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Stay Tuned: Musical Television Episodes from Gilligan’s Island to Grey’s Anatomy


The phenomenon of musical television episodes combines a predominately naturalistic electronic media form with the presentational, expressionism characteristic of live theatre. This series of articles featuring video clips, historical context, and commentary offers an in-depth look at musical television episodes. 

Below is a partial chronology of musical television episodes, the 35 episodes listed represent 21 diverse television shows running the gamut of genres, including 1960s sitcoms, contemporary soap operas, animated children’s shows, medical dramas, risque science-fiction comedy cartoons, and gritty prison dramas.


The scope of this investigation will be limited to musicalized episodes of scripted, normally non-musical television shows that originally aired on American television. I will analyze the role of music as a means of furthering plot, developing character, and creating mood. Most importantly, I will discuss the writers’ level of success in creating a plausible logic that supports music and dance as a storytelling element.

I will examine the following areas when deciding which episodes to feature:

(1) Historical precedent

(2) Overall artistic merit or lack thereof

(3) Critical and audience response 

Stay tuned! The first installment of this series will take a look at “The Producer” from Gilligan’s Island which first aired on October 3, 1966. 

I applaud this endeavor.

TV Line may be referring to William Daniels as St. Elsewhere’s William Daniels, but everyone knows he’s Feeny and will always be Feeny.

Premiere week is almost at an end and the numbers from TV’s biggest night do not disappoint, unless you’re a fan of NBC’s best comedies.

Big Bang Theory came out on top with 14.4 million viewers and a 4.9 rating, which gave CBS’ new JJ Abrams drama Person of Interest 13.2 million and a 3.1.

X Factor fans didn’t go anywhere as its 12.1 million and 4.1 rating held steady.

ABC’s Charlie’s Angels reboot wasn’t a smash but still managed 8.7 million viewers and a 2.1 before giving way to Grey’s which returned to 10.3 million and a 4.1 - down 24% from last year but tied with X Factor.

Fans of NBC’s comedies aren’t going to be pleased. Community went out to 4 million viewers with a 1.7, which is down 23%, while Parks and Rec was only seen by 4.1 mil and a 2.0, dropping 38%. The Office fell 11% to 7.6 million and Whitney held on to a surprising amount of those viewers to the tune of 6.7 million and a 3.2 rating (still down 11% from Outsourced though). 

Prime Suspect then followed it all up by premiering to 6 million and 1.8 - NBC’s lowest Thursday fall premiere ever.

Whitney breaks down what I too called a trainwreck. Because it was.

Offensively bad clips included.

For the one person that is a die hard fan of both.