History TV

Television can be a great way to help history come alive for kids. There are awesome scripted series that really put you right smack dab in a bygone time and place. There are reality shows that uncover ancient artifacts, and biopics about people who have shaped the world. Check out our top picks for TV shows that make history interesting and entertaining. And for more history-minded picks, don't miss Best History Movies and Time Travel Movies, and for those in the mood for a page-turner that chronicles a lost moment in time, our Historical Fiction book list is a sure bet.

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The Amazing Professor Ambrosius' Mansion TV Poster Image
Engaging animated series blends humor with learning.
Network: Online
(2017)
(2015)
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Dear America TV Poster Image
Books-inspired series brings history to life for kids.
Network: HBO
(2013)
(1999)
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The Who Was? Show TV Poster Image
Fun books-inspired show intros kids to historical figures.
Network: Netflix
(2018)
(2018)
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Liberty's Kids TV Poster Image
Worthwhile 'toon walks tweens through American history.
Network: Syndicated
(2011)
(2002)
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Mind-Blowing Breakthroughs TV Poster Image
Lively, historical science stories are fun and educational.
Network: Starz, Online
(2017)
(2014)
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The States TV Poster Image
Fun American history snippets for tweens and up.
Network: History
(2007)
(2007)
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Unsolved History TV Poster Image
Cracking the past's big mysteries with technology.
Network: Discovery Channel, Discovery Times
(2006)
(2002)
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Wow, I Never Knew That! TV Poster Image
Family-friendly show tells origin stories of everyday items.
Network: Kids Central
(2018)
(2017)
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Horrible Histories TV Poster Image
Books-inspired British sketch comedy yields laughs, facts.
Network: Online
(2014)
(2009)
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American Dreams TV Poster Image
Evocative retrospective drama follows changes of the '60s.
Network: NBC
(2015)
(2003)
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American Pickers TV Poster Image
Hunt for antique treasures is a gem for history buffs.
Network: History
(2010)
(2010)
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Behind the Movement TV Poster Image
Insightful biopic tells story behind momentous bus boycott.
Network: TV One
(2018)
(2018)
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The Story of Europe with Historian Dr. Christopher Clark TV Poster Image
European history docu is rich in detail, imagery.
Network: HBO Max
(2021)
(2017)
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Cosmos: Possible Worlds TV Poster Image
Visually stunning existential explorations dig deep.
Network: National Geographic Channel, Fox
(2020)
(2020)
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History Detectives TV Poster Image
Lively series reveals history's everyday secrets.
Network: PBS
(2005)
(2003)
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How We Got to Now TV Poster Image
History's greatest ideas are smart fun for curious families.
Network: PBS
(2014)
(2014)
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The Long, Long Holiday TV Poster Image
Wonderful animated series about life in occupied France.
Network: Netflix
(2018)
(2015)
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Victorian Slum House TV Poster Image
Past becomes present when modern folk move to an 1800s slum.
Network: PBS
(2017)
(2017)
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Where Did It Come From? TV Poster Image
Glimpse into technology's past is fun for curious families.
Network: History
(2011)
(2006)
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The Roosevelts: An Intimate History Movie Poster Image
Lots of historical detail in evenhanded, traditional docu.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2014)
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America: The Story of Us TV Poster Image
U.S. history gets dramatic in worthy educational series.
Network: History
(2010)
(2010)
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Big History TV Poster Image
Get the big picture in sometimes-violent fact-based series.
Network: History
(2013)
(2013)
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Equal TV Poster Image
Extraordinary docuseries has period language and smoking.
Network: HBO Max
(2020)
(2020)
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First Life with David Attenborough TV Poster Image
Smart journey through prehistoric life is great for teens.
Network: Discovery Channel
(2010)
(2010)
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Foyle's War TV Poster Image
Superb drama is historically accurate, dialogue-heavy.
Network: PBS
(2015)
(2004)
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Pioneers of Television TV Poster Image
Overview of TV's key contributions, including edgy moments.
