Mini-Series TV Shows

There was a time in the 1970s and 1980s when the TV mini series was the go-to form for blockbuster network programming. Often used as a way to adapt best-selling novels into TV films, the mini series offered an alternative format for a subject that was too big to fit into the framework of a feature film and yet closed-ended, as opposed to the subject matter of an episodic series that could, theoretically, go on forever.

Among the most popular early mini series were ratings giants base on novels such as Alex Haley's "Roots," James Michener's "Centennial," Larry McMurtry's "Lonesome Dove," Colleen McCullough's "The Thorn Birds," and James Clavell's "Shogun," the latter two of which starred mini series favorite Richard Chamberlain.

Many modern mini series are still based on novels, but the nonfiction mini series has become a popular form, too; Neil deGrasse Tyson's 2014 reboot of Carl Sagan's 1980 "Cosmos" mini series is an example. The relatively short seasons of contemporary episodic series, as compared to series seasons of two or more decades ago, also tends to blur the line between true mini series and episodic series that end after a few dozen episodes.

Surviving R. Kelly
Surviving R. Kelly
The Challenge
The Challenge
Watchmen
Watchmen
The Bobby Brown Story
The Bobby Brown Story
Chernobyl
Chernobyl
The Purge
The Purge
The Tudors
The Tudors
Good Omens
Good Omens
Escape at Dannemora
Escape at Dannemora
When They See Us
When They See Us
Kids Baking Championship
Kids Baking Championship
What's Wrong with Secretary Kim?
What's Wrong with Secretary Kim?
Don't F**k With Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer
Don't F**k With Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer
Miracle Workers
Miracle Workers
Band of Brothers
Band of Brothers
Hatfields & McCoys
Hatfields & McCoys
Roots (2016 Miniseries)
Roots (2016 Miniseries)
Drugs, Inc.
Drugs, Inc.
Scarlett
Scarlett
Delhi Crime
Delhi Crime
TUT
TUT
The Durrells
The Durrells
Alice
Alice
Generation Kill
Generation Kill
Bonnie and Clyde
Bonnie and Clyde
Lonesome Dove
Lonesome Dove
American Soul
American Soul
The Outsider
The Outsider
Castlevania
Castlevania
Unbelievable
Unbelievable
Liar
Liar
Dynasties
Dynasties
Signed, Sealed, Delivered
Signed, Sealed, Delivered
The Night Of
The Night Of
A Very English Scandal
A Very English Scandal
Yeh Meri Family
Yeh Meri Family
Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men
Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men
Evil Genius
Evil Genius
The Hot Zone
The Hot Zone
Centennial
Centennial
The Kennedys
The Kennedys
The Long Road Home
The Long Road Home
Lost Gold of World War II
Lost Gold of World War II
Mystery Road
Mystery Road
Butterfly
Butterfly
Jeremy Wade's Mighty Rivers
Jeremy Wade's Mighty Rivers
Wolf Hall
Wolf Hall
Waco
Waco
The Case Against Adnan Syed
The Case Against Adnan Syed
The Challenge: Champs Vs. Pros
The Challenge: Champs Vs. Pros
Punk
Punk
The Widow
The Widow
Looking for Alaska
Looking for Alaska
Man in an Orange Shirt
Man in an Orange Shirt
The Men Who Built America: Frontiersmen
The Men Who Built America: Frontiersmen
James Acaster: Repertoire
James Acaster: Repertoire
Taboo
Taboo
Innocent
Innocent
Godless
Godless
Sons of Liberty
Sons of Liberty
The Same Sky
The Same Sky
Murder Mountain
Murder Mountain
The I-Land
The I-Land
Dead North
Dead North
10.5
10.5
Arabian Nights
Arabian Nights
Unidentified: Inside America's UFO Investigation
Unidentified: Inside America's UFO Investigation
Hip-Hop Evolution
Hip-Hop Evolution
Rosemary's Baby
Rosemary's Baby
The Lake Erie Murders
The Lake Erie Murders
Catch-22
Catch-22
The Case of: Caylee Anthony
The Case of: Caylee Anthony
Dahmer on Dahmer: A Serial Killer Speaks
Dahmer on Dahmer: A Serial Killer Speaks
Fosse/Verdon
Fosse/Verdon
The 10th Kingdom
The 10th Kingdom
Ordeal by Innocence
Ordeal by Innocence
The World Wars
The World Wars
Back
Back
Jodi Arias: An American Murder Mystery
Jodi Arias: An American Murder Mystery
Alias Grace
Alias Grace
Road to 9/11
Road to 9/11
Death at the Mansion: Rebecca Zahau
Death at the Mansion: Rebecca Zahau
Lorena
Lorena
Many Sides of Jane
Many Sides of Jane
Britz
Britz
The Split
The Split
Wild Wild Country
Wild Wild Country
The Red Tent
The Red Tent
The Cry
The Cry
A Young Doctor's Notebook
A Young Doctor's Notebook
The Great Train Robbery
The Great Train Robbery
Are You Afraid of the Dark?
Are You Afraid of the Dark?
Wormwood
Wormwood
Nailed It! Holiday
Nailed It! Holiday
Dinotopia
Dinotopia
Jamaica Inn Mini-Series
Jamaica Inn Mini-Series
Gingerbread Giants
Gingerbread Giants
Our Boys
Our Boys
The Disappearance of Phoenix Coldon
The Disappearance of Phoenix Coldon
Cold Valley
Cold Valley