The BEST History Shows
The top 37 shows on History
#1 - Battles BC
Using a graphic style similar to 300, the contemporary novel that became a Hollywood blockbuster, Battles BC shows how leaders from the ancient world fared in some of the greatest conflicts in history, exposing the truths and myths behind the legendary feats of the epic heroes and villains who didn t just wage war, but invented it.
#2 - The Universe
From the planets to the stars and out to the edge of the unknown, history and science collide in this epic exploration of the Universe and its mysteries. It's a very old universe. Yet just 50 years since man first ventured into outer space, the heavens are yielding their greatest secrets. Robotic rovers give us eyes on the red rock of Mars--NASA probes slam into comets at hyper speed--deep-space telescopes capture violent images of the birth of stars and their collapse into black holes. All have significantly changed the way we see ourselves. We wonder, is there anywhere else out there that that can support life? Episodes examine how discoveries were made and the scientists and explorers who dared to venture into the uncharted territory of the universe.
#3 - Vikings
Vikings follows the adventures of Ragnar Lothbrok the greatest hero of his age. The series tells the sagas of Ragnar's band of Viking brothers and his family, as he rises to become King of the Viking tribes. As well as being a fearless warrior, Ragnar embodies the Norse traditions of devotion to the gods, legend has it that he was a direct descendant of Odin, the god of war and warriors.
#4 - WWII in HD
WWII in HD is the first-ever World War II documentary presented in full, immersive HD color. Culled from thousands of hours of lost and rare color archival footage gathered from a worldwide search through basements and archives, WWII in HD will change the way the world sees this defining conflict. Using footage never before seen by most Americans--converted to HD for unprecedented clarity--viewers will experience the war as if they were actually there, surrounded by the real sights and sounds of the battlefields. Along the way they'll meet a diverse group of soldiers whose wartime diaries and journals show in visceral detail what the war was really like. This visually astonishing landmark series presents the story of World War II through the eyes of 12 Americans who experienced the war firsthand. Viewers will hear the story of Army nurse June Wandrey, who served from the beginning of the war in North Africa to the liberation of the camps in Germany. They will meet Shelby Westbrook, a young African American from Toledo, who became a member of the famed Tuskegee Airmen; Jimmie Kanaya, the son of Japanese immigrants, who served in the U.S. Army and was imprisoned in Europe; and Jack Werner, a Jewish émigré who escaped from Austria before the war and wound up fighting not against Hitler and the hated Nazis, but in the Pacific Theater.
#5 - Vietnam in HD
It's not the war you know. It's the war they fought. Two years after the release of its landmark Emmy-winning series WWII in HD, HISTORY shifts its focus to a new generation and one of the most controversial chapters in American history, the Vietnam War. Vietnam in HD will immerse viewers in the sights, the sounds and the stories of the Vietnam War as it has never before been seen. Thousands of hours of uncensored footage--much of it shot by soldiers in action--will detail every critical chapter of the conflict. The war will unfold onscreen through the gripping firsthand accounts of 13 brave men and women who were forever changed by their experience in Vietnam. Viewers will meet Karl Marlantes, a Marine whose unit saw some of the fiercest fighting of the war, and whose 2010 novel Matterhorn is considered one of the finest books written about the Vietnam War; Arthur Wiknik, a draftee who led his squad to safety during the 10-day assault on “Hamburger Hill”; Bob Clewell, a pilot in the Comancheros assault helicopter battalion who barely survived an ill-fated mission into Laos; Charles Brown, an African-American Army sergeant who led missions through the deadly jungles of Pleiku and Dak To; Elizabeth Allen, an Army nurse who insisted on frontline duty and valiantly saved lives during the Tet Offensive; Joe Galloway, a United Press International reporter who was awarded a Bronze Star with V for Valor for rescuing wounded soldiers under fire at Ia Drang; Anne Purcell, wife of the highest-ranking Army officer to be held as a prisoner of war in Vietnam; and Barry Romo, an Army infantryman who was transformed from a gung-ho patriot and war hero to staunch anti-war activist. This six-hour series is narrated by Golden Globe Award winner Michael C. Hall and voiced by some of Hollywood’s top talents:
