History TV Shows

About History

Thanks to the enthusiasm of history buffs, historical nonfiction has been a staple of cable programming since the explosion of new cable networks in the 1990s. In the late 1990s, historical programming was everywhere - it even had its own network in The History Channel - and you could be sure to find a documentary about World War II or the Civil War somewhere on your TV dial, no matter the time of day or night.

The History Channel debuted back in 1995, and in the beginning the network's programming was made up entirely of historical documentaries. The bulk of the programming focused on U.S. history, and there was an emphasis on military history. After a rebranding in 2008 that shortened the network's name to simply "History," the programming focus changed, as well. Historical documentaries still appear on occasion, but the majority of History's programming is reality-style series, pseudo-documentary paranormal series and other non-history-related nonfiction programs.

Despite History's deviation from its original mission, there's still plenty of historical nonfiction television being produced. Other cable networks such as the National Geographic Channel, History's spin-off Military History and FYI (formerly The Biography Channel) still air historical nonfiction specials, and historical subjects are still popular as specials on PBS and as stand-alone, independently produced features.

About This Genre
Finding Your Roots
Finding Your Roots
Active Shooter: America Under Fire
Active Shooter: America Under Fire
Peaky Blinders
Peaky Blinders
I, Claudius
I, Claudius
American Experience
American Experience
Drunk History
Drunk History
Genealogy Roadshow
Genealogy Roadshow
The Six Wives of Henry VIII
The Six Wives of Henry VIII
Downton Abbey
Downton Abbey
John Adams
John Adams
The Naked Archaeologist
The Naked Archaeologist
The Men Who Built America
The Men Who Built America
Ozzy and Jack's World Detour
Ozzy and Jack's World Detour
Mysteries at the Museum
Mysteries at the Museum
Seven Deadly Sins (2009)
Seven Deadly Sins (2009)
TUT
TUT
The Sixties
The Sixties
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Mr. Selfridge
Mr. Selfridge
Million Dollar American Princesses
Million Dollar American Princesses
The World Wars
A Crime to Remember
A.D. The Bible Continues
The Vietnam War
The Titanic
Home Fires
CopyCat Killers
Long Strange Trip
Evolution of Evil
The Red Tent
Crimes of the Century
The Story of Diana
Blood and Glory: The Civil War in Color
Generations Project
Joseph Smith Papers
Egypt
Gangsters: America's Most Evil
The Crimson Field
Pompeii - The Last Day
The Story Of The Jews
City Of Vice
King Arthur: History and Legend
Forbidden History
NOVA: Becoming Human
Time to Remember
Ken Burns: Jazz
Frontier
Roots: The Next Generations
Soviet Storm: WWII in the East
Walking with Prehistoric Beasts
The Manners of Downton Abbey
Liberty's Kids, The Complete Series
Wingmen
The Last Nazis
Alexander's Lost World
The Ghosts of Oxford Street
Treasure Trader
The Story of Film: An Odyssey
Deep Wreck Mysteries
Empire
Waterways: The Royal Canal
Secret Door
50th Anniversary of the March on Washington
Anno 1790
Historians on Civil Rights
The Curator's Vault
30 Masterpieces of the Ancient World
Einsatzgruppen: The Nazi Death Squads
Shakespeare Uncovered
Understanding Greek and Roman Technology: From Catapult to the Pantheon
History of the Holidays
The History and Function of the U.S. Government
Taking Back the Years
Holy Land Revealed
Hiroshima
The Dark Ages: An Age of Light
Edward and Mrs Simpson
Life on Fire
Bomber Boys: The Fighting Lancaster
Monarchy
Drive Thru History: Discovering America's Founders
Egypt (2013)
Chuck Knows Church
Pure History
The Draft
Ken Burns: America
Ken Burns: American Lives
Great Drives
My Classic Car
The Italian Americans
Elizabeth R
Dick Cavett's Vietnam
How Sherlock Changed the World
Constitution USA with Peter Sagal
Secrets of Highclere Castle
Planet Egypt
Wolf Hall
Cities of the Underworld
The Civil War: A Film By Ken Burns
Underground Railroad