36 voters

The Best Documentary Shows On Amazon Prime

Updated March 12, 2021 249 votes 36 voters 2.7k views33 items

List RulesOnly 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. 

  • 1


    Jay O. Sanders, Lance Lewman


    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 has won...  more

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  • 2

    PremieredSeptember 27, 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 United...  more
  • 3

    The New Yorker Presents

    Farley Katz, Roz Chast

    PremieredJanuary 15, 2015

    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

    American Experience

    David McCullough, David Ogden Stiers

    PremieredOctober 4, 1988

    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 awards,...  more
  • 5

    PremieredMarch 22, 2007

    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, 2007. Two...  more
  • 6


    Keith David


    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

    The Dust Bowl

    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 the...  more
  • 8

    The Story of the Jews

    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 States...  more
  • 9

    I Shouldn't Be Alive

    Sebastian Knapp, Eric Meyers

    PremieredOctober 28, 2005

    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, South...  more
  • 10

    When the Levees Broke

    Darleen Asevedo, Jay Asevedo

    PremieredAugust 21, 2006

    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

    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 with...  more
  • 12

    How the Universe Works

    Mike Rowe, Erik Todd Dellums

    PremieredApril 25, 2010

    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...  more

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  • 13

    Mankind: The Story of All of Us

    Josh Brolin, Stephen Fry

    PremieredNovember 13, 2012

    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 is...  more
  • 14

    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 Louis...  more
  • 15

    American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story

    Matt Whelan, Emmett Skilton
    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 re-enactments,...  more
  • 16

    All or Nothing

    Michael Bidwill, Steve Keim

    PremieredJuly 1, 2016

    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 season....  more
  • 17

    Long Strange Trip

    John Perry Barlow, Tom Constanten
    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 including...  more
  • 18


    Lorena Bobbitt, John Wayne Bobbitt


    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 lens of...  more
  • 19


    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 Engagement,...  more
  • 20
    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

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  • 21

    The Last Narc

    Jorge Godoy, Phil Jordan


    The Last Narc (Amazon Video, 2020) is a documentary television series directed by Tiller Russell. The Last Narc is a four-part docuseries examining in detail the 1985 kidnap and murder of DEA Agent...  more
  • 22

    The Challenge: ETA

    Felipe González, José María Aznar

    PremieredOctober 29, 2020

    The Challenge: ETA (Prime Video, 2020) is a Spanish documentary series. The eight-episode series follows the fight of Spanish military police against the terrorist group for the independence of the...  more
  • 23

    The Great Escapists

    Tory Belleci, Richard Hammond

    PremieredJanuary 29, 2021

    The Great Escapists (Prime Video, 2021) is an American documentary series. The six part series follows Richard Hammond and Troy Belleci as they use their engineering and scientific skills to not only...  more

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  • 24

    Making Their Mark

    Eddie Betts, Leon Cameron

    PremieredMarch 12, 2021

    Making Their Mark (Amazon Prime, 2021) is an Australian reality sports series. The series takes an inside look and follows six Australian Football League teams throughout one of the most challenging...  more

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  • 25

    Generation Wealth

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