#6 - How the Earth Was Made
There's a lot of information in How the Earth Was Made, but perhaps the most interesting relates to time. Quite often, the numbers are so staggering that scientists refer to it as "deep time," an appropriate term when one grapples with the notion that our planet is 4.5 billion years old, or that the oceans were formed by rainfall that lasted literally millions of years, or that 700 million years ago, Earth was completely covered by ice that was a mile thick, with surface temperatures reaching minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit. On the other end of the scale are numbers that seem surprisingly small: for instance, it wasn't until 220 years ago that the accepted church doctrine regarding the planet's age (no more than 6000 years, according to the Bible) was seriously challenged and that the key to its past was found in rocks, not scripture, while the discovery that dinosaurs once ruled the Earth came considerably later than that. Using a combination of computer graphics and animation, various drawings and diagrams, photos, location footage, and expert commentary, this fascinating, 94-minute History Channel production takes us from the very beginning, when the planet was formed by meteors colliding in space, through numerous major events (including the appearance of water, granite, and oxygen) and mind-boggling catastrophes (such as mass extinctions caused by volcanic eruptions or the enormous meteor that wiped out 75% of all living things, including the dinosaurs, some 65 million years ago), right up to the present; there's even a glimpse into the future, when Earth will likely end up as barren and lifeless as Mars (no need to hit the panic button yet, though--a few billion more years will pass before that happens). Bonus features include additional scenes and a documentary entitled "Inside the Volcano." --Sam Graham
#7 - Ice Pilots NWT
This documentary series follows the pilots of the Yellowknife-based Buffalo Airways, which still flies Second World War airplanes to transport people around Northern Canada.
#8 - Alone
Alone puts survivalists by themselves in the wilderness, without camera crews, support teams, or producers – on a single mission to stay alive for as long as possible. The last person standing will win $500,000.
#9 - Mountain Men
Most people enjoy the modern technologies and conveniences of today -- smartphones, tablets, cable and satellite TV among them -- but there are people who choose to live off the grid and in the unspoiled wilderness, where dangers like mudslides, falling trees and bears are all parts of life. ``Mountain Men'' profiles three such people. Eustace Conway, who has lived at the western edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina for more than 25 years, teaches interns about the old ways of living with nature. Tom Oar needs an entire year to prepare for the seven-month-long winter on Montana's Yaak River. In Alaska, Marty Meierotto must gather enough wood to survive, in complete isolation, winters that can have temperatures drop to as low as 60 degrees below zero. It's not an easy life but for these mountain men, it's life as they know it.
#10 - The World Wars
An assassination in Sarajevo sparks a global war. For the next 30 years, deadly fighting rages across Europe, Africa, China and the Pacific. Hitler. Churchill. De Gaulle. MacArthur. Patton. Stalin. Mussolini. We know them as legends. But they first learn what it will take to rise to greatness as young soldiers, fighting for their lives on the frontlines. This is the story of a generation of men who come of age in the trenches of World War I, only to become the leaders of World War II. The lessons they learn on the frontlines shape them as they rise to power—and haunt them as the deadly fighting breaks out again. Some become heroes, forged in courage under fire. Others emerge as the most infamous villains the world has ever seen. Theirs is one story—the story of a 30-year global struggle. A fight that will either save the world—or destroy it. Narrated by two-time Oscar nominee Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker, The Town), this three-night event series features gripping dramatic scenes, stunning CGI visuals and interviews with contemporary leaders, including John McCain, Colin Powell, John Major and David Miliband, along with noted historians from around the world. The World Wars is a mini-series event that takes viewers on an epic and groundbreaking ride through the bloodiest century in history.
