Skip to Content
reality TV reviews, news, and analysis since 2000

Spring 2023 documentaries and specials that will be streaming and on TV

Spring 2023 documentaries and specials that will be streaming and on TV
Television icon Carol Burnett, who will be celebrated on NBC for her 90th birthday (Photo by Chris Haston/NBC)

Besides all the reality TV premiering this spring, many feature documentaries and unscripted specials will make their way to television, too, from a celebration of Carol Burnett’s career to profiles of Bono & The Edge, Pornhub, and Dr. Anthony Fauci.

The guide below includes those documentaries that are premiering on broadcast, cable, premium, and streaming TV services, including PBS, HBO, HBO Max, History, Netflix, Hulu, Discovery+, and Disney+. Some premieres are theatrical films making their television debuts, while others are original to television.

For documentaries that premiered before March 1, 2023, and may still be streaming, refer to the winter 2023 documentary premiere guide.

While I occasionally include multi-part documentaries here, this list generally does not include documentary series, which I define—arbitrarily and imperfectly—as documentaries that have multiple episodes airing over multiple weeks, mirroring episodic television. Those kinds of documentary series will be listed on my reality TV schedule and guide.

In this guide, all times listed are in ET/PT, and are accurate at the time of publication. I update this list frequently, but since networks and streaming services often change their schedules, sometimes at the last minute, please check your guide or other TV listings.

Program descriptions in quotation marks indicate text that has come directly from network press releases, the show’s website, or other official materials.

I always welcome updates, additions, and corrections to this list, so I can make it as comprehensive, accurate, and useful as possible. Just e-mail me. Thank you!

Spring 2023 documentary premieres on TV


March | April | May | June | July

March 2023

Beauty and the Bleach (Fuse, Wednesday, March 1, at 9). Tan France “shares his personal mission to take down the global beauty trend of skin lightening”

The Wine Down with Mary J. Blige (BET, Wednesday, March 1 and 8, at 10). “will bring together the hottest, most outspoken, highly sought-after people in entertainment, sports, social media, and politics to uncork a bottle to take a sip and have raw, provocative, insightful, and honest conversations”

Monique Olivier: Accessory to Evil (Netflix, March 2). “From 1987 to 2003, Michel Fourniret cemented his legacy as France’s most infamous murderer. But his wife was an enigma: Was she a pawn or a participant?”

The Making of Frozen Planet II (BBC America, Saturday, March 4, at 9:23). “goes behind the scenes with the production team, revealing the astounding challenges they encountered in sometime dangerous conditions while on location”

Week of March 5, 2023

The Curse of Lizzie Borden (Travel Channel, Sunday, March 5, at 9). “paranormal investigator Dave Schrader assembles a team of paranormal experts to investigate whether a dark family curse led to the most infamous axe murders of all time”

Jared From Subway: Catching a Monster (ID, Monday, March 6, at 9). “reveals the shocking, previously untold story of the investigation that exposed the monster insidiously lurking behind [Jared] Fogle’s charming persona and how his true nature as a child sex predator was finally revealed”

Who Killed Robert Wone? (Peacock, March 7). “details the peculiar 2006 murder of Robert Wone, a young attorney who was found mysteriously stabbed to death at a friend’s home in Washington, D.C.”

MH370: The Plane that Disappeared (Netflix, March 8). “In 2014, Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 vanished, along with all 239 passengers on board. Nine years later, a global community of family members, scientists, investigators, and journalists is still searching for answers. Official information is lacking and wild theories abound, but there’s one fact everyone agrees on: They won’t give up because the truth doesn’t just vanish.”

Homicide Hunter: The Man with No Face (ID, Wednesday, March 8, at 9). Lt. Joe Kenda confronts one of the most unlikely killers of his career … the labyrinthine case of a young mother found raped and murdered, only for her killer to finally be convicted thanks to DNA evidence three decades later”

The Torso Killer Confessions (A&E, Thursday and Friday, March 9 and 10, at 9). “Through a decades long relationship with the killer, Detective Robert Anzilotti has obtained a new confession from [serial killer Richard] Cottingham for the murder of Mary Ann Della Sala, whose death in January 1967 was never solved. Not shared until now, the death of Della Sala is one of the oldest cold cases ever closed and the earliest confirmed killing by Cottingham. In addition to the new confession, the series features in-depth interviews with Anzilotti, never-before-heard audio tapes of the men’s conversations, intimate exclusive footage, and multiple confessions from Cottingham regarding his recent headline-making killings never heard on tape. The special goes behind the scenes, exploring the relationship between the two men, and offers a rare look into an unrelenting journey for the truth against the odds.”

The New York Times Presents: “Sin Eater” (FX and Hulu, Friday, March 10, at 10). “Hollywood’s dirtiest private investigator didn’t operate within the law to hide the sins of the rich and powerful. Pellicano’s victims accused him of harassing and intimidating them — in some cases ruining their lives forever. Ultimately, Pellicano went to prison for wiretapping and racketeering but now he’s out, and he’s talking. The Times obtained nearly the entire FBI case file, including audio recordings of Hollywood stars and powerbrokers that have never aired publicly. Using these tapes and confidential documents, ‘Sin Eater’ investigates how the rich and powerful in Hollywood got an edge over the legal system and faced few consequences when Pellicano was exposed.”

