Documentary TV Shows

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Top Gear
  • Top Gear (2002)
  • Comedy, Documentary,
  • Top Gear is a British television show about motor vehicles, primarily cars, and is the world's most widely watched factual television programme. It began in 1977 as a conventional motoring magazine show. Over time, and especially since a relaunch in 2002, it has developed a quirky, humorous and sometimes controversial style. The show is currently presented by Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May, and has featured at least three different test drivers known as The Stig.
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Top Gear 2002
Gold Rush
  • Gold Rush (2011)
  • Documentary, Reality,
  • Gold Rush follows three teams of miners who risk everything in the face of an economic meltdown - their families, their dignity, and in some cases, their lives - to strike it rich mining for gold in the wilds of Alaska and the Yukon Territory.
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Gold Rush 2011
NOVA
  • NOVA (1974)
  • Documentary,
  • NOVA is a United States popular science television series produced by WGBH Boston. It is broadcast on Public Broadcasting Service in the U.S., and in more than 100 other countries. The series has won many major television awards. Nova often includes interviews with scientists doing research in the subject areas covered and occasionally includes footage of a particular discovery. Some episodes have focused on the history of science. Examples of topics covered include the following: Colditz Castle, Drake equation, elementary particles, 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens, Fermat's Last Theorem, global warming, moissanite, Project Jennifer, storm chasing, Unterseeboot 869, Vinland, and the Tarim mummies. The Nova programs have been praised for their good pacing, clear writing, and crisp editing. Websites accompany the segments and have also won awards.
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NOVA 1974
Ghost Adventures
  • Ghost Adventures (2008)
  • Documentary, Mystery, Reality,
  • Paranormal investigator Zak Bagans and his crew, Nick Groff and Aaron Goodwin, search for haunted locations both domestically and internationally. During their investigations, Zak and crew acquaint themselves with the general area; interview locals about the hauntings; and go face-to-face with the evil spirits who reportedly haunt these locations.
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Ghost Adventures 2008
Australian Story
  • Australian Story (1)
  • Documentary, News,
  • Australian Story is a national weekly documentary series, produced and broadcast on ABC Television. Since 1996 Australian Story has featured many Australians from diverse backgrounds and reputations. Examples include Hazel Hawke, rugby league coach Wayne Bennett, Australia's first female Prime Minister Julia Gillard, comedian & broadcaster Red Symons, actor and author William McInnes, former Governor-General Peter Hollingworth, fashion designers Sass & Bide, art-activist Van Rudd, Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin and actress and singer Belinda Emmett. Lower profile Australians have also been profiled, such as Sabina Wolanski who was the Holocaust survivor chosen to represent the six million dead at the opening of the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. There is no reporter narration – the stories are 'told' by the profile subjects and other individuals such as friends, family, colleagues and critics. The program aims to present a varied and contrasting picture of contemporary Australia and Australians, both known and unknown. But on the whole, the personal approach to story-telling has been very well received with the program winning many professional awards including seven Walkley Awards for excellence in journalism and four consecutive Logie Awards.
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Australian Story 1
Once Upon a Time in Mexico
  • Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003)
  • Comedy, Documentary,
  • MythBusters is a science entertainment television program created and produced by Australia's Beyond Television Productions for the Discovery Channel. The show's hosts, special effects experts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, use elements of the scientific method to test the validity of rumors, myths, movie scenes, adages, Internet videos, and news stories.
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Once Upon a Time in Mexico 2003
Four Corners
  • Four Corners (1961)
  • Documentary, News,
  • Four Corners is Australia's longest-running investigative journalism/current affairs television program. Broadcast on ABC1 in Australia, it premiered on 19 August 1961 and celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2011. Founding producer Robert Raymond and his successor Allan Ashbolt did much to set the ongoing tone of the program. Based on the Panorama concept, the program addresses a single issue in depth each week, showing either a locally produced program or a relevant documentary from overseas. The program has won many awards for investigative journalism, and broken many high-profile stories. A notable early example of this was the show's epoch-making 1962 exposé on the appalling living conditions endured by many Aboriginal Australians living in rural New South Wales.
