Here’s part 2 of our ode to “Smash,” new musical series that features a league of extraordinary Broadway stars. Here, compiled, are the top five television shows that feature Broadway actors. Check out the other five here. These shows are ranked in accord with their received honors.
5. The Good Wife
Stage credits are almost necessary to be in the cast of “The Good Wife.” Julianna Margulies is a Lucille Lortel Award winner for her part in Ten Unknowns, which played at Lincoln Center. Christine Baranksi won Tony Awards for her roles in Tom Stoppard’s The Real Think and Neil Simon’s Rumors. Baranksi also won a Drama Desk Award for Lips Together Teeth Apart. Chris Noth, thought mostly known for his work on television, played in That Championship Season on Broadway in 2011 and in Gore Vidal’s The Best Man in 2000. And, of course, Alan Cumming won a Tony and a Drama Desk Award for his role in the revival of Cabaret in 1998.
4. Grey’s Anatomy
Long running hit series “Gray’s Anatomy” sports a few Broadway babies, and the show appreciates their talent—so much so that they had a special musical event. Just last season, Grey’s featured Sara Ramirez in an all singing show. Ramirez plays “Dr. Callie Torres” in the series, but before that she won the 2005 Tony Award for Featured Actress in a Musical for her role as “The Lady of the Lake” in Monty Pithon’s “Spamalot.” She had also appeared in The Gershwins’ Fascinating Rhythm, A Class Act and Dreamgirls. “Grey’s Anatomy” also often features Loretta Devine. Devine appeared in A Broadway Musical (which closed after only one performance) and the musical Dreamgirls, in which she originated the role of “Lorrell Robinson,” amongst other Broadway productions.
“Glee” stars Broadway vets Mathew Morrison and Lea Michele. Michele was seen on Broadway in Les Miserables, Ragtime, and Spring Awakening, while Morrison has played in Hairspray, South Pacific, and he won a Tony Award for The Light in the Piazza. The supporting cast, which has come into the forefront in recent seasons, also includes Broadway stars. Jenna Ushowitz was seen in The King and I and Spring Awakening. The show also features a slew of guest stars that include Tony winners Idina Menzel, Kristin Chenoweth, Neil Patrick Harris, Tony nominee Jonathan Groff, and Drama Desk nominee Cheyenne Jackson. Darren Criss recently landed a brief role in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. His run saw near sold out crowds and had girls literally waiting in the trees for a peak at the stud.
2. Mad Men
Mad Men has been on a break for about a year and a half now, but the show promises a return soon. Though he did not appear in the most recent season, Bryan Batt is a signature figure of the series. He’s also a Broadway aficionado. Batt made his Broadway debut about 25 years ago in the original production of Cats. Since then he has appeared Starlight Express, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Beauty and the Beast, Sunset Boulevard, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Saturday Night Fever, Seussical, and most recently, La Cage aux Folles.
1. 30 Rock
It’s an Emmy Award winning sitcom and has garnered plenty of accolades for the quirky plots and incompetent characters, many of which are played by Broadway stars. These stars include Jane Krakowski, who won the Tony Award for Nine, and Cheyenne Jackson. Alec Baldwin had also done his Broadway time and he’ll be seen in the movie version of the Broadway musical Rock of Ages, set to be release in June. Check out the movie trailer here.