5 best shows like 'Franklin' to watch after the finale

Michael Douglas in "Franklin" for Apple TV Plus
(Image credit: Apple)

People can't stop talking about Michael Douglas' portrayal of the world-famous Benjamin Franklin in Apple's "Franklin," based on the 2005 biography "A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America" by Stacy Schiff.

Where to stream 'Franklin'

"Franklin" is streaming on Apple TV Plus

The limited series focuses on Franklin's attempts to gain French support during the American Revolution. In addition to giving us insights into a founder that often is overlooked by more well-known names, "Franklin" does an excellent job of portraying the careful game that must be played with war and international politics. 

Now that the miniseries has ended, you might be looking for more shows like "Franklin" to fill the historical epic void. Here are our recommendations.


Apple gives us another riveting historical mini-series with Manhunt. In this adaptation of the book "Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer" by James L. Swanson, we follow Edwin Stanton (Tobias Menzies) as he searches for John Wilkes Booth following the assassination of Abraham Lincoln (Hamish Linklater), who was the first president assassinated in American history. The show begins in the days leading up to the event through the hours of Stanton and his allies' hunt for John Wilkes Booth

There were some mixed-bag responses to the casting choices and some of the historical accuracies. Overall, it's an enthralling series that will take you back in time with its rich setting. Monica Beletsky, the show's creator, does an excellent job of recreating a dark time in our history.

Watch on Apple TV Plus

'TURN: Washington's Spies'

For those who want more from the American Revolution era, you'll want to watch this four-season historical drama based on Alexander Rose's book "Washington's Spies: The Story of America's First Spy Ring." Jamie Bell plays Abraham Woodhull, who was approached to join the band of spies known as the Culper Ring. He joins with other childhood friends Robert Townsend, Aaron Woodhull, Austin Roe, Anna Strong, and Caleb Brewster to share intel with the Patriots. 

What makes this an unforgettable series is the perfect blend of thrilling intrigue and historical elements. You'll have the chance to see the work of true spies, not like the kind you see in James Bond films and others.

Watch on AMC Plus (via Prime Video)


This series takes inside the construction of the Palace of Versailles during the reign of Louis XIV. He moves to his father's hunting lodge and, from there, begins to build an extravagant palace that doesn't have the approval of everyone. Considering the rest of the country was dealing with poverty, it's not a surprise such a building project would create enemies, especially considering the extensive costs.

However, this isn't just about the dramatics of architecture but the complex relationships happening behind the scenes in the palace. There is plenty of sex and drama in the series if you are looking for that in a historical series. For those who like precise depictions, keep in mind that a great many characters and scenes were fictionalized for the purpose of the plot. 

Watch on Tubi

'John Adams'

This award-winning series focuses on John Adams and his life and role in the founding of the United States. It's adapted from the 2001 book "John Adams" by David McCullough, and Paul Giamatti plays the title role. The show begins with the Boston Massacre of 1770 and lasts through the remainder 50 years of his life. It depicts the revolution that created the United States and includes many of the famous people we all know from American history, from Benjamin Franklin to Thomas Jefferson to Abigail Adams.

The miniseries won numerous awards, including 13 Primetime Emmys. It's no surprise either, as so much care and consideration was taken with casting, writing, and recreating an unforgettable point of history. If you love biopics, the American Revolution and historical dramatizations, you won't want to miss this show if you haven't had the chance to see it yet. 

Watch on Max

'Black Sails'

If you're ready to become ensconced in the history of true-life and fictional pirates, you'll love "Black Sails." It is set two decades prior to the events portrayed in the 1883 Robert Louis Stevenson book "Treasure Island." The series is more historical fiction rather than an attempt at recreating events as realistically as possible. You'll appreciate the inclusion of actual pirates such as Anne Bonny (Clara Paget), Captain Benjamin Hornigold (Patrick Lyster) and Captain Charles Vane (Zach McGowan), just to name a few. You will also appreciate familiar, famous fictional characters, including Long John Silver (Luke Arnold).

This is an unforgettable series, with obvious attention to detail in creating intense battles, lifelike sets and costumes, and overall high production value. You'd think it'd be all about the action, but the script and acting are just as strong.

Watch on the Roku Channel

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Nicole Pyles is a writer in Portland, Oregon. She loves movies, especially Lifetime movies, obscure TV movies, and disaster flicks. Her writing has been featured in Better Homes and Gardens, Mental Floss, WOW! Women on Writing, Ripley's Believe it or Not, and more. When she isn't watching movies, she's spending time with family, reading, and writing short stories. Say hi on Twitter @BeingTheWriter.