Documentary & Biography TV Shows


About Documentary & Biography

The purpose of a TV documentary, as is probably obvious from the genre's name, is to document something. Documentaries are non-fiction programs that examine a subject closely, and the intent of the program may be broadly educational, or it may attempt to make a cultural or political point. Although the earliest TV programming was focused on entertainment, documentaries quickly became a significant part of TV programming overall, and now some of the most popular TV networks concentrate almost exclusively on non-fiction programs.

Documentary TV programming comes in a number of forms. Stand-alone documentary films explore one subject in depth in a single film or in a short series of episodes, while documentary series often look at a different subject in each episode, with no direct connection between the subjects from episode to episode. News-magazine-style shows may group multiple segments within each episode; the segments typically focus on unrelated subjects. Other types of documentary series-crime and paranormal series are currently popular-explore a different specific subject in each episode, but all of the subjects conform to the overall theme of the series.

Biography is a sub-genre of documentary programming that tells the story of a particular individual. Historical figures, political leaders, entertainers, sports figures and other celebrities are, of course, the most popular subjects of TV biographies, and biographical documentaries are consistently popular with TV viewers. In recent years, the series "Biography" was one of the most successful productions on the A&E cable network-so much so that the network spun the series off into its own channel, The Biography Channel, which debuted in 1999.

Much of the programming that fits into the reality TV genre could also fit fairly comfortably into the documentary genre. Reality series that follow characters as they engage in specific occupations or live in unusual contexts educate viewers about those occupations and lifestyles at the same time that they entertain-although the main goal of these series is entertainment, and factual accuracy may suffer as a consequence.

About This Genre
Surviving R. Kelly
Surviving R. Kelly
Cartel Crew
Cartel Crew
The Grand Tour
The Grand Tour
Ghost Adventures
Ghost Adventures
1000 Ways to Die
1000 Ways to Die
My 600-lb Life
My 600-lb Life
Polyamory: Married and Dating
Polyamory: Married and Dating
Life Below Zero
Life Below Zero
20/20
20/20
30 For 30
30 For 30
Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team
Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team
Ancient Aliens
Ancient Aliens
Intervention
Intervention
Garage Rehab
Garage Rehab
Kindred Spirits
Kindred Spirits
Snapped
Snapped
Many Sides of Jane
Many Sides of Jane
Just Another Immigrant
Just Another Immigrant
Gangsters: America's Most Evil
Gangsters: America's Most Evil
A Season With
A Season With
Forensic Files
Forensic Files
Below Deck Mediterranean
Below Deck Mediterranean
Knight Fight
Knight Fight
Untold Stories of the E.R.
Untold Stories of the E.R.
Dead Silent
Dead Silent
Diesel Brothers
Diesel Brothers
The 2000s
The 2000s
The New Edition Story
The New Edition Story
Active Shooter: America Under Fire
Active Shooter: America Under Fire
Meerkat Manor
Meerkat Manor
Autopsy: The Last Hours Of...
Autopsy: The Last Hours Of...
Beyond Scared Straight
Beyond Scared Straight
Forbidden: Dying for Love
Forbidden: Dying for Love
Bering Sea Gold
Bering Sea Gold
Disappeared
Disappeared
Legacy: Bob Hurley
Legacy: Bob Hurley
Dark Net
Dark Net
Animal Cops: Phoenix
Animal Cops: Phoenix
I Am Homicide
I Am Homicide
Kindergarten
Kindergarten
Paranormal State
Paranormal State
Gold Rush: White Water
Gold Rush: White Water
My Crazy Ex
My Crazy Ex
Black Love
Black Love
Dateline
Dateline
Crime 360
Crime 360
Evil Twins
Evil Twins
Lindsay
Lindsay
The Defiant Ones
The Defiant Ones
48 Hours Mystery
48 Hours Mystery
Shadow of Doubt
Shadow of Doubt
MARS
MARS
Yummy Mummy
Yummy Mummy
Total Bellas
Total Bellas
Solved
Solved
I Survived
I Survived
Behind Bars: Rookie Year
Behind Bars: Rookie Year
The Radical Story of Patty Hearst
The Radical Story of Patty Hearst
Sins & Secrets
Sins & Secrets
Rooster & Butch
Rooster & Butch
Modern Marvels
Modern Marvels
Locked Up Abroad
Locked Up Abroad
Oddities
Oddities
Dangerous Persuasions
Dangerous Persuasions
The Sixties
The Sixties
The Day I Almost Died
The Day I Almost Died
The Fourth Estate
The Fourth Estate
Ghosts of Shepherdstown
Ghosts of Shepherdstown
After The First 48
After The First 48
Chasing Classic Cars
Chasing Classic Cars
Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story
Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story
My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding
My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding
Livin' Lozada
Livin' Lozada
The Killing Season
The Killing Season
Ice Road Truckers
Ice Road Truckers
Vice
Vice
Drain the Oceans
Drain the Oceans
Second Wives Club
Second Wives Club
Smash Lab
Smash Lab
90 Day Fiance: Before the 90 Days
90 Day Fiance: Before the 90 Days
Iron & Fire
Iron & Fire
Hijos del Carnaval
Hijos del Carnaval
Pirate Treasure of the Knights Templar
Pirate Treasure of the Knights Templar
Facing Evil
Facing Evil
Cold Case Files
Cold Case Files
Ghost Hunters
Ghost Hunters
Sandhogs
Sandhogs
Shark Wranglers
Shark Wranglers
Impossible Engineering
Impossible Engineering
River Monsters
River Monsters
Real Detective
Real Detective
I Shouldn't Be Alive
I Shouldn't Be Alive
Dynasties
Dynasties
Six Degrees of Murder
Six Degrees of Murder
Pool Kings
Pool Kings
FutureWeapons
FutureWeapons
House of Horrors: Kidnapped
House of Horrors: Kidnapped
NASA's Unexplained Files
NASA's Unexplained Files
Religion of Sports
Religion of Sports
Secret Space Escapes
Secret Space Escapes
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