Most Popular TV “Based on a True Story” Series

Most Popular TV “Based on a True Story” Series

Looking to get inspired by a real-life historical hero? Or maybe you’re into true crime, and love anything “based on a true story.” If that’s the case, you’re in luck! This consistently updated list provides you with the most popular TV shows based on a true story for you to enjoy at home. 

Keep an eye on this list as it is updated with the latest and greatest biopic shows so you can be sure you’re in the loop. From American Monster to In TheirOwn Words, this list will help fans of history (and history in the making) keep up with the best and most interesting TV shows based on a true story available right now. 


Let’s get started. Here are the trending historical figure biopics that TV-watchers are enjoying right now, with all the information you need to check them out for yourself.

1. ‘American Monster’

↔ vs. Prior Week

'American Monster' promo imageImmerse yourself in a blend of real-life horror and heartrending human stories with American Monster. This chilling show takes a unique glimpse into the seemingly perfect lives of American families, only to shockingly reveal that beneath their glossy exteriors hide inhuman monsters perpetuating unspeakable crimes.

The show masterfully uses home videos and interviews of families and friends, adding an eerily personal touch to every act of violence committed. Tune in to American Monster for a haunting denouement that will leave you questioning the true nature of humanity itself.

2. ‘E! True Hollywood Story’

↓ 1 vs. Prior Week

'E! True Hollywood Story' promo imageTake a deep dive into the behind-the-scenes action of Hollywood with E! True Hollywood Story. This documentary series offers viewers an intimate and revealing glimpse into the lives of the rich and famous. From the thrilling highs to the shocking lows, nothing is off-limits as it explores the real stories of some of the biggest names in showbiz.

Filled with insider interviews and insightful commentary, this show meticulously unfolds the truth behind the glitz and glamour. Watch E! True Hollywood Story to uncover the bittersweet reality of stardom.

3. ‘Becoming Frida Kahlo’

↑ 12 vs. Prior Week

Becoming Frida Kahlo miniseries promo imageImmerse yourself in the colorful and complex life of Frida Kahlo with Becoming Frida Kahlo. This biographical show dives into the depths of Frida’s tumultuous life, her enduring relationship with Diego Rivera and her rise to fame as an artist of the surreal and symbolic.

The series vividly portrays the strength and resilience of Frida, despite her physical and emotional pain, which ultimately fueled her groundbreaking art. Be prepared for a journey filled with passion, struggle and creativity that embodies the essence of Frida Kahlo’s life and work. Don’t miss this captivating portrayal of one of the most influential artists of the 20th century.

4. ‘American Masters’

↔ vs. Prior Week

'American Masters' promo imageDelve into the lives of America’s most influential artists, authors, musicians and performers on American Masters. This award-winning biographical series masterfully profiles innovators who have shaped culture and left a lasting impact on society. Peek behind the curtain to discover the drive and creative process of these talented figures where each episode acts as a riveting, in-depth portrait.

Watch as every installment unfolds a fascinating, inspirational journey, capturing the essence of the creative spirit. You’ll feel as though you know each artist personally after experiencing the power of American Masters.

5. ‘Benjamin Franklin’

↑ 2 vs. Prior Week

Dive into the world of one of America’s Founding Fathers in Benjamin Franklin. This compelling Ken Burn’s documentary show shines a spotlight on the life and times of the brilliant yet complex inventor, scientist, writer and diplomat, Benjamin Franklin. From drafting the U.S. Constitution to his numerous scientific contributions, explore the great mind behind the discoveries and ideas that continue to shape society.

This visually rich narrative, brimming with Franklin’s wit, ingenuity and political savvy, offers a deeper understanding of the man behind the legend. Unravel the complexities of this enigmatic character, a man as fascinating as the historical period he lived through.

6. ‘Meet a Scientologist’

↓ 1 vs. Prior Week

'Meet a Scientologist' promo imageExplore the world of Scientology with the dynamic series, Meet a Scientologist. This intriguing show provides an in-depth look into the lives of real-life Scientologists from all walks of life, showcasing their unique experiences and journeys within this often-misunderstood religion.

From celebrity adherents to everyday practitioners, each individual’s story offers an enlightening perspective on faith, aspiration, and the powerful impact of Scientology on their lives. Don’t miss this intimate exploration of personal belief and transformation in Meet a Scientologist.

7. ‘Biography’

↓ 1 vs. Prior Week

'Biography' promo imageBiography is an engrossing documentary series that delves deep into the lives of some of the world’s most intriguing individuals. The show uncovers the true story behind the public personas of famous figures, ranging from notable entertainers and significant political figures to influential artists and beyond.

These comprehensive bio-documentaries, rich with interviews and archival footage, give viewers unique insights into their subjects’ trials, triumphs, and transformations. With Biography, join the intimate journey through the lives of extraordinary people shaping our world, culture and history.

8. ‘Agatha Christie: Lucy Worsley on the Mystery Queen’

↓ 5 vs. Prior Week

'Agatha Christie: Lucy Worsley on the Mystery Queen' promo imageDive deep into the tantalizing world of mysteries with Agatha Christie: Lucy Worsley on the Mystery Queen. Historian Lucy Worsley takes viewers on an intriguing journey through the life and work of Agatha Christie, the world-renowned queen of crime writing. Engage in a fascinating exploration of Christie’s captivating storytelling techniques and complex characters that have enthralled millions worldwide. Lucy unravels the secrets behind Christie’s success as one of the best-selling authors of all time, all while illuminating tales about this enigmatic writer’s own life.

9. ‘Julius Caesar: The Making of a Dictator’

↓ 1 vs. Prior Week

 'Julius Caesar: The Making of a Dictator' promo imageImmerse yourself in the world of ancient Rome with Julius Caesar: The Making of a Dictator. Trace Caesar’s meteoric rise to power, from his birth to his unprecedented achievements and ultimate violent demise. Witness his compelling life’s journey, filled with ruthless ambition, cunning strategies and unyielding leadership, which marked him as one of history’s most intriguing leaders.

Diplomacy, war and political intrigue intermingle, providing fascinating insights into the man who would become Rome’s dictator. Tune in and engage with the intricate tapestry of historical events that surround this iconic figure.

10. ‘In Their Own Words’

↑ 4 vs. Prior Week

'In Their Own Words' tv promo imageDelve into the extraordinary lives of some of the world’s most influential personalities in In Their Own Words. The documentary series explores renowned figures’ lives, their challenges, achievements and the moments that have shaped who they are. Each episode invites you to hear firsthand accounts from the individuals themselves, pieced together with thoughtfully curated archival footage. Be prepared to be moved, inspired and enlightened as you experience history through the eyes of those who lived it.

And there you have it: the top 10 shows based on a true story to stream at home. Stay tuned for updates to come so you can keep up with the best content available right now.

For those who aren’t DIRECTV customers, make the switch today! Get all the best channels, shows, movies and more. And with four unique packages, there’s something for everyone.

And for even more insight into the top shows and movies to watch right now, check out these other lists:

The content is featured on is editorial content brought to you by DIRECTV. While some of the programming discussed may now or in the future be available affiliates distribution services, the companies and persons discussed and depicted, and the authors and publishers of licensed content, are not necessarily associated with and do not necessarily endorse DIRECTV. When you click on ads on this site you may be taken to DIRECTV marketing pages that display advertising content. Content sponsored or co-created by programmers is identified as "Sponsored Content" or "Promoted Content."