Documentary TV Shows

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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
Top Gear
  • Top Gear (2002)
  • Comedy, Documentary,
  • The hosts talk about the latest cars and its specifications. They review the performance of the car and also find out if it is as good as the manufacturers claim. The current hosts are Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc with The Stig.
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Top Gear
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
MythBusters
  • MythBusters (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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MythBusters
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
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
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
Hard Knocks
  • Hard Knocks (2001)
  • Documentary, Reality,
  • “The first sports-based reality series” in television history presents viewers with an inside look at NFL training camps. From the top coaches to the rookies trying to make the team, Hard Knocks will showcase what it takes to be in the NFL.
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Hard Knocks
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
Intervention
  • Intervention (2005)
  • Documentary,
  • Intervention is an American television reality show dealing with the struggles faced by many different kinds of addicts. Each episode follows one or two participants, each of whom has a substance dependence or other mentally and/or physically damaging problem. The subjects believe they are being filmed for a documentary on their problem, but their situations are actually being documented in anticipation of an intervention by family and/or friends. During the intervention, each participant is given an ultimatum: go into rehabilitation immediately, or risk losing contact, income, or other privileges from the loved ones who instigated the intervention. Often, other tactics are used to persuade the addicted person into treatment, which vary depending on the situation; some of these include threats to invoke outstanding arrest warrants, applying for custody of the addict's children, foreclosing on the addict's property, and break-up of marriages or other relationships. The producers usually follow up months later to monitor the addicted person's progress and film it for "follow-up" episodes of the series or for shorter "web updates" available on the show's website. On May 24, 2013, A&E announced that they were cancelling the show with the remaining episodes to begin airing in June 2013. The series finale aired on July 18th, 2013—the episode concluded with reflections from past addicts and a thank you from the producers to the interventionists, family members, treatment centers, and addicts themselves.
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Intervention
Expedition Unknown
  • Expedition Unknown (2015)
  • Documentary,
  • Expedition Unknown chronicles the adventures of Josh Gates as he investigates iconic mysteries across the globe. Gates begins by interviewing key eyewitnesses and uncovering recent developments in the story, then springboards into a fully immersive exploration. This authentic, roughshod adventure leads Gates closer to the truth behind these unanswered global enigmas, such as the disappearance of Amelia Earhart’s plane. Josh Gates is an adventurer and avid explorer with a unique brand of humor and passion for off-the-map excursions.
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Expedition Unknown
On the Case With Paula Zahn
  • On the Case With Paula Zahn (2009)
  • Documentary,
  • Award winning journalist Paula Zahn unravels shocking crimes interviewing those closest to the case including lawyers, the victim's family, detectives and the convicted murderer themselves.
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On the Case With Paula Zahn
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
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
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
The Dead Files
  • The Dead Files (2011)
  • Documentary, Mystery,
  • Psychic medium Amy Allan and former NYPD homicide detective Steve DiSchiavi investigate locations that are reported to be haunted.
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The Dead Files
Bering Sea Gold
  • Bering Sea Gold (2012)
  • Documentary,
  • In the frontier town of Nome, Alaska, there’s a gold rush on. But you've never seen gold mining like this before — here, the precious metal isn't found in the ground. It’s sitting in the most unlikely of places: the bottom of the frigid, unpredictable Bering Sea. And there are a handful of people willing to risk it all to bring it to the surface.
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Bering Sea Gold
Homicide Hunter: Lt Joe Kenda
  • Homicide Hunter: Lt Joe Kenda (2011)
  • Documentary, Reality,
  • A non-fiction investigative series of murder cases told through the personal experience of retired detective, Lieutenant Joe Kenda. Through re-enactments, discussions with investigation teams, and interviews with victims' families and other involved persons, the show highlights Kenda's successes with his 400 homicide case history and 92 percent solution rate.