#11 - Forged in Fire
World-class bladesmiths re-create historical edged weapons in a cutthroat competition. Hosted by Wil Willis, a former Army Ranger and Air Force para-rescue specialist, the competition series pits master weaponsmiths against each other to re-create iconic weapons that will be tested and evaluated by a panel of judges. Competitors will re-create weapons from historical periods ranging from Japanese katanas to medieval broadswords to ancient throwing blades. Each entry will be judged on its artistry as well as its functionality and accuracy. The panel will consist of Willis, knife and sword expert J. Neilson, combat specialist Doug Marcaida and weapon history buff David Baker.
#12 - Gangland
This new series tells the insider story of some of America's most notorious street gangs. We learn how they've shaped their times and affected the neighborhoods that they controlled. From the destruction wrought by the heroin kingpins in Harlem of the 1970's to today's most dangerous gang MS-13, which has spread out from the inner city to infect unexpected turf - suburban communities, gangs have a rich yet deadly history. They usually start out as a form of protection for their members and the community but then, grow predatory as they feed on the very people that they purport to defend. With exclusive interviews and rarely seen footage, this is a raw look at life inside these gangs - from those who live it and the agencies that are working to stop them
#13 - The Men Who Built America
John D. Rockefeller, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford and J.P. Morgan rose from obscurity and in the process built modern America. Their names hang on street signs, are etched into buildings and are a part of the fabric of history. These men created the American Dream and were the engine of capitalism as they transformed everything they touched in building the oil, rail, steel, shipping, automobile and finance industries. Their paths crossed repeatedly as they elected presidents, set economic policies and influenced major events of the 50 most formative years this country has ever known. From the Civil War to the Great Depression and World War I, they led the way. Using state of the art computer generated imagery that incorporates 12 million historical negatives, many made available for the first time by the Library of Congress, this series will bring back to life the world they knew and the one they created. The event series will show how these men took a failed experiment in democracy and created the greatest superpower the world has ever seen. We see how their historic achievements came to create the America of today.
#14 - Ancient Discoveries
Ancient Discoveries unearths new clues that connect the present with the past in more startling ways than we had ever imagined and posits that famous innovative thinkers like Archimedes, Ctesibius, Galen, and Heron discovered or invented numerous technologies and procedures previously thought to have been first imagined in just the last few centuries. In the ancient texts of Homer and the walls of Egyptian tombs lie tantalizing clues that are causing historians to re-think just how sophisticated centuries-old societies were. Drawings show that the Egyptians may have unlocked the secret to flight with primitive helicopter designs, and that the Chinese had a “wind car” in the 6th century AD that could transport them over land at up to 30 miles per hour. Even more amazing are 600-year-old designs from Italy for a Batmobile-like “rocket car” that appeared to be fueled by gunpowder. Mechanical maids that could fetch water for people on their own were created by the inventor Philos in the Third century, a concept we still struggle to perfect today! And discoveries about ancient machines of warfare give a new vision of what truly defined the Egyptian empire... Ancient Discoveries first appeared on The History Channel in late 2003 as a three-part documentary series based around an intriguing premise: that many technologies assumed to have been discovered or invented in the modern age were actually known to ancient civilizations thousands of years ago and the knowledge effectively lost during the Middle Ages. The show returned in 2005 for three more segments and evolved into a weekly series that began airing in January of 2007 to 2009.
#15 - Hatfields & McCoys
A clash of clans that evoked great passion, vengeance, courage, sacrifice, crimes and accusations, which changed the families and the history of the region forever. The Hatfield-McCoy saga begins with 'Devil' Anse Hatfield and Randall McCoy. Close friends and comrades until near the end of the Civil War, they return to their neighboring homes - Hatfield in West Virginia, McCoy just across the Tug River border in Kentucky - to increasing tensions, misunderstandings and resentments that soon explode into all-out warfare between the families. As hostilities grow, friends, neighbors and outside forces join the fight, bringing the two states to the brink of another Civil War.
