If you’re an entrepreneur and an avid watcher of TV shows, you may be wondering if there are any shows out there which can help you become a better entrepreneur.
To that end, here are the 10 best TV shows for entrepreneurs.
Side note: If you’re a movie buff, I’d urge you to also check out my list of best movies for entrepreneurs.
Top 10 TV Shows for Entrepreneurs
1. Silicon Valley
Image Credit: HBO
Created by Mike Judge, Silicon Valley is a critically-acclaimed sitcom which follows the struggle of a group of young software programmers and developers trying to succeed in Silicon Valley.
Featuring a great ensemble cast comprising of Thomas Middleditch, TJ Miller, Kumail Nanjiani, and Martin Starr, Silicon Valley is a hilarious take on the startup ecosystem. It shows how challenging it can be for new entrepreneurs to make an impact in the competitive environment of Silicon Valley, despite having a game-changing product.
There are currently five seasons of Silicon Valley with a total of 46 episodes. The sixth season, which will be the show’s last season, is set to premiere in October 2019.
This show was on my watchlist for the longest time. I finally managed to binge-watch all five seasons of the show in a week’s time, and now I can’t wait for the final season. If you’re an entrepreneur, you’re going to find the plot super-relatable and you may end up binge-watching all the episodes like I did. Just make sure you start on a weekend.
Where to watch: HBO (US & UK); Hotstar (India)
IMDB Rating: 8.5/10 (based on 105,000+ user ratings)
2. Shark Tank
Image Credit: Inc
Shark Tank is a business-related reality TV show where investment-seeking entrepreneurs make business presentations to a panel of five investors aka “sharks” who then choose whether to invest in their company as business partners. The show first premiered on August 9, 2009 as the American franchise of the international format Dragons’ Den (see #3).
Longstanding panel members of the show include business tycoons such as Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran, Kevin O’Leary, Daymond John, and Lori Greiner; while Richard Branson, Ashton Kutcher, and Chris Sacca have all appeared as guest sharks.
I’ve been a long-time watcher of this show and I’ve seen some of the best and the worst product pitches. But I watch it mainly to take notes on the product pitches that resonate with the sharks and trigger multiple offers.
Where to watch: ABC (US); Netflix (UK & India)
IMDB Rating: 7.6/10 (based on 7,700+ user ratings)
3. Dragons’ Den (UK)
Image Credit: BBC
Dragons’ Den originated in Japan in 2001, where the series was called The Tigers of Money. Local versions of the show have been produced in over 30 countries, but it’s the British version of the show called Dragons’ Den that’s considered the most popular and the series that inspired Mark Burnett to produce Shark Tank.
The premise of the show is similar to that of Shark Tank — budding entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to five investors aka “dragons” who then decide whether to invest in the product/service that they have just been pitched. The panel of investors typically includes successful entrepreneurs like Deborah Meaden, Peter Jones, Duncan Bannatyne, and Theo Paphitis.
To get a feel for the show and its unique format, watch a few pitches on the official Dragons’ Den YouTube channel.
Where to watch: BBC (UK); BBC America (US)
IMDB Rating: 6.9/10 (based on 1,500+ user ratings)
4. Better Call Saul
Image Credit: Hollywood Reporter
You may already be familiar with Saul Goodman if you’ve watched Breaking Bad. Better Call Saul is a prequel to Breaking Bad and is centred on the character of Jimmy McGill aka Saul Goodman.
The show takes place six years before the events of Breaking Bad and shows the transformation of Jimmy McGill, a former scam artist and small-time lawyer, into Saul Goodman, a lawyer who frequently represents criminals while himself becoming involved in the city’s criminal world.
Bob Odenkirk is absolutely brilliant as the lead and the supporting cast, comprising of Rhea Seehorn, Jonathan Banks, and Giancarlo Esposito, give stellar performances to make this a worthy spin-off to Breaking Bad.
The show currently has four seasons (40 episodes) and the fifth season is set to premiere in 2020.
