Non-Fiction The Best Non-fiction TV Shows  

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851 votes 124 voters 28.5k views 99 items

List Rules Shows near the top must be only the best Non-fiction TV series.

The very best non-fiction shows on television, ranked from best to worst. This list of the greatest non-fiction shows also includes pictures from the shows when available. Popular non-fiction TV shows have been a staple of television for years, so there's often debate about what the most entertaining non-fiction show of all time is. 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 below includes information like the program's cast, creator and premiere date when available.

The list you're viewing is made up of many different shows, like Watchdog and FYI.

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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MythBusters is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Non-fiction TV Shows
MythBusters Jamie Hyneman, Robert Lee, Adam Savage MythBusters is a science entertainment television program created by Peter Rees and produced by Australia's Beyond Television Productions for the Discovery Channel. The series is transmitted by ...more

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The Joy of Painting is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Non-fiction TV Shows
The Joy of Painting Bob Ross, Ben Stahl, Steve Ross The Joy of Painting is an American half-hour instructional television show hosted by painter Bob Ross which ran from January 11, 1983, until May 17, 1994. In each episode, Ross taught techniques ...more

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Trauma: Life in the E.R. is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Non-fiction TV Shows
Trauma: Life in the E.R. Chip Demarest, Andy Michaels, Brian Plaisier Trauma: Life in the E.R. is a medical-based television reality show that formerly ran on TLC from 1997 to 2002 and reruns are currently airing on Discovery Fit & Health. At its peak, Trauma ...more

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Ancient Aliens is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Non-fiction TV Shows
lalispeter added Ancient Aliens Robert Clotworthy, Giorgio Tsoukalos, David Childress Ancient Aliens (History, 2010) is an American television series that presents hypotheses of ancient astronauts and proposes that historical texts, archaeology, and legends contain evidence of ...more

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Destination Truth is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Non-fiction TV Shows
mac1949 added Destination Truth Josh Gates, Gabriel Copeland, Mike Morrell Destination Truth was a weekly American paranormal reality television series that premiered on June 6, 2007, on Syfy. Produced by Mandt Bros. Productions and Ping Pong Productions, the program ...more

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Secrets & Mysteries is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Non-fiction TV Shows
Secrets & Mysteries Edward Mulhare Secrets & Mysteries was a television series which originally aired in syndication from 1988 to 1989. It was hosted by acclaimed Irish actor Edward Mulhare and dealt with topics of a ...more

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Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Non-fiction TV Shows
lalispeter added Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction Jonathan Frakes, Don LaFontaine, James Brolin Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction is an American television anthology series created by Lynn Lehmann, presented by Dick Clark Productions, and produced and aired by the Fox network from 1997 to ...more

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Ripley's Believe It or Not! is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Non-fiction TV Shows
Ripley's Believe It or Not! Ripley's Believe It or Not! is an informative and educational TV program from GMA Network. It began airing on August 18, 2008. The show features clips from. It is hosted and narrated by Chris

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American Experience is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Non-fiction TV Shows
MarySSpiegel added American Experience David McCullough, David Ogden Stiers, Michael Murphy 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 ...more

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The Awful Truth is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Non-fiction TV Shows
The Awful Truth Michael Moore, Karen Duffy The Awful Truth is a satirical television show that was directed, written, and hosted by filmmaker Michael Moore, and funded by the British broadcaster Channel 4.

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Biography is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Non-fiction TV Shows
Biography Joan Lunden, Peter Graves, David Hart Smith Biography is a documentary television series that had three original runs, twice on CBS and the current on A&E then The Biography Channel then FYI. It was originally a half-hour filmed ...more

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Book TV is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Non-fiction TV Shows
Book TV Book TV is the name given to weekend programming on the American cable network C-SPAN2 airing from 8 a.m. Eastern Time Saturday morning to 8 a.m. Eastern Time Monday morning each week. The 48 ...more

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Celebrity Poker Showdown is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Non-fiction TV Shows
Celebrity Poker Showdown Dave Foley, Kevin Pollak, Phil Gordon Celebrity Poker Showdown is a celebrity game show on the cable network Bravo. It was a limited-run series in which celebrities played poker, and ran eight tournaments during its five-season run. ...more

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American Masters is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Non-fiction TV Shows
American Masters Julianna Margulies, Laura Linney, William Hurt American Masters is a PBS television show which produces biographies on artists, actors and writers of the United States who have left a profound impact on the nation's popular culture. It is ...more

