TV shows are alive with the sound of music. While shows going back to Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Simpsons have had musical episodes in the past, lately every show seems to be jumping on the trend. Musical episodes aren’t just relegated to shows like Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and Glee any more, and with the success of Hamilton and La La Land it makes sense. Musicals are, as Mugatu would say, so hot right now.
Sometimes having a musical episode makes sense, like the upcoming crossover between The Flash and Supergirl. Both shows feature extremely skilled singers and Broadway veterans; it would be a waste not to put their combined talents to good use. Musical episodes are a great way to get people excited for a new episode or talking about a more veteran show again. There are plenty of shows that could use the infusion of song and dance, whether because of the ability of the cast or because the way the show lends itself to the genre.
Here are 15 TV Shows That Need Musical Episodes.
15. New Girl
How is it possible that New Girl has not had a musical episode yet? The antics of the quirky L.A. roommates would be perfect musical fodder and, with the shenanigans they’ve pulled, it would not be hard for the show to find a way to explain it all. Jessica (Zooey Deschanel) sick in bed with the flu! Nick (Jake Johnson) decides to write a musical version of his book! Schmidt (Max Greenfield) wants to put a modern spin on Fiddler on the Roof! It’s all part of one of Winston’s (Lamorne Morris) elaborate pranks! The possibilities are endless.
There was already an episode where Jessica got drunk with Bearclaw (guest star Josh Gad) and they stayed up all night writing a musical we barely got to see. Bring Gad back and let him and Zooey Deschanel really sing. She has an amazing voice as displayed in Elf and as part of her musical duo with M. Ward, She & Him. Plus in season 3, Prince made a special guest appearance on New Girl. Prince! If that isn’t a sign, then what is?
14. Modern Family
Modern Family is another comedy show that could do well with a musical episode. A musical at one of the kids’ schools (let’s be real, we all know Lily would be the star) could inspire the rest of the family to start singing as well. The cast of comedians could put their talents to use going over the top with modern day songs. And there would need to be a way to somehow incorporate Sister Sledge’s “We Are Family”.
The cast of Modern Family already has some singers in its midst. Jesse Tyler Ferguson has appeared on Broadway in in musicals such as The 25th Annual Putnam Country Spelling Bee and Fully Committed. The Dunphy kids all have musical talent too. Luke (Nolan Gould) showed off his chops already in the season four episode “A Sight at the Opera”. Both Haley (Sarah Hyland) and Alex (Ariel Winter), have singing ability as well, performing covers of popular songs and posting them online. It would be a fun way to let the younger cast members shine, as well as putting a fun twist on a show that’s been on for 8 seasons now.
13. Scream Queens
Two words: Ryan Murphy. The creator of Glee is also behind the campy horror comedy Scream Queens, making it the perfect show for a musical episode. Heck, if the show is renewed for a third season, the whole thing could be a musical – if Sweeney Todd could do the whole murder musical thing, who is to say Scream Queens can’t?
Scream Queens also boasts a cast full of musical talent. Season regular Lea Michele is a Glee alum with killer pipes. Keke Palmer and Abigail Breslin are also both singers with albums to their names. Not to mention the show has been able to score some impressive musically minded guest stars like Ariana Grande, John Stamos, Nick Jonas, and Laura Bell Bundy. Enough time has passed since the end of Glee in 2015 that Scream Queens could give the musical genre a go without it feeling like a creative retread for Murphy.
12. Doctor Who
Doctor Who is arguably one of the zaniest shows on television. It’s surprising they haven’t had a musical episode already, especially considering that most of the men who have played the Doctor since the 2005 reboot have had musical talent. Matt Smith, David Tennant, and even Christopher Eccleston have all sung for parts in some capacity in the past. Not to mention that Billie Piper, who played Rose, was a pop star long before she was a companion, and the Last Centurion Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill) performed on both Broadway and London stages.
The Twelfth Doctor, played by Peter Capaldi, has been shown to have a fondness for the guitar, demonstrating his skills in the 9th season premiere “The Magician’s Apprentice”. Before we bid his Doctor goodbye, it would be fun to have a musical episode to show off his talents. Maybe he and new companion Bill (Pearl Mackie) visit a planet where everyone sings instead of speaks. Weirder things have happened on Doctor Who.
