

72 / 100
ARRAY Filmworks

#29. When They See Us (2019)

- IMDb user rating:8.9
- Votes: 120,478
- Rating: TV-MA
- Genre(s): Biography, Crime, Drama

"When They See Us" is a crime miniseries that centers on the case of the Central Park Five—a group of teen boys who were falsely prosecuted for allegedly raping and assaulting a jogger in New York City in 1989. The four episodes "chronicle an epic legal failure and help to restore a sense of the men as individuals," according to The Hollywood Reporter's Daniel Fienberg.

Tasos Nousias and Petros Lagoutis in The Other Me
73 / 100
Blonde Audiovisual Productions

#28. The Other Me (2019)

- IMDb user rating:9
- Votes: 5,255
- Rating: null
- Genre(s): Crime, Drama, Mystery

This Greek series follows an eccentric criminology professor tasked with helping the police solve a series of strange murders. While not a direct sequel, the show brings back many of the characters from the 2016 film of the same name. Sotiris Tsafoulias directed both projects.

Two soldiers carrying a stretcher where another man is lies prone
74 / 100
Florentine Films

#27. The War (2007)

- IMDb user rating:9
- Votes: 5,313
- Rating: TV-14
- Genre(s): Documentary, History, War

Yet another WWII-focused miniseries, "The War" tells the story of history's biggest conflict through the lens of four small American towns. Several real-life veterans provide source material, and a handful of famous actors (including Tom Hanks and Samuel L. Jackson) lend their voices to the additional written source material, bringing it to life in a new way.

75 / 100
CC&C Clarke Costelle & Cie

#26. Apocalypse: The Second World War (2009)

- IMDb user rating:9
- Votes: 12,619
- Rating: TV-MA
- Genre(s): Documentary, History, War

In six episodes, this French documentary about World War II covers the rise of Nazism through the surrender of Japan. Its use of actual footage helps viewers see what the war was like through the eyes of reporters, soldiers, members of the Resistance, and everyday people.

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76 / 100
BBC Bristol

#25. Africa (2013)

- IMDb user rating:9
- Votes: 16,099
- Rating: TV-PG
- Genre(s): Documentary

It took four years and some 2,000 hours of footage for the BBC to complete "Africa," a miniseries examining the continent's wildlife. In stunning visuals, it features rarely filmed animal behavior, such as white-necked rockfowl building nests.

The Beatles performing
77 / 100
Walt Disney Pictures

#24. The Beatles: Get Back (2021)

- IMDb user rating:9
- Votes: 22,349
- Rating: PG-13
- Genre(s): Documentary, Biography, Music

Peter Jackson directed this miniseries about the making of The Beatles' "Let It Be" album. Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono, and Olivia Harrison co-produced the nearly eight-hour show, utilizing footage from a never-finished documentary filmed while the band was making the album.

78 / 100
Sender Freies Berlin (SFB)

#23. Dekalog (1989–1990)

- IMDb user rating:9
- Votes: 25,745
- Rating: TV-MA
- Genre(s): Drama

"Dekalog" dives into the ethical dilemmas faced by residents of a housing project in Poland during the 1980s through 10 one-hour episodes, each inspired by the Ten Commandments. Robert Fulford of The National Post called it "the best dramatic work ever done specifically for television."

79 / 100
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)

#22. Human Planet (2011)

- IMDb user rating:9
- Votes: 26,402
- Rating: TV-PG
- Genre(s): Documentary

While other BBC nature documentaries focus on where the animals live, "Human Planet" takes a documentary-style approach to human habitats. The filmmakers shot footage in around 40 countries, including some of the most far-flung places on Earth. The miniseries has since faced criticism for "editorial breaches," causing BBC to withdraw the series from distribution.

80 / 100
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)

#21. Frozen Planet (2011–2012)

- IMDb user rating:9
- Votes: 30,631
- Rating: TV-PG
- Genre(s): Documentary

From the producers behind "Planet Earth" and "The Blue Planet," "Frozen Planet" is a nature documentary miniseries that looks at life in the most frigid places on the planet. It was acclaimed for its visual depiction of climate change and how it affects glaciers and ice shelves.

