Experts Pick the Best 6 TV Shows Every Business Owner Should Watch

Ready for your next TV show addiction or Netflix binge? Entrepreneurs, these are the shows you’re looking for.
TV shows for entrepreneurs
Learn business lessons and veg out at the same time with these 6 TV show picks for entrepreneurs. (Photos: Fox, Michele K. Short/AMC/Sony Pictures Television, Netflix, Tru TV, shannonpatrick17/Flickr, FX)

As a business owner, it’s important to give yourself some down time to relax and decompress — and if you’re going to “veg out” in front of a TV screen, put that time to good use and gain some business know-how while you watch.

Here are six TV shows picked by business owners and entrepreneurial experts that can educate as well as entertain.

‘Bob’s Burgers’


Find clever ways to stand out from the competition, like the Belcher family in ‘Bob’s Burgers.’ (Photo: shannonpatrick17/Flickr)

If you own a small, mom-and-pop storefront, the animated Fox sitcom “Bob’s Burgers” should definitely be in your TV queue, said Deborah Sweeney, CEO of the online legal filing service provider

“The Belcher family is dedicated to making their burger joint stand out from the competition — especially since their biggest competitor, Jimmy Pesto, is right across the street — and do it through a variety of unusual in-store promotions. Check out their ever-changing, cleverly named menu items for a study in how to brand your offerings,” she said.

Related: How to Keep Your Customers When a Competitor Moves In


Create a team that believes in your vision for your small business’s future, like Cookie does on “Empire.” (Photo: Fox)

Those familiar with the drama of family-owned businesses should also check out “Empire” on Fox. The show focuses on the fictional hip-hop music company Empire Entertainment as the founder’s family competes for control of the business.

Naomi Coleman, founder and creative director of boutique PR and branding agency Access by NKC, said her favorite character on the show is Cookie Lyons, the founder’s ex-wife played by Taraji P. Henson.

“She has the ultimate boss mentality. Starting from the bottom and working her way up, Cookie embraces the fact that she needs a strong team to help run her company,” she said. “Creating a team that believes in your vision and is willing to put the work in alongside you is so important for business owners. Empower your team and allow them to feel their presence is needed.”

Related: 5 Tips for Passing Your Small Business on to Your Heirs

‘Better Call Saul’

Better Call Saul

Anyone trying to build their own small business can appreciate how Jimmy McGill in ‘Better Call Saul’ must learn to hang in during tough times and grind it out for as long as it takes to be successful. (Photo: Michele K. Short/AMC/Sony Pictures Television)

A spinoff of the highly acclaimed AMC series “Breaking Bad,” the show follows small-time attorney Jimmy McGill (played by Bob Odenkirk) as he builds his law practice from nothing and creates the dynamic alter ego, Saul Goodman.

Bryan Clayton, CEO of GreenPal, said he likes how the show illustrates the challenges entrepreneurs face when establishing a new business.

“He’s too broke to afford a real office and a real receptionist, so he works out of a broom closet and answers his office phone with a fake female voice,” he said. “It’s hilarious, and it’s very real and will be appreciated by anyone who is trying to build their own small business. What I’ve learned from the show is that no matter what profession you’re in or what business you are building, you just have to hang in there and grind it out for as long as it takes to be successful.”

Related: Strategies to Avoid Burnout When Launching Your New Business

‘Grace and Frankie’

Grace and Frankie

‘Grace and Frankie’ can teach you a lot about how to identify and target your specific market. (Photo: Netflix)

Business management professor Atul Teckchandani at California State University, Fullerton (CSUF), recommended entrepreneurs watch the Netflix show “Grace and Frankie.”

“The most recent season features the two lead actresses (Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin) starting their own business making products targeted to the underserved and growing segment of older female consumers — the exact segment to which they belong. As such, it builds on the age-old premise that often the best business opportunities are products or services that solve problems that you are facing.”

The show also details the challenges of finding customers and securing funding in an uncertain market, he said.

Related: How to Market to Baby Boomers and Beyond (and Why You Should)

‘Adam Ruins Everything’

Adam Ruins Everything

Anyone – not just entrepreneurs – can be challenged to think more critically in their daily lives by watching ‘Adam Ruins Everything.’ (Photo: Tru TV)

Tru TV’s “Adam Ruins Everything,” is a fun and educational show that gives incredible insight into cultural norms and activities that most of us take for granted. By digging into historical origins and exposing fallacies, Adam Conover leverages humor to challenge his audience to think more critically in their day-to-day lives.

“This show should be required watching for everyone, not just business owners,” said Rodger Roeser, CEO of customer acquisition and engagement consultancy The Eisen Agency. “It showcases analytical thinking, and the ability to see how cause and effect has worked in a number of ways to get folks to think and act in a certain way. It also shows how advertising and marketing has so influenced our society and culture.”

Related: How Using Humor Can Boost Sales in Your Store

‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Do what works, don’t just follow misguided business whims, like the gang in ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.’ (Photo: FX)

If you like your humor on the edgier side, “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” is another great show for business owners to watch. For 12 seasons, this FX show follows the adventures of a group of friends who own Patty’s Pub, a neighborhood bar in Philly.

“Many of these adventures are hackneyed business ideas that predictably end in disaster. If this weren’t a TV show, the characters would probably be destitute by now and maybe even in jail,” said Travis Lindsay, entrepreneur in residence for the Center for Entrepreneurship at CSUF.

In addition to being an escape from reality, the show offers a great business moral as well, he said. “And that lesson is to focus on your core competencies. Don’t follow whims — do what works.”

Related: Improve Your Small Business by Setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals


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