Long-running music TV shows are hard to come by these days. The last really successful musical drama was that of FOX Joy, which spanned six seasons. Other networks have attempted music-centric shows, whether based on performances or fantastic song sequences, but none have lasted very long.
Most recently, NBC canceled their musical Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist after only two seasons and 25 episodes. The cancellation sparked an online campaign for the series to be picked up on another network, however, no plans were announced to give the show (which ended on a twisted cliffhanger plot) another season. .
The Netflix drama Soundtrack premiered in 2019 and lasted for one season. There was an ensemble of singers and dancers who expressed the trials and tribulations of their lives through the power of music.
The cast included notable names like Jenna Dewan and Christina Millan, and other actors Paul James and Callie Hernandez. Each episode focused on different characters and their relationships with each other, as well as their relationships with those featured in other episodes. The show aired 10 episodes and was not renewed.
Nickelodeon Victorious aired from 2010 to 2013, when it abruptly ended with no official series finale.
The show revolved around Tori Vega (Victoria Justice) and her classmates at a performing arts school in Hollywood. The series launched the career of acclaimed artist Ariana Grande and was beloved for the strong vocal abilities of its lead actors and clever humor that made viewers forget that it was technically a children’s show.
8 Small voice
One of the first series to be broadcast on Apple TV +, the streaming service provided by Apple, Small voice grapple with finding your voice in the middle of early adulthood.
The show was created by singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles, who wrote the music for the series in addition to being an executive producer. Small voice followed Bess (Brittany O’Grady), a young woman with big dreams and a bigger heart. The series aired nine episodes in July, with Apple not releasing any further information on whether or not it would continue.
7 Julie and the ghosts
Netflix’s dramatic musical Julie and the ghosts attracted a strong fan base when it premiered in Fall 2020. The show focused on Julie (Madison Reyes) and her ’90s Ghost Boy group.
The creative concept paired with the catchy songs made the series a hit, with fans wishing for more after binging all nine of Season 1 episodes. Nearly a year later, Netflix has not revealed any plans to return. Julie and the ghosts for a second season.
6 To augment
In her first leading television role since how I Met Your MotherJosh Radnor played an English teacher trying to revamp his school’s drama department in this NBC drama.
To augment was created by Jason Katims, who was also responsible for shows like Friday night lights and Parenthood. In the 10-episode first season, high school students prepared to mount a production of Spring awakening while facing their own personal problems and triumphs. It was canceled a few days before the finale aired.
Written and created by Dan Fogelman (who was to create NBC’s hit drama series, It’s us), Galavant was a fairytale comedy set in medieval times – and included catchy songs and thrilling characters.
The series only lasted two seasons before being canceled by ABC, with guest stars including “Weird” Al Yankovic and John Stamos. The melodramatic musical was critically acclaimed, collecting 86% on Rotten Tomatoes. The Verge called the series, “The most underrated show of the decade that no one has watched.”
NBC Smash ran for two seasons before it was canceled. There was a troupe of musical theater actors whose characters dreamed of creating a new Broadway show about the late Marilyn Monroe.
The show starred Katherine McPhee in her first leading role, and she went on to play the role of Jenna in Waitress: The Musical on Broadway years later. Despite being semi-successful in his first season, SmashSeason 2’s ratings plummeted, leading to its unfortunate cancellation when there were still so many stories to tell.
Of all the music TV shows, Nashville ran the longest with six seasons and 124 episodes in total. It originally aired on ABC, but was canceled after Season 4 and moved to CMT, where it aired two more seasons before a final cancellation.
The show followed country singers to Nashville with varying levels of success and featured Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere as rival performers. The series focused on the professional and personal lives of musicians and featured performances of covers and original songs. Despite a strong fan base, Nashville was canceled due to low ratings.
2 crazy ex-girlfriend
Rachel Bloom created, wrote and starred in The CW’s crazy ex-girlfriend. The musical revolved around Rebecca (Bloom) as she followed her childhood crush to West Covina in an effort to rekindle their relationship and start a new life.
The show ran for four seasons and included several original songs in each episode performed by the characters as they voiced to audiences what was going on in their heads, breaking the fourth wall. Ratings for the show were still low despite strong fan backlash as well as praise for handling topics such as female sexuality and mental illness. The CW announced the end of the show before airing the final season.
1 Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist
Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist aired on NBC in January 2020 as a new take on musical dramas. The show starred Jane Levy as Zoey, a young coder who undergoes an MRI that gives her the power to hear people’s innermost thoughts through popular songs.
In addition to offering a musical mental reading, Zoey’s faced grief, love triangles, career changes, parenthood, and reuniting. Despite its unique storytelling ability and star-studded cast (including Lauren Graham, Skylar Astin, Peter Gallagher, and Mary Steenburgen), NBC and Peacock both managed to give the series a third season.
NEXT: Zoey’s Amazing Playlist: 5 Ways Every Season Is The Best
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