Week of March 12, 2023

The Idaho College Murders (ID, Sunday, March 12, at 9). “a critical, new perspective into the night of terror in Moscow, Idaho, that claimed the lives of four college students: Ethan Chapin, Kaylee Goncalves, Xana Kernodle and Madison Mogen”

Alien Abduction: Travis Walton (Travel Channel, Sunday, March 12, at 9). “On November 5, 1975, a seven-person logging crew drives home after a long workday in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest when they suddenly encounter a UFO. One of the men, 22-year-old Travis Walton, gets out of the truck to investigate. His crewmates are horrified when they witness a bolt of blue light flash from the alien ship that knocks Travis to the forest floor. Fearing Travis dead, the crewmates flee back to town and call the sheriff. When a search of the area turns up no sign of Travis, puzzling questions arise. Was Travis truly abducted by aliens? Did his coworkers murder Travis or have something to do with his disappearance and concoct the UFO story to cover their tracks?”

Sin Eater: The Crimes of Anthony Pellicano (FX, Friday, March 12, at 10, and Hulu, March 13). “If you were famous and had a problem in the 1990s, Anthony Pellicano was the man you hired to make it go away. But showbiz’s favorite private investigator didn’t operate within the law. Victims accused him of harassing and intimidating them — in some cases ruining their lives forever. After serving 15 years in prison for wiretapping and racketeering, Pellicano is presented with never-before-heard evidence – recordings, confidential documents from the F.B.I.’s case file and victims’ accounts of his illegal behavior.”

Frontline: Age of Easy Money (PBS, Tuesday, March 14, at 10). “The threat of a recession is looming and economic uncertainty is rising as markets, businesses and individuals must adjust to a new reality: the Federal Reserve is raising interest rates and pulling back on its epic monetary experiment that started with the Great Financial Crisis. In Age of Easy Money, FRONTLINE correspondent James Jacoby investigates how the Fed’s experiment has changed the American economy and what it means that the era may be over.”

Money Shot: The Pornhub Story (Netflix, March 15). “Featuring interviews with performers, activists and past employees, this documentary offers a deep dive into the successes and scandals of Pornhub”

Butchers of the Bayou (A&E, Thursday and Friday, March 16 and 17, at 9). “Over the course of a decade, two prolific series killers terrorized the women of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, raping and murdering, dismembering and cannibalizing. Neither of them ever met, but each of them knew what the other was doing and, perversely, it appears, they were trying to outdo each other in terms of their depravity and sexual deviance. The converging stories of Sean Vincent Gillis and Derrick Todd Lee are told”

Bono & The Edge: A Sort of Homecoming, with Dave Letterman (Disney+, March 17). “filmmaker Morgan Neville captures Dave Letterman on his first visit to Dublin to hang out with Bono and The Edge in their hometown, experience Dublin, and join the two U2 musicians for a concert performance unlike any they’ve done before”

Monster Factory (Apple TV+, March 17). “the story of misfit dreamers at a wrestling school on the outskirts of a gritty New Jersey factory town who, with the help of their tough yet loving coach, fight for their big break as professional wrestlers”

Week of March 19, 2023

All the Beauty and the Bloodshed (HBO, Sunday, March 19, at 9). “an epic, emotional, and interconnected story about internationally renowned artist and activist Nan Goldin told through her slideshows, intimate interviews, groundbreaking photography, archival family snapshots and rare footage of her personal fight to hold the Sackler family accountable for the opioid overdose crisis”

Impractical Jokers: Sideline Smack Down (truTV, Sunday, March 19, at 10). “A special episode hosted by Casey Jost and former NFL player Eddie Jackson as they spend time reviewing nail-biting clips of never-before-seen moments from Season 10”

Independent Lens: Storming Cesar’s Palace (PBS, Monday, March 20, at 10). “After losing her job as a hotel worker in Las Vegas, Ruby Duncan joined a welfare rights group of mothers who defied notions of the ‘welfare queen.’ In a fight for guaranteed income, Ruby and other equality activists took on the Nevada mob in organizing a massive protest that shut down Caesars Palace.”

American Masters: Dr. Tony Fauci (PBS, Tuesday, March 21, at 8). “reveals a rarely seen side of the physician, husband and father as he confronts political backlash, a new administration and questions of the future”

Waco: American Apocalypse (Netflix, March 22). “the definitive account of what happened in Waco, Texas in 1993 when cult leader David Koresh faced off against the federal government in a bloody 51-day siege”

Week of March 26, 2023

Independent Lens: Hidden Letters (PBS, Monday, March 27, at 10). “explores the once-secret language of Nushu, connecting generations of Chinese women under patriarchal oppression. Through the experiences of Hu Xin and Simu, the present-day women protecting its legacy, Hidden Letters dives deep into how the clandestine tradition has provided women a safe space to share their stories, express hope and solidarity, and affirm their dignity in the face of patriarchal struggles.”

Listen (ESPN+, Tuesday, March 28, at 7). “In 2018, University of Utah athlete Lauren McCluskey realized her boyfriend might not be who she thought he was, and worse, that he might be dangerous. She broke up with him and pleaded for help as he stalked and extorted her. No one listened … and she was murdered. In a new investigative documentary that exposes vast institutional failure, ESPN explores McCluskey’s life, death, and her parents’ quest for answers”

American Experience: The Movement and the “Madman” (PBS, Tuesday, March 28, at 9). “shows how two antiwar protests in the fall of 1969 — the largest the country had ever seen — pressured President Nixon to cancel what he called his ‘madman’ plans for a massive escalation of the U.S. war in Vietnam, including a threat to use nuclear weapons”

Big Mäck: Gangsters and Gold (Netflix, March 30). “A man is convicted of a robbery he didn’t commit and spends nine years in jail. Decades later, he becomes a suspect again — but is he still innocent?”

