The Best Lifetime Docuseries 

Ranker TV
Updated January 23, 2019 215 votes 24 voters 1k views 39 items

List Rules Vote up the best documentary series from Lifetime

You may not know it, but Lifetime is actually responsible for some of the most iconic docuseries/movies of all time. They had America’s Most Wanted, which trucked through the ‘80s as one of the most popular crime shows. They have Unsolved Mysteries, which is exactly the type of lifetime docu-series you would watch when you stayed home sick from school in the ‘90s (which admittedly was terrifying until your parents came home from work).

Today, the current docuseries lifetime movies are breaking boundaries. Sure, some err on the side of silly (let’s all just openly admit we actually do watch Dance Moms) and shows like the Little Women series have helped coin the term "docu-soap," but others are enacting real change. After Surviving R. Kelly unwrapped years of stomach-turning allegations about the famed singer, he was dropped from RCA Records.

This complete list of lifetime docuseries shows and films spans decades and opens up a window into the lives of some of the most interesting people and situations on the planet. Vote up your favorites and vote down the ones you wish were canceled sooner.

Data-driven recommendations based on voting from over 40 million monthly visits to Ranker. Try the free app
list ordered by
Bring It! is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Lifetime Docuseries
Dianna Williams, Camryn Harris, Makalah Whitenson

Premiered: 2014

Bring It! is a new dance reality show which focuses on the dance team, The Dancing Dolls, from Mississippi. They are a competition dance team, and their style is, "Hip-Hop Majorettes."

Beyond the Headlines is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Lifetime Docuseries
Beyond the Headlines

Premiered: 2010

A documentary series exploring the subject matter of Lifetime original movies.

Biography Presents is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Lifetime Docuseries
Biography Presents

Biography Presents is where A&E tells the stories of the world's most original people. With exclusive access and fresh perspectives, Biography Presents offers a deep dive or a short take on the most captivating lives today. Select Biography Presents also air on Lifetime.

What Should You Do? is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Lifetime Docuseries
What Should You Do? Gary Fredo, Hosea Chanchez, Sammy Sheik

Premiered: 2003

Hosted by Leeza Gibbons, the program recreates real-life stories of life-threatening or emergency situations and dilemmas.

Raising Asia is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Lifetime Docuseries
Raising Asia Asia Monet Ray, Bill Hufsey, Gianna Adams

Premiered: 2014

Asia as a dancer, singer, and actress has her whole life planned out.

Little Women: Dallas is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Lifetime Docuseries
Amanda Loy, Caylea Woodbury, Tiffani Chance

Premiered: 2016

Another spinoff of The Little Women franchise. This one is about the lives of Little Women living in Dallas, Texas.

Cheerleader Nation is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Lifetime Docuseries
Cheerleader Nation

Premiered: 2006

Members of the Dunbar High School's cheerleading squad are on a mission -- they want to dance and shout their way to winning a national championship. If they make it, it will be their third consecutive win, which is unprecedented. 

Unsolved Mysteries is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Lifetime Docuseries
Robert Stack, Dennis Farina, Keely Shaye Smith

Premiered: 1987

Dennis Farina (“Law & Order”) hosts this revamped version of the vintage docudrama series that re-creates real-life cases that revolve around unsolved crimes, missing persons and unexplained paranormal phenomena.

7 Days of Sex is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Lifetime Docuseries
7 Days of Sex Royce Binion, Chantal Lashon

Premiered: 2012

Whether it's kids, schedules, or just life in general, sex has taken a backseat in too many marriages today. Can one week of romantic homework assignments help struggling couples reconnect and rekindle the passion that first brought them together? Find out in Lifetime's new real-life series, 7 Days of Sex.

Ranker Video
Teen Trouble

Premiered: 2012

Hosted by teen behavioral specialist Josh Shipp, this series tries to set troubled teens on the right track to lead successful lives before it is too late for them to stop their self-destructive activities.

America's Supernanny is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Lifetime Docuseries
America's Supernanny Jay Zurlinden, Deborah Tillman

Premiered: 2011

America's Supernanny features the first true U.S. homegrown supernanny, Deborah Tillman, a Virginia-based childcare specialist. Tillman visits the homes of parents throughout the U.S. seeking guidance and assistance on how to best raise their children.

Roseanne's Nuts is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Lifetime Docuseries
Roseanne's Nuts Roseanne Barr, John Argent, Jake Pentland

Premiered: 2011

A reality show in which Roseanne Barr lives on a Hawaiian farm.