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Homicide Hunter: Lt Joe Kenda
Hunter x Hunter
  • Hunter x Hunter (2011)
  • Animation, Comedy, Documentary, Family, Action & Adventure,
  • Twelve-year-old Gon Freecss one day discovers that the father he had always been told was dead was alive and well. His Father, Ging, is a Hunter—a member of society's elite with a license to go anywhere or do almost anything. Gon, determined to follow in his father's footsteps, decides to take the Hunter Examination and eventually find his father to prove himself as a Hunter in his own right. But on the way, he learns that there is more to becoming a Hunter than previously thought, and the challenges that he must face are considered the toughest in the world.
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Hunter x Hunter
Frontline
  • Frontline (1983)
  • Documentary, News,
  • Frontline is a public affairs television program that produces and broadcasts in-depth documentaries about various subjects. Produced at WGBH-TV in Boston, Massachusetts and distributed through the Public Broadcasting Service in the United States, the program has been critically acclaimed and received numerous awards. Some programs are made by independent filmmakers and broadcast as part of the Frontline series. Since the series debut, there have been more than 500 films broadcast. Although primarily seen through television, the program shows a large portion of their shows in interactive webcasts on their main website.
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Frontline
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
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
Nature
  • Nature (1982)
  • Documentary, News,
  • Nature is a wildlife television program produced by Thirteen/WNET New York. It has been distributed to United States public television stations by the PBS television service since its debut on October 10, 1982. Some episodes may appear in syndication on many PBS member stations around the U.S. and Canada and on the Discovery Channel. This series currently airs on Wednesday on PBS. Nature is one of the most watched documentary series in the world. It is a weekly one-hour program that consists of documentaries about various animals and ecosystems. The on-camera host of the first season was Donald Johanson, with voice-over narration by George Page. Starting with the 1983 season George Page became both the on-camera host and the narrator until the series' 19th season in 2000. Since then, Academy Award winner F. Murray Abraham has frequently narrated episodes, as has ecologist Chris Morgan. Nature is one of the few programs in television history that has won and has been nominated for the same number of Emmy Awards during its longevity. In 1986, host George Page was nominated for best Outstanding Individual Achievements in Informational Programming. In 1988 and 1989, it won two Emmy Awards for best Outstanding Informational Series. In 2000, it was nominated for best Outstanding Main Title Design.
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Nature
The Blue Planet
  • The Blue Planet (2001)
  • Documentary,
  • The Blue Planet is a BBC nature documentary series narrated by David Attenborough, first transmitted in the United Kingdom from 12 September 2001. Described as "the first ever comprehensive series on the natural history of the world's oceans", each of the eight 50-minute episodes examines a different aspect of marine life. The underwater photography included creatures and behaviour that had previously never been filmed. The series won multiple Emmy and BAFTA TV awards for its music and cinematography. The series was produced in conjunction with the Discovery Channel. The executive producer was Alastair Fothergill and the music was composed by George Fenton. David Attenborough narrated this series prior to presenting the next in his 'Life' series of programmes, The Life of Mammals, and the same production team created Planet Earth.
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The Blue Planet
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
Barefoot Contessa
  • Barefoot Contessa (2002)
  • Documentary,
  • Barefoot Contessa is an American cooking show that premiered November 30, 2002 on Food Network. The show is hosted by celebrity chef Ina Garten. Each episode features Garten assembling dishes of varying complexity. Though her specialty is French cuisine, she occasionally prepares American, Asian, British and Italian foods. Her show also gives tips on decorating and entertaining.
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Barefoot Contessa
Aerial Cities
  • Aerial Cities (2018)
  • Documentary,
  • The most expansive and ambitious aerial series in U.S. television history – Aerial America – is taking a closer look at the nation’s great urban areas in a new six-part spinoff series, Aerial Cities. Each episode reveals fascinating insights in the day and night life of some of America’s most famed metropolises: Las Vegas, Chicago, Seattle, Miami, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Along with showcasing each city’s iconic landmarks and often-surprising history, the series’ 4K cameras capture a bird’s-eye perspective of the frenzy of work and play that make each city so distinctive – from morning yoga on Miami Beach to the dizzying job of changing a lightbulb at the top of Seattle’s Space Needle and the highest open-air cocktail bar in the Western Hemisphere in L.A.’s newest skyscraper.