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Fact or Faked: Paranormal File... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Non-fiction TV Shows
mac1949 added Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files Austin Porter, Jael De Pardo, Ben Hansen Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files is a paranormal investigation series produced by Base Productions that began airing July 15, 2010, on SyFy. The show follows a team of investigators, led by ...more

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After Dark is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Non-fiction TV Shows
After Dark After Dark is a British late-night live discussion programme broadcast on Channel 4 television between 1987 and 1997, and on the BBC in 2003. Roly Keating of the BBC described it as "one of ...more

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Home Computing Starring Tim Te... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Non-fiction TV Shows

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Home Computing is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Non-fiction TV Shows
IanDavies added Home Computing

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Watchdog is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Non-fiction TV Shows
Watchdog Anne Robinson, Lynn Faulds Wood, Matt Allwright Watchdog is a BBC television series that investigates viewers' reports of problematic experiences with traders, retailers, and other companies around the UK. It has had great success in changing ...more

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Haunted Lives: True Ghost Stor... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Non-fiction TV Shows
Haunted Lives: True Ghost Stories Jared Rushton, Stacy Keach, Marianne Muellerleile Haunted Lives: True Ghost Stories was an American paranormal anthology television miniseries that originally broadcast from May 15, 1991 to November 28, 1995, on CBS and UPN. This short-lived ...more

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Don't Get Done, Get Dom is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Non-fiction TV Shows
Don't Get Done, Get Dom Don't Get Done, Get Dom is a British consumer rights television series. The show is named for its presenter Dominic Littlewood. Each series is transmitted, usually daily during daytime, on BBC ...more

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Psychic Detectives is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Non-fiction TV Shows
Psychic Detectives Psychic Detectives or Psychic Investigators is a television program produced by StoryHouse Productions for Court TV, as of 2006 in its 5th season. The program documents real-life cases of ...more

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It's Effin' Science is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Non-fiction TV Shows
It's Effin' Science It's Effin' Science was an American television show on G4. It was hosted by Angie Greenup, Marc Horowitz and Chad Zdenek and produced by Renegade Productions. Filming was based in Los Angeles, ...more

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Call 911 is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Non-fiction TV Shows
Call 911 Call 911 is a television show that premiered as a Court TV special on August 21, 2007, and began airing as a series on July 30, 2008 on Investigation Discovery. The series began airing on ...more

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Pro-Am Poker Equalizer is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Non-fiction TV Shows
Pro-Am Poker Equalizer Jose Canseco, Cheryl Hines, Cindy Margolis The Pro-Am Poker Equalizer is a televised poker tournament in which professional poker players play Texas hold 'em against celebrities which began airing on ESPN in January 2007. In order to ...more

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Juvies is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Non-fiction TV Shows
Juvies Juvies is an MTV television show following minors in the Lake County, Indiana Juvenile Justice Complex. The series' first and only season debuted on MTV in February 2007, and has re-aired ...more

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Be the Creature is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Non-fiction TV Shows
Be the Creature Chris Kratt, Martin Kratt Be the Creature is a creation of the Kratt Brothers. A wildlife series designed to immerse both the brothers and the viewers in the world of animals, Unlike other Kratt Brothers programs, ...more

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Cheap Seats is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Non-fiction TV Shows
Cheap Seats Kate Walsh, David Cross, H. Jon Benjamin Cheap Seats without Ron Parker, commonly shortened to Cheap Seats, was a television program broadcast on ESPN Classic hosted by brothers Randy and Jason Sklar. The brothers appear as fictional ...more

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For Love or Money is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Non-fiction TV Shows
For Love or Money Ben, Rachel Veltri, Steve Alten For Love or Money is an American reality television show initially broadcast as summer programming on NBC in 2003 and 2004. Four seasons of the program were shown in linked pairs, and all ...more

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Dude, What Would Happen is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Non-fiction TV Shows
Dude, What Would Happen Dude, What Would Happen was a live-action reality series that aired on Cartoon Network originally as part of its CN Real block which aired a line of live-action reality shows promoted in the ...more

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Biker Build-Off is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Non-fiction TV Shows
Biker Build-Off Biker Build-Off is a reality television series for the Discovery Channel. Created and narrated by Thom Beers, the series was originally conceived as a single special called The Great Biker ...more

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Computer Chronicles is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Non-fiction TV Shows
Computer Chronicles Computer Chronicles was an American half-hour television series, broadcast from 1983 to 2002 on Public Broadcasting Service public television, which documented the rise of the personal computer ...more