Sharing Space (YouTube, Friday, March 31). “features six trans and nonbinary young people who sit down with [actor Daniel] Radcliffe to have a candid, vulnerable, and illuminating conversation about their unique lived experiences”

April 2023

Week of April 2, 2023

Living with Chucky (Screambox, April 4). “in depth look at the groundbreaking Child’s Play franchise from the perspective of a filmmaker who grew up within it. Featuring interviews with cast and crew such as Brad Dourif, Jennifer Tilly, Alex Vincent, creator Don Mancini, and much more, this personal film recounts the dedication, creativity and sacrifice that went into making the franchise and its long-lasting impact on the horror community.”

The Sun Queen (PBS, Tuesday, April 4, at 9). “For nearly 50 years, biophysicist and inventor Mária Telkes applied her prodigious intellect to harnessing the sun’s power. She designed and built the first successfully solar-powered house in 1949 but was perplexed by the knotty scientific challenge of developing a reliable and economical way to store captured solar energy. She was also beset by rampant sexism and fought pitched battles with her boss and colleagues — all men — at MIT’s Solar Energy Fund. Despite these obstacles, Telkes persevered, helping to build another experimental solar-powered house in 1971. Upon her death in 1995, she held more than 20 patents.” 

Frontline: America and the Taliban (PBS, Tuesday, April 4, 11, and 25, at 10). “Drawing on decades of Smith’s on-the-ground reporting from years of the war, along with stunning inside interviews with Taliban and U.S. officials, America and the Taliban tracks the missteps — and consequences — in the region.”

Lewis Capaldi: How I’m Feeling Now (Netflix, April 5). “This intimate, all-access documentary chronicles Lewis Capaldi’s journey from a scrappy teen with a viral performance to a Grammy-nominated pop star”

Boom! Boom! The World vs. Boris Becker (Apple TV+, April 7). “explores every aspect of the man who became a tennis sensation after winning The Wimbledon Championships at the age of just 17, going on to win 49 career titles, including six Grand Slams and an Olympic gold medal, as well as his high-profile, sometimes tumultuous personal life”

Jason Isbell: Running with Our Eyes Closed (HBO, Friday, April 7, at 8). “In his own words, renowned singer and songwriter Jason Isbell takes us on an unexpected journey through his musical evolution and creative process as he goes into the studio to record his new album ‘Reunions’ with his band The 400 Unit. With striking candor and honesty, Isbell lays bare his difficult childhood, his struggles with addiction and relationships, and funneling all his pain and private battles into his music. When the COVID-19 pandemic arrives and forces him and his family into lockdown, Isbell must confront the self-doubt and fears that isolation brings to a recovering addict and artist, even as the album releases to rave reviews.”

Catching Lightening (Showtime streaming April 7, and Sunday, April 9, at 8). “tells the surreal tale of Great Britain’s Securitas Depot robbery in 2006, in which nearly £53 million in cash (more than $92 million USD at the time) was stolen, with new interviews, striking revelations and never-before-heard aspects of the heist”

The New York Times Presents: “The Legacy of J Dilla” (FX and Hulu, Friday, April 7, at 10). “Dilla’s influence has been celebrated far more since his death than it was while he was alive, but mainstream recognition remains elusive. With exclusive access to Dilla’s family, the film is an intimate portrait of a creative powerhouse, and it explores the complications that have arisen as so many people try to control his legacy. ‘I’m a Detroiter and I’m a fighter,’ his mother, Maureen Yancey says. ‘I will stay in there and I will fight. I won’t let anybody put my son down, what I do for him down, because I’m here to lift up his music, his legacy.’”

Week of April 9, 2023

An Interview with Brian Cox (BritBox, April 11). “Award-winning actor Brian Cox (Succession, King Lear) sits down for an exclusive, in-depth interview on his life and career. From his early years in Scotland and Shakespearean beginnings to his contemporary roles across film and television, no stone is unturned in this heartfelt interview with the iconic actor.”

American Manhunt: The Boston Marathon Bombing (Netflix, April 12). “The 2013 Boston Marathon bombing paralyzed a great American city on what was supposed to be its happiest day. Ten years later, this three-part series delves into the massive manhunt that followed the tragedy, as remembered by the law enforcement officials who brought the bombers to justice and the survivors caught in the crossfire.” 

Nature: The Hummingbird Effect (PBS, Wednesday, April 12, at 8). “Explore Costa Rica, one of the most biodiverse places on the planet. From rainforests to volcanos, tiny architects and caretakers at the heart of this vast wildlife diversity keep this ecological giant running: the hummingbirds. Narrated by Harry Shum, Jr.”

NOVA: Weathering the Future (PBS, Wednesday, April 12, at 9). “Climate change will impact everyone, but the effects will be felt most acutely by those in underrepresented communities. But there is hope, and some of the most ingenious solutions are coming from some of the most overlooked pockets of the nation. Weathering the Future examines how our changing climate will impact different regions and communities across the nation and highlights the innovative solutions that serve these varying populations.”

