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 2020 for watching TV shows. See also our recommendations for the best TVs for watching movies and the best TVs for watching sports.
The LG B9 is the best TV for watching TV shows we've tested so far. It's an OLED TV with wide viewing angles, so you can easily watch it while moving around. It has remarkable reflection handling, so surrounding lights won't be an issue. It can fight the glare of most bright rooms and has a great smart interface that gives you access to LG's app store, which hosts a large number of apps to cover all your needs. The picture quality and motion handling are excellent, like all OLED TVs. This TV is also great for gaming and is equipped with the latest technological features like support for HDMI 2.1 or eARC, which make it ready for the next-gen gaming consoles.
Overall, this is a remarkable TV for any use, and certainly for watching TV shows.
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 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, 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, this is an outstanding TV with excellent pre-calibration accuracy that'll please most TV show fans, making it one of the best TVs for a bright room.
If you find that the viewing angles of the Sony X900F aren't adequate since you often walk around while watching your favorite TV show, then check out the LG SM9000. You won't get the same dark room performance as the Sony, and its out of the box accuracy isn't as good, but on the upside, the LG maintains an accurate image at an angle. It can get fairly bright and will fight the glare of most rooms. It has a great smart interface with a large number of apps that'll cover your needs.
If you often walk around while watching TV shows, then the LG is a better choice, but for the best overall quality, get the Sony.
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.
12/17/2019: Replaced the LB B8 OLED with the LG B9 OLED and the LG SK9000 with the LG SM9000. Made small changes to text for clarity.
10/18/2019: Updated picks and changed some text for clarity.