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The Best TV Documentaries About Astronomy

Updated November 23, 2020 113 votes 46 voters 4.7k views15 items

List RulesVote up the best TV shows about astronomy.

There's something captivating about non-fiction TV that allows even seemingly boring subjects to pull you in and hold your attention episode after episode. While most of us would've tuned out any teacher who tried to get us to learn astronomy, whenever an astronomy documentary series comes on TV there's few of us who can resist the temptation to tune in. The best astronomy shows are a mix of breathtaking visuals, awe-inspiring narration, and interviews with some of the smartest people on the planet. Simply put, astronomy documentary shows make us feel smart and the best ones are just plain old entertaining TV.

Whether you're flipping through the channels on a day off, burning hours at a time on Netflix, or actively seeking out and sharing clips of your favorite astronomy documentaries online, there's no denying that the top astronomy shows can pull us into their orbit and keep us there. So let's break out the telescope, venture into a black hole that sucks up all of our time, and rank the best astronomy documentary series. 

  • Video: YouTube
    How the Universe Works is a mini-series that originally aired on the Discovery Channel April 25, 2010 to May 24, 2010. The first and third seasons were narrated by Mike Rowe and the second by Erik Todd Dellums. The first season was released on Blu-ray on February 28, 2012. The second season of the show moved to The Science Channel, consisting of 8 episodes. The second season aired between July 11, 2012 and August 29, 2012. The third season aired between July 9, 2014 and September 3, 2014....  more
    • Actors: Mike Rowe, Erik Todd Dellums
    • Premiered: April 25, 2010
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  • Video: YouTube
    Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey is a 2014 American science documentary television series. The show is a follow-up to the 1980 television series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, which was presented by Carl Sagan on the Public Broadcasting Service and is considered a milestone for scientific documentaries. This series was developed to bring back the foundation of science to network television at the height of other scientific-based television series and films. The show is presented by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, who, as a young college student, was inspired by Sagan. Among the executive producers are Seth MacFarlane, whose financial investment was instrumental in bringing the show to broadcast...  more
    • Actors: Neil deGrasse Tyson, Carl Sagan, Stoney Emshwiller
    • Premiered: September 28, 1980
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    #179 of 321 The Best TV Shows Of The Past 20 Years#17 of 24 Current TV Shows You Totally Lie About Watching To Sound Smart#153 of 393 TV Shows That Only Smart People Appreciate

  • Video: YouTube
    The Universe is an American documentary television series that features computer-generated imagery and computer graphics of astronomical objects in the universe plus interviews with experts who study in the fields of cosmology, astronomy, and astrophysics. The program is produced by Flight 33 Productions and Workaholic Productions. The series premiered on May 29, 2007, on The History Channel and four subsequent seasons were aired until 2010. Starting from October 25, 2011, new episodes began airing exclusively on H2....  more
    • Actors: Erik Thompson, Clifford V. Johnson, Alex Filippenko
    • Premiered: May 29, 2007
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  • Video: YouTube
    Through the Wormhole is an American science documentary television series narrated and hosted by American actor Morgan Freeman. It began airing on Science in the United States on June 9, 2010....  more
    • Actors: Morgan Freeman, Sean Carroll, Michio Kaku
    • Premiered: June 15, 2010
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