‘Til Death Do Us Part Kourtney & Travis (Hulu, April 13). “Kourtney, Travis, and their guests enjoy a luxurious wedding weekend in Portofino, Italy” 

Cocaine Bear: The True Story (Peacock, April 14). “In the hit Hollywood movie Cocaine Bear, a huge bag full of cocaine drops out of the sky into the woods of North Georgia and is eaten by a black bear, who goes on an epic rampage. It all seems like fantasy, but it’s actually based on a true story that’s just as bizarre as the movie plot, involving drug cartels, murder, mayhem and a Lexington Kentucky blueblood named Drew Thornton. Thornton turns his back on a life of privilege to embrace the dark side, turning from cop to international drug smuggler, flying planeloads of cocaine into America from South America.”

Personality Crisis: One Night Only (Showtime, Friday, April 14, at 8). “tells the definitive story of the culture-defying David Johansen, notorious ’70s glam punk lead singer of the New York Dolls. Framed around an intimate cabaret performance filmed in January 2020 at New York City’s storied Café Carlyle, Personality Crisis: One Night Only reveals Johansen’s enormous influence, transcending the walls of music as a window into the art and cultural evolution of New York City.”

Week of April 16, 2023

Love is Blind: The Live Reunion (Netflix, April 16, at 8). “Nick & Vanessa Lachey will join the cast for this front row seat as they unravel all the season’s twists and turns, share reactions to watching their stories unfold, and find out which couples are still together”

How to Get Rich (Netflix, April 18). “Money holds power over us — but it doesn’t have to. Finance expert Ramit Sethi works with people across the US to help them achieve their richest lives.”

Longest Third Date (Netflix, April 18). “When Matt and Khani match on Hinge, sparks fly. So much so that they spontaneously fly to Costa Rica for their third date — and get stuck as the world shuts down in March 2020. An extended stay in paradise becomes the ultimate test of compatibility.”

Chimp Empire (Netflix, April 19). “explores the fascinating world of the largest chimpanzee society ever discovered as they navigate complex social politics, family dynamics and dangerous territory disputes. Narrated by Academy Award® winner Mahershala Ali”

Food Truck Prize Fight (Food Network, Wednesday, April 19, at 9). “Jet Tila heads to Denver where he challenges three of the best food trucks to run a gauntlet of challenges that test their culinary chops and their salesmanship. The last truck running wins a sweet $10,000 cash prize and an exclusive, once in a lifetime opportunity to sell their food at a local sports and entertainment venue.”

Nature: Niagara Falls (PBS, Wednesday, April 19, at 8). “Embark to Niagara Falls and witness its stunning beauty and a wide variety of wildlife—mammals, birds, and reptiles— that call it home. Through the eyes of passionate scientists, uncover a complex world forged by stone and powered by water.”

Changing Planet (PBS, Wednesday, April 19, at 9). “revisits six of our planet’s most vulnerable ecosystems and catches up with the truly inspiring people introduced in the first season: scientists and local experts fighting to safeguard their communities and wildlife, and charting the progress of their game-changing environmental projects. Join conservation scientist Dr. M. Sanjayan to meet new faces who’ll deepen our understanding of these habitats and introduce new potential solutions to combat the effects of the climate crisis”

SUGA: Road to D-DAY (Disney+, April 20). “the documentary follows SUGA as he travels around the world from Seoul to Tokyo, Las Vegas and beyond in search of musical inspiration for his upcoming album D-DAY. Throughout the documentary, viewers will see the star at his most vulnerable, as he discusses his writer’s block with other musicians, and delves deep into his most traumatic memories to pen lyrics for several of his latest songs”

Wild Isles (Amazon Prime Video, April 21). “centers on the British Isles, which is one of the most diverse and beautiful landscapes on Earth, and the series is full of behaviors never before seen on screen. The breathtaking aerial photography reveals the beauty of the British countryside, and motion controlled time-lapse photography brings to life the story of the passing seasons”

Secrets of the Elephants (National Geographic, Friday and Saturday, April 21 and 22, at 9). “travels the world — from the Savannahs of Africa to the urban landscapes of Asia — to discover the strategic thinking, complex emotions and sophisticated language of elephants, shaping a unique and dynamic culture. Featuring renowned National Geographic Explorer and elephant expert Dr. Paula Kahumbu, the four-part series not only reveals the extraordinary lives of different families of elephants but also highlights how similar they are to us”

Path of the Panther (National Geographic, Friday, April 22, at 10:50; Hulu, April 23; Disney+, April 28). “Drawn in by the haunting specter of the Florida panther, National Geographic Explorer and Photographer Carlton Ward Jr. finds himself on the front lines of an accelerating battle between forces of renewal and destruction that have pushed the Everglades to the brink of ecological collapse.”

Week of April 23, 2023

Independent Lens: Free Chol Soo Lee (PBS, Monday, April 24, at 10). “Sentenced to life for a 1973 San Francisco murder, Korean immigrant Chol Soo Lee was set free after a pan-Asian solidarity movement, which included Korean, Japanese, and Chinese Americans, helped to overturn his conviction. After 10 years of fighting for his life inside California state prisons, Lee found himself in a new fight to rise to the expectations of the people who believed in him.”