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A whale in The Blue Planet
81 / 100
ARD (Arbeitsgemeinschaft der öffentlich-rechtlichen Rundfunkanstalten der Bundesrepublik Deutschland)

#20. The Blue Planet (2001)

- IMDb user rating:9
- Votes: 39,705
- Rating: TV-G
- Genre(s): Documentary

"Blue Planet" describes itself as "the first-ever comprehensive series on the natural history of the world's oceans." Each of the series' eight episodes dives into a different aspect of marine life, from the deepest, unexplored depths to the dying coral reefs.

A celestial body in outer space
82 / 100
Cosmos Studios

#19. Cosmos: Possible Worlds (2020)

- IMDb user rating:9.1
- Votes: 6,517
- Rating: TV-PG
- Genre(s): Documentary

A follow-up to "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey," "Cosmos: Possible Worlds" explores lost worlds, worlds yet to come, and the various worlds humans may inhabit far, far in the future. Neil deGrasse Tyson hosts the show, which Seth McFarlane co-produced.

83 / 100
American Documentaries Inc.

#18. The Civil War (1990)

- IMDb user rating:9.1
- Votes: 16,593
- Rating: TV-14
- Genre(s): Documentary, History, War

Ken Burns' iconic documentary miniseries "The Civil War" received a host of awards, including nods from the Emmys, the Peabody Awards, and Television Critics Awards for its skillful retelling of the events of the American Civil War. It helped popularize the film technique known as the Ken Burns effect, which involves panning and zooming on still images to create a sense of movement for video production.

84 / 100
Florentine Films

#17. The Vietnam War (2017)

- IMDb user rating:9.1
- Votes: 24,794
- Rating: TV-MA
- Genre(s): Documentary, History, War

This 18-hour miniseries by renowned filmmaker Ken Burns shares firsthand accounts of people who fought in the Vietnam War, as well as those who opposed it. "The Vietnam War" offers a refreshing and sobering look at one of the darkest chapters in U.S. history.

85 / 100
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)

#16. Life (2009)

- IMDb user rating:9.1
- Votes: 40,987
- Rating: TV-G
- Genre(s): Documentary

"Life," a documentary miniseries by David Attenborough and a legendary team of filmmakers depicts some of the strangest behaviors of Earth's species in all their glory. It allows audiences to see macaques bathing in the Japanese Alps, an ibex escaping a predatory fox near the Dead Sea, and ragged-tooth sharks feeding on sardines off the coast of South Africa.

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Haluk Bilginer, Sebnem Bozoklu, and Recep Usta in Persona
86 / 100
AY Yapim

#15. Persona (2018)

- IMDb user rating:9.1
- Votes: 41,150
- Rating: TV-MA
- Genre(s): Crime, Drama, Mystery

A man with Alzheimer's disease and the only female officer in his city's homicide unit cross paths in this twisty Turkish crime drama. Critics praised the series' production values, calling it some of the finest in Turkish TV history.

87 / 100
Contagious Online Media Network

#14. TVF Pitchers (2015)

- IMDb user rating:9.1
- Votes: 67,381
- Rating: TV-MA
- Genre(s): Comedy, Drama

This miniseries has earned a cult following for its story of the successes and challenges experienced by young entrepreneurs who leave their 9-to-5 jobs to attempt to create a successful startup. The tale draws inspiration from the HBO series "Silicon Valley," but adapts it for an Indian audience.

88 / 100
ESPN Films

#13. The Last Dance (2020)

- IMDb user rating:9.1
- Votes: 121,477
- Rating: TV-MA
- Genre(s): Documentary, Biography, History

"The Last Dance" traces the career of basketball great Michael Jordan and the legendary 1990s Chicago Bulls, featuring previously unaired footage. The compelling documentary series includes interviews with a variety of NBA stars, including Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman.

Shivam Jemini and Arya Singhal in A Summer Story
89 / 100
Daring Ones Films

#12. A Summer Story (2019–2021)

- IMDb user rating:9.2
- Votes: 5,738
- Rating: null
- Genre(s): Drama

Set throughout two summers, "A Summer Story" follows an Indian American girl who, upon visiting Bombay for the first time, befriends three local boys. The series is filmed, edited, and written by Shivam Jemini, who also stars in the show.

90 / 100
Apple Corps

#11. The Beatles Anthology (1995–1996)

- IMDb user rating:9.2
- Votes: 9,127
- Rating: TV-14
- Genre(s): Documentary, Music

The Fab Four teamed up for "The Beatles Anthology," an autobiographical documentary miniseries that traces the journey the band through archival footage. It allowed fans of the Beatles to see previously unreleased performances and hear two new songs.

