Highest Rated Documentary TV Series With At Least 1000 Votes


1. The Joy of Painting (1983–1994)

30 min | Documentary, Family

9.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.4/10 X  

In this half-hour program, artist Bob Ross paints on canvas a beautiful oil painting.

Stars: Bob Ross, Steve Ross, Ben Stahl, John Thamm

Votes: 2,404

2. Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath (2016– )

47 min | Documentary

9.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.2/10 X  

A series featuring stories from former members of the Church of Scientology whose lives have been affected by the Church's harmful practices.

Stars: Leah Remini, Mike Rinder, Alex Weresow, Jeffrey Augustine

Votes: 1,521

3. Satyamev Jayate (2012– )

TV-14 | 65 min | Documentary, Talk-Show

9.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.2/10 X  

Aamir Khan hosts and produces this documentary/talk-show that explores the social issues effecting modern India.

Stars: Aamir Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Parineeti Chopra, Deepika Padukone

Votes: 4,201

4. The Life of Mammals (2002–2003)

Documentary

9.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.2/10 X  

David Attenborough's comprehensive study of how a remarkable group of animals evolved - a group that includes ourselves.

Star: David Attenborough

Votes: 3,153

5. Madventures (2002– )

35 min | Documentary

9.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.2/10 X  

Two backpackers travel through Asia and America.

Stars: Tuomas Milonoff, Riku Rantala, Ior Svedlin, King Kapisi

Votes: 2,075

6. Life Story (2014– )

60 min | Documentary

9.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.1/10 X  

David Attenbourough narrates on the greatest of all adventures - the journey through life.

Stars: David Attenborough, Dwen Gyimah

Votes: 1,112

7. How the Universe Works (2010– )

TV-PG | 60 min | Documentary

9.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9/10 X  

A users guide to the cosmos from the big bang to galaxies, stars, planets and moons. Where did it all come from and how does it all fit together. A primer for anyone who has ever looked up at the night sky and wondered.

Stars: Richard Lintern, Phil Plait, Mike Rowe, Michelle Thaller

Votes: 3,732

8. Good Eats (1999–2012)

TV-G | 30 min | Documentary

9.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9/10 X  

Pop culture, comedy, and plain good eating: host Alton Brown explores the origins of ingredients, decodes culinary customs and presents food and equipment trends. Punctuated by unusual ... See full summary »

Stars: Alton Brown, Vickie Eng, Brett Soll, Deb Duchon

Votes: 2,714

9. Departures (2008– )

46 min | Documentary

9.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9/10 X  

Aimed at the adventure seeker, Departures is an action-packed and personal journey about two travelers. Scott Wilson and Justin Lukach leave their lives behind in search of unique ... See full summary »

Stars: Scott Wilson, Justin Lukach, Andre Dupuis

Votes: 1,523

10. Cinemassacre's Monster Madness (2007– )

Documentary

9.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9/10 X  

Every October, James Rolfe reviews horror movies, whether it be the old-school silent-era monster classics, the golden-age Universal horror films from the '30s, '40s and '50s, the grotesque... See full summary »

Stars: James Rolfe, Mike Matei, Michael Reid MacKay, Duncan Regehr

Votes: 1,229

11. The Life of Birds (1998– )

489 min | Documentary

9.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9/10 X  

David Attenborough's comprehensive and richly detailed study of birds, examining the variety of different species and their ways of life.

Star: David Attenborough

Votes: 2,177

12. The Trials of Life (1990– )

Documentary

9.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9/10 X  

Each of the twelve 50-minute episodes features a different aspect of the journey through life, from birth to adulthood and continuation of the species through reproduction.

Star: David Attenborough

Votes: 1,216

13. Life in Cold Blood (2008)

Documentary

9.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9/10 X  

A nature documentary series written and presented by David Attenborough, that looks at the evolution and habits of amphibians and reptiles.

Star: David Attenborough

Votes: 2,148

14. The Living Planet (1984– )

660 min | Documentary

9.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9/10 X  

David Attenborough discusses the biomass and life in a variety of eco-systems spanning many of the environments found on Earth (from tropical to polar).

Star: David Attenborough

Votes: 1,355

15. The Private Life of Plants (1995– )

292 min | Documentary

9.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9/10 X  

David Attenborough's study of the world of plants, which demonstrates, with the aid of time-lapse photography, the rich and varied ways in which they flourish.

Star: David Attenborough

Votes: 1,995

16. 30 for 30 (2009–2017)

60 min | Documentary, Biography, Sport

8.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  

ESPN Films' 30 for 30 is an unprecedented documentary series featuring today's finest storytellers from inside and outside of the sports world. What started as a celebration of ESPN's 30th ... See full summary »

Stars: Chuck D., Brent Musburger, Patrick Ewing, Jalen Rose

Votes: 3,047

17. Vice (2013– )

TV-MA | 30 min | Documentary, News

8.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  

Documentary series featuring startling, groundbreaking stories from around the world.