Archer is an animated show that gets its characters into some pretty hilarious situations. A musical episode would not be out of place, considering everything the agents have gotten themselves into over the years. Season 8 of the show is going even further, seemingly taking the action inside the mind of Sterling Archer (H. Jon Benjamin) himself. If the show can do an entire “Dreamland” season, surely they can do one episode where the agents sing and dance. Plus, if Cheryl (Judy Greer) became a country star in season 5, what’s stopping the rest of the gang?
Archer has an extremely talented voice cast. Jessica Walters, who voices Malory Archer, has experience on Broadway and in made-for-TV musicals like Kiss Me Kate. She also sang on an episode of The Carol Burnett Show. Benjamin has sung in a few episodes of Bob’s Burgers, so he’s already up for the challenge too. Aisha Tyler sings as well, lending her voice to the celebrity acapella version of Rachel Platten “Fight Song”. Danger Zone!
10. How to Get Away With Murder
How to Get Away With Murder is an insane show (in the best way possible). There are so many twists and turns in this darkly soapy drama that a musical episode wouldn’t even seem that out of the ordinary. Besides, creator Shonda Rhimes already did a musical episode on her other hit show Grey’s Anatomy, so it would not be completely out of the blue for another TGIT series.
There is probably nothing Viola Davis can’t do. Is there any doubt in anyone’s mind that she would not completely crush a musical episode? Matt McGorry, who plays Asher, sang as part of his role in the 2015 film How He Fell In Love and Conrad Ricamora, who plays Oliver, was in The King and I. The whole cast is full of talented people, so this could easily happen. In terms of plausibility, well, Annalise Keating has had some weird dreams before.
9. Grace & Frankie
Grace & Frankie is one of Netflix’s more underrated original comedy shows. It revolves around two older women, Grace (Jane Fonda) and Frankie (Lily Tomlin), who become reluctant friends when their husbands leave them for each other. It’s a funny show that takes on real life issues with heart and boasts a stellar cast.
Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin are Hollywood and Broadway legends with numerous credits under their names. Tomlin was nominated for an Oscar for her singing role in the movie Nashville, and has even released a duet album with Rod Barry Manilow! Martin Sheen, who plays Grace’s former husband, lent his vocal chops to the variety show A Prairie Home Companion alongside Tomlin. Plus the show’s guest stars include legendary EGOT (winner of Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony) Rita Moreno, singer Mary Kay Place, and the talented Ernie Hudson. It would be almost criminal not to do a musical episode of this show.
The delightful CW zombie comedy iZombie would make a great show for a musical episode. The show’s premise alone would help to explain why Liv (Rose McIver) is suddenly breaking out into song: obviously she ate the brain of a deceased singer or Broadway star and must solve their murder. Maybe this inspires everyone else to get in on the fun as well. Or perhaps Liv has consumed a brain which hallucinated that everyone around them was breaking into song. The possibilities are endless!
Let’s not forget the multi-talented cast. David Anders, who plays Blaine, is a talented singer. Fans of the show have seen videos of him and Rahul Kohli, who plays Ravi, goofing around behind the scenes, singing and playing guitar. It would be fun if iZombie was able to show off these other sides of the cast and really capitalize on the fun tone of the series.
7. The Good Place
The Good Place was one of the critical hit shows of the 2016-2017 TV season. It’s made by the creator of Parks and Rec, Michael Schur and stars Kristen Bell as a woman named Eleanor who dies and ends up in “The Good Place” created by the architect Michael (Ted Danson). The show has already been renewed for a second season and has the perfect tone and visual style to make a musical episode work. The after-life creates a perfect conceit for an “anything goes” surreal musical episode.
Anyone who has even just heard of the movie Frozen knows Bell can sing. She shone as Anna in the hit animated Disney musical. Bell is charming and could easily hold down an entire musical episode on her own. Danson is a veteran actor who would have no problem adapting as well. The two of them singing duets together would be pure joy to watch.
6. Agents of SHIELD
If the DC superhero shows can have a musical episode, why can’t Marvel do it too? While the Netflix Marvel shows are darker and more grounded in tone, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. would be perfect for a musical episode. The ABC show is lighter and with the Inhumans angle, it could be explained away as a new kind of power. Plus it’s fun to imagine one of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s killer fight scenes interspersed with songs.
There are a lot of reasons why an Agents of SHIELD musical episode would work. The cast is full of fun and multi-talented people. Chloe Bennet might be known now as the superhero Quake, but she started out her career as a singer in China. If you watched any of the dubsmash videos you know Clark Gregg has no problem singing or dancing and Ming Na Wen is endlessly talented.