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Four Corners 1961
Planet Earth
  • Planet Earth (2006)
  • Documentary,
  • David Attenborough celebrates the amazing variety of the natural world in this epic documentary series, filmed over four years across 64 different countries.
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Planet Earth 2006
The Grand Tour
  • The Grand Tour (2016)
  • Comedy, Documentary,
  • Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May are back with a show about adventure, excitement and friendship... as long as you accept that the people you call friends are also the ones you find extremely annoying. Sometimes it's even a show about cars. Follow them on their global adventure.
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The Grand Tour 2016
Cyberwar
  • Cyberwar (2016)
  • Documentary,
  • Ben Makuch travels the world to meet with hackers, government officials, and dissidents to investigate the ecosystem of cyberwarfare.
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Cyberwar 2016
Ancient Aliens
  • Ancient Aliens (2010)
  • Documentary, Mystery,
  • Ancient Aliens is an American television series that premiered on April 20, 2010 on the History channel. Produced by Prometheus Entertainment, the program presents hypotheses of ancient astronauts and proposes that historical texts, archaeology and legends contain evidence of past human-extraterrestrial contact. The show has been criticized for presenting pseudoscience and pseudohistory. The series' de facto pilot was a TV special of the same name that aired on March 8, 2009. The second season began on October 28, 2010, and the third season began airing July 28, 2011. Season four premiered on February 17, 2012 but on H2 instead of the History channel. In June 2012, Giorgio A. Tsoukalos announced on Coast to Coast AM that the series has been renewed for a fifth season. Season 5 premiered on December 21, 2012.
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Ancient Aliens 2010
Horizon
  • Horizon (1964)
  • Documentary,
  • Horizon is a current and long-running BBC popular science and philosophy documentary programme.
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Horizon 1964
Mayday
  • Mayday (2003)
  • Drama, Documentary,
  • Revealing the dark truth that aviation safety improves one crash at a time, Mayday investigates legendary aviation disasters to find out what went wrong and why. Based on cockpit voice recorders, accident reports and eyewitness accounts, every episode also features interviews, state-of-the-art CGI and gripping reenactments.
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Mayday 2003
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
  • Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown (2013)
  • Documentary,
  • Bourdain travels the across the globe to uncover little-known areas of the world and celebrate diverse cultures by exploring food and dining rituals. Known for his curiosity, candor, and acerbic wit, Bourdain takes viewers off the beaten path of tourist destinations – including some war-torn parts of the world – and meets with a variety of local citizens to offer a window into their lifestyles, and occasionally communes with an internationally lauded chef on his journeys.
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Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown 2013
Weediquette
  • Weediquette (2016)
  • Documentary,
  • VICE correspondent Krishna Andavolu chronicles the science, culture, and economics of the emerging "green" economy. Each episode explores the impact of marijuana legalization across the United States and internationally, examining how people on all sides of this issue are reacting to the growing popularity and acceptance of this remarkable plant.
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Weediquette 2016
VICE
  • VICE (2013)
  • Documentary, News,
  • Vice is a documentary TV-series created and hosted by Shane Smith of Vice magazine. Produced by Bill Maher, it uses CNN journalist Fareed Zakaria as a consultant, and covers topics such as political assassinations, young weapons manufacturers, and child suicide bombers using an immersionist style of documentary filmmaking. It aired on HBO in April 2013. Rolling Stone wrote that the show "feels a little like your buddy from the bar just happened to be wandering through eastern Afghanistan with a camera crew."
