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Best TV Shows About Music

Although they are incredibly diverse, the best TV shows about music all have a similar foundation—music and the love and appreciation of it.

By Gus WelchPublished 6 years ago 7 min read

With all of the TV shows circulating today, it can be difficult to know which are the best to follow, which is why we would like to highlight the best picks from an upcoming, and particularly new genre: TV shows about music. The shows that fall into this category, though incredibly diverse, all have a similar foundation—music. Throughout the episodes that make up these shows, not only will you find music, but also dancing, drama, and impressive storylines that go along with sensational acting from a variety of characters and actors. The list of the best TV shows about music includes a great variety, leaving us with information and details about numerous shows, allowing us each to pick one to dive into.

At the top of the list for this genre is the show Empire. Created by Lee Daniels and Danny Strong, this musical drama stars Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson as they deal with the ups and downs of their hip hop music and entertainment company, named Empire Entertainment. This show was met with immediate positive responses and grew an instant fan base. The positive reception of this show can be reaffirmed by the numerous nominations it has received from a variety of rewarding organizations. Among the success it has achieved are the BET Award for Best Actor and Best Actress, the Teen Choice Award for Breakout Show, and the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Television Series Drama.

Also on the top of the list for this genre is The Get Down. This musical television drama was created by Baz Luhrmann and Stephen Adly Guirgis and has been produced by Sony Pictures Television. Debuting on Netflix, this show is set in New York City during the late 70s, at a time where a new form of music was emerging. The cast of this TV show about music includes Justice Smith as Ezekiel Figuero, Shameik Moore as Shaolin Fantastic, and Herizen Guardiola as Mylene Cruz. Met with excitement and intrigue by its Netflix-based fan base, this show has already showed immediate success with its nomination as Best Outstanding Music Supervision - Television by the 2016 Hollywood Music in Media Awards.

Another show well worth mentioning is the musical drama Nashville. This show was created in 2012 by Callie Khouri and produced by R.J. Cutler, Khouri, Dee Johnson, Steve Buchanan, and Connie Britton. Set in one of the music capitals of the nation, Nashville, Tennessee, this drama follows the lives of a number of country music singers, played by Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere. The success of this show can be seen through its millions-deep fan base as well as through the number of rewards it has been nominated for and/or has received, including the Critics’ Choice Television Awards award for Most Exciting New Series in 2012. Among the numerous shows to find a spot as the best of this genre, Nashville adds a unique touch with its country music flare.

Another phenomenal TV show about music is Lip Sync Battle. This show premiered on the Spike cable network in 2015. Created by John Krasinski and Stephen Merchant and directed by Beth McCarthy-Miller, this show adds a unique touch to this list as a reality competition. Chrissy Teigen and LL Cool J present the contestants participating in each episode as they battle each other in impressive lip sync performances. In addition to the positive reception it has received through its large fan base, the show has also been a huge success for the Spike cable network, bringing in more than 2.2 million viewers with the premiere episode.

Vinyl is another fan favorite TV show about music. Premiering on HBO in 2016, this show follows a record executive in the 70s. Created by Mick Jagger, Martin Scorsese, Rich Cohen, and Terence Winter, the show received mixed reviews at the onset, but was later acknowledged as one that played tribute to the original rockers of the 70s.

Another show deserving of a mention in this genre is the musical drama Fame. Based on the film of the same name, this show, airing from 1982 to 1987, chronicled the lives of students and faculty alike at the New York City High School for the Performing Arts. Starring Debbie Allen, Jesse Borrego, Loretta Chandler, Lee Curreri, and Cynthia Gibb, to name a few, this series was met with much success, all of which later led to subsequent records and live concert tours.

Glee is another fan-favorite that deserves a spot on this list. This American comedy-drama astonishes with its musicality and with the inspiring talent of its characters. As a teen-drama, followers will also find lots of scandal, drama, and an array of addressed social issues throughout the six seasons. In addition to a number of Emmy, Golden Globe, and Guild awards, Glee has had a loyal and consistent fan-base that revel in its success. Starring Jane Lynch, Blake Jenner, Chris Colfer, and Lea Michele, followers of Glee are always in for a treat with each musically-inspired episode.

Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll, created by Denis Leary and starring Denis Leary, John Corbett, Elizabeth Gillies, and Robert Kelley, this show is praised for its comedic factor as it follows an aging rock star who gets a second chance with his daughter and with his music. This show was a short hit on the FX network, boasting an impressive soundtrack to the series as well as a comedic take on a musical story.

Dating back to the 70s, this show was on air for approximately four years and gained quite the attention during that amount of time. Nominated for a number of Grammy and Golden Globe Awards, The Partridge Family has a pair of TV Land Awards under its belt as proof to its success and positive reception. With a number of guest stars that easily impressed through their appearances on the show, the regular stars included Shirley Jones, David Cassidy, Susan Dey, Danny Bonaduce, Jeremy Gelbwaks, Brian Foster, Suzanne Crough, and Dave Madden.

Smash is another must-see musical series. Created by Theresa Rebeck, a number of fan-favorite executive producers and stars gave this show the success it can be remembered for. These favorites include Steven Spielberg, Debra Messing, Jack Davenport, Katharine McPhee, and Angelica Huston. The story revolves around these incredibly colorful and musical characters as they take part in the New York City theatre community and work on a new Broadway production.

This comedy drama starring Lola Kirke, Gael Garcia Bernal, and Saffron Burrows focuses on a number of characters as they utilize their talents playing in a number of orchestras in numerous Broadway shows. Based on the memoir by Blair Tindall, this web-television series was praised by a number of reputable sources including The Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone, and Entertainment Weekly.

American Dreams is a musical series quite unlike any other. Starring Gail O’Grady as Helen Pryor, Tom Verica as Jack Pryor, Brittany Snow as Meg Pryor, and Will Estes as JJ Pryor, this show follows the Pryor family as they deal with the changing times and desires that are inspired by the late 60s. A number of social issues are confronted and dealt with all while the Pryor daughter pursues her dream of a musical career. This show received numerous positive ratings from is committed fan-base throughout the three seasons it was on air from 2002 until 2005.

The last show that finds a spot on the list is The Monkees. One of the oldest musical TV series on the list, this show aired on the NBC network from 1966 until 1968. Staring Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, and Peter Tork, this sitcom focuses on a group of young men as they try to make a name for themselves in the music industry as a rock n’ roll group. In addition to winning Emmy Awards, this show was praised for the inspiration it had on television film production during its time. As the music and comedy mix for this show, fans were moved to laugh and follow along through the story of these four men.

Popularity of TV Shows About Music

Some people may ask why and how TV shows about music are so popular. The truth is that these shows bring a happiness factor to those that watch them. Music makes those that hear it feel good and at-ease. A TV show that is inspired by music, hosts music at its core, or that follows the lives of men and women involved in music has the potential to draw people in and capture their attention. TV shows about music have been around for decades and will continue to flourish because of their ability to reel in an audience.

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About the Creator

Gus Welch

Loyal Deadhead. Teaches guitar teacher at the Music Den. Just trying to give the world a little more to jam to.

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