TV writers often take the “write what you know” adage to the next level, creating television shows about televisions shows, with characters starting drama both on camera and behind the scenes.
The Apple+ drama The Morning Show, one of the latest entries in this subgenre, is “an inside look at the lives of the people who help America wake up in the morning, exploring the unique challenges faced by the women (and men) who carry out this daily televised ritual,” as Apple teased in a press release. Consulting on the project is CNN’s Brian Stelter, who exposed real-life morning show drama in his book Top of the Morning.
But the small-screen business has been inspiring TV shows for decades. In 1961’s The Dick Van Dyke Show, for instance, the namesake actor played the head writer of a comedy show filmed in Manhattan, the same kind of role Tina Fey would take on nearly half a century later in 30 Rock.
And it gets even more meta: Think Fox’s BH90210, which stars the cast of Beverly Hills, 90210 playing “heightened” versions of themselves and poking fun at their gossip-prone reputations.
Scroll down for more details on these shows and other shows that have mined the TV biz for comedy and drama.