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VICE 2013
The Curse of Oak Island
  • The Curse of Oak Island (2014)
  • Documentary, Mystery,
  • The Curse of Oak Island follows brothers Marty and Rick Lagina originally from Kingsford, Michigan through their effort to find the speculated - and as of yet undiscovered - buried treasure believed to have been concealed through extraordinary means on Oak Island. The brothers became fascinated with the island after reading the January, 1965 issue of Reader's Digest magazine which featured an article on the Restall family's work to solve the mystery of the so-called "Money Pit." No one knows what's buried at Oak Island. Theories range from pirate treasure to Shakespeare's Lost Folios to a priceless religious artifact brought over by the Knights Templar. The myths of the island have proven irresistible to many, including historical figures like John Wayne, Errol Flynn and Franklin D. Roosevelt, who all financed or took part in digs in what's become one of the longest treasure hunts in history.
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The Curse of Oak Island 2014
Grand Designs
  • Grand Designs (1999)
  • Documentary,
  • Grand Designs is a British television series produced by Talkback Thames and broadcast on Channel 4 which features unusual and often elaborate architectural homebuilding projects. The programme has been presented by Kevin McCloud since it first aired in April 1999, and 141 episodes have been broadcast in twelve series.
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Grand Designs 1999
Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey
  • Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey (2014)
  • Documentary,
  • Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey invents new modes of scientific storytelling to reveal the grandeur of the universe and re-invent celebrated elements of the original series, including the Cosmic Calendar and the Ship of the Imagination. Uniting scepticism and wonder, and weaving rigorous science with visual, emotional and spiritual elements, it is a transcendent experience – a vision of the cosmos on the grandest scale we know.
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Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey 2014
Planet Earth II
  • Planet Earth II (2016)
  • Documentary,
  • David Attenborough presents a documentary series exploring how animals meet the challenges of surviving in the most iconic habitats on earth.
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Planet Earth II 2016
Rick Mercer Report
  • Rick Mercer Report (2004)
  • Comedy, Documentary, News,
  • Rick Mercer Report is a Canadian television comedy series which airs on CBC Television. Launched in 2004 and hosted by comedian Rick Mercer, the weekly half-hour show combines news parody, sketch comedy, visits to interesting places across Canada, and satirical editorials, often involving Canadian politics. The show's format is similar in some respects to satirical news shows like Mercer's prior series, This Hour Has 22 Minutes, and to Jon Stewart's The Daily Show – however, the Mercer Report's on-location segments are usually played relatively straight in comparison to those on the other shows, since participants are usually aware of Mercer's identity and purpose, showing similarity to Stephen Colbert's The Colbert Report. The first two seasons aired on Monday nights – hence the original name, which was likely also a pun on the then-current name of CBC's main Sunday news broadcast, Sunday Report. The Mercer Report now airs Tuesday nights at 8:00 p.m. on CBC. Repeats air regularly on both CBC and The Comedy Network. The program is recorded in front of a live audience at the Canadian Broadcasting Centre in Toronto, Ontario, except for the on-location and rant segments. These segments are shown to the studio audience during taping, with their reactions recorded for broadcast.
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Rick Mercer Report 2004
Bluegrass Underground
  • Bluegrass Underground (2011)
  • Documentary,
  • A musical adventure series emanating from the Volcano Room, a subterranean amphitheater 333 feet below McMinnville, Tennessee at historic Cumberland Caverns. Celebrating the diversity of America's musical heritage with artists from the full spectrum of genres: Bluegrass, yes but also Americana, Country, Soul, Blues, Rock N Roll, Gospel, Folk, and everything between.
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Bluegrass Underground 2011
American Pickers
  • American Pickers (2010)
  • Comedy, Documentary, Reality,
  • American Pickers is an American reality television series starring Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz that premiered on January 18, 2010, on History.
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American Pickers 2010
The Mind of a Chef
  • The Mind of a Chef (2012)
  • Documentary,
  • Go inside the minds of some of the world's top chefs. Narrated by Executive Producer Anthony Bourdain, The Mind of a Chef is that rare and beautiful thing: an intelligent show about cooking.