Wynonna Judd: Between Hell and Hallelujah (Paramount+, April 26). “offers audiences a raw, first-hand glimpse into Wynonna’s life as she bravely embarks on her next chapter following Naomi Judd’s untimely passing. Beginning with the decision to honor her mother’s legacy by continuing on with “The Judds: The Final Tour,” the documentary captures candid on-stage and behind-the-scenes moments as part of the sold-out nationwide tour, along with personal anecdotes from Wynonna’s friends and fellow artists Ashley McBryde, Brandi Carlile, Faith Hill, Little Big Town, Kelsea Ballerini, Martina McBride and Trisha Yearwood. The film also includes moving and intimate footage of Wynonna spending quiet, reflective time on the farm with her beloved family and animals as she continues to process her grief.”

Carol Burnett: 90 Years of Laughter + Love (NBC, Wednesday, April 26, at 8). “Paying tribute to a beloved national icon for her birthday, … The star-studded event will feature an A-list lineup of musical performances and special guests who will come together to share their love for one of the most cherished comediennes in television history.”

Nature: Treasure of the Caribbean (Wednesday, April 26, at 8). “A story of hope in troubling times. Get a first look at the 2013 discovery of a coral reef in Belize and Guatemala. Twice the size of Manhattan, this reef’s discovery marks a new chapter in understanding corals and fish that depend on each other and in saving coral reefs worldwide.”

Nova: Chasing Carbon Zero (PBS, Wednesday, April 26, at 9). “The U.S. recently set an ambitious climate change goal: to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and slash emissions in half by 2030. But is that even feasible? What exactly would it take? Chasing Carbon Zero takes a hard look at the problem and identifies the most likely real-world technologies that could be up to the task. From expanding the availability of renewable energy options, to designing more energy-efficient buildings, and revolutionizing the transportation sector, the film casts a hopeful but skeptical eye. A wave of innovation is beginning to take hold, but can these solutions be scaled and made available and affordable across the country? The problem is vast and time is running out, but there is still hope that we can achieve carbon zero in time to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.”

James Corden Carpool Karaoke Special (CBS, Thursday, April 27, at 10). “Adele surprises her longtime friend at home in the morning, waking him up and offering to drive the late-night host to work. Once in the car, Adele then turns the tables on Corden, asking him about past Carpools, pivotal moments in their friendship (including the time he tried, unsuccessfully, to prank her), and even a song she wrote that was inspired by an emotional conversation they shared.”

Charles: In His Own Words (National Geographic, Friday, April 28, at 10; Hulu, April 29; Disney+, May 5). “traces back to the beginning, revealing the formative events that have influenced the man, former Prince and the King he was destined to be. From the creators of the acclaimed National Geographic documentary special Diana: In Her Own Words, this unique portrait of a monarch sifts through a treasure trove of rare, unheard and never-before-seen archival material to tell the definitive and surprising story of Charles through his very own words and those who’ve known him best.”

Moonage Daydream (HBO, Saturday, April 29, at 8). “illuminates the life and genius of David Bowie, one of the most prolific and influential artists of our time. Guided by Bowie’s own narration and told through sublime, kaleidoscopic, never-before-seen footage, performances, and music, this feature length experiential cinematic odyssey explores his creative, musical, and spiritual journey”

Charles: The New King (Smithsonian Channel, Saturday, April 29, at 8). Profiles “the new British monarch through an extensive collection of rare royal archive and revelatory interviews from those who know him.”

Week of April 30, 2023

May 2023

Independent Lens: Matter of Mind: My ALS (PBS, Monday, May 1, at 10). “examines the complex, yet everyday choices that people with ALS and their families face, as they live alongside this progressively debilitating disease”

Thalia’s Mixtape: El Soundtrack De Me Vida (Paramount+, May 2). Thalia “takes the audience on a musical journey, uncovering the classics that inspired generations of artists and created the current Latin music landscape seen today. Through a combination of interviews, found footage and modern renditions of classic hits by today’s biggest stars, the series revisits the history of Latin music and uncovers the future of the genre in an intimate way not yet seen before.”

King Charles, The Boy Who Walked Alone (Paramount+, May 2). “partly a coming-of-age tale, bringing to life an intimate portrait of England’s future king. New insights include a memory from King Charles’ former boarding schoolmate Johnny Stonborough, who recalls how “Charles was the boy who walked alone,” in response to ongoing bullying and isolation. The all-new documentary also shares previously unreported details about King Charles’ relationship with the late Princess Diana and how they have impacted his relationship with his youngest son, Prince Harry.”

Menendez + Menudo: Boys Betrayed (Peacock, May 2). “Lyle and Erik Menendez infamously killed their parents in 1989. Menudo was the first mega-boy band to take the world by storm. In this explosive limited series, viewers will learn of the connection that links the two stories and could corroborate the brothers’ decades-old accusations against their father, Jose Menendez. One former Menudo member could be the key to changing how the public views the brothers’ case while simultaneously crusading for his own justice.”

