Money has always been seen as a catalyst for all sorts of mischief, which might be why we find ourselves so intrigued by shows featuring the lives of the super wealthy. These shows prove that money can cause just as many problems for the rich as it does for the rest of us. Whether it’s their tumultuous relationships, legal entanglements, or the struggle to afford extravagant luxuries, the wealthy are not immune to life’s trials and tribulations.
Over the years, we’ve been treated to a plethora of TV shows that give us a glimpse into the lives of the affluent. Some of these shows have received rave reviews and captured the hearts of audiences everywhere. Take, for example, the uproariously funny Arrested Development, which hilariously showcases the questionable antics of the rich. On the other hand, series like Downton Abbey explore the role of money in society, providing a more thought-provoking take on wealth. No matter what kind of show tickles your fancy, this list is sure to offer some fantastic suggestions that will keep you thoroughly entertained.
So, which TV shows featuring the lifestyles of the rich and famous reign supreme? Share your favorites and find out where they rank among the very best.
1. Gossip Girl
Get ready to dive into the scandalous lives of Manhattan’s elite in Gossip Girl. This addictive drama follows privileged high schoolers, with Serena van der Woodsen and Blair Waldorf as the main characters. Brace yourself for love triangles, betrayals, and a whole lot of fabulous fashion. If you’re into wealth and excess, this decadent delight is for you.
Premiered: September 19, 2007
Actors: Blake Lively, Leighton Meester, Penn Badgley
The Roy family in Succession is determined to do whatever it takes to uphold their media empire. Led by patriarch Logan Roy (played by Brian Cox), they navigate a world of power struggles and dark humor, providing a captivating look into the complex dynamics of wealthy families. As Logan nears retirement, his children relentlessly compete for control, resulting in a twisted and compelling story.
Premiered: June 3, 2018
Actors: Hiam Abbass, Nicholas Braun, Brian Cox
3. Thursday’s Widows
Dark secrets emerge after Teresa finds her husband and his two friends dead.
Premiered: September 14, 2023
Actors: Irene Azuela, Omar Chaparro, Mayra Hermosillo
4. Downton Abbey
Take a trip back to early 20th-century England and immerse yourself in the captivating world of Downton Abbey. This hit series takes us inside a magnificent estate, giving us a glimpse into the lives of both aristocrats and servants. It’s all about the Crawley family and how they adapt to the shifting societal landscape while still enjoying their extravagant lifestyle. And let’s not forget the incredible manners and jaw-dropping costumes that make this show a visual delight.
Premiered: September 26, 2010
Actors: Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern
5. The Crown
Queen Elizabeth II’s reign is brought to life in The Crown, an epic series that takes us through decades of her life and the challenges she faced amidst political turmoil. With Claire Foy and Olivia Colman brilliantly portraying the monarch, this lavish period drama transports us to opulent palaces and presents captivating storylines that truly steal the show.
Premiered: November 4, 2016
Actors: Imelda Staunton, Jonathan Pryce, Lesley Manville
In the captivating drama series Revenge, Emily Thorne embarks on a relentless journey for retribution that propels her into the upper echelons of Hampton’s high society. Prepare yourself for a rollercoaster of a soap opera, where hidden secrets and scandalous affairs lurk behind the grand doors of every mansion. Led by the talented Emily VanCamp and the unforgettable Madeleine Stowe as Victoria Grayson, this show serves up a tantalizing dose of cunning plots and manipulations from the wealthy elite. Get ready for a wild and thrilling ride!
Premiered: September 21, 2011
Actors: Emily VanCamp, Madeleine Stowe, Nick Wechsler
In the world of billions, money speaks volumes. It’s an exhilarating clash between billionaire hedge fund manager Bobby Axelrod, played by Damian Lewis, and U.S Attorney Chuck Rhoades Jr., portrayed by Paul Giamatti. The battleground? The bustling financial scene of New York City. Brace yourself for a high-stakes game that unravels the lives of these ambitious characters, who are shamelessly and extravagantly affluent.
Premiered: January 17, 2016
Actors: Paul Giamatti, Maggie Siff, Corey Stoll
8. Big Little Lies
Get ready for some serious drama in the lives of Monterey’s elite moms in the captivating series Big Little Lies. Starring Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, and Shailene Woodley, this show dives deep into the lives of seemingly perfect women whose lives are turned upside down by a shocking murder. Brace yourself for a thrilling journey that uncovers the dark secrets lurking beneath their polished facades.
Premiered: February 19, 2017
Actors: Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley
Step into the world of extravagance and power struggles with Dynasty. This captivating drama takes you on a wild ride through the lives of the wealthy Carrington family as they try to navigate the complexities of high society. You’ll be introduced to iconic characters like the formidable Blake Carrington, played by John Forsythe, and the fierce Alexis Colby, portrayed by Joan Collins.
What makes Dynasty so alluring is its ability to give viewers a tantalizing glimpse into the opulent lifestyles of the rich and famous. From luxurious fashion choices to unforgettable catfights, this show has it all. Prepare to be swept away by the glamour and drama that unfolds before your eyes.
The storylines in Dynasty are intricate and captivating, keeping you on the edge of your seat. This is a show that knows how to keep its audience hooked. Whether you’re a fan of juicy power struggles or simply enjoy watching the wealthy squabble, Dynasty is a beloved classic that delivers all the excitement and entertainment you crave in wealth-centric television.
Premiered: January 12, 1981
Actors: John Forsythe, Linda Evans, Joan Collins
Step into Regency-era London and immerse yourself in the enchanting world of Bridgerton. This captivating series takes you on a journey alongside the titular family as they navigate the glamorous high-society events and indulge in romantic escapades. With the iconic Julie Andrews lending her voice as Lady Whistledown, and the charismatic Rege-Jean Page stealing hearts as Simon Basset, it’s absolutely irresistible. Brace yourself to be swept away by the sheer charm of Bridgerton.
Premiered: December 25, 2020
Actors: Jonathan Bailey, Ruby Barker, Harriet Cains
Las Encinas is a place where Spain’s wealthiest students come together, and when a tragic event occurs at the school, they find themselves caught up in a mysterious situation. Élite not only presents mind-blowing fashion, but also dives into social issues through its captivating storylines.
Premiered: October 5, 2018
Actors: Arón Piper, Miguel Bernardeau, Ester Expósito