Documentary TV Shows

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The Playbook
  • The Playbook (2020)
  • Documentary
  • Coaches with championship résumés share their personal rules for success in sports and life in this reflective and inspiring documentary series.
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The Playbook
NOVA
  • NOVA (1974)
  • Documentary
  • PBS' premier science series helps viewers of all ages explore the science behind the headlines. Along the way, NOVA demystifies science and technology, and highlights the people involved in scientific pursuits.
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NOVA
The Vow
  • The Vow (2020)
  • Documentary
  • The docuseries follows people deeply involved in the group NXIVM — which is faced with various charges, including sex trafficking and racketeering conspiracy — over the course of several years.
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The Vow
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)
  • Documentary
  • This fast-paced and stunt-filled motor show tests whether cars, both mundane and extraordinary, live up to their manufacturers' claims. The long-running show travels to locations around the world, performing extreme stunts and challenges to see what the featured cars are capable of doing. The current hosts are Paddy Mcguinness, Chris Harris and Andrew "Freddie" Flintoff.
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Top Gear
Austin City Limits
  • Austin City Limits (1975)
  • Documentary
  • Now the longest-running music series in American television history, ACL showcases popular music legends and innovators from every genre.
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Austin City Limits
Cosmos
  • Cosmos (2014)
  • Documentary
  • Famed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson provides clarity for the vision of the cosmos as he voyages across the universe with never-before-told stories that delve into the scientific concepts of the laws of gravity and the origins of space and time.
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Cosmos
MythBusters
  • MythBusters (2003)
  • 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
  • Did intelligent beings from outer space visit Earth thousands of years ago? From the age of the dinosaurs to ancient Egypt, from early cave drawings to continued mass sightings in the US, each episode gives historic depth to the questions, speculations, provocative controversies, first-hand accounts and grounded theories surrounding this age old debate.
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Ancient Aliens
POV
  • POV (1988)
  • Documentary
  • POV is a Public Broadcasting Service public television series which features independent nonfiction films. POV is an initialism for point of view. POV is the longest-running showcase on television for independent documentary films. PBS presents 14-16 POV programs each year, and the series has premiered over 300 films to U.S. television audiences since 1988. POV's films have a strong first-person, social-issue focus. Many established directors, including Michael Moore, Jonathan Demme, Terry Zwigoff, Errol Morris, Albert and David Maysles, Michael Apted, Frederick Wiseman, Marlon Riggs, and Ross McElwee have had work screened as part of the POV series. The series has garnered both critical and industry acclaim over its 20-plus years on television. POV programs have also won major industry awards including three Oscars, 32 Emmys, 36 Cine Golden Eagles, 15 Peabody Awards, 11 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Awards, the Prix Italia and the Webby Award.
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POV
Undercover Boss
  • Undercover Boss (2010)
  • Documentary
  • Reality series that follows high-level executives as they slip anonymously into the rank-and-file of their own organizations. Each week, a different leader will sacrifice the comfort of their corner office for an undercover mission to examine the inner workings of their operation.
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Undercover Boss
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
Wheeler Dealers
  • Wheeler Dealers (2003)
  • Documentary
  • Experienced car dealer Mike Brewer is joined by multi-talented mechanics in a monumental motoring mission: to find and restore iconic cars to later sell for a profit at their LA-based shop. In the series, Mike has the challenging job of finding vehicles that have money-making potential. He then hands them over to a mechanic, who tackles everything from bare metal re-sprays to gearbox swaps to bring them back to their former glory.
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Wheeler Dealers
Equal
  • Equal (2020)
  • Documentary
  • This four-part LGBTQ+ docuseries chronicles the untold events leading up to the Stonewall Uprising, honoring the rebels of yesteryear with never-before-seen archival footage along with stylistic depictions that bring to life the gripping and true backstories of these leaders and unsung heroes.
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Equal
Horizon
  • Horizon (1974)
  • Documentary
  • Horizon tells amazing science stories, unravels mysteries and reveals worlds you've never seen before.
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Horizon
Life
  • Life (2009)
  • Documentary
  • David Attenborough looks at the extraordinary ends to which animals and plants go in order to survive. Featuring epic spectacles, amazing TV firsts and examples of new wildlife behaviour.
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Life
Into the Unknown: Making Frozen II
  • Into the Unknown: Making Frozen II (2020)
  • Documentary
  • The team behind Frozen II open their doors to cameras for a six-part documentary series to reveal the hard work, heart, and collaboration it takes to create one of the most highly-anticipated films in Walt Disney Animation Studios’ near-century of moviemaking. Cameras were there to capture an eye-opening - and at times jaw-dropping - view of the challenges and the breakthroughs, the artistry, creativity and the complexity of creating the #1 animated feature of all time.
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Into the Unknown: Making Frozen II
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
  • Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives (2007)
  • Documentary
  • Host Guy Fieri takes a cross-country road trip to visit some of America's classic "greasy spoon" restaurants — diners, drive-ins and dives — that have been doing it right for decades.
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Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
American Pickers
  • American Pickers (2010)
  • Comedy, Documentary, Reality
  • Pickers like Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz are on a mission to recycle America, even if it means diving into countless piles of grimy junk or getting chased off a gun-wielding homeowner’s land. Hitting back roads from coast to coast, the two men earn a living by restoring forgotten relics to their former glory, transforming one person’s trash into another’s treasure.
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American Pickers
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
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, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
  • 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
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.
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Cosmos: A Personal Voyage
Home Away from Home
  • Home Away from Home (2019)
  • Documentary
  • Filmmaker Benji Sandergaard goes on vacation to his home away from home, "Hollywood, California" in this vlog series.
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Home Away from Home
The Grand Tour
  • The Grand Tour (2016)
  • Documentary, Talk
  • 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
Australian Story
  • Australian Story (1996)
  • Documentary, News
  • Putting the "real" back into reality television, Australian Story is an award-winning documentary series with no narrator and no agendas — just authentic stories told entirely in people's own words.
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Australian Story
Down to Earth with Zac Efron
  • Down to Earth with Zac Efron (2020)
  • Documentary
  • Actor Zac Efron journeys around the world with wellness expert Darin Olien in a travel show that explores healthy, sustainable ways to live.
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Down to Earth with Zac Efron
Life Below Zero
  • Life Below Zero (2013)
  • Documentary, Reality
  • Viewers go 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
All or Nothing: Tottenham Hotspur
  • All or Nothing: Tottenham Hotspur (2020)
  • Documentary
  • A fly-on-the-wall inside look at the goings-on of Tottenham Hotspur during the 2019-20 football season.
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All or Nothing: Tottenham Hotspur
American Ninja Warrior
  • American Ninja Warrior (2009)
  • Documentary
  • Follow competitors as they tackle a series of challenging obstacle courses in both city qualifying and city finals rounds across the country. Those that successfully complete the finals course in their designated region move on to the national finals round in Las Vegas, where they face a stunning four-stage course modeled after the famed Mt. Midoriyama course in Japan. The winner will take home a grand prize of $1 million.
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American Ninja Warrior