12 Documentaries That Spawned TV Series

By  · Published on October 16th, 2013

Private detective Charlie Parker, who appears in the documentary The Imposter, tweeted last week that he’s working with Storyville Entertainment on a potential TV show. I asked him if it was about his work, and he said yes. I didn’t want to press or pry too much at such an early stage, so it’s not clear yet if this would be a reality series starring him and following along with his investigations or if it would be a dramatic program based on or inspired by past stories from his career. Either way, it could be great. Parker really stole the show in the last act of The Imposter, and a number of fans have called for a spin-off documentary feature solely focused on him. A documentary series would be even better.

It’s surprising that more documentary subjects don’t break out and become stars of their own reality series. I’m just waiting for Jackie Siegel of The Queen of Versailles to get a show on Bravo. And I would definitely watch the continued adventures of the couple (and their son) from Cutie and the Boxer. We can look to any list of the greatest documentary characters of all time to see who else could be worthy, though many of the truly best (the Beales; Timothy Treadwell) are unfortunately no longer living.

There have actually been a number of docs that spawned TV series or miniseries, but not all involve the same people. Some are just about the same topic or premise. And, just as is planned for 2011?s Knuckle, some turn into fictionalized shows. I’m sure I’m missing some of those.


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