The Five Most Original TV Show Ideas of the Last Decade

The Five Most Original TV Show Ideas of the Last Decade

If we want to be really, truly honest, most TV show ideas are not new, revolutionary, or even completely original. Almost everything made in the past decade can be compared to something that was made the decade before. The difference is the technology, the way society views the subject matter, and of course how it is presented. With that being said the originality of any idea that makes it to TV is based largely in how high the bar is set for each consecutive show.

Here are our picks for the most original show ideas of the last decade.

The Walking Dead

Based upon the popular comic book, “The Walking Dead” is often seen as just another zombie movie in which the world is essentially taken over by the undead and has become a post-apocalyptic wasteland where survival is key. Where this show takes a definite U-turn however is that it not only offers a sort of wayward explanation for the plague that wipes out mankind, but it states that absolutely everyone has been infected with this strange virus. That’s right, you die, you turn. Normally in a zombie movie a victim needs to be killed by the zombie, but not on this show. If you croak from a heart attack, you rise as a flesh-eating monster. Plus, when was the last time you actually saw people convince themselves that a creature that’s trying to eat them is just “sick”?

Black Mirror

Technology is at this point the Achille’s heel of humanity, as it is shown in this show. Perhaps one of the greatest parts of this show is that each episode is its own standalone story. There is little if any connection between each story, and as a result there are many different viewpoints that are showcased in each episode, keeping it entirely random and leaving viewers wondering what will be coming in the next show. It’s a smart move by the creators, and bound to keep its fan base guessing with each new episode to come.

House of Cards

We’ve all seen the shows that feature the president as either a hardworking, barely-sleeping, and tireless leader of the nation that must sometimes make the hard decisions and gain the ire of the people and his cabinet. But now flip that idea on its head and you get one of the most evil, sadistic, and narcissistic men to ever hold office on a television show, Frances Underwood is the type of person that many people believe politicians to be in real life. He is cruel, he is underhanded, and he will stop at nothing to continue his run as president. It might be crossing the line, but this sounds eerily familiar.


Suspicion runs amok in this fan favorite show that showcases the story of a man returning from captivity that is initially hounded by CIA agent Carrie Mathison. There’s little she won’t do to keep a close eye on the object of her suspicion, even if it means risking the safety of the nation. The development of this show is nothing really new, but the manner in which Mathison goes about almost self-destructing is as close to crossing the line as it gets in a TV show based upon real-life.

Game of Thrones

Fantasy, dragons, swords, knights, and a course, gratuitous nudity. Only on HBO will you find a show this raunchy and yet this entertaining. Having aired for six seasons already the highly anticipated seventh season is supposed to be coming any day. What makes this show truly original however is that author George R.R. Martin, who created this world, ran out of time to finish the material for the last book to the series. The writers have been going off of little more than their own imagination and maybe a word or two from Martin ever since A Dance With Dragons came out. Kind of impressive really.

Originality in TV is a hard thing to come by any longer, as so many ideas have been done, redone, and then rebooted. While most shows aren’t truly originals, they do in fact bring old ideas forth in a way that is refreshing and even highly entertaining.

*Let’s also give a nod to shows like Orphan Black, Orange is the New Black, Shameless, and plenty more.

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