17 Best Post-Apocalyptic TV Shows

Everyone has their own version of the best post-apocalyptic TV shows. Whether you are new to the genre or looking to add more titles to your list, here are some ideas to consider.


Developed by: Josh Friedman, Graeme Manson
Starring: Jennifer Connelly, Daveed Diggs, Mickey Sumner, and Alison Wright

Delivering the same premise as the film version from 2013, the TV series tells a post-apocalyptic tale in which the world’s temperature has decreased to where no human being can survive outside. So what’s left of humanity now takes refuge in a constantly moving train known as Snowpiercer. Passengers are kept safe from freezing temperatures in the confines of the carriages. There are more than a thousand carriages attached to each other, but the passengers are segregated by strict social hierarchy. It is a story of class warfare and social injustice at a small yet global scale.

Raised by Wolves

Developed by: Aaron Guzikowski
Starring: Amanda Collin, Abubakar Salim, Winta McGrath, and Niamh Algar

Planet Earth is in ruins after a great war. The fate and future of humanity now depends on a group of human children raised by two androids on Keppler-22b. Just as the colony begins to see a glimpse of hope for peace in the new world, an old threat looms large. The androids soon realize that dealing with religious differences and basically everything about the humans’ belief system is no easy feat.

Adventure Time

Developed by: Pendleton Ward
Starring: Jeremy Shada, John DiMaggio, Hyden Walch, and Niki Yang

A thousand years ago, a nuclear war decimated the Land of Ooo and its populations. A young boy named Finn and his superpowered adoptive brother, Jake the Dog, are now trying to make their marks on the land. They help everyone in need, while maintaining order as best they can. Some episodes of the series draw inspirations from Dungeons & Dragons along with other role-playing games. So viewers love it.

Battlestar Galactica

Developed by: Ronald D. Moore
Starring: Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell, Katee Sackhoff, and Jamie Bamber

Set in the distant future where Planet Earth is thought to be no longer in existence, the original 1978 Battlestar Galactica is often cited as one of the best post-apocalyptic series of all time. This version is developed by Ronald D. Moore to be a re-imagined version of the original. Humans now inhabit a group of planets known collectively as the Twelve Colonies, which is now targeted by an android race called Cylons.

12 Monkeys

Developed by: Terry Matalas and Travis Fickett
Starring: Aaron Stanford, Amanda Schull, Kirk Acevedo, and Noah Bean

The main focus of 12 Monkeys is time-travel, pretty much the same as the 1955 film of the same title. Present events in the TV series are set in 2043, but the major plot sends the characters back to 2015 so they hope to stop an outbreak of a deadly virus. If left unchecked, the virus can kill the vast majority of the world’s population in 2017. The virus will then continue to mutate and bring the human race to extinction.

Post-Apocalyptic TV Shows: the handmaid's tale

The Handmaid’s Tale

Developed by: Bruce Miller
Starring: Elisabeth Moss, Joseph Fiennes, Yvonne Strahovski, and Alexis Bledel

Based on a novel of the same title by Margaret Atwood, the dystopian TV series takes viewers to the aftermath of the Second American Civil War. As one of the dire consequences of the conflict, fertile women – known as Handmaids – are forced to function only as natal slaves to sexist totalitarian society. The Handmaid’s Tale doesn’t tell a story about human survival after a mass-extinction event, but for sure it pictures a bleak near post-apocalyptical future of a fictional United States.

Post-Apocalyptic TV Shows: the walking dead

The Walking Dead

Developed by: Frank Darabont
Starring: Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies, Laurie Holden, and Norman Reedus

The AMC’s hit series set the human race on a single mission: survive the zombies. A lethal virus has infected massive numbers of the human population, turning almost everyone into a flesh-eating undead. The few remaining healthy people must pick up whatever weapons they can find to fight back. As the groups of survivors grow larger, the interpersonal conflicts among them are often deadlier than zombie attacks. Rebuilding a healthy society requires more than a robust fence and a farm.

The Rain

Developed by: Jannik Tai Mosholt, Esben Toft Jacobsen, and Christian Potalivo
Starring: Alba August, Lucas Lynhggaard Tonnesen, Mikkel Folsgaard, Lukas Lokken, and Jessica Dinnage

An unknown lethal virus, distributed by raindrops, spread all over Scandinavia and killed nearly everyone in the region. Simone and Rasmus were safe in a bunker when the worst happened. They come up to the surface six years later to look for any signs of life. On the journey, they bump into other survivors and discover that human conflicts and the emotional experiences that follow remain just the same even in such a perilous situation.

Post-Apocalyptic TV Shows: mr robot

Mr. Robot

Developed by: Sam Esmail
Starring: Rami Malek, Carly Chaikin, Portia Doubleday, and Martin Wallstrom

The collapse of a multi-national corporation can either lead to better economy and freedom or bring about a post-apocalyptic situation in the society. When a company is overly large with influences and stakes in just about everything from tech devices to national banks, a major glitch in the system turns the streets into a state of chaos. People resort to violence as shops close and savings are lost.

