In the past few years television entertainment has shuttled into a whole new orbit revealing a world of possibilities for story-telling. With whirling anticipation we grow with our favourite TV shows and while Game Of Thrones and Jessica Jones are perfect for our fix of fantasy, the thrill of being gripped by a story that actually happened, heightens the dose of drama that is missing in your own life.
So, give the movies a rest because we have for you a list of shows that have found inspiration in real stories of real people.
1. Breaking Bad
2. Band Of Brothers
It is based on the 1993 non-fiction book by the same name penned by Stephen E. Ambrose.
This World-War II mini-series first aired on HBO in 2001. The identities of the real-life soldiers are not revealed until the series finale. The show took home both the Emmy and Golden Globe awards for best miniseries in 2001.
3. The Tudors
The rule of King Henry VIII in 16th century England is the central theme of the show.
First aired in 2007, the series was criticized for diverting from the theme starting season 4. However, creator Michael Hirst remarkably succeeded in beautifully portraying the life and several affairs of King Henry VIII.
4. Downton Abbey
The historical-drama is inspired by the book ‘To Marry An English Lord,’ written by Gail MacColl and Carol Wallace.
Premiered in 2010, the mini-series became an international hit. It is set in the post-Edwardian era, portraying the lives of the respectable Crawley family and their domestic servants. The show ran for 6 seasons, and won both the Emmy and Golden Globe award for best mini-series in 2012.
5. Call The Midwife
The series is based on the memoir of late Jennifer Worth, a midwife nurse and musician.
The award-winning BBC drama-series that first aired in 2012 shows the poverty-stricken neighbourhoods in London post World War II. Soon after premiering, the show became the most popular TV show on BBC One since 2001.
6. Fresh Off The Boat
This comedy-series is inspired from chef-turned-author Eddie Huang’s memoir, ‘Fresh Off the Boat: A Memoir.’
The show that aired in 2015 first, became the first Asian-influenced show by ABC network. It revolves around Huang and his Taiwanese family and their experiences in trying to live in a 90s suburban Orlando in the US.
7. Necessary Roughness
It is based on real-life psychologist Dr. Donna Dannenfelser.
The USA Network sports drama portrays Dannenfelser’s life and her experiences while working with New York Jets, an American football team. First aired in 2011, the show got cancelled after three seasons in 2013.
8. The Fall
The series follows the story of real-life American serial-killer, Dennis Rader, who was dubbed as the ‘BTK’ (Bind, Torture, Kill) murderer.
First aired in 2013, this BBC hit drama follows Rader’s journey as he brutally murdered 10 people from 1974 to 1991 in the US. The show became an instant hit for its horrifying revelations.
This comedy-drama series follows the real-life experiences of Kathy Reich, an archaeologist and a forensic scientist.
Produced by Reich herself, the smash-hit show premiered in 2005. It is based on Reich’s ‘Temperance Brennan’ novel series where the protagonist, Brennan, portrays the author herself.
This show is inspired by real-life crisis management specialist, Judy Smith.
The show that first aired in 2012, gained massive popularity for the remarkable performance by Kerry Washington who essayed the protagonist, Olivia Pope. Widely popular in the US for helping people escape trouble, Smith is both the co-creator and executive producer of the drama-series.
The series centers around the real-life drug leader Pablo Escobar.
A Netflix original, the crime thriller first aired in 2015. It follows the life and events of Escobar as he became a billionaire by producing and circulating cocaine. The show that will return with season 2 in 2016, has already bagged 2 Emmy nominations.
12. Kitchen Confidential
This mini-series is based on renowned chef, Anthony Bourdain’s book ‘Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly.’
The show that first aired in 2005 on Fox Network stars Bradley Cooper as the protagonist, Jack Bourdain. Due to poor ratings, the show got cancelled after the first season itself.
13. Boardwalk Empire
It is based on the 2002 non-fiction book ‘Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times, and Corruption of Atlantic City,’ written by Nelson Johnson.
This political-drama series portrays the life and events of Enoch L. Johnson, a real-life Atlantic City politician. Premiered in 2010, the pilot episode itself cost a whooping $18 million.
14. Garrow’s Law
This show covers the life and experiences of William Garrow, a British attorney, judge, and political figure.
Created by Tony Marchant, the BBC drama-series that premiered in 2009 shows how Garrow altered the system of conducting trials in the UK and also introduced the idea of assumption of innocence until the suspect is found guilty.
15. The Goldbergs
This comedy-series is based on Adam F. Goldberg and his own family.
The show that is created by Goldberg himself premiered in 2013. It is inspired from the real-life events of Goldberg’s childhood and family. In fact, due to the nature of the show being too peculiar, towards the closing credits of the episodes; real-life home videos from the Goldberg family itself are exhibited to prove its authenticity.
This comedy-drama is inspired from actor Mark Wahlberg’s life and experiences as a growing A-list Hollywood star.
Premiered in 2004, the series ran for 8 seasons and served Wahlberg as one of its executive producers. It is themed on friendship and daily events that Wahlberg, essayed by Adrian Grenier, faced as a rising Hollywood actor. The show won 6 Emmy and one Golden Globe awards.
This series is based on its creator, Bill Lawrence’s friend Jonathan Doris.
It follows the real-life experiences that Doris narrated to Lawrence during the former’s time as a resident doctor. Premiered in 2001, this medical-drama series achieved enormous success worldwide and went on to grab 17 Emmy nominations.
18. Orange Is The New Black
A Netflix hit, the show is based on Piper Kerman’s memoir ‘Orange Is The New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison’.
After premiering in 2013, the series became the online streaming media’s most watched TV show of the year. It brings the poor prison system of the US under the limelight.
If you haven’t watched these shows already, you really gotta get your game on.