Louis Theroux's BBC Two specials

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In these first special programmes (2003), Louis Theroux returned to American themes, working at feature-length, this time with a more serious tone than in his earlier Weird Weekends work. For example, Louis and the Brothel takes a sympathetic look at the prostitutes working at a legal brothel in Nevada whereas Under the Knife takes a more critical look at the world of plastic surgery. Other programmes cover a wide variety of topics including law and disorder and Nazis.

In March 2006, Louis Theroux signed a deal with the BBC to produce ten films over the course of three years. In February 2009, a new contract came into force which guarantees Louis another ten hour-long documentaries with the BBC.


No. Title Broadcast Synopsis
1 Louis and the Brothel 9 November 2003 Ex-prostitute Susan Austin and her ex-client and now husband, Lance Gilman, run America's newest legal brothel – The Wild Horse Ranch in Reno, Nevada. In a three-week sojourn Louis gets to know this remarkable couple and meets their customers. He also hears the stories of the working women.
2 Louis, Martin & Michael 16 November 2003 After losing out to Martin Bashir for an opportunity to produce an official Michael Jackson documentary, Louis tries his best to obtain an interview with Michael, but cannot. In the process, we get to see Louis meet with Uri Geller and Michael's father Joe Jackson.
3 Louis and the Nazis 21 December 2003 Louis travels to California to get to know some of the key personalities of the American neo-Nazi movement.
4 Louis Theroux: Gambling in Las Vegas 4 February 2007 Louis heads for Vegas to reveal the world behind the myths of casino culture – the slot slaves, high rollers and casino men who keep this town in the middle of the desert green with money.
5 The Most Hated Family in America 1 April 2007 Louis gets to know the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas – whose members are nearly all from one family and are infamous for extreme homophobia and picketing the funerals of fallen soldiers.
6 Louis Theroux: Under the Knife 7 October 2007 In California, where you can be whatever and whomever you want at the flick of knife and a few thousand dollars, Louis attempts to get under the skin of extreme plastic surgery.
7 Louis Behind Bars 13 January 2008 Louis goes inside California's San Quentin – one of America's most notorious prisons – to meet serial murderers, gang members, at risk inmates and guards.
8 African Hunting Holiday 6 April 2008 Louis journeys to Limpopo Province in South Africa to join the holidaymakers who flock there to hunt big game.
9 Law and Disorder in Philadelphia 30 November 2008 Louis joins Philadelphia's police department, patrolling an area that has over 400 homicides a year, drug dealers on every corner and where carrying a gun is part of everyday life. But during his time spent with the local cops, he sees a complex picture evolve.
10 Law and Disorder in Johannesburg 7 December 2008 Louis Theroux travels to Johannesburg, where the residents find themselves increasingly besieged by crime as he looks at the issue of law and disorder.
11 A Place for Paedophiles 19 April 2009 Louis visits the Coalinga Mental Hospital in California, which houses more than 500 convicted paedophiles. Spending time with those undergoing treatment, Louis wrestles with whether he can ever allow himself to believe men whose whole history is defined by deception and deceit.
12 The City Addicted to Crystal Meth 9 August 2009 Louis examines how drug addiction has torn apart the city of Fresno in Central Valley, California.
13 America's Medicated Kids 18 April 2010 Louis meets parents who have turned to medication to keep their children under control.
14 Law and Disorder in Lagos 10 October 2010 Louis Theroux travels to Lagos, where the residents find themselves increasingly besieged by crime as he looks at the issue of law and disorder.
15 The Ultra Zionists 3 February 2011 Louis Theroux spends time with a small and very committed subculture of ultra-nationalist Jewish settlers in the West Bank.
16 America's Most Hated Family in Crisis 3 April 2011 Four years after his last visit, Louis returns to spend a week with the Westboro Baptist Church in the wake of several defections from the church.
17 Miami Mega Jail Part 1 22 May 2011 Louis Theroux spends time in one of the most notorious sections of Miami County Jail: the fifth and sixth floor of 'Main Jail', where many of the most volatile inmates are incarcerated.
18 Miami Mega Jail Part 2 29 May 2011 Louis Theroux goes deeper into the jail system and meets an inmate facing a possible death sentence. He also follows a group of younger inmates who have escaped prison by pleading guilty and agreeing to attend a four-month military style boot camp.
19 America's Most Dangerous Pets 30 October 2011 Travelling to America's heartlands, Louis Theroux spends time with people who have private collections of tigers and chimpanzees.
20 Extreme Love: Autism 19 April 2012 Louis travels to one of the most innovative autism schools of its kind – the DLC Warren in New Jersey – opened in 2007 at a cost of $54 million. There he finds out how specialised intervention can help both the pupils and the families that care for them.
21 Extreme Love: Dementia 26 April 2012 As one of the big retirement destinations for middle class Americans, Phoenix, Arizona has also become a capital of dementia care. Louis visits the city to spend time in state-of-the-art care home Beatitudes and with home-based carers, whose love is tested by a condition that steadily erodes the personality and character of their partners.
22 Twilight of the Porn Stars 10 June 2012 Fifteen years after documenting the world of male porn performers in Los Angeles, Louis Theroux returns to find a business struggling with the deluge of free porn online. He also visits people he saw on his first documentary to see how their lives have progressed.
23 LA Stories: City of Dogs 23 March 2014 Louis enters the bizarre world of LA’s dogs, meeting the characters whose lives revolve around the city’s huge canine population.
24 LA Stories: Edge of Life 30 March 2014 Louis heads to West Hollywood’s Cedars-Sinai Medical Center to experience the American way of death.
25 LA Stories: Among the Sex Offenders 6 April 2014 Louis looks at how California deals with sex offenders after release from prison.
26 By Reason of Insanity Part 1 22 March 2015 Louis goes to Ohio and researches the facilities where those found not guilty by insanity are evaluated and treated.
27 By Reason of Insanity Part 2 29 March 2015 Louis continues his investigation, exploring the boundaries between insanity and criminality.
28 Transgender Kids 5 April 2015 Louis travels to San Francisco where medical professionals are helping children with gender dysphoria transition from boy to girl or girl to boy.
29 Drinking to Oblivion 24 April 2016 Louis spends time with patients of alcoholism at King's College Hospital.
30 A Different Brain 15 May 2016 Louis takes a look at the issues that some of the estimated one million people in the UK living with the long-term effects of a brain injury have to deal with.
31 Savile 2 October 2016 In light of the unmasking of Jimmy Savile as a predatory sex offender, and 16 years after his documentary When Louis Met... Jimmy, Louis Theroux sets out to understand how a man who was at the centre of British entertainment and charitable fundraising for decades was able to get away with a long litany of crimes.

DVD releases[edit]