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13 Best Shows Based on True Crimes (Ranked)

Best True Crime Dramas
Credit - FX

True crime has become a phenomenon these days, mostly because people are really fascinated by them. It doesn’t matter if it’s a murder mystery, political or personal scandal, or a gruesome act, people are listening to them while they are happening and if they are twisted enough they make their way on television to entertain millions. Now, the whole world is obsessed with a true-crime either through podcasts, documentaries, or shows. So, today we have made a list of the 13 best shows that are based on true crime stories.

13. I am the Night

Best True Crime Dramas
Credit – TNT

Synopsis: From executive producer Patty Jenkins (Wonder Woman), I Am the Night tells the incredible story of Fauna Hodel (India Eisley) who was given away at birth. As Fauna begins to investigate the secrets to her past, she follows a sinister trail that swirls ever closer to an infamous Hollywood gynecologist, Dr. George Hodel (Jefferson Mays), a man involved in the darkest Hollywood debauchery. Chris Pine plays Jay Singletary, a former Marine-turned-hack-reporter/paparazzo.

12. Waco

Best True Crime Dramas
Credit – Paramount Network

Synopsis: Waco is a brand new 6-part series from Paramount Network based on the true story that shocked the world of religious leader David Koresh’s Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas in 1993. WACO features a star studded cast that includes Michael Shannon, Melissa Benoist, Taylor Kitsch, John Leguizamo.

11. Manhunt: Deadly Games

Best True Crime Dramas
Credit – Spectrum

Synopsis: A new installment of the acclaimed series, this season chronicles one of the largest and most complex manhunts on U.S. soil—the search for the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Park Bomber—and the media firestorm that consumed the life of Richard Jewell in its wake. With their legacies on the line and divisions within communities stoked, investigators must choose what is most important to defend—their reputations or the truth.

10. Des

Best True Crime Dramas
Credit – ITV

Synopsis: True-crime drama starring David Tennant about killer Dennis Nilsen. Police are called when bones and flesh are found clogging drains. Nilsen is arrested, but the case is far from simple.

9. Escape at Dannemora

Best True Crime Dramas
Credit – Showtime

Synopsis: This limited series is based on the stranger-than-fiction account of a prison break in upstate New York in the summer of 2015 that spawned a massive manhunt for two convicted murderers. The prisoners were aided in their escape by a married female prison employee with whom they both became sexually entangled. It stars Oscar® winners Benicio del Toro and Patricia Arquette, and Golden Globe® nominee Paul Dano. Emmy® winner Ben Stiller executive produces and directs all episodes.

8. Dr. Death

Best True Crime Dramas
Credit – Showtime

Synopsis: Based on the hit podcast from Wondery, Dr. Death tells the shocking true story of Dr. Christopher Duntsch (Joshua Jackson), a seemingly bright, young neurosurgeon with a thriving medical practice. But all is not as it seems. When a growing number of Dr. Duntsch’s defenseless patients end of permanently maimed or worse, two fellow physicians’ neurosurgeons Robert Henderson (Alec Baldwin) and vascular surgeon Randall Kirby (Christian Slater), attempt to stop him before he causes any more harm.

7. A Very English Scandal

Shows Like Pam and Tommy
Credit – BBC One

Synopsis: The shocking true story of the first British politician to stand trial for conspiracy to murder. Jeremy Thorpe (Hugh Grant), the leader of the Liberal party, has a secret he’s desperate to hide. His ex-lover Norman Scott (Ben Whishaw) is putting Thorpe’s brilliant political career at risk so Thorpe schemes and deceives until he realizes there’s only one way to silence Scott for good.

6. American Crime Story: The People v. O.J Simpson

Best True Crime Dramas
Credit – FX

Synopsis: The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story is a limited series that takes you inside the O.J. Simpson trial with a riveting look at the legal teams battling to convict or acquit the football legend of double homicide. Based on the book The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson by Jeffrey Toobin, it explores the chaotic behind-the-scenes dealings and maneuvering on both sides of the court, and how a combination of prosecution overconfidence, defense shrewdness, and the LAPD’s history with the city’s African-American community gave a jury what it needed: reasonable doubt.

5. Unbelievable

Best True Crime Dramas
Credit – Netflix

Synopsis: When teenager Marie Adler (Kaitlyn Dever) files a police report claiming she’s been sexually assaulted by an intruder in her home, the investigating detectives, as well as the people closest to her, come to doubt the truth of her story. Meanwhile, hundreds of miles away, detectives Grace Rasmussen and Karen Duvall (Emmy winners Toni Collette and Merritt Wever) meet while investigating an eerily similar pair of intruder rapes and partner to catch a potential serial rapist. Inspired by the real events in The Marshall Project and ProPublica Pulitzer Prize-winning article, “An Unbelievable Story of Rape,” written by T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong, and the This American Life radio episode, “Anatomy of Doubt”, with episodes directed by Oscar nominees Susannah Grant and Lisa Cholodenko, “Unbelievable” is a story of unspeakable trauma, unwavering tenacity, and astounding resilience. Showrunner Susannah Grant executive produces the series, from CBS Television Studios, along with Sarah Timberman, Carl Beverly, Lisa Cholodenko, Ayelet Waldman, Michael Chabon, Katie Couric, Richard Tofel, Neil Barsky, Robyn Semien, and Marie.

