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183 voters

The Best Non-Fiction TV Series

Updated October 28, 2020 1.8k votes 183 voters 36.0k views101 items

List RulesVote up the best non-fiction, not scripted, television shows.

The very best non-fiction shows on television are truly unscripted and range from reality TV to documentaries and everything in between. Non-fiction TV shows have been a popular staple of television for years, so there's often debate about which series are the most best non-fiction shows of all time. This list of the greatest non-fiction shows is ranked from best to worst thanks to your votes.

Don't let your favorite non-fiction television programs in history get to the bottom of the list - be sure to vote them up so they have the chance to reach the top spot. The list of non-fiction television shows includes series such Mythbusters, American Experience, Ancient Aliens - even The Joy Of Painting is a non-fiction TV show.

This list answers the questions, "What is the best non-fiction show of all time?" and "What are the greatest non-fiction shows?"

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  • 1
    MythBusters
    48
    28

    MythBusters

    Jon Lung, Brian Louden

    Premiered2003

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  • 2
    Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files
    22
    14

    Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files

    Austin Porter, Jael De Pardo

    Premiered2010

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    #18 of 65 The Best Paranormal Reality Shows#191 of 353 The Best Reality TV Shows Ever

  • 3
    American Experience
    14
    6

    American Experience

    David McCullough, David Ogden Stiers

    Premiered1988

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    #305 of 389 TV Shows That Only Smart People Appreciate#98 of 98 The Best True Crime TV Shows

  • 4
    The Joy of Painting
    27
    24

    The Joy of Painting

    Bob Ross, Ben Stahl

    Premiered1983

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    #125 of 537 TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time#1 of 15 15 Relaxing Shows To Chill Out To On Netflix

  • 5
    Trauma: Life in the E.R.
    14
    7

    Trauma: Life in the E.R.

    Chip Demarest, Andy Michaels

    Premiered1997

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    #14 of 51 The Best Reality Dramas#1 of 29 The Best Reality Medical Shows

  • 6
    Secrets & Mysteries
    20
    16

    Secrets & Mysteries

    Edward Mulhare

    Premiered1988

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  • 7
    Juvies
    11
    4

    Juvies

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  • 8
    It's Effin' Science
    13
    7

    It's Effin' Science

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  • 9
    Psychic Detectives
    11
    8

    Psychic Detectives

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  • 10
    Most Haunted
    11
    9

    Most Haunted

    Yvette Fielding, Ciarán O'Keeffe

    Premiered2002

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  • 11
    Patrick Macnee's Ghost Stories
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  • 12
    Eyewitness
    11
    12

    Eyewitness

    Philip Glenister

    Premiered1994

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  • 13
    4
    3

    The World's Astonishing News

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  • 14
    Biography
    29
    40

    Biography

    Joan Lunden, Peter Graves

    Premiered1987

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    #26 of 213 The Best Documentary Series & TV Shows#6 of 39 The Best Biographical Documentary Series

  • 15
    The Awful Truth
    8
    10

    The Awful Truth

    Michael Moore, Karen Duffy

    Premiered1999

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  • 16
    Ancient Aliens
    13
    19

    Ancient Aliens

    Robert Clotworthy, Giorgio Tsoukalos

    Premiered2010

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  • 17
    American Masters
    18
    28

    American Masters

    Julianna Margulies, Laura Linney

    Premiered1986

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  • 18
    Pet Psychic
    4
    7

    Pet Psychic

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  • 19
    Watchdog
    12
    19

    Watchdog

    Anne Robinson, Lynn Faulds Wood

    Premiered1980

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  • 20
    Campus PD
    3
    6

    Campus PD

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  • 21
    Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction
    7
    12

    Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction

    Jonathan Frakes, Don LaFontaine

    Premiered1997

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  • 22
    Break the Silence: Kids Against Child Abuse
    4
    8

    Break the Silence: Kids Against Child Abuse

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  • 23
    Haunted Lives: True Ghost Stories
    9
    16

    Haunted Lives: True Ghost Stories

    Jared Rushton, Stacy Keach

    Premiered1991

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    #27 of 86 The Best Paranormal TV Shows#26 of 44 The Best Ghost Hunting Paranormal Reality Shows

  • 24
    Book TV
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  • 25
    The Real Hustle
    12
    21

    The Real Hustle

    Jessica-Jane Clement, Alexis Conran

    Premiered2006

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