#16 - Life After People
What would happen to planet earth if the human race were to suddenly disappear forever? Would ecosystems thrive? What remnants of our industrialized world would survive? What would crumble fastest? From the ruins of ancient civilizations to present day cities devastated by natural disasters, history gives us clues to these questions and many more in the visually stunning and thought-provoking special "Life After People."
#17 - Clash of the Gods
In Greek mythology, ancient Greece's most powerful god wages an epic struggle against his father for control of the universe. It's the ultimate power struggle as the Olympians challenge the Titans in mythology's greatest showdown. This is a pivotal battle that experts believe may have been ancient code for a real world event--one of the greatest natural disasters the Earth ever experienced.
#18 - The Curse of Oak Island
In 1795, three teenage boys discovered a strange, man-made hole on Oak Island, a small, wooded island just off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada. As the boys began to dig, they found a number of intriguing artifacts. It was the end of the piracy era and rumors of buried treasure were rampant. The boys’ discovery launched a treasure hunt that has spanned more than 200 years, cost millions of dollars and involved dozens of speculators, engineers and even famous personalities such as John Wayne, Errol Flynn and Franklin D. Roosevelt. The search had gone dormant, but now, Rick and Marty Lagina, two brothers from Michigan, have bought most of the island and have renewed the efforts to discover the legendary treasure. Since childhood, Oak Island has been a magical place of intrigue for these men. With Marty’s financial backing, Rick is now leading the adventure of his life. But will their luck be any different from the many explorers who sought treasure before them and failed? The Laginas insist that their goal is the fun of a treasure-hunting adventure, and if it becomes something that could splinter their brotherly bond, they’ll walk away. But obsession has been known to grip treasure seekers on Oak Island. Many men have taken on the hunt with the best of intentions, only to be left with decimated fortunes, broken spirits and lost lives. An ominous legend says that seven people must die in pursuit of the treasure before Oak Island will reveal her secrets. So far, the body count stands at six.
#19 - Cities of the Underworld
Peel back the layers of history with hosts Don Wildman and Eric Geller, as they explore underneath the cities of the world to find the hidden engineering feats and dark histories buried beneath. Travel though a maze of tunnels, hidden water supplies, hideouts, and tombs lost to time.
#20 - America: the Story of Us
America The Story of Us is an epic 12-hour television event that tells the extraordinary story of how America was invented. With highly realistic CGI animation, dramatic recreations and thoughtful insights from some of America's most respected artists, business leaders, academics and intellectuals, it is the first television event in nearly 40 years to present a comprehensive telling of America's history. Elaborate, ambitious and cinematic, America The Story of Us will take you into the moments when Americans harnessed technology to advance human progress, from the rigors of linking the continent by transcontinental railroad--the internet of its day--to triumphing over vertical space through the construction of steel structured buildings to putting a man on the moon. It is an intensive look at the people, places and things that have shaped our nation, and the tough and thrilling adventure that is America's 400-year history.
#21 - SIX
Navy SEAL Team Six attempt to eliminate a Taliban leader in Afghanistan when they discover an American citizen working with the enemy.
#22 - Top Shot
Sixteen skilled marksmen compete for the title and a $100,000 prize package in this first-ever competition series from History. Each week one contestant is eliminated as they face both individual and team challenges that involve not only modern-day firearms but muzzle-loading muskets, throwing knives and slingshots. Special high-speed, high-definition cameras capture the action for a slow-motion replay.
#23 - Counting Cars
When Rick Harrison and the rest of the "Pawn Stars" gang need to restore a vehicle they're buying, they turn to Danny "The Count" Koker, who runs Las Vegas auto shop Count's Kustoms. The Count now gets his own half-hour show (one hour beginning season 8) that showcases his ability to restore and customize classic rides. When he sees a vehicle he wants, whether it's at an auto auction or at a roadside diner, Koker does all he can to acquire it. When successful, he and his team then work to restore and modify the cars and motorcycles in order to quickly flip them for a profit. From classic cars like Thunderbirds and Corvettes to sidecar motorcycles and everything in between, if it has wheels the Count's Kustoms team can make it look spectacular.