4. Alias Grace

Best True Crime Dramas
Credit – Netflix

Synopsis: The story of Alias Grace follows Grace Marks (Sarah Gadon), a poor, young Irish immigrant and domestic servant in Upper Canada who, along with stable hand James McDermott (Kerr Logan), was convicted of the brutal murders of their employer, Thomas Kinnear, and his housekeeper, Nancy Montgomery (Anna Paquin), in 1843. James was hanged while Grace was sentenced to life imprisonment. Grace became one of the most enigmatic and notorious women of 1840s Canada for her supposed role in the sensational double murder, and was eventually exonerated after 30 years in jail. Her conviction was controversial, and sparked much debate about whether Grace was actually involved in the murder, or merely an unwitting accessory. Alias Grace is written and produced by Sarah Polley (Looking for Alaska, Take this Waltz, Away from Her) and directed by Mary Harron (American Psycho, I Shot Andy Warhol). The series is a co-production with Halfire Entertainment, CBC and Netflix. The executive producers are Polley, Harron, and Noreen Halpern.

3. When They See Us

Best Period Dramas on Netflix
Credit – Netflix

Synopsis: Based on a true story that gripped the country, When They See Us will chronicle the notorious case of five teenagers of color, labeled the Central Park Five, who were convicted of a rape they did not commit. The four part limited series will focus on the five teenagers from Harlem — Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise. Beginning in the spring of 1989, when the teenagers were first questioned about the incident, the series will span 25 years, highlighting their exoneration in 2002 and the settlement reached with the city of New York in 2014. When They See Us was created by Ava DuVernay, who also co-wrote and directed the four parts. Jeff Skoll and Jonathan King from Participant Media, Oprah Winfrey from Harpo Films, and Jane Rosenthal, Berry Welsh and Robert De Niro from Tribeca Productions executive produced the limited series alongside DuVernay through her banner, Array FilmWorks. In addition to DuVernay, Attica Locke, Robin Swicord, Michael Starrbury and Julian Breece also served as writers on the limited series. The series stars Emmy Award® Nominee Michael K. Williams, Academy Award® Nominee Vera Farmiga, Emmy Award® Winner John Leguizamo, Academy Award® Nominee and Emmy Award® Winner Felicity Huffman, Emmy Award® Nominee Niecy Nash, Emmy Award® Winner and two-time Golden Globe Nominee Blair Underwood, Emmy Award® and Grammy Award® Winner and Tony Award® Nominee Christopher Jackson, Joshua Jackson, Omar J. Dorsey, Adepero Oduye, Famke Janssen, Aurora Perrineau, William Sadler, Jharrel Jerome, Jovan Adepo, Aunjanue Ellis, Kylie Bunbury, Marsha Stephanie Blake, Storm Reid, Dascha Polanco, Chris Chalk, Freddy Miyares, Justin Cunningham, Ethan Herisse, Caleel Harris, Marquis Rodriguez, and Asante Blackk.

2. Mindhunter

Best Period Dramas on Netflix
Credit – Netflix

Synopsis: In the late 1970s two FBI agents expand criminal science by delving into the psychology of murder and getting uneasily close to all-too-real monsters. Mindhunter features Jonathan Groff (Looking), Holt McCallanay (Sully), Anna Torv (Fringe) and Hannah Gross (Unless). The series is directed by David Fincher (Gone Girl, The Social Network, Zodiac), Asif Kapadia (Amy, Senna), Tobias Lindholm (A War, A Hijacking) and Andrew Douglas (The Amityville Horror, U Want Me 2 Kill Him?). Fincher, Joshua Donen (Gone Girl, The Quick and the Dead) Charlize Theron (Girlboss, Hatfields & McCoys) and Cean Chaffin (Gone Girl, Fight Club) are Executive Producers.

1. Chernobyl

Best True Crime Dramas
Credit – HBO

Synopsis: It was one of the worst man-made catastrophes in history. On April 26, 1986, the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the Soviet Union suffered a massive explosion that released radioactive material across Belarus, Russia and Ukraine, and as far as Scandinavia and western Europe. This gripping and powerful five-part miniseries follows the tragedy from the moment of the early-morning explosion through the chaos and loss of life in the ensuing days, weeks and months. The cast includes Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgard and Emily Watson.

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Written by Kabir

Hi, This is Kulwant Singh (Kabir), Content Writer on Cinemablind!

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