Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath
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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
The New Edition Story
The New Edition Story
Polyamory: Married and Dating
Polyamory: Married and Dating
Forensic Files
Forensic Files
Intervention
Intervention
The Grand Tour
The Grand Tour
American Experience
American Experience
My 600-lb Life
My 600-lb Life
Ghost Hunters
Ghost Hunters
See No Evil
See No Evil
Inside the NFL
Inside the NFL
Ghost Adventures
Ghost Adventures
River Monsters
River Monsters
Alien Encounters
Alien Encounters
Autopsy: The Last Hours Of...
Autopsy: The Last Hours Of...
30 For 30
30 For 30
NASA's Unexplained Files
NASA's Unexplained Files
Lockup
Lockup
Deadly Sins
Deadly Sins
Survivorman
Survivorman
Unexpected
Unexpected
Snapped
Untold Stories of the E.R.
Secrets of the Dead
Unsolved Mysteries
Dateline
My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding
Nature
The FBI Files
CopyCat Killers
Taboo
I Shouldn't Be Alive
The Skinny Dip
Mayday
How the Universe Works
Disappeared
Evil Twins
Harley and the Davidsons
Hate Thy Neighbor
Tessa And Scott
Frontline
Hunting Hitler
The Bureau
Stalked: Someone's Watching
Confessions: Animal Hoarding
The Defiant Ones
Grand Prix Driver
I Survived
America The Story of Us
American Masters
Killing Fields
Walking with Dinosaurs
Cook's Country
American Epic
Caught on Camera
Forbidden History
Undercover High
1000 Ways to Die
How It's Made
Ancient Aliens
Life Below Zero
48 Hours Mystery
Monkey Life
Surviving Evil
Most Evil
Wicked Attraction
Mankind: The Story of All of Us
Sins & Secrets
The Alps From Above
American Gangster
Austin City Limits
The Radical Story of Patty Hearst
Animal Fight Night
Locked Up Abroad
90 Day Fiance: Before the 90 Days
Slutever
Beyond Scared Straight
The Universe
20/20
Coach Snoop
Diesel Brothers
Beyond
What on Earth?
Destination Truth
History Detectives
Vietnam in HD
Wives with Knives
Mystery Files
Ken Burns: The Dust Bowl
Xploration Earth 2050
Curiosity
The Perfect Murder
The Timeline
Blue Planet II
Tesla's Death Ray: A Murder Declassified
A Chef's Life
Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team
Shark Week
Planet Earth
Nellyville
Nightline