What Are The Best Workplace TV Shows?

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Can a single actor make a TV show worth watching? Isn’t it all about chemistry? That special lightning- in-a- bottle thing that happens (provided the network decides not to yank it too soon?) We would never have had a hit show called Friend, right?  On the other hand, check this out from the producer of a very popular workplace comedy concerning someone’s recently announced departure:

“We’ve been lucky to have had him as long as we’ve had…,These things happen when you have such a major movie star in a show….Not to diminish  (his) departure, because that will impact the show, but we have tremendous faith in the writers and actors to keep it alive.”

But people are already voicing serious doubts about The Office, aren’t they?  Seems chemistry is especially important in any show about people quite literally working together. And who can’t relate to a workplace show? Matter of fact the ubercool  workplace drama Mad Men bowed to record viewership. Nearly three million people watched Don Draper experience doubt and grapple with failure and maybe even loneliness. That’s probably a              quarter of who watches the part of American Idol that I hate – those heartbreaking early rounds where people have obviously leveraged their homes and their kids’ college funds for a chance to stand next to a Ford Fiesta and sing backup with part of the Doobie Brothers and  1/10th of Chicago – all the while getting RIDICULED by Simon Cowell.  (Don’t get me wrong. I love it by the time it winds down, but those beginning “elimination rounds” really say something about our society. I’m not quite sure what —  but it’s far from good). Anyway, the Mad Men people were delighted with the turnout. (PS: one of the reasons I’m such a huge Mad Men fan is because it’s all about advertising, which I love, PLUS this season is particularly exciting since the new agency headquarters is in NYC’s Time & Life Building, where I spent ten very happy years at my first job out of college). So will The Office survive? It’s also true there are a slew of new shows coming in the fall which may divert us (in the weeks to come I want to know how you’re feeling about brand new offerings  like Blue Bloods, Hawaii Five-0, Lone Star, Hellcats, Boardwalk Empire, No Ordinary Family, Mike & Molly and others). For now however I’m assuming that The Office has any number of fans who are worried that it just won’t be that funny (if it lasts at all). Let’s take a peek today at some other popular workplace shows (you’ll note I’m omitting gems like Mary Tyler Moore and focusing on the 90’s/00’s. Plus I’m also certain you’ll suggest others). Voice your choice in today’s featured poll and tell us which of these workplace shows is your favorite:

1)    News Radio

2)    The Practice

3)    Just Shoot Me

4)    The West Wing

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