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The Best Documentary Shows On Amazon Prime 

Ranker Streaming
Updated January 31, 2020 134 votes 32 voters 1.9k views 29 items

List Rules Only shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.

It must be nice having an Amazon Prime membership. Access to free shipping and a range of movies and television—what more could you ask for? How about a lineup of documentary shows? Yeah, Amazon has that. Though most people seek out humor, suspense, or something else along those lines in a great TV series, that's not to say we can't all enjoy a documentary show here and there, and you can find some good ones with Prime. 

Whether you're looking for a trip through America's national parks (The National Parks) or an extensive history lesson in jazz (Jazz), you'll find quite a few popular documentary series on Amazon Prime. Whatever it is, you'll be learning at the least—and nothing beats good education. 

So, take a lesson in something you've never heard of or catch up on your favorite series from the list below. Also be sure to vote up the ones you like to help determine the best documentary shows on Prime. You can also add any that aren't already on the list. 

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list ordered by
1
Nova is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Documentary Shows On Amazon Prime
Jay O. Sanders, Lance Lewman, Craig Sechler

Premiered: 1974

Number of Seasons: 40

Number of Episodes: 698

Nova is a United States popular science television series produced by WGBH Boston. It is broadcast on Public Broadcasting Service in the U.S., and in more than 100 other countries. The series ...more

More Nova 

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2
The National Parks: Amer... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Documentary Shows On Amazon Prime
Tom Hanks, Amy Madigan, Peter Coyote

Premiered: 2009

The National Parks: America's Best Idea is a 2009 documentary film for television, DVD and companion book by director/producer Ken Burns and producer/writer Dayton Duncan which features the ...more

More The National Parks: America's Best Idea 

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3
The New Yorker Presents ... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Documentary Shows On Amazon Prime
Farley Katz, Roz Chast, Liana Finck
The New Yorker Presents (Amazon Video, 2015) is a documentary television series. A groundbreaking new series that brings America's most award-winning magazine, The New Yorker, to the screen with ...more
4
The Dust Bowl is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Documentary Shows On Amazon Prime
The Dust Bowl

Premiered: 2012

The Dust Bowl is a documentary film directed by Ken Burns which aired on Public Broadcasting System on November 18 and 19, 2012. The four-part miniseries recounts the impact of the Dust Bowl on ...more
5
This American Life is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Documentary Shows On Amazon Prime
Ira Glass

Premiered: 2007

Number of Seasons: 2

Number of Episodes: 13

This American Life is an American television series based on the radio program of the same name. Like the radio program, the series is hosted by Ira Glass. The series premiered on March 22, ...more
6
Jazz is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Documentary Shows On Amazon Prime
Jazz Keith David

Premiered: 2001

Jazz is a 2000 documentary miniseries, directed by Ken Burns. It was broadcast on PBS in 2001, and was released on DVD and VHS in January 2, 2001 later that year by the same company. Its ...more
7
American Experience is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Documentary Shows On Amazon Prime
David McCullough, David Ogden Stiers, Michael Murphy

Premiered: 1988

Number of Seasons: 22

American Experience is a television program airing on the Public Broadcasting Service Public television stations in the United States. The program airs documentaries, many of which have won ...more

More American Experience 

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8
The Story of the Jews is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Documentary Shows On Amazon Prime
The Story of the Jews

Premiered: 2013

The Story of the Jews is a television series, in five parts, presented by British historian Simon Schama. It was broadcast in the United Kingdom on BBC Two in September 2013 and in the United ...more
9
I Shouldn't Be Alive is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Documentary Shows On Amazon Prime
Sebastian Knapp, Eric Meyers, Tom McKay

Premiered: 2005

Number of Seasons: 6

Number of Episodes: 58

I Shouldn't Be Alive is a documentary television series that airs on multiple networks in the United States, Canada, the U.K., the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, India, Iran, Pakistan, ...more
10
When the Levees Broke is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Documentary Shows On Amazon Prime
When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts is a 2006 documentary film directed by Spike Lee about the devastation of New Orleans, Louisiana due to the failure of the levees during Hurricane ...more
11
Kingdom of David is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Documentary Shows On Amazon Prime
Kingdom of David
Kingdom of David was a part of the Empire Series of history documentaries for the Public Broadcasting Service Public television stations produced by Oregon Public Broadcasting in joint venture ...more
12
How the Universe Works ... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Documentary Shows On Amazon Prime