#24 - Ancient Aliens
Ancient Aliens explores the controversial theory that extraterrestrials have visited Earth for millions of years. From the age of the dinosaurs to ancient Egypt, from early cave drawings to continued mass sightings in the US, each episode in this hit HISTORY series gives historic depth to the questions, speculations, provocative controversies, first-hand accounts and grounded theories surrounding this age old debate. Did intelligent beings from outer space visit Earth thousands of years ago?
#25 - Barbarians Rising
It is inevitable that empires will fall, but not that they will rise. Rome is ambitious, wealthy and ruthless as it grows into the most powerful empire the world had ever known. But to achieve total domination, it blankets the ancient world in blood and tyranny, igniting the barbarian rebellions that will ultimately lead to its downfall. This is not a story about the glory of Rome. It’s the story of the people who rise to fight for freedom against a cruel and violent force bent on their destruction. As Rome grows stronger, the barbarians are taxed, enslaved, slaughtered, displaced and robbed of their cultures. But set against seemingly overwhelming odds, they never surrender; evolving and innovating new ways to fight against an organized and determined enemy. This is a clash of titans fought over centuries. Barbarians Rising tells the epic saga of the rise and fall of the Roman Empire from the perspective of the barbarian leaders who brought it down; a high-impact, visceral journey into the heart of their rebellions against absolute power. The Roman Empire called them “barbarians” – tribes beyond the fringe of civilization that live a primitive, savage existence. But they are also some of the fiercest warriors in history – men and women who rose up to resist so that they might live free, or die. The four-part docu-drama reveals the true story of the 700-year battle for supremacy, a fight for freedom that would shape the world to come. Featuring fully dramatized portrayals of icons including Hannibal, Spartacus, Arminius, Boudica and Attila alongside an eclectic group of experts and contributors, Barbarians Rising reveals the true history behind the legends. The Series has been broadcasted as 4 or 8 episodes. Use Season 1 for 4 episodes, and Season 2016 for 8 episodes.
#26 - American Pickers
This isn't your grandmother's antiquing. Pickers like Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz are on a mission to recycle America, even if it means diving into countless piles of grimy junk or getting chased off a gun-wielding homeowner's land. Hitting back roads from coast to coast, the two men earn a living by restoring forgotten relics to their former glory, transforming one person's trash into another's treasure. American Pickers follows them as they scour the country for hidden gems in junkyards, basements, garages and barns, meeting quirky characters and hearing their amazing stories. If you think the antique business is all about upscale boutiques and buttoned-up dealers, this show may change your mind--and teach you a thing or two about American history along the way.
#27 - The Bible
The series will cover everything from Genesis to Revelation within five two-hour parts, each containing two or three biblical stories told through live action and computer-generated imagery. It tells some of the best-known stories from the most popular book in human history, from Noah's Ark and the Exodus to Daniel in the Lion's Den to the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.
#28 - Swamp People
Deep in the heart of Louisiana lies America's largest swamp–a million miles of inhospitable bayous, marshes and wetlands where nature rules and humans struggle to tame it. Many of its inhabitants are the hardened descendants of French refugees who were forced out of Canada in the 18th century and settled in this harsh yet majestic environment. Today, these people are known as the Cajuns, a group renowned throughout the world for their flavorful cuisine, distinctive music and vibrant culture. Resilient, self-reliant and fiercely independent, the Cajuns of the Atchafalaya Swamp still carry on many of their ancestors' trades and traditions.
