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The Best New TV Docuseries of 2019 

Molly Gander
Updated July 4, 2020 632 votes 148 voters 14.7k views 46 items

List Rules Only documentary television series that premiered their first season in 2019 - no dramas, even if they're based on real events.

UPDATE: Check out the best new documentary series of 2020!

The best documentary shows and docuseries on TV inform while entertaining - and they've been doing it for far longer than true crime podcasts have. Many documentary series in 2019 are limited series or miniseries, allowing the show an arc that can transcribe an overall theme across the episodes. The best docuseries of 2019 are ones that fill up every social media channel the night after each new episode airs, as we share the facts and gasp at the revelations.

There are television documentary series for just about everyone. People who like drama about the famous have docudramas, with their balance of interviews and dramatic reenactments. If you like solving mysteries then investigative documentaries should be under your magnifying glass. And if you just like learning cool things about history then plain ol' television documentaries have got your back.

From hard truths and horrifying facts, like in Surviving R. Kelly and Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes to lighter but still fascinating fare like the history of fashion in the United States shown in American Style, the best docuseries of 2019 might end up being some of the best documentary miniseries of all time. Vote up the best documentary shows in 2019 and add any docuseries or docudramas we might have missed!

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list ordered by
1
Conversations with a Kil... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best New TV Docuseries of 2019

Genres (Tv): Documentary

Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes (Netflix, 2019) is an American four-part documentary television series created by Joe Berlinger. The series examines Ted Bundy's character and ...more
2
Surviving R. Kelly is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best New TV Docuseries of 2019
Andrea Kelly, Tarana Burke, Sparkle

Genres (Tv): Documentary

Surviving R. Kelly (Lifetime, 2019) is an American six-part documentary from executive producer dream hampton. The limited series docmentary details sexual abuse allegations against singer R. ...more
3
Our Planet is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best New TV Docuseries of 2019

Genres (Tv): Nature documentary

Our Planet (Netflix, 2019) is a nature documentary series narrated by David Attenborough. The series addresses issues of conservation while featuring these disparate animals in their respective ...more
4
The Case Against Adnan S... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best New TV Docuseries of 2019

Genres (Tv): Documentary, Miniseries, True crime

The Case Against Adnan Syed (HBO, 2019) is an American documentary television miniseries. Popularized by the podcast, "Serial," the documentary series follows the ongoing story of ...more
5
Smiley Face Killers: The... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best New TV Docuseries of 2019
Mike Donovan, Anthony Duarte, Kevin Gannon

Genres (Tv): Docuseries, Reality TV, Crime

Smiley Face Killers: The Hunt for Justice (Oxygen, 2019) is an American crime docuseries created by Oxygen Media. The series follows retired NYPD Detective Kevin Gannon and his team during an ...more
6
Lorena is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best New TV Docuseries of 2019

Genres (Tv): Documentary

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
7
The Disappearance of Mad... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best New TV Docuseries of 2019
Anthony Summers, Gonçalo Amaral, Robbyn Swan

Genres (Tv): Documentary, True crime, Crime, Crime documentary, Miniseries

The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann (Netflix, 2019) is an American true crime documentary television miniseries. The eight-part limited series tells the story of Madeleine McCann, the young ...more
8
Deadly Cults is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best New TV Docuseries of 2019

Genres (Tv): Documentary

Deadly Cults (Oxygen, 2019) is an American documentary television miniseries. This four-part limited series explores unsettling cases where investigators uncover and expose the dark world of ...more
9
No One Saw a Thing is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best New TV Docuseries of 2019

Genres (Tv): Documentary, True crime, Crime

No One Saw a Thing (SundanceTV, 2019) is an American documentary television series. The show examines an unsolved and mysterious death in the American Heartland and the corrosive effects of ...more
10
The Last Czars is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best New TV Docuseries of 2019
Robert Jack, Susanna Herbert, Ben Cartwright

Genres (Tv): Documentary, Drama, Docu-drama, Docuseries

The Last Czars (Netflix, 2019) is an American docu-drama television series. Blending a scripted drama and documentary format, the series examines the fall of the Romanov dynasty.
11
Punk is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best New TV Docuseries of 2019
Iggy Pop, Johnny Rotten, Marky Ramone

Genres (Tv): Documentary

Punk (Epix, 2019) is an American documentary television series. The show explores the music, the fashion, the art and the DIY attitude of a subculture of self-described misfits and outcasts.
12
Country Music is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best New TV Docuseries of 2019