Post-Apocalyptic TV Shows: black mirror

Black Mirror

Developed by: Charlie Brooker
Starring: Various (new actors for each episode)

The anthology series Black Mirror is based on The Twilight Zone. Although each episode tells a different story, the major theme in all of them revolves around near dystopian societies where technologies and artificial intelligence are real threats to humans. In a harrowing episode, robotic dogs rule the world after the collapse of human society. In another equally thrilling one, a woman is on the run from four-legged AI.

The Last Man on Earth

Developed by: Will Forte
Starring: Will Forte, Kristen Schaal, January Jones, and Mel Rodriguez

No one says that post-apocalyptic themes cannot be ridiculous; The Last Man on Earth makes the point. A man named Phillip Tandy Miller (portrayed by Will Forte) thinks he is the last man on the planet following an outbreak of a deadly virus. As he wanders around, he finds other people and they work together to repopulate the society. This is where all sorts of ridiculous situations happen.

The 100

Developed by: Jason Rothenbern
Starring: Eliza Taylor, Paige Turco, Thomas McDonell, and Eli Goree

There is something in The 100 that most post-apocalyptic movies overlook: people in space. When a nuclear war transforms Planet Earth into a desolate place, a handful of people who work in a space station should still be alive. This post-apocalyptic TV series tells the story of those survivors and their attempt to establish new civilization. As it turns out, they are not the only survivors.


Developed by: Carlton Cuse, Ryan J. Condal
Starring: Josh Holloway, Sarah Wayne Callies, Peter Jacobson, and Amanda Righetti

Regions of humanity are separated by massive block walls coming down from the sky. Behind the evil plan is a gang of extraterrestrial creatures known as the Hosts. The world is now under their control and they maintain authority with the help of a military regime. Colony tells the tales of human life in a struggle for survival under cruel alien government.


Developed by: Pedro Aguilera
Starring: Joao Miguel, Bianca Comparato, Michel Gomes, and Rodolfo Valente

The first Portuguese series in Netflix, 3% is a dystopian thriller where the best place to be is among the privileged Offshore. All others from the Inland class, who inhabit the impoverished regions of the land, barely have any chance to move up in the world and join the upper class society. They can apply as soon as they turn 20, but only a fraction of the applicants (3%) will be accepted. The rest will be eliminated or die.

Z Nation

Developed by: Karl Schaefer, Craig Engler
Starring: Kellita Smith, DJ Qualls, Michael Welch, and Keith Allan

Alvin Murphy (portrayed by Keith Allan) is an inmate with an unusual ability to control zombies without being an undead himself. In a world where a zombie epidemic causes extensive damage to the population, he is humanity’s best hope to find a cure. He is also immune to zombie bite thanks to a vaccine which turns him into a zombie-human hybrid. Other survivors have conflicting opinions on what to do with him.

Post-Apocalyptic TV Shows: falling skies

Falling Skies

Developed by: Robert Rodat
Starring: Noah Wyle, Moon Bloodgood, Drew Roy, and Jessy Schram

Alien invasion has taken down most of the world’s technology including electricity. Military powers all around the world have all been defeated, too. In fact, 90% of the population vanished in the attack. The few remaining survivors, led by a retired Army Colonel, arm themselves and try to defend what’s left of the United States.

Post-Apocalyptic TV Shows: into the badlands

Into the Badlands

Developed by: Alfred Gough and Miles Millar
Starring: Daniel Wu, Orla Brady, Sarah Bolger, and Aramis Knight

Some consider Into the Badlands a blend of sci-fi martial arts and post-apocalyptic drama. Five centuries into the future, the United States is no longer a technology-friendly democracy. War in the past transformed the nation back to a feudal state, filled with warriors and supernatural powers. Traces of human technology, such as ground vehicles and electricity, are still found in rare places, but people now rely on crossbows and other melee weapons to defend themselves. Every conflict shall be settled with old-fashioned fights.

So what do you think of our choices? If you can think of some other great shows, let us know. We’d love to hear from you.

If you liked this, then check out 13 Best Post-Apocalyptic Movies to Stream on Amazon Prime Video!

People need to know questions:

Why is it called post-apocalyptic?

Post-apocalyptic refers to settings after an end of the world event and what the survivors struggle with to make life somewhat livable.

What’s the difference between apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic?

Apocalyptic or dystopian tell about the story of the end of the world event or about the culture of a society. Post-apocalyptic worlds are already destroyed, life as it was before is gone. It’s the tale of the survivors and all the troubles that are occurring. It’s like the before and the after.

What’s an example of a post-apocalyptic world?

If the world is already destroyed it’s post-apocalyptic. One modern example is the graphic novel and TV show Walking Dead. It tells the story of a group of survivors fighting to stay alive after a virus has created a zombie plague that has taken over the world.

How does Merriam-Webster define post-apocalyptic?

It’s an adjective that is defined as an existing or occurring after a catastrophically destructive disaster or apocalypse. Sentences quoted from Merriam-Webster are In a post-apocalyptic world where nature has become just as violent as humanity… —Gretchen Crowley and post-apocalyptic films are set in a post-apocalyptic world.