#29 - American Restoration
AMERICAN RESTORATION features Rick Dale and his crew of loose screws at Rick's Restorations in Las Vegas, Nevada, as they take rusty, beat-up items and restore them to their original glory. Whether it's a giant gas pump from the 1940s or a Hopalong Cassidy bicycle from the 1950s, every restoration is a high-stakes business project where worthless rust is transformed into a valuable collectible. However, these restorations aren't easy. Every project presents unique challenges for Rick and his team, who develop inventive processes to finish each job flawlessly and on time. From old gas carts to timeless slot machines, the items Rick restores are part of the fabric that makes up American culture. Things just aren't made like they used to be, but at Rick's Restorations, old becomes new again.
#30 - Pawn Stars
Long before banks, ATMS and check-cashing services, there were pawn shops. Pawning was the leading form of consumer credit in the United States until the 1950s, and pawn shops are still helping everyday people make ends meet. PAWN STARS takes you inside the colorful world of the pawn business. At the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop on the outskirts of Las Vegas, three generations of the Harrison family--grandfather Richard, son Rick and grandson Corey--jointly run the family business, and there's clashing and camaraderie every step of the way. The three men use their sharp eyes and skills to assess the value of items from the commonplace to the truly historic, including a 16th-century samurai sword, a Super Bowl ring, a Picasso painting and a 17th-century stay of execution. It's up to them to determine what's real and what's fake, as they reveal the often surprising answer to the questions on everyone's mind, "What's the story behind it"? and "What's it worth?"
#31 - Ax Men
The History Channel presents the first non-fiction show about the lives of the Pacific Northwest timber cutters and the dangers they face. From the same team responsible for Ice Road Truckers, this new series will take a look at the legacy of the pioneers who laid the foundations for future generations of loggers.
#32 - How the States Got Their Shapes
We are so familiar with the map of United States, but do we know why our states look the way they do? Every shape on the map tells a great story about our past. This special examines how every state is a puzzle piece ultimately revealing the unique... geography, political and social history of America.
#33 - Texas Rising
"Texas Rising" details the Texas Revolution against Mexico and the rise of the legendary Texas Rangers. Bill Paxton will play Sam Houston, the father of Texas. He is joined by Brendan Fraser as Billy Anderson, a Texas Ranger with Comanche Indian ties; Ray Liotta as Lorca, an Alamo survivor seeking brutal revenge; Jeffrey Dean Morgan as “Deaf” Smith, a deaf and grizzled veteran Texas Ranger with an advanced case of consumption; Thomas Jane as James Wykoff, a homesteader who finds himself living in the middle of hostile Indian territory; Olivier Martinez as President General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, the tyrant dictator of Mexico; Chad Michael Murray as Mirabeau Lamar, a spirited Texas soldier who helps win the battle of San Jacinto; Michael Rapaport as Sgt. Ephraim Knowles, a would-be deserter and coward turned hero; and Max Thieriot as Jack Hays, a volunteer freedom fighter who becomes the youngest Texas Ranger. (Source: Deadline.com)
#34 - Ice Road Truckers
Take a trip to Yellowknife, Canada to experience one of the most dangerous careers around. In unfathomably cold conditions, truck drivers haul equipment and supplies to miners in the Canadian tundra in the dead of winter on a 350-mile highway of ice.
#35 - Top Gear (US)
Featuring super-cars, extreme stunts and challenges, car reviews and celebrity interviews, Top Gear is the home for anyone with a love of cars. The U.S. version will be chock-full of high-adrenaline action entertainment as it tracks the colorful history of the automobile as well as the eccentric adventures of its hosts with Top Gear’s customary wit and humor.
#36 - History Channel Documentaries
The History Channel is a satellite and cable TV channel, devoted mainly to historical events and persons. Programming covers a wide array of periods and topics, while similar topics are often organized into themed weeks or daily marathons. Subjects include military history, medieval history, the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries, modern engineering, and historical biographies.
#37 - The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones
In 1996, George Lucas hired T.M. Christopher to aid in re-editing the complete series into twenty-two feature-length episodes. The series was also retitled The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones. Each chapter contains two episodes, with all the chapters being in chronological order. As such, the scenes where an older Indiana Jones reminisces are never seen in these versions.