Double Divas is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Lifetime Docuseries
Double Divas Cynthia Richards, Molly Hopkins, Loren Schaffer

Premiered: 2013

Two Georgia women own and operate a lingerie store called 'Livi Rae Lingerie'. They not only sell hot lingerie and bras they help bra-illiterate women who want and need to feel good again with an undergarment that truly fits their body. They wholeheartedly believe in their motto 'No bust too big or too small, we fit 'em all.'

Chasing Nashville is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Lifetime Docuseries
Chasing Nashville Autumn Blair, Helena Hunt, Julia Knight

Premiered: 2013

Follows four ambitious teen singers from Appalachia, and the high drama and competition they encounter like no other singing show as they, and their equally determined families, lay everything on the line in pursuit of fame and fortune in country music.

Surviving R. Kelly is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Lifetime Docuseries
Andrea Kelly, Tarana Burke, Sparkle

Premiered: 2019

In the ground-breaking documentary series “Surviving R. Kelly,” women are emerging from the shadows and uniting their voices to share their stories. Celebrated as one of the greatest R&B singers of all time, R. Kelly’s genre defining career and playboy lifestyle has been riddled with rumors of abuse, predatory behavior, and pedophilia. 

Vivica's Black Magic is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Lifetime Docuseries
Vivica's Black Magic

Premiered: 201

Lifetime turns up the heat to melt the winter snow this January with the all-new series premiere of “Vivica’s Black Magic.” Vivica A. Fox (“Independence Day”) brings sexy back in a big way as she launches her newest business venture Black Magic, an exotic male revue and ultimate ladies’ night experience featuring her magic men.

America's Most Wanted is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Lifetime Docuseries
John Walsh, Daniel David Sim, Don LaFontaine

Premiered: 1988

True crimes are dramatized in hopes that viewers can give information leading to the capture of the criminals.

Russian Dolls is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Lifetime Docuseries
Russian Dolls Diana Kosov, Anastasia Kurinnaya, Anna Khazanova

Premiered: 2011

Brooklyn's Brighton Beach neighbourhood is home to a vibrant Russian-American community. This docuseries (referred to by some as a Russian `Jersey Shore') follows eight larger-than-life men and women who live life to the fullest, love passionately and work hard in the historic neighbourhood. 

True Tori is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Lifetime Docuseries
True Tori Tori Spelling, Dean McDermott, Mary Jo Eustace

Premiered: 2014

Tori Spelling decides to allow cameras to follow her to capture her real life story.

Escaping Polygamy is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Lifetime Docuseries
Escaping Polygamy Jessica Christensen, Andrea Brewer, Andrea Christensen

Premiered: 2014

“Escaping Polygamy” follows the work of three sisters who left the Kingston clan, a secretive polygamist group based in Salt Lake City, Utah known as the Order, as they help both loved ones and strangers break free of polygamy.

Dance Moms is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Lifetime Docuseries
Nia Sioux, Abby Lee Miller, Holly Frazier

Premiered: 2011

Set in Pittsburgh's renowned Abby Lee Dance Company, owned and operated by notoriously demanding and passionate instructor Abby Lee Miller, the series follows children's early steps on the road to stardom, and their doting mothers who are there for every rehearsal, performance and bow...all under the discerning eye of Miller. Seeing the highs and lows surrounding competition season delivers an intriguing and dramatic look at the cast's frantic pursuit of the ultimate National Dance title.

Little Women: Atlanta is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Lifetime Docuseries
Bri Barlup, Tiffany Cashette, Emily Fernandez

This is a reality show that follows a group of little women living in Atlanta as they deal with drama, friendship, careers and men.

Intimate Portrait is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Lifetime Docuseries
Meredith Vieira

Premiered: 1993

Find out more about the women you love and admire who have made their mark in movies, music, politics, sports and more in these "Intimate Portraits."

Little Women: NY is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Lifetime Docuseries
Little Women: NY Lila Call, Dawn Lang, Jazmin Lang

Premiered: 2015

Follows a group of fabulous little women, and one handsome and equally fabulous guy, living in New York City.

The Houstons: On Our Own... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Lifetime Docuseries
The Houstons: On Our Own Patricia Houston, Bobbi Kristina Brown, Nick Gordon

Premiered: 2012

Largely centers on Patricia Houston as she and the family continue to grapple with Whitney Houston's passing and as she and Gary (Houston's brother) raise their teenage daughter and support Bobbi Kristina, the late singer's daughter, while maintaining the Grammy winner's business and estate.