Premiered: 2010

Number of Seasons: 8

Number of Episodes: 67

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 ...more
13
Mankind: The Story of Al... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Documentary Shows On Amazon Prime

Premiered: 2012

Number of Episodes: 12

Mankind: The Story of All of Us is an American documentary television series on History that premiered on November 13, 2012 in the US and the UK, and on November 14, 2012 in Asia. The broadcast ...more
14
The African Americans: M... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Documentary Shows On Amazon Prime
The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross is an award-winning six-part Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) public television series written and presented by Harvard University scholar Henry ...more
15
American Playboy: The Hu... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Documentary Shows On Amazon Prime
Matt Whelan, Emmett Skilton, Adam Jonas Segaller
American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story (Amazon Video, 2017) is an American documentary series directed by Richard Lopez. A combination of interviews, archival footage, and cinematic ...more
16
All or Nothing is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Documentary Shows On Amazon Prime
Michael Bidwill, Steve Keim, Bruce Arians
All or Nothing (Amazon Video, 2016) is a sports documentary series. An unprecedented inside look at the lives of players, coaches, and owners of a franchise over the course of an entire NFL
17
Long Strange Trip is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Documentary Shows On Amazon Prime
John Perry Barlow, Tom Constanten, Sam Cutler
Long Strange Trip is a documentary film about the rock band the Grateful Dead, directed by Amir Bar-Lev. The film features newly conducted interviews with living band members and friends ...more
18
Lorena is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Documentary Shows On Amazon Prime

Premiered: 2019

Lorena (Amazon Video, 2019) is an American documentary television series. The limited series examines the 1993 assault and subsequent court case involving John and Lorena Bobbitt through the ...more
19
This Giant Beast That Is... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Documentary Shows On Amazon Prime
Kal Penn, Thomas Archer, Cristela Alonzo

Premiered: 2019

This Giant Beast That Is the Global Economy (Amazon Video, 2019) is an American documentary television series. Host Kal Penn, actor and former White House Associate Director of Public ...more
20
Ted Bundy: Falling for a... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Documentary Shows On Amazon Prime

Premiered: 2020

Ted Bundy: Falling for a Killer (Amazon, 2020) is an American documentary series produced by Trish Wood, Pam McNair, Michael Kot, and Betty Orr. After years of silence, Ted Bundy’s long-term ...more
21
Generation Wealth is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Documentary Shows On Amazon Prime
Generation Wealth

Lauren Greenfield examines materialism, celebrity culture, and social status and reflects on the desire to be wealthy at any cost. 

22
God in America is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Documentary Shows On Amazon Prime
God in America

OD IN AMERICA, a presentation of AMERICAN EXPERIENCE and FRONTLINE, will explore the historical role of religion in the public life of the United States. The six-hour series interweaves documentary footage, historical dramatization and interviews with religious historians.

23
The Great Pyramid Trilog... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Documentary Shows On Amazon Prime
The Great Pyramid Trilogy

A three part series that explores the truth behind the building and meaning of the Great Pyramid. A mystery that has long been hidden under a shroud of historical distortions comes to light in this carefully crafted documentary. The film presents the real story behind the the Great Pyramid of Giza.

24
Easter 1916 is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Documentary Shows On Amazon Prime
Easter 1916

1916 The Easter Rising is a major 7 part historical documentary series telling the stories behind the 7 signatories of the 1916 Easter Proclamation. Each episode tells the story of one of the signatories of the proclamation, starting with Tom Clarke, the father of the Rising, moving through James Connolly, Joseph Plunkett, Sean Mac Diarmada, Thomas McDonagh, Eamonn Ceannt and Patrick Pearse.

25
The Dead Unknown is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Documentary Shows On Amazon Prime
The Dead Unknown