Network: PBS
(2014)
(2008)
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Whose Vote Counts, Explained TV Poster Image
Docu series explains complicated U.S. electoral system.
Network: Netflix
(2020)
(2020)
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High Score TV Poster Image
Nostalgia-brimming binge for gamers of a certain age.
Network: Netflix
(2020)
(2020)
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Origins: The Journey of Humankind TV Poster Image
Graphic history of humanity will intrigue curious teens.
Network: National Geographic Channel
(2017)
(2017)
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Poldark TV Poster Image
Complex, moral leading man sells British period drama.
Network: PBS
(2015)
(2015)
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The Toys That Made Us TV Poster Image
Fun, quirky docuseries is a nostalgic trip for toy fans.
Network: Netflix
(2018)
(2017)
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Belgravia TV Poster Image
Historical drama about British classism has mature themes.
Network: Epix
(2020)
(2020)
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Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise TV Poster Image
Superb, essential docu illuminates Black American history.
Network: PBS
(2020)
(2016)
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Challenger: The Final Flight TV Poster Image
Absorbing series explores space shuttle's mishaps, heroes.
Network: Netflix
(2020)
(2020)
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Gold Fever TV Poster Image
Informative historical miniseries packs a violent punch.
Network: Discovery Channel
(2013)
(1996)
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Makers: Women Who Make America Movie Poster Image
Inspiring survey of important women in U.S. history.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2013)
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Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker TV Poster Image
Solid drama highlights the life of legendary entrepreneur.
Network: Netflix
(2020)
(2020)
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Show Me a Hero TV Poster Image
Political drama deals in weighty themes, serious issues.
Network: HBO
(2015)
(2015)
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Wolf Hall TV Poster Image
Violence, complex intrigue in quality historical drama.
Network: PBS
(2015)
(2015)
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The Crown TV Poster Image
Exquisite bio-series is complex and compelling.
Network: Netflix
(2016)
(2016)
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Deliverance Creek TV Poster Image
Tense, violent Civil War drama boasts strong female roles.
Network: Lifetime
(2014)
(2014)
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The Last Kingdom TV Poster Image
Bloody costume drama is violent but tastefully constructed.
Network: BBC America
(2015)
(2015)
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On the Record TV Poster Image
Moving docu centers on race and culture in Me Too movement.
Network: HBO Max
(2020)
(2020)
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Small Axe TV Poster Image
Miniseries celebrates Black British culture; adult themes.
Network: Amazon Prime Video
(2020)
(2020)
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The Spanish Princess TV Poster Image
Sometimes violent historical drama has relevance to present.
Network: Starz
(2019)
(2019)
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Turn: Washington's Spies TV Poster Image
Historical series doesn't downplay war's graphic realities.
Network: AMC
(2014)
(2014)
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Underground TV Poster Image
Gripping slave drama is great viewing for mature viewers.
Network: WGN
(2016)
(2016)
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Barkskins TV Poster Image
Lots of bloody violence in New World frontier adaptation.
Network: National Geographic Channel
(2020)
(2020)
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Chernobyl TV Poster Image
Drama based on Russian disaster is brutal but relevant.
Network: HBO
(2019)
(2019)
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Drunk History TV Poster Image
Hilarious true history lessons make drunkenness seem funny.
Network: Comedy Central
(2013)
(2013)
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Fear City: New York vs. the Mafia TV Poster Image
Keen look into 1980s FBI mafia takedown has foul language.
Network: Netflix
(2020)
(2020)
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Halt and Catch Fire TV Poster Image
Period tech drama is fascinating, but expect sexy stuff.
Network: AMC
(2014)
(2014)
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Hollywood TV Poster Image
Beautiful, raw post-war drama has sex and strong language.
Network: Netflix
(2020)
(2020)
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Babylon Berlin TV Poster Image
Dazzling police/spy drama set in pre-WWII Germany.
Network: Netflix
(2018)
(2017)
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