We discuss the Top 20 Best Shows Based in the Workplace you must watch. Add these recommendations to your list!
Whether we like it or not, most of us spend a good portion of our lives at work. Workplace-based series are popular not just because of how relatable they are, but also because they give viewers glimpses into the (fictional) lives of various professionals. There’s nothing better than coming home from work and escaping your day-to-day grind by watching your favorite characters as they deal with the day-to-day grind. Here are our picks of the best series set at the character’s place of employment.
Top 20 Best Shows Based in the Workplace you must watch
The Office (2005–13)
This mockumentary-style sitcom follows Dunder Mifflin employees as they try to get through each day of their tedious 9-5 job. With an eccentric manager like Michael Scott (Steve Carell), the workers find themselves in strange and disturbing, but mostly comedic situations. The Office ran for 9 seasons and won 5 Emmy awards for its hilarious yet insightful take on corporate America.
The IT Crowd (2006–13)
This brilliant British sitcom is centered around a computer-illiterate manager, who’s put in charge of her corporation’s IT support team. Humorous and witty, the series ran for 5 seasons and it stars Chris O’Dowd, Richard Ayoade and Katherine Parkinson.
Severance (2022 – )
Severance premiered in 2022 and it’s asking an intriguing question: What if you could draw a clear line between your work life and your at-home life? In the series, Adam Scott stars as a man who works for a company where all employees have to undergo a surgical procedure to completely separate their work memories from their personal lives.
Corporate is similar to The Office but darker. A lot darker. The multinational corporation in this series sells weapons and its employees are cynical and miserable in their lives. There are comedic moments, but it’s also a show delving deep into the dark side of capitalism. The series ran for 3 seasons on Comedy Central before its cancellation.
Superstore (2015 – 2021)
NBC’s Superstore is probably one of the most underrated workplace sitcoms out there. The shows follow the hilarious misadventures of big-box store employees. Set in a fictional store named Could 9 in Missouri, the series ran for 6 seasons and its ensemble cast includes America Ferrera, Ben Feldman and the late Linda Porter.
Parks and Recreation (2009 – 2015)
Parks and Recreation is a mockumentary-style sitcom chronicling the adventures of a team of public officials who are just trying to make their small fictional Indiana town a more pleasant place. Created by Greg Daniels and Michael Schur (the same people who produced The Office), the show’s approach to depicting small-town politics earned it 14 Emmy nominations.
Workaholics (2011 – 2017)
Created, produced, written by, and starring Blake Anderson, Adam DeVine, and Anders Holm, Workaholics is a show about three college drop-outs working a dead-end telemarketing job. The three spend their days busy partying, smoking weed, pulling pranks and refusing to accept their teen years are behind them. The juvenile series ran for 7 seasons on Comedy Central, and Paramount+ recently announced a full feature film is in the works.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (2013–2021)
Most shows about the U.S. police force tend to take themselves too seriously. So when Brooklyn Nine-Nine first premiered back in 2013, many considered it to be a breath of fresh air. The series is centered on the exploits of Det. Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg) and his eccentric crew as they try to keep order in the NYPD’s 99th Precinct.
Mad Men (2007–2015)
Set in a 60s top-tier advertising agency, this series centers on Don Draper (Jon Hamm), a genius in the land of creating marketing campaigns, and his Madison Avenue colleagues. The show received wide critical acclaim and it ran for 7 seasons.
Starring Zach Braff, Donald Faison and Sarah Chalke as interns at the fictional Sacred Heart hospital, the series is centered on the challenges these brand-new doctors have to face daily. Scrubs ran for nine seasons between 2001 and 2010 and received two Emmy Awards.
Ally McBeal (1997–2002)
When it first came out in the late 90s, Ally McBeal was considered revolutionary for its portrayal of women in the workplace. The series is centered on its titular character, played by Calista Flockhart, a lawyer at the fictional Boston firm Cage and Fish who’s trying to find her true love while balancing work commitments.
Ugly Betty (2006–2010)
Based on a namesake Colombian telenovela, this series is set in the editorial office of a high-fashion magazine. The titular lead, played by America Ferrera, is a young woman who lands a job at a fashion-centric company, despite not being as conventionally attractive as her fellow female colleagues. Ugly Betty ran for four seasons on ABC and is now considered a cult classic.
The Good Fight (2017 – 2022)
This legal drama created by Robert King and Michelle King is a direct sequel to The Good Wife and stars Christine Baranski as Diane Lockhart. The main storyline follows Diane as she’s forced to come out of retirement after losing her savings in a scam and starts over at a new firm. Filled with social commentary and a look at contemporary political issues, this show is probably among the best-written pieces of entertainment out there. The Good Fight is currently in its sixth and final season on Paramount+.
Cable Girls (2017–2020)
Cable Girls is the first Netflix original series produced in Spain and it’s set in the 1920s. The series follows four women employed by the first major telecommunications company in Madrid. Each of the main characters has a different reason for joining the workforce, something that was pretty unheard of at the time. All three seasons are available to binge on Netflix.
Great News (2017–2018)
Some jobs are more entertaining than others. And while many people have interesting work colleagues, the main character in this series finds herself working with her overbearing mother. Great News follows the day-to-day lives of people working hard to bring the news to every television set in their town. Written by Tracey Wigfield and produced by Tina Fey, the sitcom ran on NBC for two seasons before it was sadly canceled.
The Good Wife (2009 – 2016)
The Good Wife is a legal drama like no other that ran for seven seasons on CBS. Julianna Margulies stars as Alicia Florrick, a stay-at-home mom forced to return to work after her former corrupt district attorney husband is imprisoned. Luckily, she gets a job as a first-year lawyer at the fictional law firm, Stern, Lockhart & Gardner, where her ex from college is a named partner. The series won multiple awards for its acting and its poignant social and political commentary.
Grey’s Anatomy (2005 – )
One of the longest-running medical dramas currently on air, Grey’s Anatomy centers on the medical professionals who staff the fictional Seattle Grace Hospital. Despite some interesting reports of on-set drama between cast members, the award-winning series is currently in its 19th season and will likely be renewed for a 20th.
Criminal Minds (2005 – 2022)
As far as jobs go, working at the Behavioral Analysis Unit is probably as exciting as it gets. The characters in this show don’t spend much time at the office as they’re usually taking a private jet all across the U.S. to catch serial killers. The series ran for 15 seasons and Paramount+ has revived it for a 16th set to drop on November 24, 2022.
Evil (2009 – )
Some people’s jobs are a bit unusual. The main characters in Evil work as assessors for the Catholic church. What are they assessing? Demon possessions. More specifically, they’re hired to determine whether a person needs an exorcism or a mental health practitioner. The series recently wrapped up its third season and a fourth is on the way. All current episodes are available to stream on Paramount+.
Suits (2011 – 2019)
Suits is a legal drama with a twist: One of the main characters is hired as a lawyer, even if he never actually went to law school. The successful dramedy ran for nine seasons and features an ensemble cast including Gabriel Macht, Patrick J. Adams, and the Duchess of Sussex herself, Meghan Markle.
Do you have any other recommendations for Top 20 Best Shows Based in the Workplace? Let us know!