The best documentary miniseries offer a more in-depth look at their subject than a film but are also digestible in a shorter time than longer shows. The best documentary miniseries ever shown on television may have episodes that are an hour long each but have a defined arc and a clear end. If you’ve been looking for the best limited series documentaries to add some educational value to your TV nights, this list of the best documentary miniseries of all time will help you figure out what needs to go into your queue.
Both the BBC and Netflix have solid histories of creating short documentary shows that tell their stories in no more than a dozen episodes. Even the expansive subjects of Planet Earth II or Natures Great Events are summed up in just six parts. Some series are even shorter, with only two or three episodes - great if you want to spread your documentary viewing across a couple of evenings. Cooked is a food documentary with only four parts that match with each of the four natural elements, and Yellowstone thoroughly examines the natural wonder in only three episodes.
Which miniseries do the best job sharing their subject in six episodes or less? Vote up the best documentary miniseries and add any limited documentary series that are missing.
A boy's murder prompts questions about the system's protection of vulnerable children.
- Premiered: February 26, 2020
Examining how Aaron Hernandez went from an NFL star to a convicted killer.
- Premiered: January 15, 2020
Exploring the 2021 short squeeze of GameStop and exposing the dark underbelly of Wall Street.
- Premiered: March 3, 2022
The secrets, pain and questions that linger decades after the unsolved murder of a nun.
- Premiered: May 19, 2017
The true-crime story of two detectives who race to stop a serial killer known as the Night Stalker.
- Premiered: January 13, 2021
The accusation of sexual abuse against Woody Allen.
- Premiered: February 21, 2021
A twisted criminal's gruesome videos drive a group of online sleuths to launch a risky manhunt.
- Premiered: December 18, 2019
A son investigates his mother's murder.
- Premiered: November 15, 2020
When a controversial guru builds a utopian city in the Oregon desert, conflict with locals grows.
- Premiered: March 16, 2018
Investigating a series of unsolved crimes and the man suspected of being at the center of them.
- Premiered: February 8, 2015
Grant (History, 2020) is a historical documentary series produced by Lionsgate Television. The series examines Grant's life story using his perspective and experiences to explore a turbulent time in ...more
- Premiered: 2020
- Investigators examine the unsolved murders of eight women in Jennings, La.
Color's role in animal interactions.
- Premiered: February 28, 2021
The Last Dance (ESPN, 2020) is an American sports documentary miniseries directed by Jason Hehir. Focusing on the 1997-98 Chicago Bulls, the docuseries follows Michael Jordan's career and his final ...more
- Premiered: April 19, 2020
On Jan. 28, 1986, the space shuttle Challenger explodes, engulfing its crew in a ball of flame.
- Premiered: September 16, 2020
People unpack stories about the meanings behind cherished articles of clothing.
- Premiered: April 1, 2021
The Yorkshire Ripper murders cast a shadow over the north of England in the late 1970s.
- Premiered: December 16, 2020
The untold story behind the Manson Family as told through interviews, archival footage and images.
- Premiered: June 14, 2020
Two drug lab chemists' crimes cripple a state's judicial system and blur the lines of justice.
- Premiered: April 1, 2020
In 1985, a DEA agent is kidnapped, tortured and murdered by Mexican drug lords.
- Premiered: July 31, 2020
An ex-cop turned security officer rigs the McDonald's Monopoly game promotion for a decade.
- Premiered: February 3, 2020
- Murder Mountain (Netflix, 2018) is an American true crime documentary television miniseries. The 6-part limited series covers an area of Northern California's Humboldt County, including the local ...more
Animals meet the challenges of surviving in iconic habitats.
- Premiered: November 6, 2016
A Cleveland grandfather is brought to trial in Israel, accused of being Ivan the Terrible.
- Premiered: November 4, 2019
A man exonerated by DNA after 18 years in prison becomes the prime suspect in another grisly crime.
- Premiered: December 18, 2015
Exploring the series about Michelle McNamara's obsessive quest to find the Golden State Killer.
- Premiered: March 5, 2018