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Musical TV series: Yay or nay?

Glee, Smash and Nashville got a positive reaction from critics and viewers when they started… but eventually, it faded away. Of course, the people behind those shows is to blame, but the question is… is the genre in trouble?

Personally, I actually like Smash as a guilty pleasure.

While I never liked Nashville and Glee, Nashville has had 3 seasons so far (I don’t know if it’s been renewed for a 4th) and Nashville: On the Record (2014); Glee had 6 seasons and that’s not counting Glee: The 3D Concert Movie (2011), The Glee Project (2011), and various associated media. In network television terms that’s not bad- most series don’t even make it that far.

Galavant may have aspired to be more than a limited series, but it aired over four weeks in January- sort of a dead time for network tv in general. The fact that there may be a 2nd season is impressive considering.

I think the fact that "there are at least 5 TV shows of every genre except musical" is also due to the fact that musical shows are hard to make. On some shows such as Smash, new music (often several songs) had to be written for each episode. For all of these shows they need to record the songs before that episode, and frequently choreograph performances as well. Shooting a full season of a network TV show is a busy schedule to begin with. For a musical it can be even more hectic.

  • I think one obstacle of writing a musical series is finding new things to sing about. I can't remember who said it, but one lyricist said that a musical needs to have a passion or obsession so that the characters have a need to sing. Some musicals don't work because it becomes awkward when they suddenly burst out into song. So finding an overarching theme that will sell the need to sing is difficult. – Cagney 6 years ago
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  • Flight of the Conchords is another show that should be mentioned. It was a different type of musical tv show as it was first and foremost a comedy. But you could talk about how it only lasted two seasons, the way they implemented music into their show being different to others etc. – Jamie 6 years ago
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