Where to watch: AMC (US); Netflix (UK & India)
IMDB Rating: 8.7/10 (based on 254,000+ user ratings)
5. Planet of the Apps
Image Credit: The Asian Age
Planet of the Apps is just like Shark Tank, but for mobile apps. Software developers have 60 seconds to pitch the idea of their app in front of four judges (Jessica Alba, Gwyneth Paltrow, William Adams (aka will.i.am), and Gary Vaynerchuk) in hope to partner with one of them for six weeks.
This series was Apple’s first original TV series, but unfortunately it was cancelled after just one season. Though the series has been criticized for being self-indulgent, it’s still a fun watch with a lot of takeaways for app developers and tech entrepreneurs.
Where to watch: Apple TV
IMDB Rating: 6.0/10 (based on 178 user ratings)
Image Credit: YouTube
StartUp is a web drama series which follows the emergence of GenCoin, a brilliant yet controversial cryptocurrency startup. The series has a great ensemble cast featuring Adam Brody, Edi Gathegi, Otmara Marrero, Martin Freeman, Ron Perlman, Addison Timlin, and Mira Sorvino. While the first season of the show received a mixed response from critics (33% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes), it has slowly gained loyal fans over the years.
There are currently 3 seasons of this series — with a total of 30 episodes. The fate of the show hangs in balance; it has not been renewed for a fourth season yet nor has it been cancelled.
Where to watch: Sony Crackle (USA); Amazon Prime (India)
IMDB Rating: 8.0/10 (based on 10,000+ user ratings)
Image Credit: YouTube
Starring Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis, Billions is a drama series about power politics in the world of New York high finance. The central plot revolves around the legal battles between two powerful New York figures — U.S. Attorney Chuck Rhoades (Giamatti) and hedge fund king Bobby “Axe” Axelrod (Lewis).
Aside from being wildly entertaining and bingeable, the show is filled with insightful quotes on business, startups, and leadership. Definitely a must-watch TV show for entrepreneurs.
The show currently has four seasons (48 episodes) and has been renewed for a fifth season.
You can watch a few clips of Billions on their official YouTube channel.
Where to watch: Showtime (US); Sky Atlantic (UK); Hotstar (India)
IMDB Rating: 8.4/10 (based on 57,000+ user ratings)
Image Credit: HBO
Ballers is a comedy-drama series starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson who plays Spencer Strasmore, a retired NFL player who must navigate his new career of choice as the financial manager of other NFL players. The show is critically acclaimed and has been called the NFL version of the show Entourage. Dwayne Johnson’s performance in particular has been praised by critics and fans alike.
Ballers currently has four seasons (39 episodes) with a fifth season set to premiere soon.
Where to watch: HBO (US); Sky Atlantic (UK); Hotstar (India)
IMDB Rating: 7.6/10 (based on 32,000+ user ratings)
Image Credit: TVMovieFix
Created by Lee Daniels and Danny Strong, Empire is a drama series that tells the story of Empire Entertainment, a fictional hip hop music and entertainment company, and the drama that unfolds among the members of the founders’ family as they fight for control of it.
The series currently has five seasons (84 episodes). The sixth and final season will premiere later this year.
Where to watch: FOX (US); Amazon Prime (UK); Hotstar (India)
IMDB Rating: 7.4/10 (based on 35,000+ user ratings)
10. Dirty Money
Image Credit: Facebook
A Netflix original TV series, Dirty Money documents stories of corporate fraud and corruption. The series features six hour-long episodes, each episode focussing on one example of corporate corruption.
Although I liked all episodes, my personal favorite was Payday (episode 2) which revolves around amateur racing driver Scott Tucker and his fraudulent online business, AMG Services, which made payday loans with extremely high interest rates.
The first season has six episodes and the show has been renewed for a second season.
Where to watch: Netflix
IMDB Rating: 8.2/10 (based on 4,900+ user ratings)
That wraps my list of must-watch TV shows for entrepreneurs. Are there any shows that you’d like to recommend to entrepreneurs and business owners? Let me know in the comments section.
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