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A penguin in Antarctica
91 / 100
BBC Studios

#10. Seven Worlds One Planet (2019)

- IMDb user rating:9.3
- Votes: 5,455
- Rating: TV-PG
- Genre(s): Documentary

David Attenborough narrates this BBC nature series that highlights the unique wildlife on each of the Earth's seven continents. The show, admittedly huge in scope, required more than 1,500 people who captured footage in 41 countries over 1,794 days to complete.

92 / 100
BBC Natural History Unit (NHU)

#9. Blue Planet II (2017–2022)

- IMDb user rating:9.3
- Votes: 41,096
- Rating: TV-G
- Genre(s): Documentary

A follow-up to 2001's "The Blue Planet," this nature documentary miniseries sent filmmakers on a years-long mission involving 125 expeditions to capture life under the sea. It earned recognition for its rich cinematography and unique footage of species and behavior rarely shown on television.

Carl Sagan in Cosmos
93 / 100
KCET

#8. Cosmos (1980)

- IMDb user rating:9.3
- Votes: 41,175
- Rating: TV-PG
- Genre(s): Documentary

The first installation in the "Cosmos" series, this 13-episode show tackles some of science's most popular questions: What is the origin of life? How big is space? Do aliens exist? Narrated by Carl Sagan, who also helped write the script, the show was a runaway success when it first aired.

94 / 100
Silverback Films

#7. Our Planet (2019)

- IMDb user rating:9.3
- Votes: 43,487
- Rating: TV-G
- Genre(s): Documentary

Netflix's first nature documentary, "Our Planet," was an instant hit with fans of similar miniseries, like "Frozen Planet" and "The Blue Planet," when it debuted in 2019. The conservation-focused miniseries, which takes a close look at the impact of humans on the environment, was on track to be streamed by 25 million households within the first month of hitting the Netflix library.

Celestial bodies in space
95 / 100
Cosmos Studios

#6. Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey (2014)

- IMDb user rating:9.3
- Votes: 121,775
- Rating: TV-PG
- Genre(s): Documentary

Neil deGrasse Tyson hosts this follow-up to the 1980 "Cosmos," which explores the past, present, and future of the universe. Just like its predecessor, the miniseries was critically acclaimed and nominated for many awards.

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96 / 100
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)

#5. Planet Earth (2006)

- IMDb user rating:9.4
- Votes: 209,172
- Rating: TV-PG
- Genre(s): Documentary

This $10-million BBC nature documentary series sent 20 camera crews on an international journey to film life on Earth, garnering huge audiences and critical acclaim. The documentary was among the earliest nature series shot in high-definition.

97 / 100
DreamWorks

#4. Band of Brothers (2001)

- IMDb user rating:9.4
- Votes: 464,566
- Rating: TV-MA
- Genre(s): Drama, History, War

Created by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, HBO's "Band of Brothers" used interviews with members of the real-life Easy Company to share the story of the exceptionally brave 506th Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division of the U.S. Army during World War II. The miniseries strikes a balance between "the ideal of heroism with the violence and terror of battle," according to Caryn James of The New York Times.

98 / 100
Home Box Office (HBO)

#3. Chernobyl (2019)

- IMDb user rating:9.4
- Votes: 740,320
- Rating: TV-MA
- Genre(s): Drama, History, Thriller

This historical drama tells the story of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster and the efforts to clean up the area. It offers a thought-provoking portrayal of the dangers of dishonest leaders and abuse of authority.

Robert De Niro in The Godfather Part II
99 / 100
Michael Ochs Archives // Getty Images

#2. The Godfather Saga (1977)

- IMDb user rating:9.5
- Votes: 5,724
- Rating: null
- Genre(s): Crime, Drama, Thriller

"The Godfather Saga" is a miniseries that combines "The Godfather" and "The Godfather Part II." The series contains no new material, but instead combines the existing films and re-edits them in chronological order for TV audiences.

100 / 100
BBC Natural History Unit (NHU)

#1. Planet Earth II (2016)

- IMDb user rating:9.5
- Votes: 144,292
- Rating: TV-G
- Genre(s): Documentary

The highly anticipated follow-up to 2006's "Planet Earth" explores the changes that have occurred in Earth's many habitats, including mountains, cities, grasslands, and jungles, over the past 10 years. It brings viewers close to fragile wilderness settings and the fascinating creatures who call it home.

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