Showrunners Maurissa Tancharoen and Jed Whedon co-created and co-wrote Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog alongside Whedon’s brothers Joss and Zack. They are both talented musicians who could write an entire episode full of their own songs. A Whedonverse musical could also be a good way to help draw in some new viewers to the show that has been struggling with ratings lately.
Elementary is CBS’ modern take on the adventures of Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) and his partner Dr. Joan Watson (Lucy Liu). A musical episode would be a great way to shake up this more procedural drama. Fringe was able to do it in their second season with the episode “Brown Betty”, explained by Walter (John Noble) smoking marijuana that led to singing hallucinations. Elementary could take a similar route if Sherlock suffers another relapse.
Miller sang previously in the film Love, Honor and Obey and Liu appeared in the movie version of Chicago (although she did not sing in the film). The two are capable actors who could get a chance to show off a different side of their characters with a musical episode. Also now that John Noble has been added to the cast as Sherlock’s father Morland, he would make a good addition to any kind of musical-based plot.
4. This Is Us
This Is Us is NBC’s breakout hit, following the members of the Pearson family across generations. And when you have a show that stars Mandy Moore, it only seems right to have a musical episode as well. Moore plays Rebecca, the matriarch of the Pearson clan who gave up her singing aspirations when she became a mother. Moore has had a chance to sing in a few episodes, but a whole episode would allow her to interact with the rest of the cast through song as well.
This Is Us also stars Ron Cephas Jones as William. Jones is a Broadway star with a killer set of pipes. He also has only had a brief opportunity to show off his skills on the show, but letting him perform with Moore and making their characters work through their issues in song would be must-see TV. Plus who doesn’t want to see Sterling K. Brown sing?
3. Jane the Virgin
Jane the Virgin is the story is about a young woman named Jane (Gina Rodriguez) who gets accidentally artificially inseminated and ends up pregnant– without ever having had sex. Jane is a writer and has a very active imagination; she frequently speaks to the characters from her novel or different versions of herselfThe premise of the show is based around (and frequently pokes fun at) Latin telenovelas, so a musical episode really would not be completely out of the question.
The cast of Jane the Virgin is precisely why a musical episode would work. Jaime Camil already steals every scene he’s in as Jane’s father Rogelio, but giving the actor a chance to really show off his Broadway singing and dancing is just too good an opportunity to pass up. Angela Navedo has already showed off her musical talent as Xiomara and an “Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better” style duet between she and Camil would be perfect. Plus Rodriguez has some serious rap skills that the show really needs to give her a chance to show off.
Black-ish is the ABC sitcom about Dre (Anthony Anderson) and Bow Johnson (Tracee Ellis Ross) raising their four kids in the suburbs while still trying to give them a sense of their cultural identity. The show follows the family’s everyday life and takes on some serious topics while still managing to create big laughs. A musical episode of Black-ish would be a great way to show Dre continuing the education of his children in Black history and could give the show a chance to use some really unique music to tell the story.
Anderson and Ross are not only talented actors and comedians, but singers as well. Not to mention the show has featured guest stars such as Laurence Fishburne, Raven-Symone, and Daveed Diggs – giving them plenty of additional musical talent to choose from. It would be a great way for the show to really have some fun– especially if any of it involves Anderson trying to connect with his kids through “cool” young people music.
1. Chicago Shows (Fire, Med, P.D., Law)
The CW is not the only network to do crossover episodes. NBC has also jumped on the trend and created a four shows that revolve around the lives and jobs of the men and women of Chicago. Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D., Chicago Med, and the upcoming Chicago Justice could continue the trend and have their own musical crossover episode as well.
A four episode musical crossover would be complicated to arrange, but worth it for the excitement it would create alone. All of the casts also have actors with musical talent. Chicago Fire’s Monica Raymund has performed on stage and her TV husband Jesse Spencer is part of The Band From TV featuring a number of other actors. Jon Seda from Chicago P.D. appeared as musician Chris Perez in the film Selena. Chicago Med star (and former Tommy Merlyn) Colin Donnell has performed in numerous Broadway and off-Broadway productions including Jersey Boys and Anything Goes.
This city already has one musical named after it, but it might be time for another one.
What shows do you want to see get musical episodes? Let us know in the comments!