Stars: Shane Smith, Thomas Morton, Vikram Gandhi, Ben Anderson

Votes: 3,336

18. Air Emergency (2003– )

60 min | Documentary, Drama, History

8.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  

Dramatized reconstruction of real-life air disasters, along with interviews with aviation experts and eyewitnesses.

Stars: Stephen Bogaert, Jonathan Aris, Gregory Feith, Daniel Park

Votes: 2,460

19. The Untold History of the United States (2012– )

58 min | Documentary, History

8.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  

Oliver Stone's re-examination of under-reported events in American history.

Stars: Oliver Stone, Alan Shearman, Jim Ward, André Sogliuzzo

Votes: 4,567

20. The Universe (2007– )

45 min | Documentary, History

8.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  

This educational show explores many scientific questions and topics about the universe (Big Bang, the Sun, the planets, black holes, other galaxies, astrobiology etc.) through latest CGI, data and interviews with scientists.

Stars: Erik Thompson, Alex Filippenko, Laura Danly, Clifford V. Johnson

Votes: 4,242

21. The Roosevelts: An Intimate History (2014– )

Documentary

8.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  

A documentary that weaves together the stories of Theodore, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, three members of one of the most prominent and influential families in American politics.

Stars: Meryl Streep, Edward Herrmann, George Will, Doris Kearns Goodwin

Votes: 1,152

22. Making a Murderer (2015– )

TV-14 | 60 min | Documentary, Crime

8.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

Filmed over a 10-year period, Steven Avery, a DNA exoneree who, while in the midst of exposing corruption in local law enforcement, finds himself the prime suspect in a grisly new crime. ... See full summary »

Stars: Dolores Avery, Steven Avery, Ken Kratz, Brendan Dassey

Votes: 51,618

23. Chef's Table (2015– )

50 min | Documentary

8.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

Chef's Table goes inside the lives and kitchens of six of the world's most renowned international chefs. Each episode focuses on a single chef and their unique look at their lives, talents and passion from their piece of culinary heaven.

Stars: Dan Barber, Massimo Bottura, Bill Buford, Lara Gilmore

Votes: 5,091

24. Abstract: The Art of Design (2017– )

TV-14 | 45 min | Documentary

8.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

A look beyond blueprints and computers into the art and science of design, showcasing great designers from every discipline whose work shapes our world.

Stars: Platon, Elisabeth Biondi, Ilse Crawford, Es Devlin

Votes: 1,030

25. Nathan for You (2013– )

TV-14 | 30 min | Documentary, Comedy

8.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

Nathan Fielder uses his business degree and life experiences to help real small businesses turn a profit. But because of his unorthodox approach, Nathan's genuine efforts to do good often draw real people into an experience far beyond what they signed up for.

Stars: Nathan Fielder, William Heath, Anthony Filosa, Brian S. Wolfe

Votes: 7,483

26. Forensic Files (1996– )

30 min | Documentary, Crime

8.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

A series featuring detailed accounts on how notable crimes and diseases were solved through forensic science.

Stars: Peter Thomas, Skip Palenik, Tom Bevel, Lowell Levine

Votes: 2,274

27. Nova (1974– )

TV-PG | Documentary, Biography

8.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

Science documentaries about various topics.

Stars: Jay O. Sanders, Lance Lewman, Craig Sechler, Will Lyman

Votes: 1,520

28. Screenwipe (2006–2009)

TV-MA | 30 min | Documentary, Comedy

8.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

Satirical TV show critique.

Stars: Charlie Brooker, Al Campbell, David Firth, Aisleyne Horgan-Wallace

Votes: 1,720

29. Earth: The Power of the Planet (2007– )

60 min | Documentary

8.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

In each episode, geologist Dr. Iain Stewart explains the effects and importance of a specific force of nature, such as wind or volcanism. He also examines the various ways in which it ... See full summary »

Stars: Iain Stewart, Victor Baker, Phil Bland, Bernadette Carrion van Rijn

Votes: 1,693

30. Den andra sporten (2013– )

44 min | Documentary, Sport

8.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

The Other Sport (Swedish: Den andra sporten) is a three-part documentary series zooming in on the often harsh conditions of women's football/soccer in Sweden since the first clubs got ... See full summary »

Stars: Anette Börjesson, Hanna Ljungberg, Mattias Löw, Lotta Schelin

Votes: 1,173

31. Frontline (1983– )

60 min | Documentary

8.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

Investigative journalist documentaries.

Stars: Will Lyman, Sarah Childress, Arun Rath, Martin Smith

Votes: 1,033

32. Newswipe (2009–2010)

29 min | Documentary, Comedy

8.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

Hosted and written by Charlie Brooker, this sardonic series follows and critiques both current news stories and the way television portrays them.

Stars: Charlie Brooker, Tim Key, Doug Stanhope, Adam Curtis

Votes: 1,036

33. Life in the Freezer (1993– )

30 min | Documentary

8.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

Series exploring the natural history of Antarctica.

Star: David Attenborough

Votes: 1,089

34. Grand Designs (1999– )

50 min | Documentary

8.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

Kevin McCloud follows people as they build their dream house, often focusing on modern design, energy efficiency, maximizing space and views.