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The Mind of a Chef 2012
The Story of Us with Morgan Freeman
  • The Story of Us with Morgan Freeman (2017)
  • Documentary,
  • Morgan Freeman travels the globe in search of an answer to one fundamental question for humanity: what are the common forces that bind us together?
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The Story of Us with Morgan Freeman 2017
Teen Mom
  • Teen Mom (2009)
  • Documentary, Reality,
  • Teen Mom is an American reality television series which aired from December 8, 2009, until August 28, 2012, on MTV. It follows the lives of four girls from the first season of 16 and Pregnant as they navigate their first years of motherhood. The series also focuses on the themes of their changing relationships between family, friends, and boys, while highlighting the struggles teenage mothers have to go through to raise their children. The series aired a total of four seasons. The pilot episode was the network's highest-rated premiere in over a year, with 2.1 million total viewers; the record was surpassed by the controversial series Skins, which had 3.26 million viewers. The first season finale brought in 3.6 million viewers. The second season finale pulled in over 5.6 million viewers, at which time a spin-off Teen Mom 2 was announced for January 11, 2011. The third season premiered on July 5, 2011, and the final season premiered on June 12, 2012.
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Teen Mom 2009
Life Below Zero
  • Life Below Zero (2013)
  • Documentary, Reality,
  • When bears, wolves and foxes are your only neighbors, life can be pretty lonely. Add minus-60-degree days and a constant battle for the most basic necessities, and you have the daily challenges of people who live in remote corners of Alaska. This series takes viewers deep into an Alaskan winter to meet six tough and resilient residents as they try to stay one step ahead of storms and man-eating beasts to make it through to spring. The closest neighbor to Sue Aikens is more than 300 miles away. Eric Salitan subsists solely on what he hunts and forages. Chip and Agnes Hailstone catch fish for currency in bartering for supplies, and Andy and Kate Bassich use their pack of sled dogs for transportation.
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Life Below Zero 2013
Austin City Limits
  • Austin City Limits (1975)
  • Documentary,
  • Austin City Limits is an American public television music program recorded live in Austin, Texas by Public Broadcasting Service Public television member station KLRU, and broadcast on many PBS stations around the United States. The show helped Austin to become widely known as the "Live Music Capital of the World," and is the only television show to receive the National Medal of Arts, which it was awarded in 2003. Initially created to celebrate the music of Texas—featuring western swing, Texas blues, Tejano music, progressive country, and rock n' roll—the series has gone on to feature regional, national and international artists performing a wide range of musical styles, including jazz, alternative country, alternative rock, folk music, and jam band. The show inspired the creation of the Austin City Limits Music Festival, an annual live music festival at Zilker Park in Austin.
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Austin City Limits 1975
Active Shooter: America Under Fire
  • Active Shooter: America Under Fire (2017)
  • Documentary,
  • An in-depth exploration of mass shootings and their devastating consequences. From the first-hand perspective of survivors, families of the victims, witnesses and heroic first responders, the series goes beyond the sensationalistic coverage of these nightmarish moments to offer a comprehensive report on these tragic events.
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Active Shooter: America Under Fire 2017
Adam Ruins Everything
  • Adam Ruins Everything (2015)
  • Comedy, Documentary,
  • Host Adam Conover employs a combination of comedy, history and science to dispel widespread misconceptions about everything we take for granted.
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Adam Ruins Everything 2015
True Life
  • True Life (1998)
  • Documentary,
  • True Life is a documentary series running on MTV since March 24, 1998. Each episode follows a particular topic, such as heroin addiction as in the first episode, "Fatal Dose." The show is created by following a series of subjects by a camera crew through a certain part of their lives.
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True Life 1998
Media Watch
  • Media Watch (1989)
  • Documentary, News,
  • Media Watch is an Australian media analysis television program presented by Paul Barry for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. In recent years the program has focused on critiquing the Australian media. It played a key role in revealing the unethical behaviour of radio talkback hosts, which became known as the cash for comment affair as was the centre of an investigation by the Australian Broadcasting Authority.