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Cybernet is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Non-fiction TV Shows
Cybernet Cybernet was a weekly video gaming magazine programme, originally broadcast overnight on the ITV network in the United Kingdom. The programme was commissioned by Yorkshire Television and ...more

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The Unbelievable is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Non-fiction TV Shows
The Unbelievable The Unbelievable is a Hong Kong TV program about paranormal and other supernatural occurrences mostly in Hong Kong and nearby East Asia countries. It is generally based on Eastern buddhist, ...more

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The Lab with Leo Laporte is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Non-fiction TV Shows
The Lab with Leo Laporte The Lab with Leo Laporte was a technology-based television program hosted by Leo Laporte. Episode #1 debuted on April 23, 2007 on G4techTV Canada and HOW TO Channel Australia. The program was ...more

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Movie Lounge is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Non-fiction TV Shows
Movie Lounge Movie Lounge was a movie and DVD review television show, presented by newspaper columnist and food critic Giles Coren. It was shown on the British terrestrial channel Five.

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The Real Hustle is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Non-fiction TV Shows
The Real Hustle Jessica-Jane Clement, Alexis Conran The Real Hustle is a British television series created by Objective Productions for BBC Three. The show demonstrates confidence and magic tricks, distraction scams and proposition bets performed ...more

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Doing DaVinci is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Non-fiction TV Shows
Doing DaVinci Doing DaVinci was a popular science television program originally aired on the Discovery Channel in which the hosts attempted to create many of Leonardo da Vinci's inventions. The show aired on ...more

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That's Tough is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Non-fiction TV Shows
That's Tough That's Tough was an American documentary television series on G4. It was based on a concept by executive producers Adam Cohen, Cara Tapper, and Joanna Vernetti. There wereno hosts attached to ...more

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Check, Please! is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Non-fiction TV Shows
Check, Please! Check, Please! is a popular, multi-Emmy Award winning restaurant review program that began on Chicago's PBS member station WTTW in 2001. The show's popularity inspired spin-offs in several other ...more

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Charity You're a Star is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Non-fiction TV Shows
Charity You're a Star Charity You're a Star is a talent contest created by Raidió Teilifís Éireann, in which various Irish celebrities sang to raise money for the charity of their choice. The ...more

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Net Cafe is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Non-fiction TV Shows
Net Cafe Net Cafe was a US television series documenting the internet boom of the late 1990s. It was broadcast from 1996 to 2002 and hosted by Stewart Cheifet, Jane Wither, and Andrew deVries. The show ...more

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BodyShaping is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Non-fiction TV Shows
BodyShaping BodyShaping is a TV fitness and exercise show, with segments on weight training, cardiovascular exercise, stretching and nutrition. It was in production from 1990 to 1998, and has been in reruns ...more

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Dr. Know is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Non-fiction TV Shows
Dr. Know Dr. Know is a program dedicated to debunking various rumours and popular misconceptions in the realm of personal health. The show featured Dr. Paul Trotman, a New Zealand physician in fields ...more

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FYI is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Non-fiction TV Shows
FYI FYI was an information series seen on the ABC network in the early 1980s. Hosted by Hal Linden, the program features answers to questions that many viewers ask, from common questions such as, ...more

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Picture Page is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Non-fiction TV Shows
Picture Page Picture Page was an early Australian television series which aired from 1956 to 1957 on ABC. It was hosted by Valerie Cooney. The half-hour prime-time series was of a magazine format. In the 19 ...more

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America Now TV is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Non-fiction TV Shows
America Now TV America Now TV ran on KWHY Channel 22 in Los Angeles for a little over 3 years in the early 1990s and was translated and broadcast in 27 countries as a result of a distribution deal with Peacock ...more

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You're a Star is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Non-fiction TV Shows
You're a Star Louis Walsh, Linda Martin You're a Star is a singing contest in Ireland, similar to The X Factor in the United Kingdom and American Idol in the USA. Created by Screentime ShinAwiL and Raidió Teilifís ...more

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Live It Up! is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Non-fiction TV Shows
Live It Up! Live It Up! was a Canadian lifestyle, entertainment and consumer awareness television program, which aired nationally on CTV from 1978 to 1990. Reruns of the show aired on talktv until January ...more

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Campus PD is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Non-fiction TV Shows
Campus PD Campus PD was an American television show on G4. Campus PD was produced by Cineflix Productions. The show was similar in style and tone to the show COPS. Unlike COPS, Campus PD focused ...more