“The Gilded Age,” Julian Fellowes’ critically lauded follow-up to “Downton Abbey,” has returned for a second season on HBO. Although “The Gilded Age” slightly alters the formula that made “Downton Abbey” so popular, swapping out turn-of-the-century England for a rapidly developing America in the late 1800s, it takes place just a few decades before its predecessor. Does that just reflect Fellowes’ fascination with a particular period? Or should we take it as a sign from a master of the genre that this is the ideal setting for a period piece TV show?
Inspired by “The Gilded Age” Season 2, we took a look at Ranker’s list of the 101 Best Period Piece TV Shows (24K votes) to see if readers’ favorite period dramas and comedies happen to center around one period in particular.