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Media Watch 1989
Bong Appétit
  • Bong Appétit (2016)
  • Documentary,
  • Abdullah Saeed throws elaborate cannabis dinner parties with notable chefs preparing multi-course infused meals.
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Bong Appétit 2016
Blue Planet II
  • Blue Planet II (2017)
  • Documentary,
  • There is nowhere more powerful and unforgiving yet more beautiful and compelling than the ocean. Join us and explore the greatest yet least known parts of our planet.
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Blue Planet II 2017
Wheeler Dealers
  • Wheeler Dealers (2003)
  • Documentary,
  • Wheeler Dealers is a British television series produced by Attaboy TV for the Discovery Channel, fronted by Mike Brewer and mechanic Edd China. The premise of the show is that Brewer and China are on a mission to save repairable enthusiast vehicles, by repairing or otherwise improving an example of a particular make and model to a budget, then selling it to a new owner. While Edd spends large amounts of time repairing each car, that time is not included in the final cost of the repairs. There have so far been ten series of the programme and three different theme tunes have been used; the current one being Balaclava by The Wideboys. The previous theme was from V-The Production Library by Music 4. Series 1 originally aired in 2003. The second half of Series 6 was aired in Autumn of 2009 on Discovery Real Time. Series 5 was renamed to Wheeler Dealers: On the Road; in this series Mike and Edd expanded their car search by heading out into Europe hoping to find classic cars to buy and restore. Beginning with part 2 of Series 8, Mike further expanded their horizon by touring the United States. In April 2013, a spin-off series titled Wheeler Dealers Trading Up was launched. This series has Mike traveling around the world to buy and sell used cars in different countries on a set budget.
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Wheeler Dealers 2003
This Old House
  • This Old House (1979)
  • Documentary,
  • TV's original home-improvement show, following one whole-house renovation over several episodes.
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This Old House 1979
How It's Made
  • How It's Made (2001)
  • Documentary,
  • Have you ever wondered how the products you use every day are made? How It's Made leads you through the process of how everyday products, such as apple juice, skateboards, engines, contact lenses, and many more objects are manufactured.
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How It's Made 2001
Mars
  • Mars (2016)
  • Documentary, Sci-Fi & Fantasy,
  • The year is 2033, and humanity's first crewed mission to Mars is about to become a reality. As a clock counts down the final 90 seconds to landing, an expert crew of astronauts endures the final harrowing moments before touching down on the red planet. Even with the best training and resources available, the maiden crew of the Daedalus spacecraft must push itself to the brink of human capability in order to successfully establish the first sustainable colony on Mars. Set both in the future and in the present day, the global miniseries event MARS blends feature film-caliber scripted elements set in the future with documentary vérité interviews with today’s best and brightest minds in modern science and innovation, illuminating how research and development is creating the space technology that will enable our first attempt at a mission to Mars.
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Mars 2016
Making a Murderer
  • Making a Murderer (2015)
  • Documentary,
  • Set in America’s Heartland, Making a Murderer follows the harrowing story of Steven Avery, an outsider from the wrong side of the tracks, convicted and later exonerated of a brutal assault. His release triggered major criminal justice reform legislation, and he filed a lawsuit that threatened to expose corruption in local law enforcement and award him millions of dollars. But in the midst of his very public civil case, he suddenly finds himself the prime suspect in a grisly new crime.
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Making a Murderer 2015
A Haunting
  • A Haunting (2005)
  • Documentary,
  • A Haunting is a 2005 American paranormal anthology television series that depicts eyewitness accounts of possession, exorcism, and ghostly encounters. The show originally aired from October 28, 2005 to November 9, 2007 on the Discovery Channel, which produced four seasons of 39 episodes. The program features narrations, interviews, and dramatic re-enactments based on various accounts of paranormal experiences at reportedly haunted and mostly residential locations.
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A Haunting 2005