Genres (Tv): Documentary, History

Country Music (PBS, 2019) is an American documentary television miniseries from Ken Burns. The eight-part limited series follows the evolution of the musical genre and its history in the United ...more
13
Murder for Hire is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best New TV Docuseries of 2019

Genres (Tv): Documentary, Crime, True crime

Murder for Hire (Oxygen, 2019) is an American crime documentary television series from producer Dick Wolf. The show examines the world of contract killings, with exclusive looks at some of the ...more
14
The Weekly is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best New TV Docuseries of 2019

Genres (Tv): News

The Weekly (FX, 2019) is an American news-docuseries television program produced by The New York Times. Times writers walk viewers through their reporting, looking deeper into stories covered on ...more
15
The Mark of a Killer is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best New TV Docuseries of 2019
Erica Mary Gillheeney, Sarah Fawaz, Chester Goad

Genres (Tv): True Crime, Documentary

The Mark of a Killer (Oxygen, 2019) is an American true crime documentary television series. The show focuses each episode on a different signature of a noted and notorious killer.
16
Tricky Dick is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best New TV Docuseries of 2019
Richard Nixon

Genres (Tv): Documentary

Tricky Dick (CNN, 2019) is a documentary television miniseries constructed from CNN archives. The four-part limited series follows the life and times of 37th US President Richard Nixon and his ...more
17
Valley of the Boom is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best New TV Docuseries of 2019
Bradley Whitford, Steve Zahn, Lamorne Morris

Genres (Tv): Docudrama, Documentary

Valley of the Boom (National Geographic, 2019) is an American docudrama television miniseries created by Matthew Carnahan. The series centers on the 1990s tech boom and bust in Silicon Valley, ...more
18
The Dictator's Playbook ... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best New TV Docuseries of 2019
Natasha Ezrow, Mariam Mufti, Charles K. Amrstrong

Genres (Tv): Documentary, Drama, History

The Dictator's Playbook (PBS, 2019) is an American documentary television miniseries. The show follows the rise and fall of some of history's most ruthless dictators, from Mussolini to Saddam
19
Seduced By Evil is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best New TV Docuseries of 2019

Genres (Tv): Documentary, True Crime

Seduced By Evil (Oxygen, 2019) is an American documentary true crime television special. The show delves into the world of Derek Alldred, a criminal mastermind who sought out relationships with ...more
20
Formula 1: Drive to Surv... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best New TV Docuseries of 2019

Genres (Tv): Documentary

Formula 1: Drive to Survive (Netflix, 2019) is a documentary television series produced in collaboration between Netflix and Formula One to give an exclusive behind the scenes look at the 2018 ...more
21
Jailbirds is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best New TV Docuseries of 2019
Susan Cerelli added Jailbirds Gaylon Beason, Taylor Coatney, Andrea Gunderson

Genres (Tv): Reality TV, Docuseries

Jailbirds (Netflix, 2019) is an American documentary reality television series. At the Sacramento County Jail, incarcerated women fight the power and one another as they try to make the best of ...more
22
Killer Ratings is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best New TV Docuseries of 2019

Genres (Tv): True crime, Documentary, Docuseries, Crime

Killer Ratings (Netflix, 2019) is a Brazillian true crime television documentary series based on real events. The series follows the story of Brazilian television presenter and politician ...more
23
Serial Killer: Devil Unc... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best New TV Docuseries of 2019
Maria Awes, John Douglas, Gary Garrett

Genres (Tv): Crime, True Crime, Documentary

Serial Killer: Devil Unchained (Investigation Discovery, 2019) is an American true crime documentary television miniseries. Investigative journalist Maria Awes teams up with former FBI profiler ...more
24
The Imagineering Story ... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best New TV Docuseries of 2019
Walt Disney, John Lasseter, Richard M. Sherman

Genres (Tv): Documentary

The Imagineering Story (Disney+, 2019) is an American documentary television series. The docuseries looks at the past, present and future achievements of Walt Disney's Imagineering staff at his ...more
25
On Tour with Asperger's ... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best New TV Docuseries of 2019
Noah Britton, Ethan Finlan, Jack Hanke

Genres (Tv): Documentary, Comedy

On Tour with Asperger's Are Us (HBO, 2019) is an American documentary miniseries that is an edited version of the 2016 film of Asperger's Are Us. The 6-part limited series follows the first ...more