List of fictional television shows

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Below is a list of television shows that have been made up in real television shows or other media. An early example of the show within a show format was The Jack Benny Program which had been popular on radio and took the same format to the new medium of television.[1]

30 Rock[edit]

30 Rock revolves around the fictional The Girlie Show (later renamed TGS with Tracy Jordan) on which most of the characters work. The fictional show was on the real American television network NBC, and the plot frequently referenced other fictional NBC programs, such as MILF Island, Gold Case, and Homonym. In later seasons, several episodes of 30 Rock were presented as though they were actually episodes of a fictional Bravo (U.S. TV channel) show, Queen of Jordan.

Densha Otoko[edit]

Getsumento Heiki Mina was originally a fictional anime show in Densha Otoko and later became a stand-alone anime.

Ed TV[edit]


Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids[edit]

Full House[edit]

In season 2, Danny becomes co-host of a local morning television show, Wake Up, San Francisco.


Within the world of Genshiken, Kujibiki Unbalance is a popular ongoing manga and anime adaptation, watched and discussed by the main characters.

The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy[edit]

Harry Hill's TV Burp[edit]

The K-Factor: So You Think You Can Knit? is a fictional TV show on Harry Hill's TV Burp.

Home Improvement[edit]

The Honeymooners[edit]


The Larry Sanders Show[edit]

The Larry Sanders Show is a late night talk show the characters of the show (of the same name) work on.

Life with Bonnie[edit]

Martian Successor Nadesico[edit]

Gekiganger III is a fictional anime show within the anime show.

The Mary Tyler Moore Show[edit]

The Muppet Show and Muppets Tonight[edit]

Murphy Brown[edit]

Nancy Drew[edit]




Pleasantville is a black and white 1958 sitcom in the movie of the same name.

The Running Man[edit]

Saturday Night Live[edit]

Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island[edit]

Scooby-Doo! Stage Fright[edit]


Shake It Up[edit]

The Simpsons[edit]

Sonny With a Chance[edit]

South Park[edit]

SpongeBob SquarePants[edit]

Stargate SG-1[edit]

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip[edit]

The series takes place behind the scenes of a live sketch comedy show (also called Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip or Studio 60) on the fictional television network NBS (National Broadcasting System), whose format is similar to that of NBC's Saturday Night Live.

That Mitchell and Webb Look[edit]

The Truman Show[edit]

Truman Burbank is the unsuspecting star of The Truman Show, a reality television program at the center of the film by the same name.


Ugly Betty[edit]

V for Vendetta[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mary Ann Watson (2008), "TV on TV", Defining visions: television and the American experience in the 20th century, Blackwell, p. 140, ISBN 978-1-4051-7053-6 
  2. ^ a b c Semel, Paul (2006). "Shows Within Shows", Retrieved 2010-03-06.
  3. ^ Moore, Frazier (July 7, 1992). "Show-within-a-show: A product of the Make-Believe Network", Associated Press. Reprinted in Spartanburg Herald-Journal, p. C4. Convenience link.
  4. ^ a b c (February 1, 1999). "TV eating itself: small screen navel-gazing from The Simpsons to Seinfield", The Observer, p. 2.

External links[edit]