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Aerial Cities
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
  • Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives (2007)
  • Documentary,
  • Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives is an American food television series that premiered in November 2006 on the Food Network. First produced by Page Productions and now by Citizen Pictures the program stars and is hosted by Guy Fieri. The show originally began as a one-off special, based on the idea proposed by David Page. When Food Network launched its HD simulcast of its SD channel on March 31, 2008, later episodes of the series began to be presented in high definition, although it never aired on the former Food Network HD channel. The show features a "road trip" concept, similar to Road Tasted, Giada's Weekend Getaways and $40 a Day. Fieri travels around North America looking for the best diners, drive-in restaurants, and dive bars.
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Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
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
Cosmos: A Personal Voyage
  • Cosmos: A Personal Voyage (1980)
  • Documentary,
  • Cosmos: A Personal Voyage is a thirteen-part television series written by Carl Sagan, Ann Druyan, and Steven Soter, with Sagan as presenter. It was executive-produced by Adrian Malone, produced by David Kennard, Geoffrey Haines-Stiles and Gregory Andorfer, and directed by the producers, David Oyster, Richard Wells, Tom Weidlinger, and others. It covered a wide range of scientific subjects, including the origin of life and a perspective of our place in the universe. The series was first broadcast by the Public Broadcasting Service in 1980 and was the most widely watched series in the history of American public television until The Civil War. As of 2009, it was still the most widely watched PBS series in the world. It won an Emmy and a Peabody Award and has since been broadcast in more than 60 countries and seen by over 500 million people. A book was also published to accompany the series.
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Cosmos: A Personal Voyage
Snapped
  • Snapped (2004)
  • Documentary,
  • Snapped is an American true crime television series that airs on the Oxygen Network. Snapped debuted on August 6, 2004 and is produced by Jupiter Entertainment.
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Snapped
Horizon
  • Horizon (1974)
  • Documentary,
  • Horizon is a current and long-running BBC popular science and philosophy documentary programme.
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Horizon
Forensic Files
  • Forensic Files (1996)
  • Documentary,
  • Forensic Files profiles intriguing crimes, accidents, and outbreaks of disease from around the world. Follow coroners, medical examiners, law enforcement personnel and legal experts as they seek the answers to baffling and mysterious cases, which have been ripped from the headlines.
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Forensic Files
Fear Thy Neighbor
  • Fear Thy Neighbor (2014)
  • Documentary,
  • Fear Thy Neighbor takes you into the lives of horrific neighborly disputes. Watch what happens when a simple issue turns into the worst night of a family's life.
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Fear Thy Neighbor
Australian Story
  • Australian Story (1996)
  • 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
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
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
  • The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (2010)
  • Documentary,
  • The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is an American reality television series on Bravo that debuted on October 14, 2010. It is the sixth installment in the network's The Real Housewives franchise.
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The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
A Football Life
  • A Football Life (2011)
  • Documentary,
  • A Football Life is a documentary series developed by NFL Films and aired on NFL Network that documents the lives of select National Football League players, coaches, owners, and teams. Friends, teammates, family members and other players and coaches associated with the subjects are interviewed. The name of the series originated in a quote from Steve Sabol of NFL Films: Originating as an NFL Network special on the career of Bill Parcells in November 2010, it premiered as an episodic series on September 15, 2011, with the first part of Bill Belichick's documentary. The documentary was viewed by about 657,000 viewers, the most-watched documentary in NFL Network's history, and was the second-most watched program in Boston at the time with 151,000 viewers, trailing behind a Boston Red Sox game. Season One was eventually released on DVD. Season Two began on September 12, 2012, with The Faces of Tebow. The series was nominated for an Emmy Award for "Outstanding Edited Sports Series/Anthology" and "Outstanding Promotional Announcement – Episodic" for Belichick's episode in 2012.
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A Football Life
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
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