Top Ten TV Shows Featuring Broadway Actors, part 1

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In the vein of Smash, which boasts a number of celebrated Broadway stars, we thought it would be fun to check out other television shows that also feature Broadway’s best. As it turns, Broadway is well represented these days. Compiled here are the first five of our list. These shows are ranked in accord with their received honors.

10. Harry’s Law

The show may not be everyone’s favorite, but the show about a group of misfit lawyers who have formed their own unconventional firm has plenty of Broadway stars. Heading the pack is Tony nominee Kathy Bates. Bates first appeared on Broadway in 1980 in Goodbye Fidel, which only lasted six performances. She bounced back, appearing in Fifth of July in 1981, and, in 1983, Bates was nominated for Broadway’s 1983 Tony Award as Best Actress in a play for night, Mother. Also featured in “Harry’s Law” is Karen Olivo. Olivo won a Tony Award for the West Side Story revival and appeared on Broadway in In the Heights. Christopher McDonald who played “Billy Flynn” in Chicago and Brittany Snow who performed in the national tour of Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat are featured as well.

9. Private Practice

Audra McDonald may have appeared in her last episode of “Private Practice” back in May of 2011, but the show still presents Broadway vet Taye Diggs. Diggs appeared on Broadway in the Tony-winning Carousel, Rent, Wicked, Chicago, and off-Broadway in The Wild Party. And he earned a Drama League nomination for A Soldiers Play. Tim Daly has also appeared on Broadway. Daly was in Coastal Disturbances and The Caine Mutiny Court Martial. Brian Benben was in Slab Boys on Broadway in 1983.

8. American Horror Story

Though the show has threatened an all-new cast, season one featured a parade of Broadway stars, including Frances Conroy, Lily Rabe, Jessica Lange and Denis O’Hare. Frances Conroy recently received a Tony Award nomination for her performance in Broadway’s The Ride Down Mt. Morgan. Her other Broadway credits include Ring Round the Moon, The Little Foxes, The Rehearsal, Broken Glass, In the Summer House, and The Secret Rapture. Lily Rabe made her Broadway debut in 2005 revival of Steel Magnolias. She was Tony-nominated for her performance as Portia in The Merchants of Venice and currently plays in Seminar, co-starring Alan Rickman. Jessica Lange hasn’t spent much of her time on Broadway, but she did make her debut in 1992, playing “Blanche” in Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire. Perhaps the most prolific Broadway star featured on “American Horror Story” is Denis O’Hare. He’s been seen in Sweet Charity, Cabaret, Take Me Out (Tony Award Winner,) Inherit the Wind and was Tony nominated for his performance in Assassins. He played “Herr Ludwig” in his bout in Cabaret, playing alongside Alan Cumming and Natasha Richardson

7. The Big Bang Theory

This sitcom features Jim Parsons, who is pretty comfortable on the stage. Last year, Parsons made his Broadway debut as Tommy Boatwright in Larry Kramer’s play, The Normal Heart. Starting in May, he’ll make his way back to the stage to play Elwood in the Broadway revival of Harvey. Harvey is scheduled to open on June 18.

6. Homeland

“Homeland” features Broadway vet Mandy Patinkin. The superstar’s theatrical career spans three decades and includes everything from his Tony Award winning performance as “Che” in Evita to Sunday in the Park With George to his latest installment, An Evening With Pattie LuPone and Mandy Patinkin.

Tomorrow we’ll post our top five!