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The Best Lifetime Docuseries

Updated January 23, 2019 513 votes 27 voters 2.2k views40 items

List RulesVote 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.

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  • 1

    Bring It!

    Dianna Williams, Camryn Harris
    23
    4

    PremieredMarch 5, 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."

  • 2

    Beyond the Headlines

    18
    7

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

  • 3

    Biography Presents

    17
    8

    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.

  • 4

    Raising Asia

    Asia Monet Ray, Bill Hufsey
    13
    2

    Premiered2014

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

  • 5

    Little Women: Dallas

    Amanda Loy, Caylea Woodbury
    13
    5

    Premiered2016

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

    Little Women: Dallas (Lifetime, 2016) is an American reality television series. The series chronicles the lives of little women who are friends living in The Lone Star State of Dallas, Texas....  more
  • 6

    Cheerleader Nation

    Saleem Habash, Donna Martin
    10
    2

    PremieredMarch 12, 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. 

  • 7

    Teen Trouble

    12
    10

    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.

  • 8

    America's Supernanny

    Jay Zurlinden, Deborah Tillman
    10
    7

    Premiered2011

    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.

  • 9

    Roseanne's Nuts

    Roseanne Barr, John Argent
    10
    7

    Premiered2011

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

  • 10

    What Should You Do?

    Gary Fredo, Hosea Chanchez
    8
    5

    Premiered2003

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

    What Should You Do? is an American reality series that aired on Lifetime from April 2003 to January 2004....  more
  • 11

    Double Divas

    Cynthia Richards, Molly Hopkins
    7
    5

    Premiered2013

    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.'

  • 12

    Cellmate Secrets

    Angie Harmon
    5
    2

    Premiered2021

    Cellmate Secrets (Lifetime, 2021) is an American documentary series. Narrated by Angie Harmon, the series reveals new insights and information as former friends, guards, cellmates and lovers give...  more

    #392 of 456 The Best New TV Shows Of 2021#120 of 278 The Best Documentary Series & TV Shows#16 of 52 The Best True Crime Docudramas

  • 13

    Vivica's Black Magic

    10
    10

    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.

  • 14

    America's Most Wanted

    John Walsh, Daniel David Sim
    7
    7

    PremieredApril 10, 1988

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

    America's Most Wanted is an American television program produced by 20th Television, and was the longest-running program of any kind in the history of the Fox Television Network until it was...  more

    #50 of 100 The Best Serial Cop Dramas of All Time#105 of 312 The Best Shows of the 1980s, Ranked#14 of 108 The Best True Crime TV Shows

  • 15

    Surviving R. Kelly

    Andrea Kelly, Tarana Burke
    10
    10

    PremieredJanuary 3, 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. 

  • 16

    Chasing Nashville

    Autumn Blair, Helena Hunt
    9
    10

    Premiered2013

    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.

  • 17

    Unsolved Mysteries

    Robert Stack, Dennis Farina
    5
    5

    PremieredSeptember 14, 1988

    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.

    The Most Terrifying Paranormal Segments From 'Unsolved Mysteries'#218 of 401 The Best TV Shows to Rewatch#130 of 508 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time

  • 18

    True Tori

    Tori Spelling, Dean McDermott
    7
    10

    PremieredApril 22, 2014

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

    True Tori is an American docu-series starring Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott. It premiered on April 22, 2014, on Lifetime. The series ostensibly chronicles the couple's life from three weeks after...  more
  • 19

    7 Days of Sex

    Royce Binion, Chantal Lashon
    7
    10

    Premiered2012

    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.

  • 20

    Escaping Polygamy

    Jessica Christensen, Andrea Brewer
    5
    0

    PremieredJuly 14, 2015

    “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.

  • 21

    Dance Moms

    Nia Sioux, Abby Lee Miller
    5
    2

    PremieredJuly 13, 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.

    The Best Seasons of 'Dance Moms'#389 of 632 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch#23 of 71 The Best Reality Dramas

  • 22

    Russian Dolls

    Diana Kosov, Anastasia Kurinnaya
    7
    10

    Premiered2011

    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. 

  • 23

    Little Women: Atlanta

    Bri Barlup, Tiffany Cashette
    5
    2

    PremieredJanuary 27, 2016

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

    Little Women: Atlanta (Lifetime, 2016) is an American reality television series, and a spinoff of Little Women: LA. The series chronicles the lives of little women who are friends living in Atlanta,...  more
  • 24

    Little Women: NY

    Lila Call, Dawn Lang
    5
    5

    Premiered2015

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

    Little Women: NY (Lifetime, 2015) is an American reality television series. The series chronicles the life of a group of little women living in New York City....  more
  • 25

    Intimate Portrait

    Meredith Vieira
    5
    5

    Premiered1993

    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."

    Intimate Portrait is a biographical television series on the Lifetime cable network focusing on different celebrities, which includes interviews with each subject. People which have been profiled...  more