100% Me: Growing Up Mixed (HBO, Tuesday, May 2, at 9). “W. Kamau Bell explores the experiences of mixed kids and families in the San Francisco Bay Area. The film was inspired by Kamau and his wife Melissa’s desire to better understand what life is like for their mixed daughters, who are navigating issues of identity in a world that often asks them to pick a side. With humor and heart, the film reveals the joys and complexities of growing up mixed in today’s America. “

Home in the Wild (National Geographic, May 2 and 9, at 10; Disney+, May 31). “Jim and Tori Baird thought their days of professional adventuring were over when their son Wesley was diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder. But after learning from doctors that being immersed in nature could have a positive impact on his development, they take Wes and his baby brother on expeditions into the backcountry to see if an off-grid life would be not only possible but beneficial for their family”

Nature: Attenborough’s Wonder of Song (PBS, Wednesday, May 3, at 8). “David Attenborough presents seven of the most remarkable animal songs found in nature and explores the significance of these songs in the lives of their species”

Charles R: The Making Of A Monarch (BBC America, Friday, May 5, at 9:35 a.m.; AMC+, June 1). “tells the story of how a Prince became a King. It’s an intimate portrait of HM King Charles told in his own words from across the decades and featuring rare and unseen archive, to shed light on the new monarch”

Week of May 7, 2023

Rodman’s Stolen Millions (TNT, Sunday, May 7, after NBA playoffs). Dennis Rodman’s “ferocious talent, controversial style and wild partying made him a superstar, but also left him vulnerable. This is the unbelievable true story of how those closest to Rodman betrayed him and stole millions”

Independent Lens: Sam Now (PBS, Monday, May 8, at 10). “Reed captures his half-brother Sam from age 11 through 36 as their once-average, middle-class Seattle family finds themselves heartbroken and unsure of what to do when his mother suddenly leaves them. Along the way, viewers see a young Sam come of age before their eyes, learn of Sam’s mother Jois’ complicated adoption history, and experience the ripple effects on the Harkness family, including Sam’s brother Jared, father Randy, and grandma Doris. The film explores intergenerational trauma and the relationships of mother to son, mother to family, brother to brother and the turning points of family dysfunction and healing”

Frontline: Clarence and Ginni Thomas: Politics, Power and the Supreme Court (PBS, Tuesday, May 9, at 9). “Over the past three decades, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has risen to the center of power in Washington, impacting issues affecting millions of Americans — from abortion to affirmative action. By his side has been his wife and best friend, Ginni Thomas. Together, the Thomases have left an indelible mark on America — in the legal realm and in conservative politics. But what has fueled their rise and expanding influence, and what have been the consequences?”

Queen Cleopatra (Netflix, May 10). Jada Pinkett Smith narrates the documentary focusing on “Queen Cleopatra, the world’s most famous, powerful, and misunderstood woman—a daring queen whose beauty and romances came to overshadow her real asset: her intellect. Cleopatra’s heritage has been the subject of much academic debate, which has often been ignored by Hollywood. Now our series re-assesses this fascinating part of her story”

Nadia Nadim – Gamechanger (Viaplay, May 10). “Follow Nadia Nadim through one of the most challenging periods in her life, when Nadia has to retrain after an injury, while at the same time she has to stand up for her attitudes in order to keep her place on the Danish national football team.”

Still (Apple TV+, May 12). “The film, which incorporates documentary, archival and scripted elements, recounts Fox’s extraordinary story in his own words — the improbable tale of an undersized kid from a Canadian army base who rose to the heights of stardom in 1980s Hollywood. The account of Fox’s public life, full of nostalgic thrills and cinematic gloss, unspools alongside his never-before-seen private journey, including the years that followed his diagnosis, at 29, with Parkinson’s disease. Intimate and honest, and produced with unprecedented access to Fox and his family, the film chronicles Fox’s personal and professional triumphs and travails, and explores what happens when an incurable optimist confronts an incurable disease. With a mix of adventure and romance, comedy and drama, watching the film feels like … well, like a Michael J. Fox movie.”

100 Day Dream Home: Beachfront Hotel (HGTV, Friday, May 12 and 19, at 9). “Brian and Mika will turn their construction and design expertise toward the full overhaul of a dated 12-room property on the beautiful Florida Gulf Coast”

Great Performances: Celebrating 50 Years of Broadway’s Best (PBS, Friday, May 12, at 9). “a glittering revue hosted by two-time Tony winner Sutton Foster showcasing milestone shows and songs from 1973 to 2023, performed by a cast of original stars and a new generation of up-and-coming talent. The gala concert features performances by Chita Rivera singing ‘All That Jazz,’ Sara Bareilles sharing a song from her award-winning musical ‘Waitress,’ Vanessa Williams performing from ‘Kiss of the Spider Woman,’ Corbin Bleu executing a tap number from Jelly’s Last Jam, Donna McKechnie and Robyn Hurder paying tribute to ‘A Chorus Line,’ the original ‘Wiz’ André De Shields performing ‘So You Wanted To See The Wizard,’ and many more”

Unfinished Business (Amazon Prime Video, May 13). “a new definitive documentary about the formation and quarter-century history of the WNBA, culminating in the New York Liberty’s dramatic 2021 season,” and a “joyful and moving exploration of the league’s relentless push towards equality in elite sport”

Week of May 14, 2023

TMZ Investigates: Britney Spears: The Price of Freedom (Fox, Monday, May 15, at 9). If you can trust TMZ, here’s “an exclusive look at Britney’s life a year and a half since her conservatorship ended. The revelations include details about her deeply troubled marriage, family estrangement, alarming behavior, failed intervention and how she continues to be an enduring force in the music industry.”