Stars: Kevin McCloud, Jeremy Till, Sarah Wigglesworth, Chris Ostwald

Votes: 1,186

35. Brain Games (2011– )

TV-G | 30 min | Documentary, Comedy, Drama

8.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

An examination of the nature of human perception and how it can be fooled.

Stars: Jason Silva, Bert Thomas Morris, Apollo Robbins, Eric Leclerc

Votes: 1,998

36. Through the Wormhole (2010– )

TV-PG | 60 min | Documentary

8.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

Hosted by Morgan Freeman, Through the Wormhole will explore the deepest mysteries of existence - the questions that have puzzled mankind for eternity. What are we made of? What was there ... See full summary »

Stars: Morgan Freeman, Sean Carroll, Michio Kaku, Carlos Frenk

Votes: 13,377

37. Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown (2013– )

TV-PG | 60 min | Documentary

8.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

Anthony Bourdain visits country's and delves into political issues as well as indigenous food and culture.

Stars: Anthony Bourdain, David Holloway, Eric Ripert, Tom Vitale

Votes: 2,167

38. Walking with Dinosaurs (1999– )

180 min | Documentary, Animation, History

8.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

Documentary-style series about the era of the dinosaurs, mixing real locations and CGI.

Stars: Kenneth Branagh, Avery Brooks, André Dussollier, Karen Hayley

Votes: 4,014

39. I Love the '80s (2002– )

TV-14 | 60 min | Documentary, Comedy, History

8.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

A humorous, year by year look through the decade that saw hair size become a statement, ratty clothes become cool, and music about breaking up become mainstream. Comprised of segments ... See full summary »

Stars: Andrew Dice Clay, Soleil Moon Frye, Traci Lords, Bret Michaels

Votes: 1,409

40. Last Chance U (2016– )

55 min | Documentary, Sport

8.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

"Last Chance U" follows a group of young men training to become the future stars of the NFL. Based at East Mississippi Community College (EMCC), "Last Chance U" takes us on a journey to ... See full summary »

Stars: Ron Ollie, John Iii Franklin, Brittany Wagner, Buddy Stephens

Votes: 2,226

41. Bill Nye, the Science Guy (1993–1998)

TV-Y | 30 min | Documentary, Comedy, Family

8.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

Scientist/comedian Bill Nye explores various aspects of science for young viewers.

Stars: Bill Nye, Pat Cashman, Jaffar Smith, Rachel Glenn

Votes: 4,765

42. Louis Theroux's Weird Weekends (1998–2000)

60 min | Documentary

8.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

Louis Theroux documents some of the US's most bizarre happenings, events and rituals, by getting involved himself...

Stars: Louis Theroux, Randy James, J.J. Michaels, Mike Oehler

Votes: 1,918

43. Metal Evolution (2011– )

Documentary

8.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

Metal Evolution is broken down into episodes about a different piece of metal history. The series includes interviews with and about Alice Cooper, Slash, Lemmy, Rob Zombie, members of ... See full summary »

Stars: Sam Dunn, Scott Ian, Bruce Dickinson, Deena Weinstein

Votes: 1,688

44. Wheeler Dealers (2003– )

Documentary

8.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Hosts Mike Brewer and Edd China team up in "Wheeler Dealers" to find and flip serviceable used classic cars. Mike scours the Internet and local trade rags for bargain-priced modern classics... See full summary »

Stars: Mike Brewer, Edd China, Paul Brackley

Votes: 1,842

45. Alone (2015– )

44 min | Documentary, Reality-TV

8.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Ten survival "experts" attempt to survive alone. The winner receives $500,000.

Stars: Alan Kay, Dustin Feher, Sam Larson, Mitch Mitchell

Votes: 1,277

46. Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations (2005– )

TV-PG | 60 min | Documentary

8.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Anthony Bourdain, chef, writer, traveler, visits places all around the world sampling various foods.

Stars: Anthony Bourdain, Zamir Gotta, Jerry Risius, Todd Liebler

Votes: 4,643

47. Top Gear (1978–2002)

TV-PG | 30 min | Documentary

8.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Quentin, Tiff, Vicki and others look at all things car-related.

Stars: Tiff Needell, Jeremy Clarkson, Quentin Willson, Chris Goffey

Votes: 23,017

48. Walking with Monsters (2005– )

87 min | Documentary

8.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A 90-minute documentary about life before the dinosaurs.

Star: Kenneth Branagh

Votes: 1,250

49. MythBusters (2003– )

TV-PG | 44 min | Documentary, Mystery, Reality-TV

8.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A weekly documentary in which two Hollywood special effects experts attempt to debunk urban legends by directly testing them.

Stars: Jamie Hyneman, Adam Savage, Robert Lee, Kari Byron

Votes: 46,772

50. An Idiot Abroad (2010–2013)

TV-14 | 43 min | Documentary, Adventure, Comedy

8.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Brit Karl Pilkington has led a sheltered life. Not having done any traveling, he enjoys living within the comforts of what he knows, basically that being what is purely British. As such, ... See full summary »

Stars: Karl Pilkington, Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant, Luke Campbell

Votes: 24,919