The 72nd Annual Emmy Award nominations just came out and as usual, Broadway is well represented. We thought this would be the perfect time to look back at our favorite musical TV shows. Everyone at TMTP was tasked with selecting a gem from the small screen that would satisfy our hunger for musical theater while we’re stuck home on the couch.
“My hands down favorite was The Carol Burnett show. I adored the sketches, the repeat characters and the true sense of ensemble. I especially loved when Carol and Harvey would break character when Tim Conway took a comic bit to the extreme. I loved seeing who the guests were each week and was obsessed with the fact that she was good friends with both Julie Andrews and Lucille Ball. Her closing song, “I’m so Glad This Time Together” as well as the sentimental tug of her earlobe honoring her mom are definitely echoed in the work we do in the classroom. Honoring the time we spend together, celebrating the songs, stories and people who shape us as we share a laugh and sing a song are part of the hallmarks of all our programming at TMTP.” – Jodi Maile Kirk
“It’s TRULY crazy, but I got a huge kick out of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. The musical talent on that show was amazing. Creator and star Rachel Bloom is super creative and multi-talented. She creates songs in all genres and performs them really well, as singer, actress, and comedian. The songs bring everyday situations to life in a magical/fantasy-like way. She surrounds herself with excellent Broadway performers, so all the singing and dancing is first rate!” – Nancy Maier
“The new show Encore! hosted by Kristin Bell on Disney+ is both entertaining and inspiring. It’s a reality show that reunites former drama kids as adults to recreate their high school musical in one week! With the help of Broadway professionals, these grownups get a second chance to live out their onstage dreams. Along the way they find new appreciation for the work that goes into it and the friendships that come out of it proving once and for all the universal power of musical theater.” – Joanna May Cullinan
“Only a single episode of The Flash (yes, the DC Universe superhero) qualifies. But of all the non-musical shows to attempt the genre, this one pulled it off. Consider this: Glee alums Grant Gustin and Melissa Benoist (TV’s Supergirl) anchor the plot and Darrin Criss guest stars. Musical theater veterans Jesse L. Martin, Victor Garber and John Barrowman sing a truly touching “More I Cannot Wish You” from Guys & Dolls. And Oscar-winning songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (Dear Evan Hansen, La La Land) contribute the original song ‘Running Home to You’ for the episode‘s defining moment.” – Heather Meeker
“As a former show choir geek, Glee brought back so many memories of friendship and the usual teenage struggles. For six years, it was a wonderful “escape” for me from my normal life. Every episode allowed me to listen to many old, familiar songs as well as introduce me to some newer contemporary songs. I also loved being able to see all of the young, emerging singers and watch them develop over the course of each season. Many of the actors started on Broadway or went on to perform there once the show was over.” – Heidi Lang
“We don’t watch much TV and Saturday Night Live never captivated me as it did as my high school and college friends. But in the last 4 years, SNL has been solace as well as entertainment. SNL has an on-going, not-so-secret love affair with its neighbor Broadway and in no episode was that more on display than in 2018’s ‘Diner Lobster‘ which parodies Les Miserables as only SNL can!” – Debbie Schinker
“I have to pick Zoe’s Extraodinary Playlist due to the storyline and humor. I think the show is so well done and the script writing is excellent. In musical theater we know that people release into song when emotions are so intense that they have nothing else to do but sing, and I think this is done in such a unique and believable way on the show. It’s also fun to see other musical theater performers on your tv at home.” – Bridie Srsen
An honorable mention goes to Smash. The show made it on to so many staff member’s lists that we had to show it some extra love. The behind-the-scenes drama only lasted two seasons, but it featured Broadway veterans and lavish musical numbers every week. Season one focused on a Marilyn Monroe musical called Bombshell with an outstanding score written by Scott Wittman & Marc Shaiman (Hairspray). It’s not-to-be-missed!