Independent Lens: Silent Beauty (PBS, Monday, May 15, at 10). “In this autobiographical exploration of survivorship, New Orleans journalist and filmmaker Jasmín Mara López unabashedly shares her process of healing from childhood sexual abuse. After Jasmín discloses to her family she’d been abused by her grandfather, she liberates others to come forward in a story of confronting a culture of silence over generational trauma.”

Anna Nicole Smith: You Don’t Know Me (Netflix, May 16). “From the heights of her modeling fame to her tragic death, this documentary reveals Anna Nicole Smith through the eyes of the people closest to her.”

McGregor Forever (Netflix, May 16). “Conor McGregor embarks on the most important year of his career, fighting three times and trying to climb back to the top of the UFC ladder. This series will be an all-access look at this polarizing superstar, along with the deeper history of what brought him to this point.”

Angel City (HBO, May 16, 17, and 18, at 9). “goes behind the scenes and onto the pitch of the groundbreaking Los Angeles-based professional women’s soccer team, Angel City Football Club (ACFC). Founded in September 2020 by actor Natalie Portman, venture capitalist Kara Nortman and gaming entrepreneur Julie Uhrman, ACFC breaks the mold by being the largest majority female ownership group in professional sports and includes 14 former US Women’s National Team players as investors”

Queenmaker: The Making of an It Girl (Hulu, May 17). “a fun, nostalgic romp through the mid-2000s pop culture that dominated mainstream media and laid the foundation for current reality tv and the influencers of the social media generation. Interviews with the publicists, journalists, and, of course, socialites, that ruled the city in the early aughts, immerse us in the gilded world of heiress-era New York City. Through our investigation into this world, we finally learn the truth behind Park Avenue Peerage. Beyond all of the glitz and glamor, Queenmaker is, at its heart, a story about a young outsider who grappled with an identity shaped largely by the powerful forces of mainstream white American culture that have shaped young women for generations”

McGregor Forever (Netflix, May 17). “Conor McGregor’s brutal strikes and trash-talking swagger made him the UFC’s biggest draw. This rousing docuseries follows his dynamic career.”

Hulk Hogan vs. Gawker (TNT, Wednesday, May 17, after Western Conference Finals). Hulk Hogan “had it all…fans, money, a loving family, even his own TV show…but when an infamous sex tape was leaked to the media it changed his life forever. This film uncovers the scandal beyond the ring, the man vs the legend and his ultimate fight for privacy”

The Secrets of Hillsong (FX, May 19 and 26 at 10; Hulu, May 20). “explores one of the 21st century’s most successful megachurches and features the first interviews with former pastors Carl and Laura Lentz”

Week of May 21, 2023

Love to Love You, Donna Summer (HBO, May 20). “an in-depth look at the iconic artist as she creates music that takes her from the avant-garde music scene in Germany, to the glitter and bright lights of dance clubs in New York, to worldwide acclaim, her voice and artistry becoming the defining soundtrack of an era”

A Deadly Football Hit (TNT, Sunday, May 21, after Western Conference Finals). “the gripping true story of Eric Naposki, the former NFL linebacker for the Patriots, who got caught up in a bizarre love triangle and is now serving life in prison for murder. Was Naposki involved in the hit on his girlfriend’s lover? Or, due to years of head trauma, was he the perfect fall guy?”

The Randall Scandal: Love, Loathing, and Vanderpump (Hulu, May 22). “an investigation into many of the shocking claims against movie mogul Randall Emmett, which include allegations of race discrimination, workplace abuse and questionable on-set behavior towards actor Bruce Willis as his mental acuity declined ― all of which Emmett denies. The 90-minute documentary features special access to interview footage of Bravo’s Vanderpump Rules star Lala Kent, who opens up about her tumultuous relationship with Emmett and how she learned about the accusations against her ex-fiancé.”

Prehistoric Planet (Apple TV+, May 22 to 26). “narrated by Sir David Attenborough … combines award-winning wildlife filmmaking, the latest paleontology learnings and state-of-the-art technology to unveil the spectacular habitats and inhabitants of ancient Earth for a one-of-a-kind immersive experience”

Fanny: The Right to Rock (PBS, Monday, May 22, at 10). “chronicles the life and revival of this groundbreaking all-female rock group in 1970s America, revealing the fascinating untold story of a phenomenal band that were dubbed the ‘female Beatles'”

Bama Rush (Max, May 23). “follows four young women during sorority recruitment at the University of Alabama in the fall semester of 2022”

Victim/Suspect (Netflix, May 23). “When a journalist digs into a case of a woman charged with falsely reporting a rape, a pattern emerges: authorities turning the tables on victims.”

Afghan Dreamers (Paramount+, May 23). “tells the harrowing story of an all-girl robotics team from Afghanistan as they struggle to succeed in international competitions, while combating their male-dominated culture under the threat of Taliban rule”

How to Create a Sex Scandal (Max, May 23). “In 2005, the sleepy community of Mineola, Texas, is thrown into turmoil when local children reveal shocking stories about a pedophile sex ring that took place at a local swingers club. As arrests are made, life sentences handed down, and lives ruined, it soon becomes apparent that there is a lot more to the story than meets the eye. Now, the startling long-term repercussions of the scandal are revealed.”

