If you watch a lot of TV shows, you should purchase a TV that has excellent reflection handling, good brightness levels, and wide viewing angles to accommodate for multiple viewing positions. It should be able to properly display 1080p and 720p resolutions, which is what most shows are produced at.
We've tested more than 70 TVs in the last two years, and below are our recommendations for the best ones you can buy in 2019 for watching TV shows. See also our recommendations for the best TVs for watching movies and the best TVs for watching sports.
The best TV for watching TV shows we've tested so far is the LG OLED B8. It has excellent reflection handling and good brightness levels to overcome the glare of an average bright room. It also has wide viewing angles, to accommodate for a wide seating arrangement or allow you to move around while watching your favorite show without losing picture quality. It has good upscaling capabilities, so 1080p and 720p content will look good. It has good gray uniformity and supports features like motion interpolation and black frame insertion. It runs LG's smart platform with many pre-installed apps, and you can always download more at LG's content store.
Unfortunately, this is an OLED TV and has the risk of temporary image retention and permanent burn-in if you display static images over a prolonged period. However, we expect that most people won't experience this with normal, varied content.
Overall, the LG B8 is an excellent TV that performs very well, and if you're looking to watch TV shows, this is the best TV for a bright room.
If you're concerned about the burn-in risk on the LG B8 OLED and want a TV that's excellent for watching TV in a bright room, then get the Samsung Q80/Q80R QLED. This TV can't deliver perfect blacks like the LG and doesn't have the same wide viewing angles. On the upside, it's an excellent TV that has a remarkable performance for TV shows. It has excellent reflection handling and good upscaling of cable content. You can easily place it in a bright room, as it can get very bright to fight glare. It's equipped with the new 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer that new helps the image remain accurate for wider viewing angles at the expense of contrast ratio.
Overall, if burn-in isn't a concern, get the LG; otherwise, get the Samsung Q80R, which is the best LED for TV shows.
If you're looking for a TV that, apart from being bright, also has excellent pre-calibration color accuracy, then get the Sony X900F, one of the best TVs for watching TV shows. You won't get the perfect blacks or the wide viewing angles you'll find on OLED TVs, but on the upside, this is a TV with impressive picture quality and excellent color accuracy with just minor settings adjustments. It has good reflection handling and can easily fight the glare of a bright room, so you can enjoy your favorite TV show in any room. It runs the Android TV 8.0 smart interface that gives you access to the Google Play Store where you'll find a very large number of apps, including the one that streams your favorite TV series. The Sony does a great job when upscaling lower content to 4k and can interpolate content up to 120 frames per second for those who are fans of the soap opera effect.
However, just like most VA panel TVs, the image degrades when viewed from the side, which can be an issue if you move around while watching.
Overall, the Sony X900F is an outstanding TV with excellent pre-calibration accuracy that will please most TV show fans, making it one of the best TVs for a bright room.
If you watch TV shows while you move around doing chores, then get the LG SK9000, which has better viewing angles than the Sony X900F. You won't get the same color accuracy of the Sony or the dark room performance. Nonetheless, this is a great TV with good picture quality and an image that remains accurate for wider angles. It handles reflections well, can get bright enough for a bright room, and supports motion interpolation for the soap opera effect fans. It has a great set of smart features.
Overall, get the Sony X900F if color accuracy matters, but go with the LG SK9000 if wider viewing angles are more important.
If you want a less expensive TV than the Sony X900F, the best budget TV for watching TV shows is the LG UM7300. You won't get the same picture quality or the excellent dark room performance you'll find on the Sony.
However, this TV has a decent picture quality and the image remains accurate when viewed from the side thanks to the IPS panel. It can get decently bright for a bright room and has excellent reflection handling. It has decent motion handling and includes a motion interpolation feature to please the soap opera effect fans, and a great selection of online apps. The response time is fast, which is good for watching sports, and the input lag is excellent for playing video games.
Overall, this is a good TV with great TV show performance.
If you usually watch your favorite TV shows at night and you sit straight in front of the TV, then check out the Hisense H8F. You won't get the wide viewing angles, the good gray uniformity, and the excellent reflection handling of the LG UM7300. On the upside, the dark room performance on this TV is much better thanks to the deep uniform blacks. This TV also has a wide color gamut, which is important if you watch one of the few shows available in HDR. It can also get fairly bright if you decide to place it in a room with plenty of ambient light, but don't forget that you have to sit right in front if you want to experience the most accurate image.
Overall, if you watch TV shows in a large average-lit room, the LG is a better choice, but if you sit right in front, the Hisense delivers a better performance both in a dark room and in a room with lots of light.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best TVs to watch shows for most people in each price range. We factor in the price (a cheaper TV wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (no TVs that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).
If you would like to do the work of choosing yourself, here is the list of all our reviews of TVs. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. While no TV is perfect, most TVs are great enough to please almost everyone, and the differences are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.
10/18/2019: Updated picks and changed some text for clarity.