Basketball Murder for Money (TNT, Tuesday, May 23, after Western Conference Finals). “The story of NBA star Lorenzen Wright’s brutal murder and the struggle for justice, told by his mother, friends and a detective determined to crack the cold case.”

Frontline: Once Upon a Time in Iraq: Fallujah (Tuesday, May 23, at 10). “The enduring story of the battle of Fallujah, told by the people who lived through it. Twenty years after the invasion of Iraq, soldiers, journalists, and ordinary Iraqis recount one of the defining episodes of the war.”

Nova: Your Brain (PBS, Wednesday, May 24, at 9). “How does your brain create your reality? Discover surprising new insights about how your brain processes the world and makes you who you are in this eye-opening two-part journey into the latest research on the human brain with neuroscientist Heather Berlin”

Vanderpump Rules reunion (Bravo, May 24, 31, and June 7 at 9). “Host Andy Cohen is joined by Lisa Vanderpump and Ariana Madix, James Kennedy, Katie Maloney, Lala Kent, Tom Sandoval and Tom Schwartz to revisit the season’s biggest moments and uncover the truth behind the jaw-dropping scandal that rocked the friend group. Raquel Leviss and Scheana Shay join the group separately to share their sides of the story. Ally Lewber also joins.”

100 Years of Warner Brothers (Max, May 25 and June 1). Morgan Freeman narrates the “story of the fabled entertainment studio on its 100th anniversary. Featuring insights and first-person stories from directors, actors, executives, journalists and historians, the four specials trace Warner Bros.’ underdog origins – from its founding in the early 1920s by four brothers from an immigrant family, through decades of creative risks and impactful storytelling, to the historic mergers of the 2000s that transformed the company into a global entertainment powerhouse”

Wild Life (National Geographic, Thursday, May 25, at 9). “follows conservationist Kris Tompkins on an epic, decades-spanning love story as wild as the landscapes she dedicated her life to protecting. After falling in love in midlife, Kris and the outdoorsman and entrepreneur Doug Tompkins left behind the world of the massively successful outdoor brands they’d helped pioneer ― Patagonia, The North Face and Esprit ― and turned their attention to a visionary effort to create national parks throughout Chile and Argentina via their nonprofit Tompkins Conservation”

Our America: Mental State (Hulu, May 26). “the state of mental health in America, looking inside the lives of those who suffer, the stigma associated with mental illness, organizations making a difference, and those standing up to give hope”

Being Mary Tyler Moore (HBO, Friday, May 26, at 8). “chronicles the screen icon whose storied career spanned sixty years. Weaving Moore’s personal narrative with the beats of her professional accomplishments, the film highlights her groundbreaking roles and the indelible impact she had on generations of women who came after her”

Week of May 28, 2023

Killer Relationship with Faith Jenkins (Oxygen, May 28, Sundays at 7). “Faith Jenkins breaks down all the gripping details of relationships gone deadly while highlighting the distressing warning signs that were overlooked”

The Curious Case of Natalia Grace (ID, Monday to Wednesday, May 29 to 31, at 9). “Who is Natalia Barnett? Initially assumed to be a 6-year-old Ukrainian orphan with spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia, a rare bone growth disorder that can result in skeletal abnormalities as well as issues with hearing and vision, Natalia was adopted by Kristine and Michael Barnett in 2010. However, the happy family dynamic soured when allegations against Natalia were brought by the Barnetts who alleged Natalia was an adult masquerading as a child with intent to harm their family. In 2013, Natalia was discovered living on her own which ignited an investigation that led to Michael and Kristine’s arrest and a firestorm of questions”

Jelly Roll: Save Me (Hulu, May 30). “a journey of redemption in real time of 38-year-old singer-songwriter Jelly Roll, confronting his struggles with mental health and addiction as he stands on the precipice of megastardom”

The American Gladiators Documentary (ESPN, Tuesday, May 30, at 8:30, and Wednesday, May 31, at 9). “takes an unconventional approach to the epic tale of the famed reality-competition show. What begins as a traditional sports documentary soon gives way to bigger themes of greed, divergent narratives, and ultimately questions how history itself is written”

Lidia Celebrates America: Flavors that Define Us (PBS, Tuesday, May 30, at 9). “Hosted by internationally renowned chef, author, and restaurateur Lidia Bastianich, the one-hour special travels the country to meet with first, second, and third-generation Americans who are forging their own way, and shaping the definition of what it means to be an American”

Frontline: After Uvalde: Guns, Grief & Texas Politics (PBS, Tuesday, May 30, at 10). “A year after the Uvalde school shooting, the community’s trauma, and the fight over assault rifles. With the Texas Tribune, journalist Maria Hinojosa examines the police response, Uvalde’s history of struggle and its efforts to heal.”

For premieres on and after June 1, 2023, see the summer 2023 documentary schedule

All reality blurred content is independently selected, including links to products or services. However, if you buy something after clicking an affiliate link, we may earn a commission, which helps support reality blurred. Learn more.

About the writer

Discussion: your turn

The writing here is the start of a conversation, and reality blurred values your contributions to that conversation. We’ve created a community that connects people through open and thoughtful conversations about the TV we’re watching, the pop culture we’re consuming, and the stories about it.

To share our perspectives and exchange ideas in a welcoming, supportive space, there are rules for commenting here. By commenting below, you confirm that you’ve read and agree to those rules.

Happy discussing!